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Meghan Ely 2018 Photo by Melody Smith Portrait

Event Pros Share How They Support Their Employees

In a tight labor market, it's more important than ever to keep your employees engaged. Here, event pros share some strategies.

Team dynamics and morale have a direct impact on the productivity and success of a business, so it’s time to start seeing your employees as an investment. After all, they form the backbone of your special event company and, without them, you’d be left to pick up the pieces.

Gratitude can come in many forms. We talked to event pros from all around to see how they thank and support their employees in the workplace.

Hold meetings with open communication
Meetings are always a great way to check in with your team, but be sure that everyone has a chance to be heard. Whether you choose daily or weekly meetings, make sure to check in with everyone on both a work and a personal level.

It is also important to reflect on your management style, explains Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services. “I also realized that I need to change my management style,” he says. “I try to be more approachable, which I think allows my staff to feel supported.”

Create a fun office environment
There’s no better way to engage your team than to create an environment that makes them excited to go to work each day. All work and no play--well, you know how it goes! “We try to make the work environment fun,” Dennis says. “We have a Mario Kart tournament, celebrate everyone’s birthday with a lunch at their chosen restaurant, and have a monthly potluck lunch as a team. I try to invest in my team as much as possible as a thank-you for the investment of their time.”

Empower employees
Micro-managing your team is a quick way for them to feel disconnected from their work. “I like to give my employees a lot of control and freedom to manage their workload in the ways that work best for them,” explains Katie Easley of Kate Ryan Design. “This gives them more buy-in and provides them with a feeling of belonging. They become part of the bigger picture when they can make decisions.”

However, she also cautions about putting too much on an employee’s plate. “I don’t put decision-making on employees if the outcome could potentially be detrimental to the company,” Easley says. “Those big decisions are my responsibility because I never want my employees to feel so pressured or stressed out that it stops their creativity or productivity.” Remember that it’s important to find a balance that keeps employees empowered without forcing overwhelm.

Create a sense of belonging
On busy days, it’s easy for employees to feel alone with their work. Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers shares an innovative way his company has ensured that everyone feels a part of it. “One way we have really reinforced the concept of belonging is through the use of a Facebook group where our staff is engaging daily, whether it’s sharing ideas, asking question, or posting good old-fashioned memes,” he explains. “We have seen a lot more buy-in from the staff since we created this online community where everyone can get the information they need quickly, as well as get input from others.”

Support industry events
Your team is invested in the industry, so take any chance to help them to immerse into the community. Start by bringing them to local networking groups and inviting them to listen in to your industry masterminds. Bring them up to speed and teach them the ins and outs of the industry.

If you’re ready to take this to the next level, consider taking them to your next conference or trade show. While it can be a costly endeavor (airfare, accommodations and event tickets can add up!), know that it is an investment in your employees and the relationship that you’ve built with them.

Consider award submissions
For those extra-special employees, consider recognizing them by submitting their name for an award. There are many industry awards for young event pros and those who fill supporting roles, so keep an eye out and create a shortlist of candidates in your company. It’s up to you whether you submit them privately or bring them into the process.

Even if they don’t win the award, a nomination speaks volumes to the value that they bring to a company. It’s always crucial that you reward employees for the hard work and positivity they bring to the table.

Supporting employees isn’t just for them, though, as a committed team is the key to an effective business model, and lower turnover rates are always a positive step for a company. The hiring process is costly in both time and money, so it’s in everybody’s best interest for your employees to be happy, confident and comfortable in their position.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.


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