Before the pandemic broke out, in-person employer-hosted events were an enormous part of building engagement and connectedness among working professionals. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, leaders have been grappling with how best to replicate these events virtually or in socially-distanced conditions. To help negotiate this area better, Alight Solutions have announced the release of Virtual Employee Events, a new “digital multi-event space that helps you connect with your people – and their families – where they are, when it’s convenient.”
Innovating Employee Events
Targeting the events space, Alight’s digital platform can simulate the in-person experience of employee events such as benefits fairs, offering everything from exhibitor content coordination and client training to event hosting and management.
According to Alight, their Virtual Employee Experience could be used, for example, to host smaller scale events employing user interface platform UPoint® or for recreating online digital spaces such as event halls, lobbies, interactive venues or fairs. Through a combination of both live and on-demand options and personalized communication channels, Virtual Employee Experience also allows for networking, 1-to-1 chats and interactions with HR representatives, counsellors or vendors. Multiple events can also be taking place at once.
Since the pandemic began, Alight reportedly has also noted an increase in online events, such as virtual diversity & inclusion fairs over the past twelve months. However, the Virtual Employee Experience platform could be used to accommodate immersive, virtual training events, onboarding procedures, summits, sales rallies, celebrations, recognition of milestones and more.
“The pandemic derailed in-person benefit fairs, which long served as the primary engagement and communication vehicle for employers to reach their employees and educate them about benefit options,” said Colin Brennan, chief product strategy & services officer at Alight. “In a year that challenged everyone’s health and wellbeing, and without a clear way to engage employees, those benefits programs can go underutilized and employees can feel frustrated, confused and underserved. Alight’s Virtual Employee Events platform is an effective way for organizations to accommodate the new workplace, while caring for the engagement and education needs of employees wherever they are and whenever it’s convenient for them.”
Throughout the pandemic, Alight Solutions have deployed their expertise and used tech innovations to allow employers to communicate with their teams and keep people safe. The company put into place a COVID Rapid Response Checklist, for example, and in May 2020 launched a health assessment app to assist employees who were recovering from or potentially exposed to COVID decide when it would be safe to return to work.
“Employers are grappling with how to safely bring people back to physical work locations in a way that is efficient and mindful of employee privacy,” said Adam Johnson, vice president of healthcare navigation at Alight said at the time. “This app gives employers a fast, discrete way of making their people feel more confident and comfortable when they return, while also providing immediate access to professional support should employees show signs of illness.”
The development of Alight’s Virtual Employee Events is a continuation of this drive to use technology to respond to the ever-changing needs of the workforce under COVID and continue to keep people healthy through providing interactive, engaging and impactful events in a safely virtual setting.
The intersection of technology and employee experience is accelerating at a rapid pace due to the pandemic, as talent leaders explore the many ways in which everything from events to benefits to onboarding can be moved online. Rather than aiming to replicate in-person events to the letter, Alight Solutions Virtual Employee Events harnesses the latest technology to provide personalized, multi-channel interactions that fit with a host of different needs, many of which will be enhanced by their being a digital experience. It remains to be seen exactly how organisations will put these virtual event solutions to use.