From the mind of Jessy Smulski
We’re all guilty of doing it…over-using business jargon or management speak when communicating with our employees. They’re the easiest people to talk shop with! But this communication style is mind-numbingly boring. And the more your employees hear it, the more desensitized they become to it. So desensitized, in fact, that they stop hearing it altogether. If your employee engagement is suffering, it’s time to shake things up! We have three killer ideas to help you connect with your workforce in a way that doesn’t involve foreheads hitting desks:
1. Create Mystery And Suspense
Fanatic or not, there’s no denying Apple’s ability to build suspense. The moment they announce a press conference the world waits with bated breath. Experts and consumers alike speculate about “what’s next” and this buzz guarantees that a massive audience will tune in. You can create buzz, too.
Got a big upcoming event? A new product line launch? A new office opening? A new initiative? Whatever the announcement, build some tension and speculation before the big reveal. Promote the announcement with verbiage like “We have some BIG news!”. You can even use something ambiguous like a logo, image, icon, or object to hint at what the announcement is about without revealing the full message. BUT, keep in mind — if you build suspense, the message must be worth the wait. Don’t pop your employees’ balloons with a boring reveal or worse — a bad news announcement. Generate excitement by telling employees why they should care about the announcement and how it will benefit them or shake things up around the office.
2. Piggyback On Trends
Popular hashtags, eCards, memes, trending social movements…they all create an opportunity to bring the outside world into the office in a playful way. For example, break up siloed departments by featuring each one in an entertaining “highlight” video. Have your sales team participate in a mannequin challenge, or your HR team planking in various places around the office! Relay important messages (such as cold season awareness) with a little humor, like this eCard. Or create memes that deal with real office issues.
Note to self: choose your trends wisely. A par core craze might not be the best idea from a liability standpoint.
3. Tell Stories That Inspire, Motivate, And Move.
Stories are powerful. They captivate audiences, make messages memorable, and breathe life into boring, repetitive, or complex topics. One of the most influential ways to tell a story is through video, which evokes multiple senses and elevates entertainment value. For example, this customer testimonial video that gives mad props to employees.
Or this video by Lego that shows how tiny plastic building blocks are a metaphor for life.
Airbnb is the master of storytelling. They dedicate an entire section of their website to sharing real stories from real people that inspire wanderlust. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something that cool?
The point is to remind employees what they’re working for and bring them into the mission on an emotional level. Foster the connection your employees make with your brand by helping them see how real people are impacted by the work they do. Best of all, these videos can often be reused for external marketing campaigns because your customers love to see you taking care of your employees!
The bottom line?
Get creative with your internal communications. The more you shake things up, the more likely it is that ears will perk when you have something important to say. Be human and conversational instead of stiff and robotic. Use video to elevate entertainment value and evoke emotional responses. Have some fun with your workforce. Employee engagement hinges on the connection you develop with them and like any other relationship, it should be multifaceted. Sometimes, tough talks are necessary. Other times, a little spontaneity goes a long way.