Sometimes managing internal communications can seem like an insurmountable challenge. Whether big or small, local or global, each organisation has its own intricacies and complex dynamics to navigate. On top of that, we also have many topics that well, we need to talk about. Things like company updates, management shifts, product developments, team events, new starters, leavers and the occasional free lunch in the cafe.
With this neverending list of demands on our time and resources, it’s unsurprising that promoting our employee perks often ends up at the bottom of the pile.
But this is a mistake.
Rewards and benefits are a crucial part of your employee engagement strategy. You implement these perks as a way to show your people that you value them and that you are rewarding their hard work. You want to be seen as an employer of choice and you want your employees to rate you when talking to their friends and family. However, it they don’t know that these perks are there - or worse, they don’t understand them - then you might as well have not bothered. So how can you keep broadcasting your benefits at the top of your to-do list? Here are a few things I’ve picked up:
Create your foundation
Your first step on this journey is to find a home for your perks. You might have multiple suppliers or you might have different times of the year when different perks are available, but you want to have one simple place where your employees can find out about them. This should be easy to locate, well-known and, preferably, accessible on a mobile device.
Don’t be scared off thinking that this sounds like a lot of work - the best place for your "foundation" should be somewhere that your employees regularly access anyway. For us at Reward Gateway that’s our “boom!” site run from our own SmartHub® technology, the place that employees go to find all company news with a handy side of enticing discounts added in.
Pile on more building blocks
So you source your reward supplier, you implement the benefit, you announce its availability to your employees and you’re done, right? Wrong. So very wrong.
Experience shows that if you really want a message to sink in you need to communicate it multiple times. Everyone has their own version of the ‘magic number’ of times to repeat a message but I’ve always found that committing to regular updates is the best route to success.
Create yourself an editorial calendar and look at what else you have coming up so that you can build your perks promotions around that, or team up coordinating benefits for extra effects. (I’ve always enjoyed the synergy between our annual holiday trading application window and the promotion of our employee discount on popular travel agents). Pepper in updates and features on all of your rewards throughout the calendar year. You could even consider building in personal stories showing how other colleagues have used the perks on offer for that extra “word of mouth” promotion effect.
Open the door to conversation
A large part of getting someone to engage with anything is to make them feel a part of it. By enabling different channels of two-way communication your employees have the chance to ask questions, discuss and make suggestions relating to an employee perk which will in turn help them to digest the information and remember it.
Starting the conversation has two key benefits of providing valuable employee feedback and getting your employees to consider the reward. Both will lead to greater engagement with the subject matter. Some tools I’ve used in the past include polls, feedback forms and social media.
All the hard work you’ve put into your benefits programs shouldn’t go unnoticed. Tell me, what does your communications plan look like?