Two years ago Reward Gateway went through a huge period of change. We were sold by Inflexion Private Equity to U.S based technology investor Great hill Partners in a £140 million pound deal. It was crucial to keep our employees informed through every step of the journey and ensure that this period of change didn’t cause any fear or uncertainty for them.
Up 'till that time we’d used Google Site to house our intranet. It was a free for all. What do I mean by that?
Content could be uploaded by anyone
Information was sporadic
Most news was shared via non-measurable methods such as one-off emails versus through an email campaign.
With no internal communications body, our strategy was lacking, and we didn’t have anywhere our employees could find easily access information, connect with peers or calculate the effectiveness of our engagement against strategy.
It was time to build our first ever communication platform and that’s where I came in. I became the Internal Communication Manager for Reward Gateway and started to make big plans for engaging our workforce.
Connecting every employee across nine global locations started with using one of the tools we’re most proud of: Our SmartHub®, an all-in-one engagement platform that can be used for reward and recognition, to showcase employee benefits or, as I was to use it, to help centralise our internal communications and gain control over the sporadic news cycle we were perpetuating.
“With information the lifeblood of today’s intellectual capital assembly line, the internal communications task has taken on unprecedented importance in the contemporary organisation. Today’s leadership is increasingly aware of the importance of educating its workforce to the realities of strategy, competition, and the needs of customers and shareholders. Without that education the workforce is left to guess about the organisations issues and its strategy to confront and resolve those issues. Because the worker is now a vital partner in that process, it is essential to ensure that he or she is fully informed.” The Credible Company, Roger D’Aprix
So the question became, where do we go from here? Our answer, of course, was boom! for RG People.
An example of our boom! homepage
Why “boom! for RG People?”
Our Culture team were tasked with creating a name, it needed to be something catchy and appealing to our largely millennial workforce. I don’t know if you’ll recall this, but at that time there was a “trend” word going around that you’d often hear people using: "boom." Urban dictionary describes it as:
Exclamation: Used as an oral exclamation mark but in a purely conversational context. Its function is not as heightened as the aforementioned symbol so its impact is designed to simply reinforce one’s point or statement. Generally found in light hearted, but not overtly humorous, situations.
It was that sentiment, reinforcing our message in a fun, punchy way that led to the word becoming our name. And so, boom! for RG People was born. And since then, we’ve grown quite a bit. Here’s what I mean:
As I said up above, 96 percent of Reward Gateway staffers log into boom! each month, which is incredible. But it does take work to earn that engagement. Like Pokemon Go “You gotta catch ‘em all,” and drive the users to the site through effective hooks and signposts. I do this through several methods which you can try, too. I detail these in other posts, but here are a few ideas:
We send a daily newsletter using Mailchimp which delivers the biggest news story for the day and signposts our members to other content in a really easy way. (Read more on how we engage through email here.)
Our boom! for RG People Facebook page and Instagram accounts are used to directly point employees to the content available on boom!. It is visible internally and also externally. To keep our privacy intact, we don't share the full content of any article on Facebook. We only share the image, headline and the hook.
Lastly, we have boom! TV running on a network of TV screens across our offices - all synchronised and live. boom! TV is the pulse of the company, providing constantly updated, real time conversation around the world.
The impact of internal communications: Why I do what I do
I’m incredibly proud to have bridged the gap between our Leadership team and our employees. My monthly reporting gives me insight into which teams are engaged in the programme and it’s a real delight to see everyone, from CEO and director level through to our Client Success and Employee Support teams, logging in and joining the conversation.
Using our SmartHub® technology also gives me a huge amount of autonomy. I can put together the homepage all by myself using SmartTiles (interchangeable homepage tiles, like below) and make changes whenever I like. Doing so lets me prioritise content to suit our current focus and keep our homepage fresh and exciting. I can run whole communication campaigns for events, benefits and reward and not have to rely on anyone else to help set it up.
It’s this ability to make change and that allows us to constantly improve our programme. Experimenting is key to success. It’s the only way innovation can happen, and our always-evolving boom! for RG People is proof of that.
As Head of Global Engagement and Internal Communications, Catrin's main focus is to make Reward Gateway a better place to work. Using the Engagement Bridge™ model, she drives our mission, purpose and values while adding sparkle and creativity to our internal communications.