Implementing and maintaining an employee communication plan is a cornerstone of improving employee engagement for most businesses. But putting the plan together takes more than just a list of topics and some technology. It takes understanding the right types of messages to include.
In a previous article, we talked about tips to keep remote and work-from-home workers engaged. In this article, we’ll discuss three different types of employee engagement messaging that go into an effective employee messaging plan. Whether you are sharing your messages across digital signage, email, mobile apps, intranets, or webinars, mixing in different types of messages is key to keeping your workforce engaged and productive.
First let’s frame the problem around engagement and why messaging can help.
We know from research by ADP and others that on average only 1 in 6 workers are positively engaged with their work. That’s a big problem for businesses since low engagement can lead to higher employee turnover rates, lower productivity, quality issues and ultimately lower profitability.
Employees need feedback on their work performance in order to improve and optimize their work. And employees and teams also need to feel appreciated and recognized for their hard work and contribution towards company goals. Understanding how you (as an employee) can make an impact and then seeing the results of your efforts is an important step towards positive engagement. As a corporate communicator, your type of messaging to employees can make a huge impact on their engagement.
At RMG, we talk about three types (or tiers) of messages:
Tier 1: Performance feedback messages: This is the highest level of messaging and should be the most effective in changing behavior or reinforcing desired behavior. These types of messages often include key performance indicators and are tied to corporate, departmental and individual goals and objectives. Applications include sales leaderboards, contact center and service center performance monitoring apps, and distribution or production line wall board messages.
Figure 1: Contact Center performance monitoring app
Tier 2: Engagement messages: This middle tier of messages helps create a culture of trust, caring and inclusion, which are all essential components for high employee engagement. We sometimes call these messages “employer cares” or “HR” messages. These types of messages help build the employer-employee bond and include messages like manager and teammate kudos and shout-outs (recognition), work anniversary announcements, work related event reminders, safety messages, and health and wellness messages. Applications include posts in employee mobile apps, messages on workplace digital signage, and posts on intranets and collaboration apps.
Figure 2: Employee recognition digital signage message
Figure 3: Employee mobile app with example of Engagement tier messaging
Tier 3: General news messages:
Figure 4: Traffic updates can be a part of Tier 3 messagesYou’ve got to include some fun and light news in your messaging, too. After all, everyone needs a break from work messaging sometimes (even while at work). This tier of messages includes information like weather, local/national/global news, industry news and company events and sometimes trivia or entertainment news. While it may seem, this is the lowest level of messaging in terms of influencing performance and engagement, messages in this category
serve important functions. Keeping employees informed about weather conditions that may affect work, their commute home or even weekend plans can help reduce anxiety and provide valuable information for planning ahead. Industry and business news also help keep employees informed of changing economic or political conditions that may affect work. And regularly including general news in your messaging mix can also serve to remind your audience to look to your screens, apps or websites for current information.
A smart messaging plan is one that not only mixes in messages and content from the three types of messaging but also incorporates feedback and measures the impact of messaging on engagement.
There are several ways to accomplish this type of smart messaging, which we will cover in a future article on creating messaging feedback loops to help fine tune your messaging.
At RMG, we help our clients optimize their employee messaging by providing a technology platform and messaging strategies that reach employees wherever they are with engaging content.
For more information on how RMG and Korbyt can help you improve your employee messaging, please contact us.