Lunch & Learn with a Side of Leadership Development

Lunch & Learn with a Side of Leadership Development

Everybody agrees. Lunch & Learns are a great idea. A win-win for staff and company. The wins include:

  • Everyone is kept up to speed on the industry, company information, market position and competitive strategies. You’re building a culture of team players who understand the end game.
  • Leadership training at no cost. There’s a LOT of knowledge and expertise within most companies. Why not create an environment where it’s easy to share all that valuable experience?
  • Opportunities to shine. Not only do attendees gain knowledge, presenters – from all levels of the company – are fine-tuning their leadership and presentation skills.
  • Easy documentation of policies and procedures. New tools and processes can be taught, and afterwards, the information used for the Lunch & Learn can be made accessible on the company’s intranet or shared drive.
  • The ability to practice and test content. Have a big presentation coming up? Client training, employee onboarding, new product demonstrations, user summit sessions – Lunch &Learns are a great place to do a run through with your peers and get valuable feedback before the real deal.

To ensure you get the most out of your Lunch & Learns, start by making them organic. Mandatory attendance is a death toll. Instead, design a system where anyone at your company can take it upon himself or herself to create content and present it to anyone who’s interested using tools you’ve provided. This way your employees can take ownership, and Lunch & Learns become a fun part of your culture. The buy-in is built-in.

Here’s a checklist for creating a Lunch & Learn system. You’ll need:

  1. A technology platform to deliver content. The virtual nature of everything these days makes delivering content a breeze. Systems like Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and GoToMeeting are popular options that enable anyone to participate wherever they are.
  2. An online calendar. Make sure it’s accessible by everyone in the company. Presenters can schedule a time slot and viewers can see what’s “on.”
  3. A brief guide with format and broad content ideas. This is particularly helpful when you launch your system to get everyone excited and set a few expectations.

    Sample Format Ideas

      • Q&A – Use questions and answers to discuss your topic. Present them one at a time and encourage viewers to participate via the chat function.
      • Interview Style – Interview a co-worker or guest speaker.
      • The 5 Ws – Organize the presentation based on who, what, when, where, and why.
      • Show and Tell – Give a demonstration of something.
      • Conversation Starter – Show a slide, video, or podcast and discuss with viewers.
      • Tag Team – Ask a co-worker(s) to join you in the presentation.

    Sample Content Ideas

      • Information about a new product or new insights into an existing product.
      • Training on a process, system, or product.
      • Commentary about your industry, highlighting trends, changes, etc.
      • Skills development in leadership, public speaking, or project management.
      • Self-improvement ideas, both mental and physical in nature.
  4.  Finally, a company-branded PowerPoint template. This makes it easy for creators to create and brings uniformity to everyone’s presentations.

Once you get a system set up, don’t forget to promote the heck out of it. Be sure to emphasize that employees are empowered to create their own content and that it’s a great way to showcase their knowledge, while helping their fellow co-workers grow and learn.

When your Lunch & Learns are the responsibility of everyone, everyone wins.

Thx, kh