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.

Defining the Internet of Things

What is IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity which enable these objects to connect and exchange data.

Simply put, the term, Internet of Things (IoT), describes everyday objects that have digital connectivity capabilities to send and receive data via the internet.  An inanimate interpretation of ET!

As technology becomes smarter and more intelligent, everything we touch becomes more digitally tuned in.  From alarms clocks to temperature sensors, electric cars to voice activated speakers; internet accessibility has radically transformed how we behave, personally and professionally.  But how does this affect your workplace and what can you do to ensure security and safety of valuable data?

How the Internet of Things will change your workplace

From increased collaboration to smarter office spaces, the IoT is fundamentally changing how we communicate, perform and operate at work.

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Through digital evolution and the availability to send and receive data across any location, easily and reactively, has also changed how we store, manage and use data that is specifically client and customer facing.  Through intelligent algorithms and data processes, businesses can analyse behaviours, track marketing campaigns and centralise attention on one specific area.

The Internet of Things has also changed the dynamics of the office environment.  From CCTV apps which can monitor activity remotely; to energy reducing lighting systems that use sensors to turn lights on and off when employees are in the building.

Employee-focused devices give the ability to track, measure and improve physical and mental wellbeing, including objects which can monitor how long you have been sitting or standing to apps which can analyse cognitive behaviours.

How to stay safe in cyber space

As connectivity across multiple devices increases and expands data usage, cyber threat is more exposed than ever but how can you secure your platforms and what can you do to improve cyber security?

Here are 5 tips to help you stay safe

Passwords: Choose passwords carefully and wisely.  It is easier to use one password for a multiple of platforms but just imagine the impact it could have on your business if this password was hacked?  Always use complex passwords combining letters with numbers and capital letters with lower case letters.

Personal devices: IT should check personal devices before allowing connectivity in the workplace.  If hackers can associate your device with work, there is opportunity to gain a foothold into the organisation.  This can result in data theft and illicit surveillance.

Network: Create a separate network for visitors to avoid security risks from unknown or unfamiliar devices.  Most Wi-Fi routers support guest networking giving visitors connectivity opportunity without gaining access to shared files or networked devices.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP): UPnP’s are designed to make it easier for network devices to automatically discover each other. Unfortunately, this exposes hackers to potential discovery beyond local networks because of vulnerabilities in the UPnP protocol. The best step is to turn UPnP off completely.

Track & monitor: It is crucial that all devices connected to the network are continuously tracked and monitored; determining the level of access granted and to protect data exchanges.  This will also help determine the effectiveness and durability of current or future security systems.

The IoT has provided opportunity to grow and expand businesses and improve how we work and perform daily.  Giving companies digital opportunities to improve workplaces, reduce health hazards and have a positive impact on the overall work environment.

Have your say

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

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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.

Internal communications value as told by CIPR Inside

Value of internal communications

Internal communications group of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations: CIPR Inside recently submitted their latest report on the value of internal communication as perceived by CEO’s and IC professionals.  Focusing on the perceived value and interactivity of internal communication with senior leadership teams, the paper offered insight and exploration over a much-discussed topic.

Defining terminologies

The report identified that ‘when defining internal communication, many of the IC practitioners …surveyed used the terms ‘internal communication’ and ‘employee engagement’ interchangeably’.

But what is the value of internal communication and employee engagement, how is it viewed in the industry and is there a defining difference?

Internal communication

Internal communications has long been defined as the functionality responsible for effective communications between internal staff members within an organisation.  The CIPR report states that CEO’s saw IC practitioners as ‘custodians of translating strategy, company values and priorities’.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is an emotional commitment between an employer and their employees; creating an environment that is engaging and retrospective to the culture they are trying to achieve.

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Although interconnected through their primary focal point – employees – both are equally different through their purpose and delivery.  Where one focuses on how and what to communicate internally, the other looks at the why and who; defining the context and environment of delivering the communication and to whom.

In VMA Group’s Inside Insight 2017 report, 92% of senior leadership either understand, are on board with or appreciate the importance of internal communication but incredibly, only 8% of British employees feel engaged at work.

All CEOs interviewed for the latest CIPR report expressed concern around not communicating key messages and purpose to employees. They believed that if employees did not understand the priorities and the organisational direction, their motivation and effectiveness was less lower!

Can we build a unifying relationship?

Internal communications provides the strategic knowhow and the channels to deliver key yet effective messages within an organisation.  However, it is the foundation of employee engagement which positions the reason behind those messages. And it provides the background of who they are projected at.

Can they work in parallel of each other – absolutely!  Both accentuate the employee voice;  both are platforms to strengthen and improve the communication and culture of an organisation.  The synergy of internal communications and employee engagement has the power to influence and change the culture of an organisation!

It is the role of senior leaders to identify the capacity of both functionalities.  Treating them retrospectively as separate functions provides a more encompassing and powerful method to communicate and engage with staff.

