In early 2022, we sat down with employee communications leaders from several industries to talk about employee engagement and connectivity challenges – and how they are addressing them as we emerge from pandemic life. They identified five key things that every company should be doing as we head toward 2025.
“Humanizing” senior leaders builds trust – a critical factor when discussing changes. Leaders should make themselves available on a regular basis for in-person opportunities. While the execs talk strategy, an employee’s immediate supervisor is the go-to connection on WIIFM and must be in the know and highly engaged in order to pass down appropriate messages – in the appropriate way – to their group.
Cut Through the Clutter
Most employees no longer have time for deep dives on dozens of topics – if they ever did. Communicators are ensuring that every message ladders up to no more than three to five themes, mostly related to company strategy and need-to-know information. They are serving it up via email in small, appetizing bites or using intranet sites, resource hubs, and other methods for sharing content.
Test New Tech
Organizations are using an omni-channel approach to content management. Social media, once discouraged from office life, is now embraced. And reaching the hard-to-reach means using whatever device they hold in their hands. Technology is constantly evolving, and communication teams are testing digital tools to enable broader, more responsive and better measured messaging. A caution: beware of the next “shiny object” which could cause more problems than it solves!
Tell a Good Story
Employees are eager for information on topics that have a direct impact on their lives, as well as business strategy and operational changes is also valued. Increasingly, employees want to know more about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and environmental issues. And they continue to be drawn to success stories and profiles of their colleagues. But content needs to be crisp, clear and pithy – as well as less formal and less scripted. Note that attention span for company videos is relatively short – just a few minutes.
Measure What Matters
From annual engagement studies to periodic touchpoint polls, surveys are still an important way for companies to hear from employees. Some leaders get personal by hosting “Office Hours” and “Ask Me Anything” sessions for employee discussions, Q&A, idea-sharing, and general connection. Communicators augment that data by measuring and tracking key indicators that ensure their efforts are building awareness, confirming understanding, and moving employees to action and advocacy.
Our conversations with these communications leaders had a lot more to tell us. Drop us a line for a free copy of the full report.