GDPR: Opportunity for businesses across the globe?

Why we should be embracing the GDPR

GDPR is around the corner and what an opportune time for businesses across Europe!

That’s right, you heard us correctly. The GDPR may be causing meltdown among many businesses, but we should be embracing the change to the Data Protection Act for its push to make companies more transparent!

On May 25th 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), will be enforced, superseding the Data Protection Act and permanently changing the way you collect, store and use customer data. Stricter guidelines on how companies process consumer data are affecting prospecting and marketing activities. As a result, companies are frantically searching for immediate solutions to comply with the latest regulations. But are we over-reacting and shouldn’t we be seeing this change as an opportunity for the better?

Companies who show they value an individual’s privacy, promote transparency by sharing how data is collected, stored and used, and implement improved ways of managing consumer data, build deeper trust and meaningful relationships with customers, suppliers and stakeholders.

Not only this, they become a company whose reputation is based on people rather than data!  As the CEO of WFA exclaims:

“GDPR represents a great opportunity to adopt a mindset of ‘people first’ rather than ‘data first’ across the entire organization. Adopting a more respectful approach to personal information can only build trust.”

But how can businesses embrace this change?

Like with all change management scenarios, the key to compliance change is to plan ahead. It’s about outlining the positive and negatives and identifying actions to accommodate both.

New research by the World Federation of Advertisers found that 95% of respondents thought that implementing the GDPR is important for their organisation and over 70% found that it was critically important.

But how does the GDPR offer opportunity to EU businesses?

Not only does the GDPR push companies into qualifying their current data, re-evaluate marketing activities and push for more meaningful relationships with audiences; it will also make it easier for companies, big and small, to do business across the EU. The GDPR has the potential to:

  • Remove undue administrative requirements including non-sensitive data processing tracking
  • Relax the need for SME’s to employ a Data Protection Officer unless legally necessary
  • Improve data control and quality, brand and reputation and thus, creating more transparent, honest and reliable companies
  • Increase visibility and offer competition opportunities for SME’s through the GDPR’s right to data portability. A clause which, firstly, makes it easier for potential customers to transfer personal data between service providers. Secondly, it opens the doors for new providers and reduces the painful transfer or resubmission of data from customer to supplier.
  • Reduced maintenance expenses, helping companies cut costs by retiring any data inventory software and legacy applications that are no longer relevant.
  • Better align businesses with evolving technology, allowing companies to easily locate, anonymise and report more securely and effectively.

Opportunity for re-connecting?

By pushing companies to contact, respond and respect their audience, offers opportunity for re-connecting.  As Philippe De Backer, Belgium’s Secretary Of State for Privacy advises:

“It’ll help businesses better identify opportunities. The GDPR is about enabling companies to know what data they have and securing that data. It is also about managing that data effectively to enable them to identify new business opportunities. The GDPR has the potential to go a long way in rebuilding trust. Trust which many consumers have lost in digital companies.”

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communication and engagement solutions. We inspire, motivate and transform your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information or help with compliance change management or digital transformation, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your company.

Guest Blog: Positive Onboarding Experience

A Thousand Onboarding Firsts

When was the last time you started a new job at a new company and had a positive onboarding experience? What were you thinking in the days leading up to the new job and what was your first day like? In case your ‘Dear Diary’ entries are bit vague from that time, here’s a quick refresher on some of the things that probably went through your head…

When you accepted the offer to join, you were saying yes to one of the most wonderful experiences humans have; to become a part of a group. More than just being invited to join this organisation, you were excited about the new position; the new responsibilities, the new culture and, especially, the first day. A new chapter in your life, new adventures, new challenges, people and a new place for you to prove yourself to the world. This organisation invited you to join them and it felt great.

You were also a bit nervous that you were the newbie. The outsider. You were nervous about asking questions so you didn’t appear petty, irrelevant or downright stupid. You were concerned about what you were going to wear. And you might have made a dry run to practice your commute or written down questions for your first meeting with your new boss. You might even have tried to memorise some of the names of your new teammates.  Or you might have been concerned about learning all the relevant skills needed to do your job. In summary, you were embarking on the early stages of your onboarding journey.

