Stephen Butler, Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Luminous, looks at how companies can make greater use of resources already to hand to better engage with that other essential corporate resource, their employees.
If it’s correct that there’s a fundamental truth behind every cliché, then it must be true that its employees are a business’ greatest asset. Employees are certainly the lifeblood of any organisation – its collective voice, soul and spirit – and, given this, you might think that employee engagement ranks high on the priority list of any Board.
At Luminous, our stakeholder engagement team works with businesses to craft strategies which engage employees and better connect them with the corporate mission and vision. Our focus is on strengthening the bond between employee and employer and building advocacy that gives the overall business strategy far greater impetus that it might otherwise have had.
Here are our top six suggestions for engaging employees:
1. Hold a ‘Meet the Board’ event
The Board can seem disconnected from the day-to-day life of the average employee, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider a session after the AGM where employees can meet the Board, participate in a Q&A and gain a more informed overview of the business’ direction, products and services.
In larger organisations, especially those with multiple sites, consider how technology can be used to reach the maximum number of employees. Streaming and live chat are just two of the options that will allow all employees to participate.
2. Make your CEO a video star
Video is one of the most useful tools at a company’s disposal (it will represent 80% of web traffic by 2020). Consider making a short video from the CEO which lays out the direction of the company and its purpose, vision, values, strategy and sustainability. While this is a valuable exercise in its own right, you can measure much of its success with analytics. See where in your organisation the video has had most appeal, how long it was viewed for and, if you have made more than one version, which was the most successful. From that, you can tailor future videos to have greater impact.
3. Get on board with on-boarding
HR plays a crucial role in engaging and retaining your current talent. A good HR team can transform the employee experience into one that encourages and fosters sharing and positive communication.
Make sure your on-boarding programme gives a good overview of the purpose, vision, mission business model and strategy. Present these in a clear and concise way so that there is no room for doubt as to where the company is now, and importantly, where it plans to be in the future.
4. Make your annual report and investment case work harder
Good corporate publications such as the annual report take time and energy to prepare well. But once you have them, you have a fantastic resource that can be repurposed for different audiences. For example, consider creating an online stakeholder summary which brings the content to life via video and animation and engages employees on performance, strategy, business model, sustainability and culture in a readily accessible form.
5. ‘Socialise’ your content
Social media is used for more than just social content! Almost nine out of ten employees use social media sites and half of them post messages, pictures or videos about their employer according to a Weber Shandwick study. You can do the same. Social media is an excellent tool for connecting with your workforce and creating your very own business advocates by making sure employees are aware of their company’s achievements and performance results.
6. Inspiring through sustainability
Use sustainability to engage your employees by making it visible in and outside the company.
If you would like help with creating your own employee engagement programme and turning your employees into advocates, please get in touch.