Learn more about upcoming opportunities to see our programs live

4 Tips for Planning a Successful Corporate Event

Obvious news flash: Many decisions go into planning a corporate event, from finding the right location and determining menu selections to agenda constraints and giveaways or no giveaways. You even need to consider lighting. Before you can plan the details of your event, take time to brainstorm what will truly make it successful. These four tips will help you plan an event that’s memorable, informative, and dare I say, fun.

1. Determine the Goals of Your Corporate Event First

Educate, inform, drive behavior change, introduce, celebrate, or improve skills—these are all potential goals. Whatever you choose will drive the rest of your event planning, from your budget and venue choice to content and approach. Ensure the goal is strategically aligned with the company’s overall business goals, which will improve the chances that your executives are more eager to buy into your plans. Determining goals first also allows you and your team to clarify a plan of action for measuring event ROI, something else near and dear to the executives.

2. Incorporate a Fun, Relevant Theme

Pick a fun theme to excite and engage your participants throughout the event. You can even get them involved beforehand by asking them to  brainstorm ways they can come to the event fully immersed in the theme—outfits, bringing theme-related items, viewing related videos prior, or team-related pre-work. Themes don’t just present an opportunity to amp up excitement; they can also be used to make your corporate event feel more cohesive, especially if it spans multiple days. Weave elements of your theme throughout different activities to connect the dots for participants.

When you do decide to incorporate a theme into the event, make sure you pay close attention to the details. A half-hearted attempt at carrying out a theme may deflate participants more than it pumps them up, whereas a carefully considered and well-executed one sends the message that your company has invested time and energy into creating this event—and participants are expected to do the same.

3. Keep Participants Engaged with Immersive Activities

If one of the goals of your event is to teach participants new skills, explore training approaches that require active participation. Getting your participants out of their chairs and interacting with one another creates excitement throughout the event. Plus, participatory learning is often more effective in the long term for retention. When participants learn by doing, that knowledge stays with them much longer in comparison to passive learning strategies. We have all been there before and know it’s far easier for participants to “clock out” on a lecture or PowerPoint presentation than it is with an engaged a hands-on learning activity.

If you’re thinking about including immersive training activities at your event, be sure to consider experiential learning. In an experiential learning exercise, participants are tasked with working together to tackle a fun but challenging “project” and the skills needed to successfully complete the challenge are the same ones needed to succeed at work. One of the biggest benefits is that it teaches participants new skills and allows them to practice them during the same exercise. Allowing participants to practice in a conference setting, wherein they’re able to get immediate feedback from facilitators, gives them a chance to refine and perfect those skills before they use them on the job. Plus, experiential learning is a good fit for all types of learners, thereby making it ideal for events put on for a diverse workforce.

4. Invest in Retention Tools and Strategies

No corporate event should be a “one-and-done” affair. If it focuses on teaching participants new skills and information, make sure you have a plan in place to help participants remember the lessons learned. Some post-event retention tools may include:

  • Online videos or webinars that serve as refreshers on event training
  • Interactive online games that test participants’ knowledge and retention of key concepts
  • Group discussions that explore the challenges and solutions addressed during the event
  • Forums on which participants can post follow-up questions and discussions

Keeping retention in mind throughout the planning process also helps you design components that support long-lasting learning.

If you planned a particularly well-received corporate event before, let us know what elements you think contributed to its success.

Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

5 Benefits of Experiential Training in the Workplace

Employee development is a high priority for many organizations because it helps increase engagement, build loyalty, and achieve organizational goals. The types of training available to companies as part of an employee development strategy are countless, from self-directed online courses to immersive multi-day experiences. Using multiple training approaches helps ensure that you reach all types of learners and allows you to maximize your training budget.

Including experiential learning in your development program offers several important benefits, such as:

  • Driving conviction to change behaviors
  • Connecting conceptual ideas to actual situations in the workplace
  • Delivering a fun and engaging training experience for employees
  • Producing measurable results and the ability to track progress
  • Providing a training framework that can be used in multiple areas

Let’s dig deeper into each of these benefits so you can see how experiential training can support your professional development strategy.

Drives Conviction

The main objective of any training initiative is to change behaviors in order to achieve a specific outcome. If participants are not aware of that outcome or not invested in accomplishing it, they are less likely to change their behaviors.

