Discover how to successfully launch an employee engagement strategy through innovative communication ideas.
Fourfront Group needed to bring its innovation and creativity to internal communications and employee benefits offerings, starting by updating its clunky intranet and email-led communications.
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Employee communications, employee discounts
Fourfront Group is a leading workplace specialist, known for creating engaging and innovative workspaces (including the Reward Gateway headquarters!) since 2000. Although the 250-strong team brought inspiration and creativity to its external projects, the internal technology led to a disconnected workforce with inconsistent, scattered documentation on important communications and policies.
“Our old intranet was really clunky, stuck in the old age and not engaging at all.” says Bethany Caley, HR Projects Manager at Fourfront. “Some things were documented, other onboarding policies were really just in our heads. We needed one place to centralize everything that would be engaging enough for people to actually use.” The sole method of communication was long reply-all email threads which often got lost in a cluttered inbox.
While centralizing communications and policy was one reason to search for a new technology provider, Fourfront had another challenge on its hands with a recent restructuring that prompted an increased requirement to improve internal communications and unite the dispersed workforce among its four office locations, including site based and warehouse employees who are deskless.
“We work under separate brands, but under one umbrella, which is Fourfront,” Bethany explains. “We needed something to bring news and updates from across the company together and improve our Employee Value Proposition for current employees and new hires.”
With a small project team, it was key to work with others in the business to get buy-in on a new platform to replace Fourfront’s disliked intranet. “We had a three-pronged approach among People, Marketing and IT teams to build our business case and satisfy all stakeholders,” Bethany says. “Reward Gateway ticked the boxes for us and we knew we could push the boundaries of the platform to get us away from our previous platform, which was no longer fit for purpose.”
The “Connect Four” engagement hub combines employee communications with blogs and custom pages to host and communicate company and discounts information, Fourfront Academy’s “hub within a hub” learning center with online training, and money-saving discounts and cashback for employees at hundreds of retailers.
To launch the platform, Bethany first brought in the Reward Gateway team to introduce the platform to the organization’s CEO and Leadership Team so she could ensure the new technology would be well-received, and solicited rounds of feedback from other managers to see how they would use the platform. “We used a top-down approach with our leadership and managers to get buy-in and feedback well before the actual launch date,” Bethany says.
Leading up to launch, the organization sent various teaser emails, including video content that explained the “new and improved Connect Four is coming,” alongside posters in the warehouse. On launch day, to gain even greater engagement, the team created a user guide that explained step by step how to sign up and explained each aspect of the platform.
The hard work of putting in place a new platform has paid off. After just nine months, Fourfront Group has 99% engagement with Connect Four, with all areas of the business logging on to find helpful documents, read important company updates and people news, and benefit from the new employee discounts program to stretch their disposable income with valuable savings.
And as for the email threads? “We’ve gone from 50 rounds of ‘reply all’ updates to keeping all our updates on Connect Four. One of our values is ‘we are family,’ so it’s nice to see employees commenting on the post and engaging with each other, just like they would on Facebook,” Bethany says.
For deskless workers, Fourfront also created a how-to mobile guide so employees can access the hub on their mobile to get content on the go. The business has two main blogs with “People and Culture” and “Fourfront News,” with many in the company having access to front-end blogging to share their news the moment it happens. Connect Four is introduced to new starters on their very first day to encourage a self-service approach to employee benefit information and forms.
With a renewed sense of connection, the feedback on Connect Four has been positive, trickling over to how employees feel about the business itself. In a recent pulse survey, hosted on Connect Four, employees were asked how they felt about working at Fourfront, averaging 4 out of 5.
“The platform has really been key for communicating change and getting our messages out there,” Bethany says. “I just can’t believe what a difference it’s made to our business.”
engagement with platform
employee NPS across business