Communication is at the heart of colleague engagement. But with emails, intranets, apps, team meetings, 121s, ambient campaign media, printed collateral (the list goes on!), it’s easy to see why key messages may get drowned out in a sea of white noise.
A steady drumbeat of regular, solid communications throughout the year is important to keep colleagues informed and help them fulfil their jobs every day, but what happens when you need to break through the internal communications noises and make sure your messages are heard?
Here are seven ways you can amplify your internal comms by making them creative, accessible and easy to engage with, keeping your colleagues in a flow of two-way communications:
While magazines, newsletters and newspapers are the standard publications for printed internal comms, there’s no reason why you can’t do something different when you want to be heard. Think postcards, z-cards, tactile pocket guides, crosswords, holiday checklists… even letters to Santa! There are so many different print formats you could use to communicate your strategy and messaging and no reasons not to get creative.
Try changing your tone of voice or overall visual tone a little for specific campaigns (don’t forget to secure that all important brand approval, though!). Creating characters or mascots to promote your messages, or introducing new areas (screens, notice boards, themed-desks) around your workplace where colleagues can find a whole host of helpful information they can act upon, are really effective when done in a planned and strategic manner.
The reason gamification works is simple – people tend to love things with a competitive edge. The drive to win will engage colleagues, meaning they are more likely to retain information. Put together a quiz, introduce a leader board or arrange a scavenger hunt either online or off – design your game or challenge around the message you want to deliver and keep your comms consistent throughout.
Digital is forming a crucial part of many of our clients’ comms channel strategies (if yours doesn’t involve digital, why not? Give us a call!) Colleague comms can go further when digital devices are involved – use yours to rise up above the noise by using online trip advisor-style surveys, hosting competitions through an app or even creating online teasers in the run up to a campaign.
Mix things up! Communicate with your employees using tangible items, such as branded cups, hashtag flip flops or mouse mats with messaging. Think about what you want to communicate and get branding – the great thing about physical objects is they are likely to stay put on people’s desks as a frequent reminder each day of what you’re trying to say.
There’s no need to keep your comms inside – a new environment can really help to make your colleagues stand up (literally) and listen. Use table talkers on picnic benches, put banners up outside the office, hold meetings outside or in a different building and host away days where colleagues can spend a whole day focussing on what you have to say.
And last but by NO means least, your colleagues are your most valuable assets when it comes to spreading your message and telling your company’s story. Work with colleague ambassadors and ask them to be your voice when it comes to talking through their own experiences and sharing the company’s narrative. You can never underestimate the potential of peer-to-peer power.