Experiential learning starts by building conviction so that participants learn not only how to do something in a new way, but also why it matters. They see the positive effects of using their new skills in the training environment and become motivated to test them in the real world because they have both the confidence that it will make a difference and the conviction to make the effort that will lead to change.

Connects Concepts to the Workplace

Many training formats effectively teach new concepts, but do not provide a safe environment to practice applying those concepts. For example, a classroom-based lecture about leadership skills can enhance the knowledge of participants, but that doesn’t mean they will know how to apply new skills in the real world.

Experiential learning is different because participants not only learn new concepts and skills, they also have the opportunity to try them in a scenario that indirectly mimics their reality. Because the scenarios are metaphors, many people don’t realize they are learning new work skills until the debrief at the end of the training. At this point, a facilitator guides a discussion that prompts participants to make strong connections between the lessons they learned in the activity and similar scenarios on the job.

Participants Have Fun

Employee development is serious business, but that doesn’t mean training has to be dry or boring. The importance of engaging participants during training cannot be understated. If they are not paying attention, they simply will not learn what you need them to.

Experiential learning fully immerses participants, making the full length of training fun and engaging. They aren’t interested in checking their phones because they want to solve the next challenge or see if they can improve their team’s results in the next round. Being fully engaged means that participants are more likely to absorb the information being presented to them, and because they are doing something that has immediate consequences, the experience is much more meaningful.

Provides Measurable Results

Training ROI is a high priority for anybody working with an employee development budget. Collecting feedback surveys or testing participants after a seminar is one way to gauge training results, but these methods do not guarantee long-term behavior change.

Experiential learning provides some of the best results of any type of training program because participants retain more information when they learn by doing. The learning decay curve shows that most people forget up to 70 percent of what they learned within the first week of learning it. Experiential learning, especially when combined with a retention strategy, helps overcome learning decay by instilling conviction, connecting the training concepts to actual behaviors in the workplace, and giving participants a common experience to reference.

Can Be Applied across a Wide Variety of Topics

Some training methods are better than others for certain topics or types of learners. For example, learning new software should include hands-on training. Similarly, digital training platforms are not always effective for people who are not comfortable using new technology without assistance.

Experiential learning can be used to teach to a broad spectrum of skills and competencies. Whether you want to teach time management to every employee or leadership skills to rising stars, experiential learning will produce results. Participants of every age and experience level benefit from this type of training. Programs can be customized to your organization, and even specific teams, so that they incorporate the company culture and internal language that will resonate with participants.

Next Steps: Adding Experiential Training to Your Development Initiatives

Experiential training has quickly become a favorite among HR and training professionals, as well as employees, because it creates conviction, connects the training experience to the real world, and delivers measurable results. Not to mention it’s fun and engaging, and can used to train a variety of topics, including leadership, customer centricity, and sales effectiveness. As you design your employee development initiatives, incorporate multiple types of learning methodologies, and be sure to include experiential training.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

How to Tailor Workplace Training to All Types of Learning Styles

Every individual is unique, and everyone brings with them a unique set of traits to the workplace—from their personality and past experiences to the way they learn. In fact, there are several types of learning styles and ways that workplace training can be designed to meet those diverse learning needs, as well as decrease learning decay. While some individuals learn best with written material, others are make sense of new information when they can see or hear an explanation of what is being taught.

In order to ensure that employees get the most out of their training experiences, it’s best to tailor workplace training to address the needs of all types of learning styles as much as possible. By making small adjustments to existing training or larger changes to your training programs, you can position your organization to achieve strong training ROI, improved employee engagement, and sustained behavior change.

How to Tailor Training to the Various Types of Learning Styles

Though there are many learning theories, we’ll focus on one of the most popular, Howard Gardner’s Seven Learning Styles. There are a number of elements that can be included in workplace training so that it appeals and connects to each learning style, helping individuals learn new behaviors that will help improve performance and job effectiveness.

Here are some ways your training initiatives can be designed to appeal to the various learning styles:

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn by what they see and build comprehension of new concepts through pictures, images, and the spatial relationships of objects. Workplace training for visual learners can be tailored to include presentations with plentiful diagrams, videos, and charts.

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners are excellent listeners and discern patterns in spoken, lecture-type teaching. This type of learner prefers speeches, audio recordings, and training that includes plenty of opportunities for dialogue.