Four Keys to Successful Onboarding (EAST)

Regardless of the role, experience and age, everyone experiences similar challenges to some degree. The message to employers: The first day of onboarding a new hire is your opportunity to get everything right. There are four keys to make the first day one that is memorable for all the right reasons.

Make Onboarding Easy

The first day starts with getting to work. Sure, Google Maps can give directions. But as the new boss, you can lower stress for the new employee by offering insider tips. “Once you get off the train, head out of the station onto 4th Street and walk toward downtown. Enter the door under the sign that says The 421 Building and tell reception to ring me. It’s about a 7-minute walk from the train. And if you pass the bakery, you’ve gone too far!”

And make sure cultural quirks are shared to warn them. “Because of the big game, everyone will be wearing team jerseys on Monday.” Be sensitive to the fact that whatever you take for granted because you’ve been there for some time is completely unknown to your new hire. Make their welcome and first day of their onboarding experience an easy one.

Make Onboarding Attractive

Just because the new hire has decided to take the job, don’t stop selling them on how much you want them. Continue to make the onboarding experience attractive to them. Start by warming them up with a phone call the week before they start. Let them know you’re excited to have them on your team and offer up time for the new hire to ask questions.

Because we are attracted to things that are relevant to us, make sure the things that get personalised in your office are properly personalised for your newbie. Print their name on the folder of welcome documents when they walk in the door. Name tags, security credentials and any legal documents should have their name correctly filled in. Legal name on legal documents and nickname, if they prefer, on name tags and name plates. Everyone likes it when other people get their name right – don’t miss this small step to make the new job attractive to them.

As silly as it may seem, start with praise and recognition on the first day. “I know the paperwork can be a pain, but I appreciate the effort and focus you’re putting on it. You’re doing great. ”There’s no reason to be disingenuous, but don’t pass up opportunities to remind them of how you’re aware of the effort they’re putting into their first day. That will go a long way in establishing vivid memories that contribute to greater retention and enhanced referrals, when you need them.

Make Onboarding Social

Work is possibly the most significant community that we belong to because of the time we put into it over the span of our working career. That community has an impact on the new hire’s life and the newbie wants that community to accept them in return. We all want to be accepted.

Let the newbie know that he or she is accepted, welcome and that you are full of hope for their success. Thomas Jefferson’s mother supposedly said to her young son when his school expelled him for poor performance that she was proud of him; and that the teacher believed he was such an exceptional student that he needed a different class to challenge him!

Foster a support network that the newbie can rely on.  As you introduce coworkers, connect a reason for the new hire to know them. “This is Sasha, he’s great with office paperwork. And this is Gina, she’s terrific with technology issues.” The newbie is unlikely to remember all the specifics but knowing there is a supportive social network is key to getting off to a good start.

Part of the social onboarding process should include one-to-one meetings with relevant team members and associates from the organisation. Get the newbie to commit to setting up meetings with a list you provide and as they achieve those mini-milestones, be sure to recognise the effort and achievement. Small as it may be, we want the social side of our lives to work without trouble.

Make Onboarding Timely

There are certain times when we are more ready to change than others. We are more apt to reignite our gym membership when we start looking at swimsuits in the Spring. We are more apt to buy life insurance after the birth of a child. Timing matters and authors Daniel Pink in When and best-selling researcher Robert Cialdini, PhD in Pre-Suasion both emphasise the timing and sequence of events and how they impact behaviour change.

Asking your newbie on their first day for a commitment to meet with each member of the team will gain compliance. And it can be more nuanced than that. Don’t ask the newbie to commit to work objectives until they’ve got an understanding of the job. The first commitments they should make is to be learning the necessary job skills and demonstrating them in a timely fashion.

Also, how time is spent is equally important. Having big gaps in the calendar before the newbie knows how to do the job will lead to listlessness. Make sure you pack their days with relevant learning opportunities until they have a feel for the work. Then, you can more easily fill downtime with tasks from the backlog.

