If you work in a large organisation, or one that operates in multiple locations, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the challenges of reaching out to different segments of your workforce. It can be tricky to make everyone feel part of the team. Finding a solution can require a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re embarking on this journey for the first time, as significant cultural shifts might be lying ahead.
The good news is that a well thought-out, easy-to-navigate engagement platform can help you make great steps ahead in unifying your workforce, creating a sense of community, and involving team members at all levels. Here are a few ideas to get you started, which we’ve seen in action on many programmes we’ve launched!
1. Share updates, announcements and achievements from all over the business.
I know what you’re thinking: this is really obvious. That’s what team meetings, internal newsletters, all staff emails, and even social media platforms are for! Think again, though, and consider the pitfalls of all these communication methods. Some employees might not have a work email address. Team meetings might be harder to schedule with field based employees, or might not happen consistently outside your main HQ.
Social media is an option, but it takes time and resource to actively engage employees with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram updates. It can also be a challenge to tie all your platforms together.
By sharing all your company news on a platform that’s easily accessible from all devices and engages people with attractive rewards (whether it’s discounts, flexible benefits, or other incentives), you can create a fully fledged hub for all your staff. You can also encourage participation from everyone in the business to make the experience even more inclusive.
2. Launch a staff suggestion scheme.
A news hub can help you ensure your employees listen to the important messages you want to send them. But it’s a two way street - what can you put in place to listen to them too?
Like my colleague Perdie explained so well a few weeks ago, employees tend to feel more engaged when they feel their thoughts and views are respected, listened and responded to. A culture that doesn’t count this among its pillars is one that will most likely foster disengagement, so having systems in place to encourage employee voice is a no-brainer.
Here is our board of directors answering questions from employees at our quarterly business update:
The years of A4 sheets pinned to noticeboards and cardboard suggestion boxes in the canteen are gone. An engagement platform with the capacity to collect views on topics that matter to both the employer and employee can make a real difference.
By creating a simple form employees can fill in on your engagement platform, you can capture their thoughts and ideas on as wide a range of topics as you would like - from how you can make your organisation a better place to work, to service improvements, to where you should arrange your next company social.
That’s only half the work done, though: responding to submissions, to show people that you value their feedback and are ready to take ideas on board, is as crucial as launching a suggestion scheme in the first place. You could even share employees’ ideas and your responses on your news hub too!
3. Create profiles for your team members.
We’ve all been there: the nerve-wracking experience of starting a new job in a new company, and fearing you’ll get caught in a flurry of names, faces and job titles.
Once again, your engagement platform might help. Chances are you’ve already got a customer-facing “Meet the Team” page on your corporate website; why not create an employee-facing version of it, and help your employees learn more about their colleagues? Work can get a million times more interesting if you know that someone who shares your interests is just a few doors or an email away.
Team profiles with pictures and blurbs written by each individual can help people uncover common backgrounds, interests and passions. Add contact details and links to social media accounts to complete the picture, and help create a real, meaningful conversation.
The most effective engagement programmes combine communication on benefits and rewards with the very essence of employee engagement: the drive to connect with the workforce.
By listening to your employees’ voice, you enable individuals to make meaningful connections with each other, and in turn, a meaningful connection with your company’s mission.