Reading/Writing Learners

These individuals learn best through close examination of text, reports, stories, and case studies. Workplace training for reading/writing learners can be tailored to include manuals, handouts, quizzes, and presentations.

Kinesthetic Learners

Kinesthetic learners expand their comprehension of new information through their senses, and enjoy hands-on activities like simulations, walk-throughs, and sessions that include building or working with physical objects.

Logical Learners

Sometimes referred to as mathematical learners, these individuals learn from studying whole systems, patterns, and high-level concepts. They are particularly drawn to spreadsheets, multi-step methodologies, and graphs. Logical learners respond well to workplace training that includes opportunities to distill multiple concepts into one big idea, showing them how to improve their behavior.

Interactive/Social Learners

These learners are strong at understanding the feelings and motivations of others. The thrive on team learning activities, role-playing, and group discussions.

Solitary Learners

Solitary learners focus on self-reflection and introspection as their prime way of synthesizing and making sense of learning. Training for these learners should be tailored to include opportunities to work through the content at their own pace, as well as a balance of collaborative activities with those that allow them to work independently.

Experiential Learning Works for a Range of Learning Styles

Experiential learning can be an appealing workplace training choice because it addresses the different learning needs of employees. Here are some examples of how experiential learning works with many types of learning styles:

  • For visual learners – The immersive nature of experiential learning features stories with vivid details that allow these types of learners to visualize desired behaviors introduced to them in training.
  • For auditory learners – The discussion and dialogue inherent in experiential learning allow auditory learners to learn by hearing how others synthesize and apply newly learned behaviors.
  • For reading/writing learners – Reading/writing learners thrive on making connections through what they read, and experiential learning addresses this by offering discovery-based learning that compels learners to create order out of the information presented, then take action based on their understanding of the material.
  • For kinesthetic learners – Kinesthetic learners love to learn by doing, which is at the heart of experiential learning. Participants engage in immersive activities that mimic real-life situations and are directly relevant to the workplace.
  • For logical learners – Experiential learning works for logical learners because it challenges them to think about their actions and behaviors, and link it to what they did with the aid of a facilitated debrief.
  • For interactive/social learners – Experiential training appeals to social learners because it is by nature an interactive experience. Expert facilitators engage groups of participants and help them to learn from their shared experiences during the session.
  • For solitary learners – After the collaborative portion of experiential training wraps up, a facilitator-led discussion gives solitary learners the chance to think about their behaviors and actions, how those affected their results, and how the experience relates to their everyday life on the job.

Selecting a Solution That Appeals to All Types of Learning Styles

Though it may be challenging, it is possible to implement workplace training that addresses the needs of the many types of learning styles. Everyone learns differently, so it’s worthwhile to consider the various learning needs that exist within your organization and adjust your training accordingly. Experiential learning in particular includes elements that naturally appeal to many different learning styles and offers benefits that can be appreciated by every employee.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

Social Learning Theory and What Experiences Mean in the Future

Trends come and go in the learning and development space. Sometimes new approaches stick, profoundly influencing the shape taken by workplace learning and training for years to come. One such hugely influential trend: Social Learning Theory. Let’s explore how Social Learning Theory works (and why it’s more than hype), how it relates to a newer, “experiences”-driven learning approach, and how this landmark theory can have a positive impact on the future of workplace learning.

Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

To understand Social Learning Theory, let’s look to its originator, psychologist Albert Bandura. Bandura created this landmark theory in the 1970s to explain how we learn, which he developed after conducting his famous “Bobo Doll” experiment. For the experiment, Bandura split a group of children into three sets. The first set observed adults acting aggressively toward a doll called a Bobo Doll; the adults hit the doll with a hammer, tossed around the doll, and committed other aggressive acts. The second set of children observed adults acting non-aggressively toward the Bobo Doll; they played with the doll quietly. The final set of children made no observations and served as the control group.

Later, Bandura and his team directed each child to play with the Bobo Doll on their own. Bandura found that the children who observed the aggressive adults also acted aggressively toward the Bobo Doll, while the children who observed non-aggressive adults imitated their non-aggressive play. From this landmark experiment, Bandura theorized that we learn from each other through imitation, modeling, and observation. He also developed four components of social learning theory, claiming that all of these components must be present for learning to stick:

  • Attention: Behavior must grab our attention in some way for us to imitate it.
  • Retention: We best recall learning when faced with situations that are similar to our initial learning environments.
  • Reproduction: Learning is more likely to be reproduced when it’s reinforced.
  • Motivation: We’re motivated to learn by punishment and rewards.