Easy, Attractive, Social, Timely

Onboarding, onboarding experience, easy, attractive, social, timely, Robert Cialdini, Pre-Suasion

Since our brains are not digital cameras recording every single moment humans pay attention to, and remember, the vivid extremes in life. That means that a single, small experience at the wrong time can over-influence our memories.

A study was conducted with the ostensive purpose of asking classical music critics to rate the performance of a conductor (when listening on a vinyl record). All the people in the study listened to the same recording. Some listened to perfectly clean recordings. Some listened to records that had a scratchy sound in the middle and some had a scratch at the end of the recording. At the conclusion of the listening session, the critics rated the conductor’s ability with the particular piece of music. Critics who heard the scratch at the end of the performance rated the conductor’s performance lower than the critics who heard no scratch in the recording.

Key Onboarding Tips In Summary

Be careful how you create all of the ‘firsts’ for your new hire.  Each first impression contributes to their opinion of the company and that links to their happiness on the job. It affects their emotional engagement with the company and their satisfaction with their manager.

Make their introduction to the company Easy; make their first day Attractive; leverage the Social side of their new workplace and make your communication with them Timely.

Plan ahead and help your newbies feel wanted; just like you wanted to feel when you first joined.

Tim Houlihan applies the behavioral sciences to workplace engagement and consumer behavior to corporations around the world.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

Many thanks to Tim, Chief Behavioral Strategist, at BehaviorAlchemy for his time and insight into engaging audiences. At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on successfully onboarding your new hires with, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Reward and Recognition Programs

The importance of a Reward & Recognition program

A Reward and Recognition program can have significant impact on overall employee engagement in an organisation. From boosting morale to lowering staff turnover, reward and recognition programs offer companies a motivational tool that can be beneficial to the employer as well as the employee.

The three top tips for building a Reward & Recognition program

An effective employee recognition scheme should be relevant, fair and transparent for all employees to be motivated. Clear criteria outlining the purpose, audience, channel and measures will help employers manage and deliver the program easily and sustainably.  The key areas to include in any program criteria include:

  • Purpose: Having clear objectives for the introduction of the program will help shape the overall process. Are you trying to boost performance, drive employee retention or reinforce expected behaviours? These questions will help create a program that is bespoke to your objectives and you can easily measure.
  • Power: The most effective Reward and Recognition programs are ones which are peer led. Involve staff in championing the program; ascertain how they will communicate, measure and select winning candidates; and consider the overall perception and subsequent motivation of the workforce in this process.
  • Process: The Reward and Recognition program must have clear criteria. It should outline how the employee’s behaviours or actions will be recognised, by whom and who is eligible to receive this award. This will ensure the program is relevant and help motivate staff to perform accordingly.

Benefits of a Reward and Recognition program

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Reward and recognition programs are not just beneficial to an employer but also to the employee.  It provides a unified acknowledgement of performance and adoption of the company’s culture and ways of working.

A culture of recognition is one of the most important factors in creating a positive work environment. A simple ‘thank you’ from a manager goes a long way and confirms the meaningfulness of the work an employee has completed and been recognised for.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information or help with developing a reward & recognition program, call or email us today and let us show you how a simple ‘thank you’ can boost your organisation.

Guest blog: Engage and stop chasing demographic unicorns

Engage with diverse workforces

Are you stressed about trying to engage your diverse workforce? Going crazy trying to engage millennials in your office?

You’re probably overwhelmed by articles and blog posts telling you how to communicate with your workforce by age, ethnicity and gender. Frankly, it’s unworkable.

The fact is people are complex and the psychological underpinnings that lead employees to engage with a firm morph with both time and situations. Engagement is daunting. That’s why you need a different model – a new way of thinking about engaging your diverse workforce.

Stop chasing demographic unicorns.

The 4 Drive Model

The 4 Drive Model (originally created by Lawrence & Nohria) is a comprehensive framework for understanding employee motivation at its root. The 4-Drive Model satisfies a wide variety of engagement issues with a single approach. This way, you can engage your 26-year-old white female as easily as the 45-year-old Asian male.

