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While companies are increasingly dependent on a wide range of HR technology to save time and connect with people, there is one challenge in particular that continually comes up in this space – low usage.

Our goal is to help our clients develop strategies that will support employee engagement both now and in the future. It must be working as the 640+ of our clients that launched between 2020 and 2021 saw an average increase in usage of 20% from month one to month 12. So, what are these clients doing to drive this success?

I'll let you in on our secret. Well, it's not so much a secret, as I've shared it with hundreds of our clients as an ideal way to improve usage. And that's our 5 As to drive usage and adoption. 

1. Awareness
2. Access
3. Activity
4. Advocates
5. Analytics

1. Awareness

 Let’s start with the first one – Awareness. Obviously people are more likely to use a platform if they know about it and that's where your software launch is so critically important. When first launching a platform, make sure to wow your employees and build excitement so that you’re driving usage from day 1.

Our clients talk up the program in meetings, but they also work with our design team to create custom communications so the platform reaches all of their workforce, whether they’re hybrid workers, at a desk or working fully remotely. Did you already launch? You can always find new things to promote with your audiences, such as a seasonal campaign (we often see this in the lead up to the holidays) or for example, new eCards that have launched alongside a values refresh. Find a theme or topic to promote and relaunch the platform with all the enthusiasm you can!


Here's an example of how our client Plymouth Community Homes
promoted the "Jannet" platform prior to launch

2. Access

The next A stands for Access – is it easy for them to participate?

We often think of Access as, “going where your people already are.” Are they on their phones? That’s where our Connect+ app, which combines the worlds of recognition, reward and communication, comes in. Are they more likely to connect in person? Recognizing and rewarding via an in-person postcard – especially if those postcards have the ability to tie into the online system for tracking and reward redemption purposes, like our on On the Spot rewards that we’ve seen particular success with in the manufacturing and retail space! 

Our library of integrations are also an increasingly important way to ensure that your HR technology exists where people already are – no need to take additional time to manage user lists, and you can save IT time they would otherwise spend addressing password issues by implementing SSO, what we call single-sign on.

Learn more about our full suite of integrations at Reward Gateway Visit library

3. Activity

Next, our clients focus on their Activity – is the information that you’re posting engaging and dynamic? 

Simple tips like using the AVI method for strategically recognizing can improve the quality of the recognition stories that are posted. If your recognition includes reference to the impact the person’s actions had, for example, it is more likely that a wide range of people will return to the system over time. 

AVI method table

Additionally, our Implementation and Client Success teams work with clients to get the right people posting to provide the most value – metrics like these show which posts get the most traction and allow clients to adjust and improve their communication frequency and topics to better align with the needs of your employees.

4. Advocates

Next is Advocates. No one wants to be on their own island with technology, but I know sometimes it can feel that way for our clients. How can you engage a larger group as spokespeople to drive usage across many departments and locations?

We’re always here to help, but many of our clients like having an employee group to generate great ideas or share program updates with employees at the smaller group level. Additionally, you can use program leaderboards to find leadership advocates to become your partners in promoting your platform from within. 

5. Analytics

Finally, Analytics. You can look at which groups are sending the most recognition and where it is going to decide where to celebrate success and where to provide reminders. 

recognition flow chart gif

Another metric is frequency of eCards sent. One common growing pain that can impact usage is employees that start with sending birthday cards the most. While it’s great to celebrate, this might mean that you need to put in some work to promote and showcase your company values so recognition happens more than once a year. 

I hope the 5 As will help you decide on strengths and weaknesses for your program so you can get the full value from your HR Technology. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, get in touch with us and a member of our team will walk you through our solutions.

Talk to an Engagement Consultant »

Alexandra Powell

Alexandra Powell, Director of Client Cultural Insights, not only knows American Sign Language, but uses it to secretly communicate with her husband and kids at parties. Alex is a highly experienced employee engagement consultant, trainer and speaker. For over 20 years she has helped HR and business leaders implement strategies that drive true culture change.

Director of Client Cultural Insights

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