Social Learning Theory and Experiential Learning: A Comparison

Social Learning Theory has influenced workplace learning design for decades, but it actually has a lot in common with experiential learning, in which participants learn new skills and behaviors by working through hands-on, game-like scenarios. Participants learn that the skills needed to win the game are the same skills they need to “win” at work.

In fact, experiential learning contains the essence of all four crucial components of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory. This is how they fit together:

  • Attention: Bandura theorized that people are more focused on a task if it’s new or different in some way—and that’s what experiential learning provides. Experiential learning combines immersive activities that mimic real-world challenges with a targeted debriefing session that connects the lessons learned with the reality of the workplace. It allows participants to learn by doing, and not by just listening, reading, or watching.  Certainly it’s a different approach from traditional workplace learning, and one guaranteed to capture attention.
  • Retention: According to Bandura’s theory, people are able to recall and apply what they have learned when faced with a situation that resembles their initial learning context. This is exactly how experiential learning is designed—to mirror real workplace scenarios, without being exactly the same.
  • Reproduction: Bandura also posited that people are more likely to reproduce learning when it’s reinforced. That is why post-training retention strategies, such as coaching, one-on-one, small group meetings, and digital reinforcement, are integral to the success of experiential learning.
  • Motivation: Finally, Social Learning Theory puts forth the idea that people are motivated by punishment or reward. With experiential learning, the positive (or negative) outcomes of approaching the game in a certain way are made explicit during the debriefing session, so learners can clearly connect their actions and the consequences.

It’s clear that experiential learning shares much in common with the watershed social learning discoveries made by Bandura many decades ago. Now we can apply more current knowledge about how we learn from each other to the power of experiences. No wonder experiential learning boasts retention rates as high as 90 percent!

The Future of Social Learning and Experiential Learning

At their cores, both social and experiential learning methods are about learning from experiences—experiences that are immersive, interactive, and captivating, leading to learning that sticks. What does it look like as we move forward, this intersection of these two learning approaches? It’s time to bring experiences into the digital realm. Thanks to sophisticated software advances and an abundance of connected mobile devices, we can now learn from practically any place and collaborate with anyone, at any time.

Retention strategies, in particular, represent a new learning frontier; retention and reinforcement programs are particularly suited to involving digital elements that draw from both Social Learning Theory and experiential learning. Gone are the days when “reinforcement” simply meant emailing the slides after a presentation. For example, take the trend of gamification in reinforcement. After an in-person training event, the core teachings of the training are reinforced through online “games,” where learners are immersed in an interactive experience fueled by rewards (like digital badges or prizes). In this way, gamified retention strategies draw on both experiential learning (i.e. their immersive, interactive nature) and social learning (i.e. rewards-based reinforcement).

It’s evident that social learning and experiential learning methods are both built on the same foundational concepts. When these methods are combined, you get learning that lasts, resulting in permanently changed behaviors.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

5 Ways Team-Building In the Workplace Helps Improve Performance

You might have heard the adage, “teamwork is less me and more we” before, and for good reason: this simple sentiment gets right to the root of teamwork. Yet, as simple as it is, for too many organizations, employees lack the skills they need to pull it together and “get the job done.” A lack of team-building skills among team members can kill productivity, negatively impact morale, and hurt bottom line results.


When people are committed to teamwork, the workplace operates more smoothly, problems are resolved more quickly, conflict is less likely to turn toxic, and output is greater. Despite the benefits, people can be reluctant, even refuse, to be a team player. To overcome this, here are five activities leaders can use to immediately address any team dysfunction in order to build trust, improve communication, and ultimately create a culture of collaboration.

1. Promote Consensus and Create Alignment

When employees are spending more time arguing and promoting personal agendas, try this tactic to promote team-building in the workplace:

  1. Stop the meeting and pull the team together with a flip chart or whiteboard handy
  2. Create two columns: “Ideas We Agree On” and “Pros/Cons.”
  3. List the ideas or points that the group members can all agree on.
  4. Continue discussions based only on those items, discussing the pros and cons of each point.

This simple activity is perfect for refocusing a group that has gone off the tracks. After the activity, teams will have a framework for communicating about new ideas and initiatives.


