The other day I was talking to a client who was facing a problem that I tackle every day, so she thought I might have some solid advice. Her question? “How do I communicate with millennial employees?”
Well, hi. I’m Cat, and I’m a millennial.
With a large percentage of Reward Gateway in the “millennial” camp (born after 1982), I’m constantly testing new communications tactics to try and reach this (my) population with our company news, HR updates and training that we host on our internal communications platformboom!. And in case you haven’t heard, we have fairly good uptake on our internal communications, with more than 70 percent open rateson our daily e-blasts. Here’s how I do it:
If your marketing team isn’t already active on social media, you’re going to have a hard time catching up. But the same can be said about your internal communications team as well. I’ve tried out a ton of different social sites, but have found great traction with our Facebook page, which I’ve made private. Those browsing can still see the headlines, but only our workforce who “like” the page are able to see the details of company updates and similar items.
In addition to Facebook, I manage an Instagram account (which I sometimes hand over to our creative team for better shots!) and encourage our employees to use the hashtag #RGFun, which connects our global company with snapshots of people’s day to day even beyond the office. Our CEO Glenn Elliott is an avid user of Instagram and Twitter so we don’t have to play the “Where’s Glenn” game too often. And of course, we’re big video fans so YouTube’s accessibility, and private hosting via Wistia, is a great way to reach even more of our employees, especially those for whom English is a second language. Social media is a way to communicate beyond larger blocks of copy.
Don’t underestimate the power of a photo.
Think you need an entire design team to put together a captivating communications campaign? While it can help, the reality is that if you keep it simple but stay on brand, you can be a one-(wo)man show to create instant communications assets.
Our creative team and I worked together to come up with human “templates” that could be repurposed into a ton of on-brand, non-corporate-looking shoutouts. I use them to showcase our Value of the Month, highlight quotes from our leadership blog and communicate important benefits changes from our HR team. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
Seriously, automate as much as you can.
I like to use MailChimp for our emails (there are tons of other marketing automation programmes out there like Hubspot, ConstantContact or CampaignMonitor) as it’s simple and intuitive to use, and helps me with bulk emails. By automating these kinds of emails, I can concentrate on my other tasks at hand. Plus, I can get an overview report to see how my communications tactics are performing.
Get real-time reports.
I try to talk to everyone in the company about how we’re doing on our internal communications. Whether through Google Hangouts, a quick email, a staffwide survey or behind-the-scenes tactics like looking at our engagement statistics in Reward Manager (which you can use with any SmartHub or Reward Gateway programme), the key to any successful audience outreach is to continually evolve and learn from your findings. This is especially true with millennials, as we (and others at Reward Gateway!) tend to move a mile a minute, so getting our attention can be a bit tricky to master.
Create a two-way conversation.
Besides gathering up information, the best advice I can give to reach your audience (no matter what their age) is simply to engage them. Ask them questions, ask their opinion, ask them how their week is going. Creating a two-way conversation, whether by creating an open forum for inspiration (we have one on Google+ called the Inspiration Zone) or by opening up a new Tile to have people connect with your values (like our Be Human campaign), can make all the difference.
Don’t be the person that’s talking at your workforce. Be the person who’s connecting and engaging their workforce instead.
As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.