I have a really weird job. That’s what my friends tell me anyway, although personally I love it! As Communications Manager at Reward Gateway, a huge part of my role is to experiment and try out new ideas for employee communication. It’s my responsibility to find out what might work to WOW our audience with new ways to promote employee benefits and rewards.
Sometimes I go home at night and tell my partner that I had a really weird day because I had to figure out how to brand a banana or how to print a logo on a marshmallow. Other days it might be something less wacky but equally important, such as developing the perfect SMS text marketing strategy so we can reach out to employees of a highway maintenance company via mobile.
Welcome to the RG Magic Lab.
At RG we’re always working on new ways to try and make our employee comms stand out from the crowd. Some of them are pretty unusual so we’ve taken to informally referring to our R&D department as “The RG Magic Lab”. We’re pretty critical of our own work and always want the best of the best . Not everything that enters the lab always makes it out the other side.
These are a few of my favourites that have recently completed their trials:
1. Video Brochures.
We invest an awful lot of time and money into printed media which is often simply thrown in the bin. I wanted to find a way that we can relay information to people in a more impactful way, and the video brochure certainly delivers that.
A video brochure is the same size as a regular book that you might find on a coffee table at work except that when you open it a video automatically plays on a high-resolutions but paper thin screen. While it might not be practical to give a video brochure to every individual member of staff, we’ve just completed proof of concept on these babies with our client Vodafone for whom they will be perfect to convey a consistent message across their numerous retail stores.
Gemma Dainty, Vodafone
I foresee that we’ll be using items like this more and more to be able to relay information for employers who have small groups of staff in many locations. It’s a smart, modern and creative tool that can be easily updated, have multiple applications and will definitely be remembered by every employee that picks one up.
To see our fantastic new video brochures in action, make sure you book yourself a seat at our next Engagement Excellence seminar. Details coming soon.
Whether or not you know it you already have champions within your workforce. These people are your advocates, the ones that step forward to embrace new challenges. This could be an organised group of people, such as staff counsel reps, but often champions are people that emerge more naturally - they’re the ones talking in the kitchen on Monday morning about the amazing saving they made at the weekend using your staff discounts, or the guy raving about how much the Childcare Voucher benefit has changed his day.
So I’m super excited now to tell you that at Reward Gateway we’ve built in a whole new champions feature, a mini social network if you will, that is now live for all of our clients to use today. This includes a huge range a tools, such as built in messaging system, goal setting, blogs and other communication functions, and is already proving a big hit with our clients in both the UK and the US markets.
A magic mirror is a simple yet brilliant tool. It is, as you’d guess, a simple mirror but with the twist of having a message embedded in it which is revealed when the the user is stood a certain distance away. You may have seen them in shopping malls or high end fashion stores, but you can use them in the workplace too.
I’d heard of this tool and wanted to have a play around with it to find out the effect, so we recently installed one in our own Notting Hill office as a bit of an experiment.
The results were incredible! I’d never seen one thing so talked about in RG for quite a while (which is pretty impressive when you imagine the quirky things that happen here on a daily basis). Staff loved it, they talked about it and, more importantly, they talked a lot about the new benefit we launched with this. Result.
4. Extraordinary Posters.
After our experiment with the magic mirrors we continued to explore ways to make an ordinary poster turn into an extraordinary talking point. I loved the mirrors but know that they may not be practical in every organisation so we looked at other options. To date we’ve developed low-cost and practical options of posters embedded with LED lights to draw people in with their twinkle effect. We’ve also taken this a stage further with comms attached to motion sensors to trigger a sound or recorded message when you walk by.
When you combine innovative communication ideas with the correct messaging, these tools can have amazing effects on the response rate you can get to almost any message you wish to convey. But while this all might sound pretty exciting this is merely just the beginning.