2. Reveal the trouble with communication

In the workplace, nothing is more important than effective communication. With the following activity, you can show employees how easy it is for misunderstanding and conflict to arise due to poor or vague communication.

  1. Present a series of statements one by one, and ask your team to write down what the phrases mean to them. Examples: “Turn this in at once,” “let’s meet downstairs,” and “By end of day please”.
  2. Have each person read his or her interpretation aloud and note the differences.
  3. Ask the group for ways to remove ambiguity in conversation and expectations.

This activity shows that even phrases we think are clear may not be. Teams thrive when communication is clear, concise, direct and commonly understood by all.

3. Wipe out cynicism for innovation

During brainstorming sessions, some employees may be reluctant to speak up because they worry that their ideas will be ridiculed or ignored. Eliminate that concern with this lighthearted brainstorming activity that encourages people to be open-minded and positive:

  1. As a group, create a list of negative statements that will be banned from the session. For example, “That will never work,” “We’ve done that before,” “That is impossible,” etc.
  2. Ban spoken “disclaimers”. For example “I haven’t really thought this through but …” or “Maybe we’ve tried something similar before …”
  3. Choose a fun “code word” for when any of these forbidden words are heard during your meeting and have people call it out.
  4. Use encouraging words to reinforce desired behaviors. For example, “That makes me think of “I love it” and “Let’s try it.”
  5. Write all ideas down and assign individuals to flesh them out further.

The idea of totally open brainstorming may be difficult at first for teams to adjust to, but always reinforce that a brainstorming session exists only to create ideas, not to judge them. Even a “bad” idea may result in several other great ones.

4. Strengthen relationships and collaboration

When relationships between employees are strong, they are better able to communicate, work together to problem solve and manage conflicts. The goal of any activity designed to strengthen relationships and collaboration is to help team members change their mindset from a “me” mentality to a “we” mentality.

Working together for the common good is one way to strengthen those relationships, so gather your team for a few hours to do something good for the community. For example:

  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen
  • Organize a toy drive
  • Compete in a charity run
  • Raise money for a local school

These types of positive activities unite the group, and they also give employees a case of the “feel-goods”, both of which benefit the team.

5. Unite behind a common goal

Establishing goals is critical to team success. However, you can’t stop at merely writing them down! Periodically, you need to revisit, reassess, and perhaps even rewrite your team goals to ensure they align with the organization’s changing objectives. Each month, complete this exercise with your team to encourage everyone to work together toward a common goal:

  1. Explain that you want to write or revise a team goal.
  2. Ask each employee to answer this question on a piece of paper: “What is the most important objective for this team in the next four weeks if we want to reach our annual goals?”
  3. Collect the answers and list them on a flip chart, grouping similar answers together.
  4. Have the team vote by placing a tally or check mark next to their top two priorities.
  5. Choose the goal with the most votes.

Then together, answer these questions:

  1. What is our deadline for the goal?
  2. How will we measure progress on this goal?
  3. How will we know we have reached the goal?

To help make this exercise even more personal, have each employee write down three personal goals that help the group meet the team goal. Before each team meeting, have each person update the group on his or her progress.

If improving workplace performance and creating a culture of collaboration are organization priorities for you, these are five ways you can easily begin to build team-building skills.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

5 Strategies to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration At Work

Teamwork and collaboration positively impact individual and overall company performance. One study found that companies that promote collaborative work activities are five times as likely to be high-performing as those that don’t. Collaboration within and between teams ensures that information, time, and other resources are shared for the benefit of everyone involved. When individuals collaborate, each person has an opportunity to contribute their best ideas and efforts, ultimately making each team more productive. Here are five strategies to increase teamwork and collaboration in your organization.

Promote Frequent Communication

For any team to function properly and work productively with other teams, frequent communication is a necessity. Frequent communication helps to answer individual questions, overcome obstacles, and resolve conflicts. It also reduces the potential for confusion and duplicated efforts. Some of the ways you can ensure frequent communication in support of collaboration and teamwork include:

  • Establishing different forums for employees to communicate and share ideas, including in-person meetings, brainstorming sessions, and email or other virtual communication means
  • Providing interpersonal communication skills training to help employees at all levels learn how to achieve complete and accurate understanding when communicating with others
  • Offering training that helps leaders solidify their ability to manage internal communications within departments and teams and build skills that will help them develop their leadership presence

Ensure Leadership Support

To achieve any kind of change in the workforce, company leaders must be enthusiastic champions of the effort to do so. Company leaders set the tone for teamwork and collaboration through their own example and by delivering clear expectations and feedback to the individuals on their team. When leaders reach across functional lines to share information and resources and recognize those on their team who also collaborate well with others, other members of the team will be more likely to engage in activities that support positive team functioning.

