Employee engagement is a major issue facing many firms in the United States. The 2017 Gallup State of the American Workplace report found that only 33% of employees are engaged at work. In other words, two thirds of employees are not meaningfully connected with their work or the organization as a whole. When employees are engaged, the turnover rate is 59% lower and there are 70% fewer safety incidents. In addition, sales are 20% higher and profitability increases by 21%. Thus, greater employee engagement affects not only employee happiness and productivity, but it also affects your bottom line!
Some employees may be extremely in tune with internal communications, but how do you engage with the other employees that do not pay as much attention? Basic content marketing principles can be applied to improve your internal communications strategy. There are a lot of overarching themes that can be utilized such as:
1. Recognize Your Audience
Companies are no longer able to only send out a generic message and hope it is relevant to every employee. You must recognize your internal audience and tailor the message towards their interests. To whom are you sending out this message? Why? Be mindful of the receiver, and you can improve engagement numbers by making it relevant.
2. Craft Your Message - Draw in the Audience
Now that you know with whom you want to send your message, It’s time to make a draft. Make sure your message is clear and succinct with a lot of important information front loaded, such as the event time and date. Get to the point fast! If it’s a longer message, highlight the key points while leaving the details available for those who need them. For your visual people; Incorporate a photo to grab their attention and or use a diagram to explain your significant points. When you create a push notification/alert for mobile phones, this message should also be short. Think of it like the subject line to an email or a news headline. It should also be a teaser that gets the employees to select it and open the full message.
3. Design a Noticeable Call to Action
The Call to Action (CTA) is the most important part of your message. Many employers fall into the “engagement trap” where they believe engagement is merely the number of employees who view the announcements. In marketing, this is similar to only utilizing impressions as a sole KPI; these impressions mean little unless you have a direct correlation with sales. This understanding is where the Call to Action comes into play. A clear, pronounced piece of content intended to induce an employee to perform a specific act or task. Do you need your employees to RSVP for an event? Do you need them to sign up for healthcare benefits?
4. A/B Test
The key to a good marketing campaign is A/B testing. In short, build your campaign, change one thing, compare the results, and note which one was more successful. Everything in an engagement campaign can be A/B tested -- from the audience, to the message, to the CTA. Remember, only test one variable per campaign to prevent confounded results.
After you have discovered positive insights from your campaigns through constant A/B testing, you will improve your process. With iteration added to your strategy, your engagement grows. After enough iterations, you develop a better understanding of your employees, recognize the best content to utilize, the best time to send out messages, and the confidence to build the best campaigns. To reach that point, backstitch will be there to help you every step of the way.