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#1: Acquire & Achieve. The first set reflects our drives to acquire things, status, experiences, rewards, etc. and is a common foundation for all engagement plans. Intuitively, you can peg millennials with their drive to acquire and achieve, but hold your horses. They’re not the only ones. We live in a consumer-driven world. Your millennials and your 50-something coworkers received Apple watches for holiday gifts (maybe even from themselves).

Kurt Nelson, PhD, President of The Lantern Group, applies a version of the 4 Drive Model to engagement strategies. He noted recently that “The standard ‘pay them more and get more performance’ mantra doesn’t work anymore. A written letter of appreciation can generate more engagement than a big check.”

#2: Bond & Belong. We have a drive to create positive relationships and engage with others to fit in as social beings. In this way, we are satisfying our desire to bond and belong. This drive transcends age, gender and ethnicity and has more to do with what’s happening in the careers of your employees and changes in their environment. In every new setting, the subconscious mind demands satisfaction to bond and belong, to fit in and for the tribe to recognise achievements.

The modern workforce exists not so much as individual contributors but as dynamic participants in a web of teams. As Nelson noted, “Successful leaders look for opportunities for their people to interact and form social connections.”

#3: Create & Challenge. These drives are about our need to create, improve, master, learn and overcome challenges. People commonly overlook this when considering what engages employees. An assignment with tremendous challenges can contain more motivational power than an average assignment with a big bonus. As historian Jacob Bronowski said, ‘We delight in our own creativity,’ so give an employee something to create and watch them run.

That said, it’s more than just having a challenge in a job. It’s also about expanding the cognitive abilities that allow us to succeed. “To maximize performance,” said Nelson, “make sure that there are regular opportunities or even requirements to engage employees in learning.”

#4: Define & Defend. Defining our purpose and defending our status, ideas and relationships. How we identify ourselves has immense motivational power. While saving-face is one such reactive aspect, the proactive side is staking a claim and enabling employees to raise a flag on their own battlements. These drives serve those who have clear visions of their purpose and goals in the organization.

“Employees will fight long and hard for a company that they believe in and one that has their back,” says Nelson.  This is truly the ultimate gift an employee can give a company when their environment supports it “but the moment they sense deceit or feel belittled, those same employees can turn into your biggest liability.”

Applying The 4 Drive Model

Dr. Nelson recently leveraged the 4 Drive Model with a global pharmaceutical firm in revamping their sales incentive trips. Historically, the firm offered lavish trips for top performing employees to exotic destinations as recognition of their successes. However, the company wanted to dial down the public perception of the trips and at the same time maintain high levels of motivation among the sales reps. The result, after private interviews, team brainstorms and input from senior leaders, a menu of trips was created to allow teams to choose (bond & belong) among learning-centric trips (create & challenge) with senior leaders (acquire & achieve) that were relevant to their team’s success (define & defend).

One Isn’t Enough

Nelson noted that “an improvement in each of these drives impacts organizational performance independently” which is important for any firm. Satisfying all 4 drives simultaneously initiates “an exponential increase in performance”. By comparison, firms see a 3%-6% performance increase for satisfying any individual drive versus a 36% performance increase when all four drives are satisfied.

Chasing demographics is akin to chasing unicorns in a magical forest.  By focusing on the 4 Drives, it allows you to develop programs that address your entire audience looking at where they are at.

Tim Houlihan applies the behavioral sciences to workplace engagement and consumer behavior to corporations around the world.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

Many thanks to Tim, Chief Behavioral Strategist, at BehaviorAlchemy for his time and insight into engaging audiences. At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on engaging with diverse workforces, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

New Year: Digital trends for 2018

New Year, new challenges

The New Year is upon us and with the start of 2018, come new trends that will revolutionise how we engage with employees, reach out to customers and expand online visibility.

Through cloud technology, artificial intelligence and responsive channels, technology has already affected how companies utilise digital devices to communicate with internal and external audiences.

As we embrace the New Year, we look at what trends are set to further change your communications channels and how to prepare your workforce for the takeover.