Leverage Collaboration Technology

Many digital solutions facilitate easier and more streamlined collaboration between individuals, no matter where they’re based. As new platforms and solutions become available, employees increasingly rely on collaboration technology to make progress on projects, get input on next steps, and share ideas to boost creativity. In fact, an Alfresco survey found that 83 percent of professionals depend on technology to collaborate, and 82 percent said they would be impacted by the loss of it. Examples of collaboration technology include:

  • Internal social networks that improve communication and information-sharing among the workforce
  • Project management software that includes file-sharing and chat capability.
  • Virtual whiteboard platforms

Develop Collaboration and Teamwork Skills

Collaboration doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Therefore, the best way to increase collaborative behavior in the workplace is to teach employees what successful teamwork looks like and what actions they can take to support it. When people understand all the benefits of effective teamwork, they’re more likely to develop a collaborative mindset and engage in desired behaviors. Teamwork and collaboration training teaches employees how to:

  • Productively share resources, assign tasks, and maintain quality standards
  • Communicate effectively and frequently with team members
  • Build team focus on objectives and their outcomes

Reinforce Collaborative Behavior

Any behavior you’re trying to establish in the workplace will require regular reinforcement over time so that individuals don’t revert to old ways of doing things. When you reinforce collaborative behavior, there is less opportunity for silos to form, and the organization is able to develop a culture of openness and transparency. Some of the key ways you can reinforce collaborative behavior include:

  • Tying promotion and developmental opportunities to collaborative behavior
  • Leveraging training reinforcement tools, such as assessments, quizzes, and mobile boost learning, to help employees retain newly learned collaboration knowledge and behaviors
  • Recognizing and rewarding individuals who practice and promote collaboration


Conclusion: Implement These Strategies to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration

Teamwork and collaboration in the workplace don’t happen on their own; they must be cultivated. When individuals have support from leaders and understand how they can work collaboratively, silos break down and teams become more productive. You can make it easier for leaders to cultivate teamwork and collaboration at work through corporate culture, training and development, coaching, and so on.

Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

6 Strategies to Motivate and Inspire Your Team

Even with the right strategy, the necessary budget, and the most efficient systems in place, achieving the desired results comes down to a company’s most important resource: people. Keeping a team engaged and excited about their work can be a challenge for leadership at every level, which is why having a motivation strategy is so important.

Even when people are passionate about their work, it’s easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and lose motivation. Understanding why individuals lose motivation and how to overcome those hurdles will help you develop a motivation strategy that keeps employees enthusiastic and engaged. Use these six strategies to inspire your team to go the extra mile.

1. Communicate the “why”

Understanding what is required to complete a certain task or project is just part of the equation. In order for employees to stay motivated, they must also understand why they are doing it. When leaders clearly communicate the overall vision and keep it at the forefront through consistent communication, employees will have a deeper appreciation for the work they are being asked to do. Even the most mundane task can take on new importance when the reasons behind it are understood and embraced.

2. Create a culture of collaboration

People are much more motivated to complete a task or project if they feel that they have some ownership of it. One way to accomplish this is by inviting participation through a culture of collaboration. When employees know that their ideas and opinions are welcome, expected, and heard, they will become more engaged. Individuals who are able to provide input in the earlier stages of development and throughout the course of a project are more likely to be motivated to see it through to the end and do their best work because they have a sense of ownership and pride in the outcomes.

3. Show your appreciation

Although rewards and incentives can be great motivators, sometimes a few words of gratitude can have a much deeper and longer-lasting impact. Individuals want to know that their efforts are appreciated. When leadership acknowledges their accomplishments, both publicly and privately, this genuine praise can go a long way. Don’t wait until a project is finished to show your gratitude and give credit. Acknowledge the late nights, clever ideas, and other positive moments as they happen.

