Career Boosting Newsletter
To view the current issue of Cutting Edge PR e-News,
"Kim, just wanted to say thanks for a fantastically informative site."
Read our testimonials
Use 30 innovative tips and tools for better employee engagement
Specialist UK internal communication consultancy SnapComms produces a range of software to support employee communication. The firm offers 30 tips for better internal communication and employee relationships below. These help to increase employee engagement levels. The tips are overwhelmingly based on the firm’s own product software, but they are innovative and useful, and they show how workplace communication is evolving with software support aiming to:
- Communicate a clear and motivating vision
- Improve line-of-sight for employees
- Facilitate open communication and involvement
- Bolster perceptions of existing benefits
- Ensure managers communicate effectively
- Improve existing engagement levels
- Test communication
- Celebrate achievements
- Communicate to retain good staff
High levels of employee engagement in an organization are linked to superior business performance, including increased profitability, productivity, employee retention, customer metrics and safety levels. Hence effective engagement communication tools need to be a key part of any internal communications strategy.
Using workplace communication tools
Communicate a clear and motivating vision
- 60% of people communicate visually. Use interactive visual screensavers to portray company values and vision. A picture paints a thousand words. Use screensavers to show a positive view of the company. Broadcast it round your organization to capture people’s imagination in an appealing, visual way.
- Visual cues are important. You can set up a desktop alert that lets you deliver video directly to employees’ computers. Targeting features mean that you can deliver customized video alerts to different groups of employees at different times and you can measure cut through.
- The power of small groups. Smaller face-to-face executive communication, such as brown bag lunches and skip-level meetings, offer a more personalized and engaging format for leadership communication. Multiple time slots and venues can also help maximize the chances that employees can attend executive briefing sessions. A Desktop Alert is a staff invitation tool that makes it easy to target appointments and manage multiple variables such as venues, times slots and personalized requirements such a transport or catering. The tool integrates with Outlook.
Improve line-of-sight for employees
- Customize communication for different target audiences. You can use engagement communication channels allow you to deliver targeted content to specific groups of employees. Work with managers to make the messages as relevant as possible to different groups of staff.
- Expand awareness. Make sure employees understand how the unit they work in contributes to the overall success of the organization. Expand their awareness beyond their own performance and extend it out into their team.
- Highlight best practice. You can produce an e-mag format that supports user generated content. Include articles that show how employees are modeling organizational values or supporting wider company initiatives.
- Reinforce understanding and develop local context. Use a pop-up Staff Quiz to ask questions to reinforce understanding and local context. For example, “When I see a colleague working in an unsafe way, I would: A, B, C, or D or all of the above?” or "In XXX situation, how would you apply our company values?" Offer prizes to encourage staff to take part. Include humorous or trick questions and answers that make the quiz fun.
- Provide employee helpdesks. Internal Social Media channels provide a secure, plug and play way to set an interactive online helpdesk to let staff ask questions about any aspect of the business and their role within it. Optional desktop alerts to nominated content owners can help ensure fast responses to questions. Customizable security levels can restrict access to only those groups of staff nominated with access rights.
- Get respected managers and staff to blog about various aspects of the business. These people can answer questions and provide context to staff about any aspect of the business. Internal Social Media tools make this easy, secure and targeted.
- Encourage and help senior managers share ideas with their staff. SnapMag makes it easy for managers and staff to contribute.
Facilitate open communication and involvement
Employees need to feel informed of, and involved in, a company’s direction in order to support and actively promote whatever that direction may be.
- Show that you’re genuinely concerned about employees’ opinions and use social media as a communication tool to build engagement. The Internal Social Media channels, mentioned above, provide a quick, easy and secure way to set up employee discussion forums for staff to provide their views and feedback.
- Let staff tell their own stories. SnapMag, mentioned above, is an electronic magazine that lets staff contribute their own content quickly and easily. Use this Staff E-Mag tool to get staff involved. Encourage them to tell their own stories about what they are doing to support company strategies or embody organizational values.
- Show how feedback is being used. Articles in staff magazines, updates on scrolling news feeds and even interactive corporate screensavers can be a great way to demonstrate to staff how their feedback is being used. Engagement communication tools make these updates quick, easy, targetable and measurable.
