Three Simple Tips for Creating Employee Communications That Connect and Engage

Posted on Oct 28, 2015 | 0 comments

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 You must commit to removing extraneous and outdated information that’s obscuring the path you’re trying to lay.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,...

Read More

Is Your Website Sabotaging Your Business? Take the Websites That Work Quiz to Find Out

Posted on May 21, 2015 | 0 comments

Back when you launched your website, it was the flagship of your brand. Your logo was fresh, your content was clever, and the design was innovative. Your cutting-edge website helped your business flourish. But that was several years ago, and a lot has changed since then. You and your business have grown and evolved, and so has technology. What was once pioneering is now passé. Lately, it feels more like your website is sabotaging your business, not supporting it. It no longer shows up in search engines, and your competitors outrank you in your most desired search rankings. You rarely refer people to your site because it no longer represents you or your brand. You feel helpless, frustrated, and overwhelmed at the thought of another website re-design. What you really want — and need — is a website that works. How do we know all this? We talk to business owners like you every day. Some of them come to us knowing their sites need immediate fixes, but they don’t even know where to begin; others are simply too busy running their businesses to take time out to fix their websites themselves. Either way, we get it. We know exactly why your site no longer generates follow-ups, phone calls, or email inquiries about your highest priority products and services. And the good news is, we know what to do to fix it. We help business owners develop and implement simple action plans that solve their websites’ most pressing problems. We consistently see five key areas that trip up our clients and keep their sites from running like the business-building machines they should be: Bad visual design that’s cluttered and distracting; Confusing calls to action with too many choices and no clear path for visitors to follow; Compatibility issues with mobile platforms, resulting in problems with Google and other search engines; Dead sites, i.e., their sites lack fresh content and haven’t been updated within the past 30 days; or No analytical data, which means they have no idea who visits their sites, what people do once they’re there, or how people find their web sites in the first place. Which one of these problems keeps your web site from attracting new visitors, converting them into engaged buyers, and helping you build the business of your dreams? Our Websites That Work Quiz will help you identify areas where your web site could use a little support. After you take the quiz, we’ll send bonus materials direct to your inbox to help you create an action plan to tackle your website’s most pressing problems. We’ve used these same tools to help our clients create websites that drive traffic, convert visitors into buyers, and build their businesses. Share...

Read More

Mobile Apps Can Help Companies Save Money, Boost Productivity & Increase Employee Engagement

Posted on May 7, 2015 | 0 comments

  How many times have you tried to quickly find an in-network doctor, only to discover you had to first log on to your employee portal to access your benefits information? When you need your benefits information fast, but you are miles away from your office or can’t remember your log in to the benefits portal, you feel powerless and frustrated. The same frustration arises for your employees every time they hit a roadblock when they need to access their benefit plan information for themselves or their family members. Requiring your employees to rely solely on outdated, cumbersome systems for their benefits information not only chips away at productivity and employee morale, it costs your organization money. Employees don’t want to waste their time—or yours—searching for the details of their benefits coverage when a decision needs to be made in the moment. However, the reality is that employees are often forced to make hasty decisions on unexpected medical appointments, prescription decisions, or urgent care. When access to benefits information is limited to antiquated methods, such as workplace portals, home computers, or print brochures, employees feel disenfranchised and helpless navigating the complexities of leveraging their benefits effectively. The result is often delaying treatment or making costly decisions, such as using out-of-network providers or accepting uncovered services. What your employees really want is an easy-to-use system that they can access anytime, anywhere. Most people already use smart phone technology to access information. Taking advantage of the convenience and versatility of mobile communications is the smartest choice for companies who want to reach their employees beyond the firewall. That’s why we created Mobile Benefits Connection™. This easy-to-use, low-cost solution empowers your employees to make smarter in-the-moment decisions any time they need to use their company benefits. Mobile Benefits Connection is a web-based app designed to function as a simple portal that allows employees instant access to all the important phone numbers, addresses, and websites associated with their benefits providers. CLICK HERE to see Mobile Benefits Connection in action, and to learn more about how this simple solution is helping employees make smarter benefits decisions year-round that save your company money, boost productivity, and foster deeper engagement.   Share...

Read More

5 Reasons Mobile Communications Are Smarter Than Ever

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 | 0 comments

Internal communications isn’t special. Yep, sorry. You’re not special. You are subject to the same challenges and obstacles of any other marketer vying for the attention of your employees. So, what does that mean for you? It means that your internal communications strategy must embrace the same technology and outlets that every other advertiser is using to reach your employees. The strategies and tactics of yesterday no longer apply. The days of the beautifully bound New Hire kit living on a shelf in your employee’s cubicle are behind us. The kits have been replaced with a grab bag of web links, intranet tabs, and emailed PDF’s. If your communications are living behind a firewall, only available on your company Intranet, or getting tossed into the recycle bin with all the other junk mail it may be time to go mobile. Here are five reasons a mobile platform belongs in your employee communications strategy…   Timing is everything. If you’re a good employer, your people get to go home at some point every day, right? So what happens when an employee is off site—whether that’s at home, the doctor’s office, traveling for work, or just working in the field away from a computer? Do they just get a backlog of “important” updates when they come into the office? Or are you able to reach them beyond the office walls with the tools and information they need to make the work and life decisions that impact your business? Thanks to the conveniences of modern technology we have become a culture of instant gratification. The ability to take swift action on important initiatives is a key driver in participation and the ultimate achievement of your targeted outcomes. With a mobile platform as part of your strategy you empower employees to make decisions in the moment as the needs arise so they don’t have to remember to take action later. Credibility is critical. Consistent communication between management and employees is the key to building credible and trustworthy relationships. When you leverage the simplicity and convenience of mobile tools it becomes easier to communicate with employees. When it’s easier to communicate, it happens more often. When you communicate more often the relationship improves. Your employees aren’t the only ones depending on you.  You may never see or even know some of the most influential people behind your Company. They’re behind the scenes, off-site, and they may have never stepped foot in your offices. They’re the spouses, children and families of your employees—and you can’t reach them via all-employee memo or the company Intranet. You HAVE TO go beyond the walls to reach some of the most influential people in your employees’ lives. Mobile platforms make it convenient for your employees and their families to leverage the benefits and opportunities that keep your people safe, healthy and loyal to your Company. It opens a direct line between you and the support system that keeps your people on track beyond the walls of work. Smart phones are the fastest growing platform.  The data demonstrating the furious rise in smart phone usage is undeniable: 91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone¹ 56% of people own a smart phone¹ 50% of mobile phone users, use mobile as their primary Internet source¹ 66% of emails are now opened on a smart phone or tablet² If you’re not on your employees’ smart phones, chances are you’re not being heard by 50% of your audience! Engagement. It’s the holy grail of HR goals. Engaged employees are the drivers of our businesses. They make our lives easier by showing up,...

Read More