4. Set challenging but realistic goals

Give teams a challenge that will help them grow as individuals and as a team, offering people an opportunity to do work that extends beyond what they have always done. The occasional special project or urgent push to meet a deadline can help recharge a team that feels stuck in the daily routine. They might find different ways to work together, discover a new sense of camaraderie, or develop new skills that they can use to improve other projects. Make sure the goal is realistic and achievable so that the experience is motivating and not discouraging.

5. Provide development opportunities

People get excited when they learn something new, especially when it helps them do their jobs better. Provide ongoing training and development opportunities for both teams and individuals that enable people to continually improve and hone their skill sets. When teams learn something new together, it helps them bond and build new connections. When individuals bring new skills back to the team environment, it can lift everybody up.

6. Create a positive working environment

No matter what motivation strategy you execute, if the daily working environment is unpleasant, it’s difficult for people to get excited about going to work. Think about how each employee spends their day. Do they have the opportunity to take a break in a comfortable, welcoming space? How do coworkers treat each other? It’s up to leadership to create the type of working environment that sparks inspiration and keeps people motivated. This means that leadership has to create an inviting workspace and model the types of behaviors that contribute to this type of culture.


These are just a few examples of the many ways you can motivate and inspire your team. Think about strategies that will be most effective for your teams and make a plan for executing them. Some approaches, such as expressing appreciation and gratitude, can be implemented immediately and become part of the culture. Others, such as implementing a training and development program, will take more time to fully execute. Remember that people are your organization’s most valuable resource and that investing in them can provide invaluable returns.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

What Do Fun Meeting Themes Do For Your Corporate Events?

When planning corporate events and meetings, you will quickly find a world of possibilities for almost every aspect of your event – venue, decorations, food, activities, and more. Having so many possibilities can easily cause information overload and make it difficult to make decisions. To help ensure that every decision you make during the event planning process is going to help create a cohesive meeting for attendees, having a theme can be a life saver. Establishing an event theme early on and sticking to it throughout the process has a number of benefits, including:

1. Supports Your Event Message

A theme can be a surprisingly effective way to drive home the message of the event and achieve your stakeholders’ objectives. For example, say that the event is focused on kicking off a long term objective, and the event goal is to inspire employees to look forward to the future so they are making decisions today that support success tomorrow. In this case, a future-themed event would be ideal to highlight the message in a way that is fun for attendees. The elements you weave throughout the day can showcase the long term objective that the organization is striving for, while highlighting the importance of keeping the future state top-of-mind.

2. Creates a Cohesive Attendee Experience

From pre-event communication, to event day, to post-event follow up, a theme will help establish a unique and identifiable brand for your event. The human brain processes information by organizing it into categories, so by using a theme, you provide a cohesive experience that ties everything together for your attendees.

Every element that you choose that supports the theme helps unify the event. Choose an experiential activity that supports the theme, select food that fits with it, even pick transportation that is connected to it somehow. For example: you are hosting a company meeting with an established goal of improving productivity and morale among many departments. You have selected an aquatic theme. To create that cohesion:

  • The venue is on the ocean or large body of water
  • You have ocean-inspired drinks and dishes
  • Your color scheme is a mix of blues that are used throughout pre-event communications, the event website, brochures, and event-day materials
  • You have a boat scheduled to bring attendees from the airport to the venue
  • The experiential activity you selected to drive the message home shares the aquatic theme and supports the goals you wish to achieve

Because a theme was established, all of these components could be selected throughout the planning process to contribute to a cohesive experience for attendees. Whether the theme you choose is whimsical or serious, it ties everything together and makes the event memorable.

3. Contributes to Engagement and Excitement

The event theme is a great way to generate excitement leading up to the event, and keep them engaged while they are there. You can progressively provide hints for attendees about what the theme is using pre-event communication, getting them excited about what’s in store. Then, they will spend the day looking out for those elements and little details that relate back to the theme, making it an engaging and share-worthy experience.

Gamification is not just a way to make your corporate event agenda more fun – it can be a unique way to bring home the key messages, and build useful skills among your attendees. When it’s done effectively, gamification helps attendees to feel fully immersed in the event experience, while passing on tired tactics that attendees expect, like speakers, icebreakers, magicians, or comedians. If you are thinking about adding gamification to an upcoming corporate event, take the time to consider the components in this article so you can make a plan to effectively and successfully gamify your event.


