Throughout the pandemic most, if not all, companies have found technology to be one of the most important tools in their employee engagement toolbox. Regardless of the size, location or industry, companies have been using it over and over again to deal with and overcome many of the challenges that have been thrown their way, embracing it in ways that I’m sure many had never imagined even a year ago.
But like any tool, it’s absolutely critical to understand how to use it properly, and how to harness its power to use it in the most effective and meaningful ways. To help, we’re offering several tips on how to bring digital transformation to your organization, with a focus on communication and recognition.
First up is one that has been critical throughout the pandemic, but has always been a top priority in improving employee engagement, which is looking at our employee communications.
Recently, Reward Gateway released a survey that highlights some of the challenges that HR leaders are facing through COVID-19, and one of the top challenges at 69% of respondents agreeing, is connecting the workforce, with more than one-third surveyed believing their workforce is less connected to the organization.
Communication has and will continue to be the lifeline we have to our employees, acting as a way to share important information with them, connect them to the business and to one another, and to build and maintain trust and engagement.
Reward Gateway has seen this in their own client base, reaching more than five million employees with blogs on important company updates. In fact, in the year 2020 there was a 229% increase in blog viewership with just over 5.6 million total blog views.
And never before has this been so important, when a day feels like a month, and a month feels like a year, our employees need to receive information in a timely and meaningful way, receiving that lifeline through efficient employee communications tools over and over again!
Here are four ways technology can support and drive communication:
1. Creates a strong communications brand
As we’ve learned from our colleagues in Marketing, having a strong brand can help attract and retain your customers, something that is absolutely critical when it comes to communicating with your workforce. And with technology, companies have been able to develop employer branding that is so much more creative and impactful than ever before, making it something that draws your employees in, and makes them want to revisit it time and time again.
2. Helps treat our employees as consumers
Another thing we’ve learned from Marketing, is the importance of treating our employees as consumers, "selling" them what we have to say and what we have to offer. Technology has helped us with this in so many ways as it allows us to mirror many of these consumer marketing techniques and approaches, presenting communication to employees in a more relatable, personal and meaningful way.
3. Can easily use multiple communication mediums
One of the biggest communication challenges we face is how to reach the different workforce demographics, each having different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. And with the pandemic, this has only increased, with that demographic diversity extending into where you work (e.g. remote versus office-based versus on-site) and how you work (e.g. actively working or being on furlough). Technology has helped us more easily reach these groups of hybrid employees through multiple communication mediums, ensuring they get the "right" information in the "right" way.
A simple but meaningful example is when Amtico posted on their communications platform information about how to wear a face mask properly. They were able to mix up the mediums, having written instructions, a video and images of wearing a face mask in the right and wrong way. Together these messages ensured that everyone both received and understood this important communication message, regardless of how they like to receive information.
4. Can quickly deal with important and sensitive issues
And finally, in a world where things are changing daily, we need to be able to quickly and easily communicate with our workforce, getting them information as soon as possible, at the right time. I’ve heard from many HR leaders that technology has been the only way that they’ve been able to do this, allowing them to post, share and make critical and timely information available in minutes and not days.
An example is something quite a few companies have done, which is to create a separate COVID-19 hub on their communications platform to improve employee engagement during COVID-19. Here they post updates that impact their employees both at work and at home, making it easy for them to keep up with what is going on and changing. Through technology these updates can be done immediately, taking the wondering and worry away from their employees.
As you review and develop your employee communication strategies and plans for 2021, keep these in mind, harnessing the power of technology to help you connect your workforce through communication. In my next blog, we’ll explore how advances in reward and recognition technology can create value for your people, and for your business.