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Picture the scene – you’ve invested a considerable chunk of your budget and spent countless hours creating a new employee engagement programme for your company. But when launch day finally comes around, the response isn’t anywhere near what you had predicted and initial adoption is low. Employees just aren’t engaging with the new programme. 

Thinking strategically about the tactics behind the launch will help avoid this scenario and ensure your new employee engagement programme gets the attention it deserves.

Regardless of the type of programme you’re launching – recognition, discounts, benefits, communications, wellbeing or a combination of all of these – an impactful launch takes thoughtful preparation and planning

That's why we're sharing six tried and tested tips to ensure your new programme has an impactful launch that leads to excellent adoption and engagement. Let’s jump in! 

A successful employee engagement programme launch takes thoughtful preparation and planning – and when you put in the time and thought, you know you’re putting your best foot forward in your employee engagement journey!

Get creative

There’s no denying that a great design can set your programme up for success.  

The branding of the platform itself and the launch campaign that surrounds it should reflect and reinforce your employer brand. It needs to be familiar and consistent, but still eye-catching and memorable.  

The visuals that Motorpoint created for their new recognition programme, ‘My M.O.T’, have incorporated their brand colours alongside an engaging suite of icons - all the while framing their benefits package with the theme of an employee auditing and fine-tuning their wellbeing like a car getting an M.O.T.

2023_Motorpoint imagery tablet_UK 1

Recruit programme champions

Using employee champions to promote your new programme is one of the most powerful ways to build engagement. 

Champions spread trust in the programme, and it’s that valuable word-of-mouth marketing that quickly builds user numbers. So how do you go about ‘recruiting’ these individuals? 

Your influential employees are the people within your workforce with the power to shape and influence the opinions and behaviours of their colleagues. Getting these individuals ‘on side’ by involving them in the programme development stages and giving them pre-launch previews will help turn them into true advocates who will spread the word.

Train your leaders

Buy-in from the leadership team is an incredibly important part of successfully launching a new engagement programme. 

A key part of this buy-in is making sure managers are trained to equip them with the knowledge and skills to teach others and lead by example in using the platform. Our research found that the majority of employees would rather receive reward and recognition from managers than colleagues, but that only 51% of managers felt they received sufficient training.

Provide key leaders with early access before the programme launches, train them to ensure they’re comfortable using it, address their questions and consider their suggestions. 

Your leaders should become ambassadors of the programme, and should be visibly involved with the launch. Their presence and engagement alone is a proven way to encourage more employees to get involved.

Target your communications

A targeted communications approach is critical to the success of any programme launch. 

Use a mix of physical  and digital communication channels to share the news of your new staff engagement programme with different audience groups across the business. This means digital signage in your offices, as well as banners on your intranet homepage, employee emails and flyers in operational locations.

Oliver Bonas launched their employee engagement platform with a series of custom-designed emails, while each store received their very own launch box - a custom-designed box with party food, personalised letters, posters and an interactive “flapper” leaflet. 


Start communicating early

Holding back the communications until just before the launch almost guarantees employees will miss the message and be unaware of what’s coming. You need to let your people know that the new employee engagement scheme is something worth getting excited about. 

Generate buzz and anticipation about the upcoming launch by sharing programme information and teaser content across a range of different channels. Similarly, don’t let messaging drop off a cliff after the launch - communicate consistently by planning regular post-launch content to keep enthusiasm high.  

Keeping the new programme front of mind before, during and after launch day will encourage more employees to get involved and will have a more positive impact on motivation and engagement.

Mark launch day in your diary

At Reward Gateway, we're big fans of launching a new employee engagement programme with a bang. After all, who doesn’t love an excuse for a celebration?!

Decorate your physical and virtual office spaces with branded content and information about the programme, run competitions, get your programme champions involved and share some branded merch. It’s time to have a bit of fun! 

Think about launching around a specific focus event that links to the programme such as 'Thank You Thursday’, ‘Employee Appreciation Day’ or ‘Wellness Week’. 

We not only work closely with our clients to deliver a successful programme launch, but also support them in achieving consistent and sustainable adoption that drives engagement. 

Get in touch today if you’d like to schedule a demo and find out why more than 4,500 companies trust us to help solve the employee engagement challenges they face every day.

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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