Read about the top three digital trends:

Chatbots

Chatbots are virtual assistants animated by artificial intelligence intended to deliver real-time answers to customers. Global tech business, Oracle, found that 80% of brands expect to use them for customer interaction by 2020.  One such system which combines AI technology with data is IBM Watson.  A supercomputer with combined data storage of over 200 million pages of information processed against six million logic rules, the software can analyse the relevant information and make recommendations in real time.

In action: Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance in Japan replaced 30 employees with the AI system, believing it would increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years.

Mass personalisation

ClearVoice, new year, employee engagement, employee experience, Silke Brittain, employee communications, internal communications, strategy, people, employee voice, integrity, communications strategy, innovation, strategic narrative, performance improvement, employee journey, customer journey, employee value proposition

Mass personalisation is the act of creating campaigns or websites targeted to specific audience’s history.  It enables recipients to focus on what’s relevant to them at the time it matters.  For organisations, it allows them to micro-target individuals or groups; giving them relevant information that affects their specific role as and when needed.

In action: Last year Virgin Group introduced the next generation in engagement software.  Virgin Pulse Hub, a dynamic engagement and communication portal connects employees with relevant HR and benefits tools, programs and information.  It enables administrators to segment messages across a variety of factors, including age, location and health risk factors; delivering them in ways that resonate with employee populations.

Remote workforces

Remote workforces are when employees work outside the ‘traditional’ office environment.  With over 96 million workers using mobile devices to do their jobs, companies are fast discovering the overall benefits of employing staff remotely.

In action: Buffer, a social media schedule platform company has more than 80 employees working in several different countries.  ‘Courtney Seiter, Buffer’s Inclusivity Catalyst, shares that instead of having a hybrid remote and on-site environment, Buffer “does everything 100% remote first to create that feeling of inclusivity and equality across the board.”’

How to prepare your office for 2018

As we begin the new year, preparation can ensure a stress-free agenda.  Develop a plan for 2018 by encompassing tactics which can help improve and strengthen key elements of the business.  Utilise the five key areas when developing your strategy for the coming year, helping provide practical solutions in a short space of time:

Employer brand review

A great employer brand is one that both customers and staff will want to be a part of.  Review how it is currently perceived and how it can be improved forecasting key milestones to improve your employer brand.  Think about the attractiveness of the company, the core message and culture you have built.

Challenge preparation

Consider factors which may affect your business, staff and your customers.  Think about the up and coming digital trends; would they improve efficiency, increase online visibility or reduce costs? Use this time to research key events which may affect audiences such as GDPR or Brexit, helping address potential risks to your business.

Identify new opportunities

Use the New Year to explore new marketing tactics, thinking about mass personalisation, social channels and networking events. Consider new products or services or even reinventing how you package them up. Encourage staff to feed ideas for economic growth and provide incentives for internal contributions.

Financial downtime

Carry out a financial review of current costs and identify if you’re getting value for money or if costs could be better used elsewhere.  Do you have a bonus scheme in place for employees?  Assess how best to deliver these and what the bonuses are measured on including performance, sales or time of servitude.

Review and prepare a comms plan

A comms audit can help identify which channels work; identify common weaknesses and measure the overall effectiveness.  Assess who you are communicating with, internally and externally, how you could improve the comms channel and the best medium to adapt to deliver key messages.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on strategy preparation and internal communication, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Mental wellbeing in the workplace

Awareness of mental wellbeing

Awareness of mental wellbeing has exploded over the last year. It’s driving companies and HR teams to acknowledge, support and integrate tools which can help employees cope with stress, effectively and successfully.

.mental wellbeing, clear voice, silke brittain, employee engagement, productivity, values, culture, bedford, HR, engagement, communicationIn 2016, 15.8 million working days were lost in the UK due to mental health issues. A 2017 report claimed 60% of employees have experienced a mental health problem due to work or work was a contributing factor at some point in their career.

However, with the increase in awareness of mental wellbeing, companies are starting to understand the physical and mental state of their employees.  By using initiatives which encompass the employees’ working environment to open discussion opportunities, companies are understanding the benefits of healthier, motivated and focused staff.

But how can you support your employee’s mental wellbeing?

