Prioritizing Employee Engagement – Why it is the way to win 2021
B2B companies are defined more by their employees than their clients. Yes, your clients are extremely important to sustain the reputation of the brand, but if you don’t have dedicated employees, the company won’t run itself and the clients will be of no help.
Hence, engaging with your employees periodically is a necessity. Just a monthly newsletter or an email you send to everyone will not work. You will have to put in extra effort and apply creative techniques just like you do for your consumers. It will enhance and create a comfortable corporate culture while encouraging your team to work efficiently.
Why is employee engagement important?
Customer service is a very big differentiating factor in businesses. If you want all your reps to provide an awesome consumer experience to your clients, you need to keep them motivated and informed – through internal corporate communications.
Effective communication will make your employees feel that their opinions are being heard and their hard work is actually contributing to the growth of the organization. Engaged employees are 8% more productive, and 15% less likely to leave their jobs than their non-engaged peers.
They are also the advocates of your brand – both on social media and on their own social networks. This means that the best of your team is not going to leave and at the same time, they are attracting more talent to the brand. Also, did you know companies with highly engaged employees are 21% more profitable than companies with low employee engagement?
Keeping the business benefits aside, think about your employees who work hard every day to make a difference to the company. Timely appreciation and information are the least they deserve for all the extra effort they put in, the plans they cancel to get an emergency meeting done and the nights they spend sleepless mulling over the crucial presentation.
Now that we have established the importance of the task, let’s look at the ways you can achieve it.
How to engage employees in the workplace and digitally?
1. Treat it like a conversation, not communication
Open communication is key to saving a lot of disasters. Same goes for the internal management of your company. You want your employees to be loyal and supportive towards the goal of the company and its vision for the market – keep them in your close circle!
Open up lines of communication across the company – departments, divisions, and hierarchy. Don’t make your message sound like an announcement that everyone has to follow without objection. Start it as a conversation with a feedback loop, where your employees can voice their needs and contribute their opinions – they are 4.6x more likely to work the best if they feel their opinions are heard. Or you could just circulate forms asking them the same. Act on the information you get; your communication will be better.
When you look at internal communication like a conversation, the over-fancy corporate professionalism takes a break, and the genuinity is crystal clear. 30% of employees said their manager does not foster a culture of open and transparent communication, which can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Being friendly and honest with your employees will encourage them to return it back, making communication less complicated. The relationship that you will cultivate with the team will definitely be an asset in the long run.
2. Get the RIGHT message across
When you plan a consumer engagement or interaction strategy, you personalize it in every way possible so that they only receive information and content relevant to their tastes. So why shy away from customizing communications for your employees?
Even among your employees, there might be different kinds of ‘audience’ that likes to receive information in a certain kind of way. You need to understand the impact of the messages you send to them, before pressing the ‘send all’ option. For example – there is a sales conference coming up, and you would like your sales team to attend it to network and learn, but you send the invitation to everyone.
Now, this information is completely irrelevant to the IT department and the spam will not be appreciated. Be sensitive but clear about what you want to say. Convey your message to people who are affected by it rather than announcing it to the whole department. There is also a chance of misinterpretation of words, so be sure to leave a channel for questions.
Implement an omnichannel approach to get your message across. While posting it on your intranet works, but if you have posters around the office and emails in the inboxes of relevant people, you are more likely to deliver the message effectively. Also, you could take a survey and ask your team what platform they are most comfortable with and use the insights for your decisions.
3. Counting the success stars
All your marketing campaigns have several softwares in place to measure the success of the strategy. You decide on the metrics according to your goal and then take a stand on whether your plan was successful or not.
When you are building employee engagement within internal communications, you need to measure the success here as well. CRM software enables you to check email open rates and the intranet allows you to analyze how much your messages have been interacted with.
It is a simple and effective way of measuring employee interaction with your messages, but if you cannot get this data, try sending out survey forms. Your employees can fill them and you can estimate the mood around your communications. These will also give you insights into what their expectations are and you can devise a plan to achieve it.
If you are having trouble on how to measure actual success, look at this example. IBM started to post a photo series on Instagram with the hashtag #ViewFromMyDesk which was taken up by many employees around the globe to give others a glimpse of the environment they work in every day. They utilized all their social media platforms and the initiative not only boosted employee engagement but also increased their visibility as a bonus. Decide on your metrics based on your goal.
4. Don’t restrain from social media
During the pandemic, everything shifted online, even the sales activities. People are now accustomed to the digital modes of communication and prefer it over your traditional ones. Maybe it is time to accelerate your communication with employees online.
Social media is a very important part of your digital marketing strategy because there are so many millennials in the business industry and young gen in their Instagram profiles. If 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media and 55% look for information there, it means that they’re using it.
So, if you engage with your employees on social media, it will boost your brand image both inside and outside the company. If you are still bound to your email service and intranet, maybe a peek at the lives of Gen Y will help boost communication.
Being confused about how to go about your internal comms is not a problem. Because the communication is happening inside the corporation, it is easier to experiment and decide what works for your team. You can directly ask them about it through a form. What matters is that you invest considerable time, take significant efforts and when you’ve established the right system, make sure you stick to it.
Treat your employees like your consumers, because both are brand promoters in a way and they benefit every individual employee as much as it benefits the company as a whole. The power of good internal communication is seen in workforces that are coordinated and synchronized with their managers and higher authorities, and this is possible only when you rock your internal communications.
So, start prioritizing your employee engagement and you are sure to win 2021! Contact us to know how.