Adding creative internal communications ideas to your comms strategy can drive participation and ongoing engagement from your employees.
Employees often complain corporate messages are somewhere between uninspired and outright boring, if only they knew the challenges of creating them. This is particularly true when unfairly compared with messages from social and traditional media. This article has some ideas to help add some flare and inspiration and draw your people in.
It’s a Visual World
We know that adding videos and images can help make content more intriguing, but it can also breakdown densely worded content which is especially important for some (see our article about dyslexics), with images reinforcing the messaging or teeing up the messaging before reading. However, there’s a lot more you can do than just that.
Create an internal America’s Got Talent contest. Ask your employees to submit a 30 second video highlighting their talent. Leverage your digital communication platform (if you don’t have one, we can implement Sparrow in 2 weeks). Have all employees upvote their favorite videos. The top three vote getters make it to the final show. Make a corporate event out of the finals, broadcast it live to the entire company, interview the finalists, and get them to perform their talent live.
The final talent show should be judged live by members of your leadership and/or executive team. The winner gets bragging rights and a small prize.
Your workforce will laugh, your workforce will bond, and your productivity will only go up. Try it out and let me know how it worked.
MTV Cribs Show
Are you familiar with the MTV show Cribs? MTV Cribs is a documentary television program that features tours of the private homes of celebrities. Why not make a similar show of our home offices?
Most of us are working from home. Some have transformed hastily assembled places-to-work-at-home into permanent showpieces of their homes. All people to share a post with some photos and an over-the-top written tour, or provide a video tour. The aim is something fun. Our homes offices are often a better reflection our personalities than our old “off-site” ones.
The tours could include what it took to make it happen, talking about lost months at IKEA, and more – not just about the furnishings themselves. Give out prizes for funniest office, oddest location, best office, or for that person who just takes it the furthest.
Our work and personal lives have never been more interconnected. This show is a fun way to highlight those connections, to learn about your co-workers, and have a glimpse of who they are.
Employee of the Week
Corporate success depends on many employees coming together to accomplish a common goal. The more they can relate to each other, the more they can trust each other, the better the outcome. The idea of sharing tidbits of our personal lives with our co-workers is a great way to build that trust and improve relationships.
Most of us are used to share things that allow others to vicariously live through us, whether it’s instagramming our food and/or vacations or sharing a product unboxing on YouTube. The same concept can be applied to employee communications.
Interview one employee a week (or a month), ask them to share personal and business goals. Ask them “Why do they work at your organization?” this will allow you to understand what brought them to your organization or why they do what they do. Ask them for their personal hobbies. Do they have any pets? What is their favorite food? What is an extra-ordinary skill they have that few people know about? Harness your inner Oprah, Letterman or Howard Stern and make the process engaging and tailored to the employee.
Show and Tell
Ask leaders/managers in your organization to share a business or industry article they have recently read along with a summary of why it was impactful to them.
Establish a regular cadence with your leadership team to post into a specific channel. This will create consistency and the initial content you need to get the rest of the organization to share. Allow anyone in the organization to post and share information they believe is relevant to your organization.
This will encourage two-way communications and pave the way for interesting business conversations.
One simple thing to do is make it clear at the beginning of a post that you have an ask, and then at the end reveal what it is. You can make it a challenge, from the first person for a particular department will be entered to win something, to getting their feedback on ideas. Revealing at the start that you have an ask often raises curiosity and increases the likelihood of retention of the material and having an honest ask at the end often gives them the nudge to respond.
Changing up the type of content every now and then, mixing between the serious and the entertaining and the ‘asks’, can build a constant sense of curiosity and build a sense of trust in ‘the content is worth it’. When people feel they always know what to expect, they can tune out. When it’s always formal, they can tune out. But throw them a curve every now and then, and you’ll find them asking when’s the next contest, when’s the next ‘crazy hat challenge.’
Good luck and stay engaged.
If you are ready for a modern, vibrant communication platform, we’d like to introduce you to Sparrow.
If you’re looking for a platform to help make your life easier and connecting you with all of your workforce, give Sparrow a look. We’ve lived the pain, we understand the hopes, and we built a platform for communication professionals that delivers. From Intranets, to Microsoft Teams, to newsletters, and mobile, we know how important corporate communications is. Sparrow – Built for Communicators. Book a conversation with us today.