Supporting and encouraging positive health and mental wellbeing needs to be engrained into a company’s culture. It should not stop at the strategy development stages.  To help tackle the causes of work-related mental health problems and promote wellbeing in the workplace, Mind, a leading charity for mental health and wellbeing developed an informative step by step guide.  Focusing on the working environment, line managers and HR professionals; the guide provides a collection of informative yet useful tips in maximising your workforce’s mental wellbeing.

4 steps to support positive mental wellbeing

Here is a synopsis of the guide to help start the process of promoting mental wellbeing and supporting your staff’s mental and physical health in the workplace:

Open-door policy

Employees want to feel that they can communicate honestly and openly.  Integrating an open-door policy will help strengthen and support engagement from the onset.  Try to implement transparent communication through all platforms; helping promote and encourage staff to share and respond respectively.

Training & guidance

For an open-door policy to work it is crucial to give leaders adequate training and guidance to help support employees.  This ensures that leaders are equipped to advise employees and proactively manage work-related factors that may contribute to poor mental wellbeing. Send a clear message to your staff that their health and wellbeing matters!

Flexible hours

Flexible hours not only encourage a more dynamic working schedule but can allow for a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.  Integrate and demonstrate behaviours which encourage motivation and social support within your team through flexible schedules.  Encourage staff to work sensible hours, take full lunch breaks and recuperate after busy periods. Senior leaders should role model these positive behaviours where possible.

Don’t forget you!

Look after yourself. Always try to ensure you maintain a healthy lifestyle, access social support and develop resilient thinking.  If you can lead by example, staff will soon follow and adapt.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing a mental health and wellbeing strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how a happy and healthy workforce can boost your organisation.

How GDPR will affect your business

What is GDPR?

GDPR is EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, a new directive that will enforce businesses to install stronger data security and privacy rules for protecting personal data.  These regulations supersede any previous legislation and will come into force in May next year.  Failure to comply can result in fines of up to 4% of global annual turnover!

As 2017 has already become a frantic scramble to prepare for next year’s GDPR, we provide a rundown of who the regulations affect and how you can prepare for the milestone.

GDPR, case study, change management, ClearVoice, communication strategy, communication, company culture, customer journey, digital engagement, digital evolution, digital maturity, digital strategy, employee advocate, employee communication, employee engagement, employee experience, employee journey mapping, employee journey, employee retention, employee value proposition, employee voice, employer brand, Engage for Success, engaging managers, EVP, financial services, focus groups, four pillars, healthcare, HR communication, HR, human resources, innovation, Institute of Internal Communication, integrity, internal communication, IOIC, M&A, manufacturing, merger and acquisition, motivation, on-boarding, people, performance improvement, pharmaceutical, productivity, recognition, research, retail, reward, Silke Brittain, strategic narrative, strategy, talent acquisition, trust, values, well-being,Who must comply with the GDPR?

The GDPR applies to anyone who ‘controls or processes’ personal data in and outside the EU.  That includes profit-seeking companies to IT firms, charities to agencies.  The responsibility of handling data falls to both sides; those that collect and manage data and those who process and maintain data records.

 

How does it affect you?

The new regulations will force all companies to control and manage how and why they process personal data. Data can only be used for a specific purpose.  Once companies have achieved that purpose, they must delete the data.

What is personal data?

Personal data includes any information which can identify a specific person.  This includes economic, cultural or mental health information, IP addresses and the existing definitions covered under the Data Protection Act as it currently stands.

How do I get consent once the GDPR is in place? This is when good recording keeping comes into play!  All companies who ‘control’ personal data must keep a record of how and why they obtained that information; it must record how they will process it. And it must provide the opportunity for individuals to amend or check the data held on file; or withdraw consent at any one time.

The GDPR mandates that consent must be ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’. You will no longer be able to have a pre-ticked box and opt-in based on inactivity.

Data breaches & penalties

If there has been a breach to the data you hold on file, you must contact your data protection authority, the Information Commissioner’s Office, within 72 hours of discovering the leak.  Companies who do not meet this time frame can face penalties of up to £10 million or 2% of their global annual revenue; whichever is greater.

Failure to comply with the new regulations can also incur penalties of up to £20 million or 4% of your global annual turnover – whichever is greater.