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 communicate internally and engage audiences, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement 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.

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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.

Guest blog: Emotional intelligence – the organisation is like a brain, not a structure

Emotional intelligence

Does your internal communications department struggle for resources, influence and internal clout? Recent findings in cognitive psychology and employee engagement have indicated that better engagement and positive emotional intelligence is key to a successful organisation.

Avoiding viewing companies as ‘structures’ with people as ‘resources’ is essential in the same way as communicating with employees is central to improving business performance. In essence, results depend on getting the right alignment of strategy, skills and emotional commitment; none of which is possible without clear and effective communication.

People are emotional: defining emotional intelligence

The Righteous Mind | Jonathan Haidt | Engage for Success | correlation between higher engagement and higher performance | ClearVoice

Over the past fifty years, cognitive psychology research has connected human behaviour and decision-making with the emotional state of mind. Equally, this has been identified through highly educated professionals such as data analysts and research scientists.

Consequently, all people are emotional!  Confirmation bias, is a common tendency to filter out evidence that clashes with emotionally preferred narratives. Some people are better than others at recognising and challenging their own biases, but are all prone to creating them. In an interview, leading academic Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind, says: ‘…emotional reactions tend to drive the reasoning reactions, and I think most of the neuroscience literature is consistent with that.’

Research indicated a positive correlation between an employee’s personal drive and an increase in performance levels; creating a strong emotional dimension within the workplace. As the UK’s Engage for Success concludes: ‘We now have a substantial body of evidence showing the correlation between higher engagement and higher performance.’

Communication is vital

Organisations who enhance and encourage emotional intelligence promote a more engaged and collaborative workforce. By identifying company structures as organic representations of a brain, business leaders can better understand how to treat their workforces.

‘If we rethink our understanding of the dynamic, organic reality of the organisation, we realise it’s more like a brain than a structure, in which case it becomes obvious that the connecting neural networks need to be active and healthy.’

Philip Whiteley is an author and journalist specialising in workplace culture and the link to organisation performance.

Have your say and tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

Many thanks to Philip, Author & Journalist, for his time and insight into emotional intelligence. 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 drive emotional engagement as part of your employee communications strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Guest blog: Speak with one voice

Internal and external communication as one

In a healthy organisation, the internal and external communications functions are close; it is a matter of basic coherence and integrity that strategic narratives to both audiences are broadly the same. The challenge is that in some organisations the internal communications function can lack status; whereas that of the external communications can prompt cynicism. For an organisation’s success it is vital that both speak with one voice.

There are matters of commercial confidentiality, but the organisation should express the same values. There should be clarity about who the company is, what it stands for, and what it’s doing, in the broader narratives. If different stories start to emerge externally, compared with practices and messages internally, this is a warning sign; an indicator of a disconnect between strategic planning and operational reality. Bringing internal and external communications together as part of strategy-setting, scenario planning and operations ensures that plans fulfil their potential.

The importance of honest and open communication

In an organisation with integrity, the marketing, personnel, research, production and senior executive departments are speaking consistently. They communicate with each other, around a shared objective of understanding the customer journey, and how well the company serves its customers when interacting with them.

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Honest and open communication is encouraged, and in both directions; such organisations treat an honest and reasonable complaint, from a customer or an employee, as a learning opportunity; as a chance to improve that customer journey and the employee’s experience.

You can test the honesty of your communications with surveys and with data. Your perception may be that you put the customer first, but have satisfaction ratings dipped in the past six months? If so, do you know why? What do your employees say about your organisation? Have your employee engagement levels dropped? And how has this affected your organisation’s performance?

How is feedback providing an opportunity?

Senior leaders, marketing, internal communications and HR should be inviting and actively seeking feedback from customers and employees at regular intervals. Annual surveys provide a broad insight into engagement and overall satisfaction; augment this with regular pulse surveys, focus groups, morning tea breaks or huddles.

Listening to feedback is the first step, acting upon it the second and arguably the more important step. Each feedback providing an opportunity to encourage interaction, engage in honest conversation and bring internal and external communication closer together by sharing success stories, acknowledging ideas for improvement, and celebrating progress.

The challenges of improving performance, boosting employee engagement, and bringing the internal and external communications together, are all closely linked activities. They are not separate departments, but distinct disciplines that form part of a collective endeavour to improve the experience for the customer and the employee with your organisation now and into the future.

Philip Whiteley is an author and journalist specialising in workplace culture and the link to organisation performance.

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 to use feedback from customer satisfaction and employee engagement surveys to improve your organisation’s performance, call or email us today and let us show you how communication can boost your organisation.

New rules of engagement for Millennials

How do you communicate with an increasingly overwhelmed, time-poor workforce of Millennials?

