By Keith Kitani
Employee communications have transformed in recent years, largely driven by the technology that’s now available. In my last blog post, I reflected on the evolution that employee communications has seen – including our own evolution at GuideSpark, where we’ve been able to transform our product offering as the market and demand for communications has shifted. Now, we enable our customers to plan, orchestrate, and manage their employee communications in a way that delivers the right information to the right people at the right time, ensuring a successful and meaningful employee experience.
Based on feedback from customers, we recently launched new product enhancements for the many organizations currently struggling with orchestrating and coordinating communications across the entire enterprise. It’s no longer a simple question of, “How can we get information to employees?” – instead, we’re also solving for timing, engagement, attention, and employee action and behavior change. The question has grown into “How do we take our employee communications, scale them effectively for all programs and teams, integrate them into a great employee experience, and get our employees to engage?” It’s certainly no easy task, but understanding how communications can serve your organization and your people is the right place to start.
GuideSpark’s new Communicate Planner module and engagement data tracking covered in my last blog post are a huge step forward in this effort, but GuideSpark Communicate Cloud® (GSCC) also enables improved targeting and personalization of communications. These features allow enterprises to customize communications based on what’s most important to each employee – leveraging their personal events and context – to cut through the digital noise and improve communication engagement.
Automating Targeted Communications Through GSCC
Targeting and tailoring communications according to your employees’ needs and demographics would be a massive undertaking if it were approached manually; it requires an understanding of your entire employee base as a foundation, a constant watch on the major events of the employee lifecycle, and the delivery of engaging, ready-to-send communications. But, with new technology solutions, organizations are now able to personalize communications quickly and easily. With a platform like GSCC, enterprises can leverage employee data (such as through an HCM platform), personalize campaigns by name, location, or other relevant details, and automatically send messages through the optimal channels (such as email, text, or Microsoft Teams).
Critical HR programs, like new hire onboarding, are challenging without the ability to automate. There’s the potential for a huge number of moving pieces in an onboarding program, and things can easily be missed or overlooked. For example, for organizations hiring a new employee each week, with every hew hire receiving a 6-month onboarding experience, by the end of that same time period you’re essentially dealing with 26 distinct new hire groups, all at different stages of communication. And now, as we see the growing need for multi-month, interactive, and engaging onboarding, the ability to automate and launch these programs makes it possible to provide the right information at the right time, ultimately improving the entire new hire experience.
Many employee initiatives inherently follow a timeline or schedule that’s prompted either by the needs of the company or the needs of the individual – and in either case, an employee-centric approach is the driving force to ensure messaging makes a true impact on its audience. It’s this people-driven mindset that prompted our recent launch of event-based communication triggers. This functionality is designed to deliver relevant information exactly when employees need it most, so that messaging doesn’t go overlooked or ignored, no matter the program being communicated. Here are a few examples of event-based triggers in action:
New hire onboarding – Integrating new employees has always been challenging, but given the overwhelming evidence that great onboarding experiences improve long-term retention and accelerate productivity, it’s now more crucial than ever before that organizations invest in effective onboarding that works as well remotely as it does in-person. Event-based triggers automate the management of a consistent, engaging onboarding campaign for multiple, simultaneous new hire cohorts.
Promotions – Managers are critical to company success, so when an employee is promoted to a management role, it’s critical to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed in that position. Event-based triggers will automatically launch the right training and resources, like coaching resources, management policies and more – right when new managers need it most.
Stock vesting – Stock is an enormously valuable component of many companies’ compensation programs. Yet, employees often don’t understand or value their company stock plan. Use event-based triggers to remind them of this valuable asset, and educate them on ways to best leverage this benefit. When a vesting period ends, an automated campaign can send crucial information to only those employees that are affected.
Change in family status – When an employee gets married or has additions to their family, they often qualify for new benefits and programs, or different coverage levels. Event-based triggers automate the sending of dependent and benefits information, so those employees are best prepared to support these family changes, and nothing slips through the cracks.
Delivering the right information to the right people at the right time is what I see as the “holy grail” of employee communications. The world of employees and workplace messaging is excessively noisy – especially now, in a world where so many workers are remote and digital – and, most companies have several different communication streams competing for time, space, and attention. The challenge facing organizations has transformed in recent years into managing and orchestrating a variety of subject matter, programs, and campaigns for a workforce that has diverse needs, and the best way to get through is to utilize a targeted, employee-centric approach. Deliver information when it will matter most to the employee – not just when it suits the organization to send it. GSCC’s event-based trigger functionality and other targeting tools allow teams to focus on the people in the organization, not the process behind the scenes.