Unlocking creativity with your employee engagement campaigns
Our internal communications director Huw Morgan shares some insights from our employee engagement event with Stuart Williamson from Nationwide and Mat O’Brien from Good Relations.
Employee engagement has never been more important and there’s clear evidence that it boosts the bottom line. However, with your internal comms competing for airtime with a 24-hour stream of social and news content, your engagement campaigns need to get creative to cut through.
Our passion for unlocking the power of creativity to engage employees inspired our event for internal communications professionals this week.
We welcomed Stuart Williamson, Nationwide’s internal communications director, to join Good Relations’ creative guru Mat O’Brien to share examples of how creative engagement campaigns have helped address real business challenges for Nationwide, including an efficiency campaign and the design transformation of its high street branches.
From the discussion that followed, it was clear that creativity is a major challenge and opportunity for internal communications teams across the UK; many of whom don’t have the specialty resource or time to address creativity effectively.
Other internal communications challenges voiced by attendees included: channel innovation; engaging a large, diverse employee audience; struggling to live up to the ‘sexy’ external marketing campaigns; engaging busy colleagues; and reaching middle management.
The good news is that creativity can help address each of these challenges. If you’re set to embark on a campaign that needs some artistic spark, we’ve compiled a five step guide to finding your creative mojo.
1. Find your truth
You can’t be something you’re not. For example, a cigarette company can’t convincingly champion health. Companies and people achieve leadership by nailing ‘why’ they do things rather than the ‘what’ or the ‘how’.
2. Find your voice
Once you’ve landed on your why, you need to express it authentically and consistently. The tone and style of your Internal Communications initiatives should be as recognisable and familiar to your employees as your advertising.
3. Remember, employees are people
Employees should be treated the same as customers that buy your products and share their views of your brand on social media. To resonate, you should invest as much time and creativity in your employee engagement as in your consumer communications.
4. Involve people
One of the greatest marketing trends in recent years has been the shift of power from organisations to consumers. Review sites, word-of-mouth marketing and user-generated content are highly valued and trusted by would-be consumers. The same works for Internal Comms; when people feel that it is their business, they engage.
5. Use the carrot not the stick
If your business is on an efficiency drive and wants employees to switch off the lights when they leave, an incentive works better than a threat. A sign on a light switch that reads: “Please turn me off, I’m burning your bonus” will be more effective than one that reads: “Turn off the lights, you’re costing the business money.” Make room for recognition as this will build motivation; getting your employees logging on, opening, engaging and responding to your efforts.
This event was one of a series we run for our clients and contacts to learn about best practice in internal communications and employee engagement. For more information on upcoming events and to sign up, please visit our events page.