Don’t be caught out by the new regulations and prepare yourself for next year’s stringent regulations; giving you piece of mind and the reduced risk of astronomical fines.  To guide you through the process, read the full article here.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on securing your data and how to manage the GDPR change, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

The value of internal communication apps

Are internal communication apps the answer?

As audiences become more digitally focused, demand for communication activity is bigger than ever.  Internal communication managers are constantly finding new channels to better engage and motivate employees that can be measured effectively.

From electronic newsletters to emails and messenger forums, communication gaps or missing information can render these platforms unreliable but are internal communication apps the solution?  And are they the key for an integrated communications strategy?

Internal communication app – talking stats

With 88% of workers owning mobile devices in the UK, and 55% of mobile users looking at their phone within minutes of waking, companies are fast recognising the value of communicating with staff via app technology and in real time.

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  • 73% of adults accessed the internet “on the go” using a mobile phone or smartphone, more than double the 2011 rate of 36%.
  • Statcounter, a research company that tracks internet use across 2.5m websites, said 51.3% of pages were loaded on mobile devices last year, the first time they have surpassed desktop and laptop computers.
  • More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.

Internal communication apps allow managers to create, publish and monitor interactive content directly to employee’s personal devices without time restrictions.  This gives employers the opportunity to update employees on important company changes as and when they happen.  It also provides capacity to share information that is job specific; improve overall engagement, and develop communication strategies through measurable activity.

Adding value to communication strategies

The main objective for an internal communication strategy is to foster and develop relationships between employees, their peers and employers.  Gaining opportunity to work towards a unified goal.  Internal communication apps bridge gaps by allowing teams to communicate and liaise through a medium that is preferential.

Integrating apps into communications strategies can help solidify and establish a measurable platform that is engaging and accessible.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

 At ClearVoice, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on developing an internal communication app, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Culture change: the role of HR

Why you need HR to drive culture change

Culture is significantly affecting how companies operate internally and externally, how they innovate and service their customers. According to Deloitte’s latest report issued at the end of last year, “82 percent of global CEO’s and HR leaders believe that culture has a potential competitive advantage, with only 19 percent believing they have the right culture.”

Unfortunately, many companies face the challenge of how to measure, monitor and manage culture change. Equally important, they do not understand ‘who’ should be interjecting those changes within the workforce.

So, who is responsible for culture change and what significance can it have on a company?

Driving culture change in the workplace

Positive implementation of culture change is the responsibility of senior leaders and the collaboration of HR departments. Senior leaders set the tone for culture through every plan, decision and action executed. They become the drivers for policies, procedures, incentives and strategy implementations. They also help HR teams to integrate and inject change from the top right down to every employee.

Senior leaders communicate culture change with those who communicate in a language employees understand.

Collaboration and communication is vital for positive culture change

It is this transparent and collective methodology which has revolutionised how employees behave and perform in companies like Twitter and Google.

Twitter clearly communicates company goals and overall objectives to its employees. As a result, they have motivated employees who enjoy the team-orientated environment and incentives. From free meals at their head office to free yoga classes and unlimited holidays for some; Twitter employees have their fair share to tweet about!

case study, change management, ClearVoice, communication strategy, communication, company culture, customer journey, digital engagement, digital evolution, digital maturity, digital strategy, employee advocate, employee communication, employee engagement, employee experience, employee journey mapping, employee journey, employee retention, employee value proposition, employee voice, employer brand, Engage for Success, engaging managers, EVP, financial services, focus groups, four pillars, healthcare, HR communication, HR, human resources, innovation, Institute of Internal Communication, integrity, internal communication, IOIC, M&A, manufacturing, merger and acquisition, motivation, on-boarding, people, performance improvement, pharmaceutical, productivity, recognition, research, retail, reward, Silke Brittain, strategic narrative, strategy, talent acquisition, trust, values, well-being,Google also has a unified culture which accommodates expanding workforces including employee trips, parties, financial bonuses and health-inspired activities. They put employees first and integrate a culture which is performance and employee-led.

