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When Debra Williams (Debs) joined Buildbase, she noticed the employees' lack of trust and confidence in the annual engagement survey, as well as their reluctance to use their benefits platform. She decided to refresh communications around both in order to maximise engagement.
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Employee benefits, employee recognition, employee wellbeing
In her new role as Communications and Engagement Advisor at Buildbase, Debs was tasked with improving the reputation of the annual engagement survey, as well as increasing the response rate, which had always stayed close to around 59% each year. Employees were sceptical about the survey, as they felt it was just a tick-box exercise for the organisation and they didn't believe in its anonymity.
Debs identified that employees felt they weren’t being communicated with or kept up to date. At least half of the Buildbase workforce is entirely offline, making it very difficult for communications to reach all employees. Due to employees being based all over the country, it’s impossible to reach everyone face-to-face. Furthermore, “Grab,” Buildbase's online employee communications and benefits hub, was underutilised, with only 76% of employees registered and 35% of those logging in regularly.
Buildbase is a part of the wider Grafton Group, and Debs liaised with leaders from organisations within the group to find out what their engagement survey response rates were and what had worked in their businesses. She bounced ideas off her immediate team and asked them to reach out to their business areas to get feedback from employees, as well as visiting Buildbase branches to get input from employees about what kind of content they wanted to see.
Working with Reward Gateway, Debs created a page on Grab that featured a video that explained how the employee survey was kept confidential and anonymous. For the first time, employees were given the option to complete their survey online in addition to the usual paper format. They could demo this via a link on the Grab platform. Debs also created a postcard-style mailer that she sent to employees’ home addresses to direct them to visit Grab, ensuring all employees would see the messages she wanted to deliver.
Since fewer than half of Buildbase employees had email addresses, Debs decided she wanted to make Grab a centralised hub for all company communication. She set up the “What’s the Latest?” blog in order to deliver important content and company news, and created a page to communicate all messages from the Buildbase annual conference via videos, as well as downloadable content that employees could review on their own time. This was the first time Buildbase had put some real focus on ensuring all employees received the key messages from the conference.
Once these were set up, Debs created a short video to promote Grab and shared it with managers via text so that they could show their teams, and become platform champions. Responses from the employee survey suggested that employees felt there were too many different platforms to log into for different systems. With the support of her colleagues, Debs added a single sign-on link into Grab for employees to access the company’s eLearning platform, and a link to take employees directly to their HR hub, where they could see their payslips and book holidays.
In the 2018 annual engagement survey, Buildbase achieved a 77% response rate, a huge increase on all of the previous surveys. Thanks to Debs’s creative and engaging communications, employees have more trust in the survey, meaning Buildbase now gets a more accurate reflection of how they feel in order to improve employee engagement.
Registered users on Grab have increased from 76% to 96%, and employees logging in regularly have increased from 35% to 53%. Employees have enjoyed getting involved with Buildbase's communication campaigns, sharing stories and pictures with Debs to put on Grab. For example, through Deb’s communications, Buildbase raised over $26,500 AUD in one month for its #GivingSomethingBack charity campaign. Thanks to the increase in engagement with Grab, Buildbase can now ensure that key messages are being received by all employees.
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of workforce signed up to benefits platform