- Involve employees. Use a desktop staff quiz tool to involve people. For example, by asking them to name new ways of working (e.g. new systems, projects) or suggest improvements. Offer prizes for the best ideas and recognize those using targeted corporate screensavers and articles in SnapMag.
Bolster perceptions of existing benefits
- Promote employee development programs. Interactive corporate screensavers and articles in staff e-magazines can be effective ways to raise the profile and perceived value of employee development programs. Desktop alerts and invites can help ensure maximum value is derived from events such as health and wellness presentations etc.
- Promote employer brand. Internal brand messages can be lost if they are buried in email or on the intranet. Bring brand messages to life with interactive, visually engaging communications channels such as messages on screensavers. Involve staff in creating brand values using quick and simple staff survey tools and plug and play discussion forums. Find out what staff know and think using fun staff quizzes.
- Actively promote organizational effectiveness, reputation and ethics. Use interactive corporate screensavers, scrolling news feeds and SnapMag to raise employee awareness. Employees want to feel good about their leaders, where they work, the products they sell and the reputation of their company. Hence these types of engagement communications can be valuable.
- Promote value. Corporate screensavers can be a very effective way to promote ‘free goodies’ available to staff. Anything from staff parties, discounted gym memberships to health checks, fun runs and fresh fruit can be promoted easily and effectively on corporate screensavers. Raising awareness of additional staff benefits can help employees feel more valued and engaged.
- Department highlights. Often people don’t see where they fit into the bigger picture or why a specific department is working so hard on a particular initiative. Use screensaver messages and short articles in SnapMag to provide project updates and progress reports. SnapMag allows individuals and departments to submit their own updates into the appropriate section of the magazine. User generated content is an effective engagement communication technique.
Ensure managers communicate effectively
Hold managers and supervisors accountable for their engagement, survey results and communications effectiveness. Measure their effectiveness and provide tools to support them.
- Tell managers first. Software targeting and scheduling features let you update managers before their teams receive the information. This gives them time to plan how they will react when their team hears important news and time for managers to prepare answers to the questions that may be unique to their team.
- Get managers to share ideas with one another. Internal Social Media tools allow managers meet online to discuss strategies, share ideas and plan. This is especially useful when managers work in different locations.
- Measure how well managers are communicating. Use a Desktop Staff Survey to measure information cascade across the organization. Help managers see the importance of effective communication in order to increase engagement.
Avoid damaging existing engagement levels
- Not Communicating or communicating late can damage engagement. Hearing about an important update from media, colleagues or family and friends can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Ensure employees hear these messages from the business as soon as possible. The Desktop Alert format bypasses email and achieves fast, effective message cut through. Reporting options let you check which recipients have opened the message. Message acknowledgement options allow you to ensure communications compliance.
- Deliver localized content. Setting managers or their PAs up as administrators in SnapComms Content Manager lets them send their teams Desktop Scrolling News feeds. This is a good way to make sure staff gets information that is directly relevant to them as soon as it is available.
- If the rank-and-file employee doesn't get it, it won't work. Measure understanding and impact on behaviors. SnapComms' Survey tool is delivered directly on the computer screens of selected employees, it does not get lost in their email in boxes. Built-in reminders encourage staff to take part.
- Celebrate both financial and non-financial achievements.
- Highlight success visibly. Interactive corporate screensavers are a great way to build engagement with visual communications to highlight and celebrate successes. SnapComms’ targeting features mean that you can use corporate screensavers to communicate small, local wins too, to motivate and engage staff in specific parts of your organization.
- Document local success. SnapMag is an innovative electronic staff magazine utilizing user generated content. This format is an easy way to document success. Encourage employees to submit articles that talk about what they have achieved (e.g. simpler ways of working, important milestones met). You can distribute the finished magazine across the whole organization or to specific target groups.
Communicate to retain good staff
- Catch dissatisfaction early. Two-way internal communications channels such as the pop-up Staff Survey tool and the Internal Social Media channels make it easy to regularly gather feedback from staff and to catch dissatisfaction early - to understand what’s really going on.
Promote opportunities for staff. Include a section in SnapMag promoting internal vacancies.
- Promote training opportunities and staff support schemes on interactive screensavers or as articles in SnapMag.