In both companies, employees love working with their colleagues, enjoy being part of an organisation in the knowledge that what they do matters; and there is a collaborative  feeling and understanding that everyone stays until the work is done.

But how do HR teams affect culture change?

HR teams are key players when creating and delivering culture change. An inspiring and engaging culture requires constant attention from senior leaders. However, it is HR who have the power to shape, influence and communicate culture changes to employees.

Fundamentally, HR departments are the backbone which unites all staff, particularly in larger workforces. With their finger firmly on the pulse when it comes to employee perceptions, HR departments not only help create change but can help leaders deliver change effectively and strategically. They are the vital component in delivering employee feedback which can have an underlining effect on what culture changes are needed in the company.

Most importantly, HR departments are a constant and gentle reminder that the company needs culture change. It is their drive and determination which helps senior leaders successfully implement and integrate change into the workforce.

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At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how to integrate culture change within your workforce, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As)

How change management is essential during an M&A

Managing change during a Merger and Acquisition (M&A) can be incredibly stressful and go catastrophically wrong if senior leaders, or even staff alone, are not ready for the change.

Often, companies treat the change as a separate entity or stand-alone activity. This can have a devastating effect on how the collective workforce approaches, views or deals with a merger.

M&A’s need collaboration from all sides

Although change management has a hierarchical directive, collaboration and communication with senior leaders is key in its creation and implementation. By providing opportunity to feedback and contribute to change because of a recent M&A can create a more unified and embracing culture which will entice rather than scare employees through the overwhelming, often, daunting process.

case study, change management, ClearVoice, communication strategy, communication, company culture, customer journey, digital engagement, digital evolution, digital maturity, digital strategy, employee advocate, employee communication, employee engagement, employee experience, employee journey mapping, employee journey, employee retention, employee value proposition, employee voice, employer brand, Engage for Success, engaging managers, EVP, financial services, focus groups, four pillars, healthcare, HR communication, HR, human resources, innovation, Institute of Internal Communication, integrity, internal communication, IOIC, M&A, manufacturing, merger and acquisition, motivation, on-boarding, people, performance improvement, pharmaceutical, productivity, recognition, research, retail, reward, Silke Brittain, strategic narrative, strategy, talent acquisition, trust, values, well-being,Academics and acquisition key opinion leaders, such as Birkinshaw, Bresman and Hakanson, proposed two distinct processes when merging companies looking at how they equally foster value creation. In their leading report, they believed that two sub-processes need to work together for acquisitions to succeed; ‘task integration’ (capability and resource sharing) and ‘human integration’ (employee satisfaction). Consequently, they found that without one or the other, an acquisition is set to fail from the start.

Communicate from the onset through all M&As

Change management only works effectively when processes and communication are enforced at the start of a significant change. During M&As, leaders face many challenges including cultural and stress management, redundancies, HR restructuring, resistance to change and job insecurities. As a result, change management implications need to be considered from the onset before negotiations are finalised.

Below is a collection of articles which focus on the good, the bad and the ugly of M&A’s; looking at what went wrong and what key leaders did, to successfully merge two iconic brands.  From the phenomenally successful merger of Disney and Pixar to the almost, disastrous merger of Yahoo and Facebook; check our favourite accounts of some well-known brands:

Offering a great synopsis; this site gives a collection of mergers which have succeeded or failed miserably when embarking on a company merger:

http://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/business/blog/best-and-worst-corporate-mergers/

A great article listing some of the worst mergers that have happened in the last couple of years; including legendary Apple and LaLa, Facebook and Instagram:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/worst-tech-mergers-acquisitions-cisco-linksys-apple/

The following website provides thought-provoking video snippets of corporate mergers that have gone wrong:

https://www.phactual.com/9-corporate-mergers-gone-wrong/

An M&A is one of the largest changes companies can undergo and often, staff are susceptible to the greatest of disruptions. The key to success? Communication and collaboration from day one: giving you the power to excel through even the most trying times!

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

At ClearVoice™, we are experts in delivering employee communications and engagement solutions. We inspire and motivate your workforce to increase your company’s productivity and profits. For more information on how we can help with change management when going through an M&A, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.