Three Simple Tips for Creating Employee Communications That Connect and Engage
Most of us are over-extended at work and at home. It takes a near miracle to get our attention in this day and age of non-stop advertising.
Our clients are increasingly aware that their employees are just not absorbing the information they put out there.
Simply having the information “out there” is no longer enough. Your message must be easy to find, memorable, and available at a moment’s notice.
Here’s how we’ve helped our clients break through some of today’s most common challenges with employee communications.
Problem #1: Your Intranet should be on an episode of TLC’s Hoarders. Sadly, it’s not just your Intranet. Our entire lives are cluttered with information.
It’s impossible to tune in only to the information we’re seeking when our lives are littered with print ads, emails, internet ads, radio, tv, billboards, in-app ads, etc.
Your job as Leaders of your organization is to ruthlessly summarize and organize important information for your employees. You must commit to removing extraneous and outdated information that’s obscuring the path you’re trying to lay.
We help clients clean up and replace online content monthly. We go in again annually to do a deeper purge. This little bit of consistency pays off big time by keeping this task from being both costly and overwhelming.
Problem #2: You sound like the adults from every Charlie Brown special ever. Remember that awful “wah wah wah” voice? That’s what you sound like when you slip into autopilot to just get a message out there for your employees.
As leaders in your company, it’s not likely your first time at the communications rodeo. So it’s easy to fall back on your old tricks in an attempt to quickly check one more thing off of your to-do list.
It’s important to remember that you’re not just trying to get the information out the door – you’re trying to connect with people.
Boring old corporate memos and boilerplate language do not create connection. They create disengagement.
When you’re communicating, remember that you hired PEOPLE. People remember stories. They remember moments. They remember novelty. A little bit of humanity, humor and storytelling go a long way towards winning your employees’ attention.
Before your next urgent memo races out the door, ask yourself, “do I feel connected to the value of this message and its role in improving the business or my life?” We work in an era when businesses can be warm, emotional and vulnerable. Your humanity is the scary magic place where engagement is lurking.
Problem #3: You’re out of sight and out of mind. Like it or not, smart phones are here to stay. Increasingly, employees who have no computer access at the office rely exclusively on smart phones as their connection to the Internet.
If you’re only publishing newsletters, posting information on your Intranet, or leaving flyers out in the break rooms then you’re missing out on most of your employees’ primary gateway to information—smart phones.
Even employees with regular access to a computer in the office are looking for answers to questions about benefits or other work-related programs and services outside of the office.
We continue to guide our clients toward the use of public-facing, mobile-optimized websites to make sure that employees and their families have easy access to the information they need.
Our Mobile Benefits Connection™ app is helping employees and their covered dependents access important benefits information in the moment when making consumer decisions about their health, insurance, and retirement.
Getting employees to absorb critical information will always be a challenge. We’re competing with too many other mediums and messages. Wherever we can simplify, organize, humanize and mobilize our messages—we will vastly improve our chances of bridging the communications gap and empowering our employees to live happier, healthier, more productive lives.