Coming up with just the right theme that ties into event objectives can be a lot of fun – and once you’ve made that initial decision, it’s a lot easier to decide on all kinds of components of your event. Having a solid theme that ties into the event goals not only makes your life easier, it also results in an event that is fun and engaging for attendees while effectively achieving stakeholder objectives.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

Followership in Leadership: The Role It Plays

Effective leadership in an organization is essential, but if teams are unable to carry out the vision, even the best leaders will not be able to meet their goals. This is why followership is a critical role that is often overlooked in an organization. There are many resources dedicated to identifying potential leaders and grooming them to ascend in the organization, but what about followers?

Whether an organization or project will succeed or fail depends in part on the actions and behaviors of followers. Just as an individual in a position of leadership is not necessarily a good leader, not all employees have the skills to be effective followers. Understanding the traits of a good follower will help all individuals play that role when necessary, and also help leaders cultivate good followership.

The Role of Followers

The role of a follower is not a simple one. It doesn’t just mean following directions or blindly accepting everything a leader says. Good followership is characterized by active participation in the pursuit of organizational goals. In many cases, this means working independently, being accountable for your actions, and taking ownership of necessary tasks.

The catch is that it’s common for followers to not be recognized for their accomplishments in these areas, even though they are essential to the success of the organization. Although it can feel like a thankless role, many followers take great satisfaction in the work they do and embrace followership. An individual might relish being a follower because they:

  • Enjoy participating in a team
  • Want to deeply understand the leadership role that they someday might step into
  • Prefer to step back from leadership in some contexts
  • Understand the value of their contributions to the overall success of the organization

Regardless of the motivation, a good follower sees that their role is indeed essential, and good leaders should gain a clear understanding of the role of followers as well.

Understanding the Types of Followers

A researcher at Harvard Business Review developed a system for categorizing followers using two metrics: 1) active versus passive, and 2) independent critical thinking versus dependent uncritical thinking. Based on where an individual falls on each spectrum, there are five categories of followers:


Right in the middle of the scale, these people are adept at surviving change. They are able to adapt and conform to the situations around them, whether this means stepping up to take on an important task or quietly staying in the background.


These are passive people who do not think critically and do not have a strong sense of responsibility.

Yes People

Yes people are those who will readily act when told what to do but depend heavily on leaders for guidance. They do not tend to be proactive.

Alienated Followers

These are independent critical thinkers who are not proactive in their roles. They can effectively carry out their roles, but there is often an undertone of dissatisfaction that prevents them from fully embracing their work and contributing to their fullest potential.

Effective Followers

These are independent critical thinkers who follow through enthusiastically. Effective followers can succeed without leadership but respond to it well, making them ideal independent employees who also work well in teams.

Developing Effective Followers

An organization with effective followers often performs well because employees are driven self-starters who are motivated to support organizational goals and have the critical thinking skills to do so. To develop effective followers, an organization must:

  1. Understand Leader and Follower Roles – Recognize that leaders need followers to carry out organizational initiatives, and ensure that leaders understand that the role of a follower is just as important as their own. These roles can be conveyed through training and modeling behavior when leaders are acting in the role of follower.
  2. Teach Followership Skills – Don’t assume that people inherently know how to effectively follow. Teach them the necessary skills, such as accountability, self-management, and analytical thinking. This type of training can be done through coaching, mentoring, and experiential learning.
  3. Include Followership in Performance Evaluations – Employees need feedback to improve their followership skills, and evaluating these skills during performance reviews highlights the importance of the role. Most reviews focus on leadership, but if you also shine a spotlight on followership, this will prompt employees to think about how they can also improve as a follower.
  4. Create a Structure That Supports Followership – When creating teams, think about how you can incorporate the concept of followership. This might include creating small committees with no clear leader, rotating leadership positions on a team, delegating tasks to lower-level employees, or rewarding followers who take on an active role in a project and are vital to its success.

Conclusion: Followership Is Important to a Leader’s Success

It’s important to recognize that a follower is a role and not necessarily an individual. It is often the case that an employee who excels at followership is also an excellent leader. Identifying and cultivating followers is just as important as developing strong leaders and can even be the early stages of leadership development.


What is followership? The definition of followership.


Wondering what a partnership with the Eagle's
Flight team could mean for your training and
development goals?

© 2024 Eagle’s Flight | Website Developed by GrayCyan.com