Rhys Davies

Employee engagement is dead… long live the employee experience. Seize this opportunity to get to the heart and soul of your business, and emotionally connect with your people – and do it now.

Rhys Davies

Director, Reward & Benefits Communication

Make the experience relevant

Personalisation is paramount, customisation is crucial, content is king… bold statements are great, aren’t they – but you have to have the goods to back them up. The fact is, your people need to feel unique, supported and valued, so communicate the things that actually matter to them – not you. This has to be about the individual’s needs, the ‘stuff’ that taps into their very personal desires, emotions and knowledge. You can’t wing it here and you absolutely can’t just make it up as you go along. This isn’t the latest low-budget Netflix boxset, this is real life. So tell stories that place the employee at the heart of the narrative and share things that are super-relevant, informative and (above everything else) authentic. Ultimately, this is about making sure your people feel supported wherever they are on their career journey. Don’t lose sight of that in the pursuit of keeping up with the latest communication trends.

Gather data and insights to inform

If you can’t measure it, you can’t control it; and if you can’t control it, you can’t manage it – so measure something, anything… everything. It’s these data points, metrics and KPIs that benchmark you against the competition. They help you establish what success looks like; they enable you to build the framework that’ll take you where you want to go; and they underpin your communication strategy and tactical plan. So… yeah, they’re pretty much essential. And because it improves as performance is measured, tested and rolled out, data helps you allow for refinement and finessing too. But this can’t just be a once-a-year thing, ticked off during your annual employee engagement survey. This needs to be a constantly evolving, organic process; so use regular pulse surveys to temperature check your audience: what are they really thinking and feeling at any given time? How is their morale and resilience? Insight like this is worth its weight in gold – don’t let it pass you by.

Fight for your budget – and prove your worth

As the CFO is cutting the cheque for payment, they’re already thinking about the communications ROI – that ‘discretional spend’ notion will never go away, in spite of everything communicators have achieved during the pandemic. They will 100% want to see tangible results, and that’s why you need to prove that effective communication works and that it matters. So make sure you understand what your organisational goals and objectives are at the outset, and stay focussed. Great communications can help move the needle, so use data, analytics and insights to share stories of success across all of those EX touchpoints. After all, investment in a rich reward and benefits programme for employees means nothing if your people – and your C-suite – are unaware of what’s available.