launching employee engagement programs

4 min read

Getting your company’s employee engagement program off the ground can be pretty daunting. Given the time (and money!) you’ve already put in, what you want most is to have your people using the program and experiencing how it can change their everyday interactions with the company and their fellow colleagues.

Depending on what type of program you’re putting in place – whether it’s recognition, discounts, communications or a combination of all of these, your strategy will always look a little different.

What I enjoy most about my role as a Client Success Launch Strategist is working with companies to build a strong, all-encompassing engagement strategy, and seeing the incredible benefits it has on people.

So today I wanted to share some tips I’ve gained over my years in the industry, working with dozens of clients, on how to make a big impact right from the moment you launch.

1. Give your employees a chance to name your program

Whether you're searching for an employee recognition program name, or a clever brand for your communications hub, it should mean something to your people. What better way to understand what will resonate than to invite people to provide suggestions? During the design phase of a project, some of our clients run a competition and get people to submit their ideas and select the name based on votes or through a project committee.

The end result should be a program name that carries a lot of meaning for employees, is unique to the business and gives everyone something to look forward to.

Some of my favorite names from our clients are The Beet, The Pulse, MyThanks, RockIt, Bright Stars and Spotlight.


2. Show real people… your people!

While stock photos have their place, the most impactful imagery you can put on your platform – whether it's in eCards or on blog posts – are photos of your people. Personalize your communications and showcase the people who work day-in and day-out to make it a great place to work.

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Here at Reward Gateway, our CEO publishes regular “Mission Mondays” blog posts. Each week carries a new theme, with particular shoutouts of real people in the business (including their photos) to help deepen the connections in our organization and spread awareness. Think about how you can create an employee communication strategy at your own organization to re-connect your people to your purpose, mission and values (and one another!).

launching employee engagement programs

3. Leverage the power of video

A short introductory video that explains your program and how to use it, with the CEO, or with employees from different areas of the business explaining what the platform means to them can be a powerful way to spread your core messages and keep people informed.

Video doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive – you can film an impromptu interview on your phone and upload this to your platform to get people interested.

4. Get ready for a countdown

Let your people know that a new engagement program is something worth getting excited about – create an employee communications plan that outlines key milestones employees should know about.

Don’t just organize the event and expect people to turn up! Send out teaser emails, do a countdown or put up an “under construction notice” – anything that piques people’s interest and gets them wondering what’s to come.

launching employee engagement programs

5. Spread the good news

Whenever you see recognition coming through your new program, share some of those moments in other employee communication channels. Highlight award winners in your company blog, create an automated feed of eCard recipients on Slack, or display some top eCard messages on your office TV screens. With our new Connect+ app, your employees can get alerts in real-time to make sure they’re kept in the loop with recognitions and company updates.

launching employee engagement programs

Any way and every way you can keep engagement front of mind before, during and after you launch your program, the richer your culture of recognition becomes, and the bigger an impact you’ll make in the motivation and engagement of your people.

What have you done to launch your program with a WOW? Tell us in the comments!

Stacy Lake

Stacy Lake is a Client Success Launch Strategist at Reward Gateway. She loves American football and is a life-long Philadelphia Eagles fan. She competes every year in a fantasy football league with her husband and his friends.

Client Success Manager

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