It can be tricky to get your employees to use your employee benefits platform the first time. You know the product’s good, and once they see it they’ll come back. But getting employees there initially can be a real challenge.
As a communications manager here at Reward Gateway, a large part of my role involves looking at all of our existing communications strategies and looking at what works, what doesn’t and how we can improve.
Better yet, I look at how we can make our communications heard over all the other marketing noise your employees are bombarded with.
There are several employee communication mistakes I come across again and again which actually harm your communications strategy more than they help:
1. Information overload
So many benefits promotions feature far too much information. Posters, flyers and emails are produced where the designer has tried to include a bit of information on EVERYTHING that is available through that product. It’s tempting to do, it’s almost logical - but it’s still wrong.
Think about the amount of time an employee will spend looking at that communication. Chances are it will only be a few moments and if there is a lot of information it makes it pretty offputting. You need to include just the basics, a promise that will get them to visit the website for that perk. They can read the rest of the information when they get there.
2. Phone numbers
So many employee communications feature a telephone number, so that the employee can call for help if needed. This is such a waste of valuable space on your promotions piece - have you ever called a helpline from a poster?
Here at Reward Gateway we’ve run an in-house Helpdesk for years and in all that time I don’t think we’ve ever received a call from someone who wasn’t already on the website. It also confuses the message. If you’re advertising a web-based product, the website address should be your action point. Not a phone number.
3. QR Codes
QR codes became really popular over the last few years as a supposedly ideal way to promote products to users on smartphones. Now, as we’ve talked about - your people are using smartphones to access online services over half of the time. But the pure fact is that a QR Code just doesn't work. It takes too long to scan, and many times a user has to download a specific app just to use it. We've learnt that using these codes is actually a barrier to engagement. As long as your URL isn’t hideously long, it will be far simpler for your employees to simply type it directly into their web browser. Your web team can help you set up redirects to create shorter URLs.
4. "Clever" messaging
When you look at examples of marketing outside of the employee sphere, we see large amounts of witty, cryptic, teasing or otherwise ‘clever’ headlines. But advertisers of consumer products have much larger budgets, and much wider resources than we will ever have in employee communications.
You will probably see a TV advertisement 100 times before you decide to act on the message. In employee communications every word counts. Use direct messaging to get straight to the point and don’t beat around the bush!
5. Seasonal Posters.
Seasonal promotions can be hugely effective when delivered in the right way; emails, website banners, and other online mediums are perfect for this! Posters are not. Whatever your business size, think about how long it takes you to put up a poster. If you have multiple sites or a large office, who is going to help you get those posters up? Who is going to help you keep them up to date?
If you consider the production of a poster promotion, the distribution and hanging is the most time-consuming and difficult element, far more than the design and printing. So if you’re going to use posters you need them to have longevity - you don’t want to go through all that effort only to have to take them down a week later.