Do your Employee Communications Offer More “Treats” than “Tricks”?

Posted by Devin Harris on October 30, 2019


Halloween and “Trick or Treat” season is upon us. My two sons have their costumes ready to go (Clifford the Big Red Dog and a Ninja in case you were wondering). I started to think about how truly great the Halloween experience is for young kids. It’s not only acceptable but celebrated to dress up and be whoever or whatever you want! You get to run around the neighborhood collecting free candy!

And because my thoughts are never far from employee experience, I started to wonder what lessons we can learn from Halloween in how we prioritize employee experience and specifically the role of employee communications.

Employee Centric Communication – 5 strategic elements

1. Personalized
Employees like different types and channels of content, just like some people prefer M&M’s over Snickers (but no one likes “fun size” – those aren’t fun at all). Use variety in your content and tailor it to specific employee groups to achieve impact across your workforce. For example, in the Preboarding phase for new employees it is important to start making introductions via your HCM platform to the company culture as well as business leaders and other key stakeholders that will soon be their teammates. This has proven to cut down employee attrition prior to the first day. Save the “ghosting” for Halloween!

 

2. Interactive
Just like no one enjoys visiting a haunted house that isn’t actually scary, flat, one-way communication does not have the same impact that interactive content does. Leverage pulse surveys, videos, animation and more to bring your content to life and draw more employees in to not only consume content but provide valuable feedback.

 

3. Accessible
Masterful pumpkin carving is all about having the right tools for the job to make a stunning jack-o-lantern. Similarly, it is crucial to deliver communications via the means that your audience (employees) can easily find and use it. With 80% of global Internet usage driven by mobile devices[1], you need to be thinking about the fact our talent may only ever connect to our systems using a mobile device. This means optimizing your content for not only desktops and laptops but also mobile & tablets.

 

4. Social
Today’s employees are tech-savvy and socially connected; they want developmental experiences, not just a job. Employees are accustomed to using social media in their everyday personal lives. Give them that same opportunity in the workplace to manage their profile, comment on company blogs and engage in discussion forums. Role-based, program-based, and special interest communities ensure the right individuals are automatically part of the conversations, processes, initiatives that impact their jobs. Just like with Halloween candy, offering a vehicle to consume and provide smaller “bite-sized” pieces of content with interesting visuals is more likely to encourage engagement. You can always have just one more piece of candy content, right?

 

5. Strategic
Trick-or-treating is a very strategic event. Which streets have the most houses? Can you fit your costume over the jacket your parents made you wear? Will your candy bag/bucket hold all your treats? With respect to employee communication, it is key to be mindful of what you are trying to accomplish. Impressions? Awareness? Responses? Team Building? It may be beneficial to create incentives, or a contest specifically designed to help accomplish your goals. Measuring the reach and effectiveness of the communications driven in your HCM platform will allow you to refine your strategy over time (not unlike siblings meeting back up at home to sort and compare their haul of candy with one another to see who took the most strategic approach to trick-or-treating).

 

What does it all mean?

The #1 challenge companies face around the world is employee engagement; 85% of employees are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work.[2] Many employees do not feel committed or connected to the organization, they aren’t clear on their role and the contribution they can make or feel a shared sense of success incenting them to go beyond minimum expectations.

Leading organizations realize the critical nature of effectively executing their business goals, objectives and strategies. However, one the of most common reasons their execution fails is because it is very difficult to connect strategy to people. Leading organizations have figured out a way to do this and once again it involves putting the employee in the center of your approach.

Employee experience is becoming an important topic in leading corporations. It follows the thinking of providing a best-in-class customer experience and extending that to your employee base. There’s an understanding that organizations that focus on employee experience will improve engagement and retention and drive better business outcomes. By measuring what’s working (and what’s not) in your employee communications you can fine tune your approach to maximize value even further.

Companies that aren’t “spooked” by an employee experience mindset will be treated to significant gains in productivity, customer satisfaction, revenue and profitability.

 

 

 

[1] Sources: “Digital in 2018”, We Are Social & Hootsuite; Zenith
[2] 2017, Gallup State of the Global Workplace, 2015, Deloitte, Global Human Capital Trends

 

 

Devin Harris, Senior Marketing Manager at Vibe HCM has worked closely with the strategic benefits of employee-focused workforce technology for over 15 years. Most recently, he is examining the business outcomes that organizations achieve by deploying HCM Engagement platforms.

 

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