Since the rise of social media, the way people consume information has changed hugely based on advances in technology. This means ‘traditional’ ways of communicating internally are no longer good enough particularly when set against a backdrop of increasing numbers of employees becoming disengaged with their employers as outlined in Gallup’s ‘Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis’ which found only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged.

Gallup | Millennials are the least engaged generation at work | new rules of engagement | growing millennial workforce | ClearVoiceDistributing vital information to employees, such as an organisation’s strategic direction, via email is no longer an effective tool for communication. LinkedIn, twitter, Workplace, Yammer, chatbots, google etc. have entered the corporate world and compete for our attention. It’s clear that HR professionals need to fully understand how to grab people’s attention. They need to know how to spark two-way conversations that drive engagement. And they need to do this as part of an integrated communications strategy.

New rules of engagement

In a digital world where change in business is becoming the norm, a growing proportion of the workforce comprises Millennials. Their thinking is not constrained by old values of loyalty to one company or brand. In fact, a recent survey by PWC indicates that over a quarter of Millennials expect to have six or more employers in their lifetime.

If organisations want employees to be loyal, senior leaders and HR professionals will have to work hard to motivate them. They will have to adopt new rules of engagement of leading, organising, inspiring and managing the millennial workforce. Particularly if Millennials will make up 50% of an organisation’s workforce by 2020.

Millennials expect a productive, engaging, enjoyable work experience particularly in a digital world with increasing transparency. Where they don’t find that positive employee experience they will move on and look for it elsewhere.

To provide such an engaging employee experience, employers need to be experts at communicating. But in a world where messages need to cut through the noise before people comment, like, dislike and make their voices heard, intranets and emails simply lack the necessary edge.

‘Do as they say’

In a world where employees complete annual employee engagement surveys that are a corporate attempt at engagement but organisations don’t act upon their feedback, this is a sure way to disengagement. This is only exacerbated when the same questions appear again one year on from their last input and employees.

To drive loyalty and improve productivity employers need to ensure that they ‘do as they say’, that messages are targeted, relevant and content is personalised and delivered in plain English. Employers need to listen to feedback, integrate it into their communications strategy and truly enable employees to action it. Only then will employers have a chance of providing a platform for genuine engagement where the employee ‘lives and breathes’ the brand.

Gallup | The Big Six | Changes in Leadership | Engage Millennials | ClearVoice | Silke Brittain | employee engagement | HR communication |

Gallup says there are six functional changes (The Big Six) that need to happen in the organisational culture to attract and keep millennial talent:

Employees will make better use of visual information than print; and often access information in their own time through mobile devices; such as smartphones, tablets or e-readers. This provides an ideal opportunity to engage with all employees whether they work in the office, from home or off-site; but it’s important that organisation refrain from bombarding employees across multiple platforms and communicate only rarely.

The workforce of millennials

The good news is that, when it comes to engaging Millennials in the workplace; there is a new way of communicating which is not only visual but also very effective. Using user-generated content combined with business-led content; and enabling employees to share this via social walls and photowalls on multiple company platforms; such as web and mobile apps will ensure organisations engage modern audiences. Add video to this and gamification; and you have the recipe for a very attractive and cost-effective corporate communications strategy.

While user-generated content might concern some organisations; who would want to commit workplace suicide when posting inappropriate content to the company platform; which all levels of employees access? In our experience a well-planned communications strategy that has been developed with employees rather than for employees with clearly outlined behavioural goals has always been received with the respect it deserves.

Employee as an advocate

We have developed a new approach to drive employees from momentary engagement – where the employee has an understanding of a business need – to emotional engagement – where the employee is an advocate of the business. By combining rational with emotional thinking when planning a communications strategy; addressing the needs of different employee personas and working with internal communications ambassadors; it is possible to increase motivation, improve productivity and provide a truly engaging employee experience.

In the past this has been difficult to achieve due to budget or technological constraints; or our ability to truly integrate our media channels using each to its best effect. With a mere 13% of the global workforce being engaged; it will be interesting to see who the next shining stars might be of those organisations that are prepared to act promptly!

Have your say and tweet us at #engagingmillennials.

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 engage with your workforce or develop an effective communications strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

Internal versus External Communications: The Relationship

Internal versus external communications: making a stand!

Internal versus external communications is a staple topic.  Historically, they have targeted very different audiences; communicating with those who work inside the organisation and communicating with those who do not.  However, the audience focus for internal and external communications is now migrating to a more targeted reach and instead; companies are embracing ‘all’ audiences instead of a targeted selection.

From investors to shareholders, employees to the general public, communication has evolved into a hub of ‘share and display’. Consequently, as companies demonstrate value recognition, the divide between internal versus external communication starts to merge.

Companies that have merged internal and external communications

Companies, including HSBC and Royal Mail, have avoided compartmentalising communications into internal and external by introducing channels that are accessible by  all audiences.  As a result, both companies have increased engagement and strengthened trust in their overall brands.  With over 250,000 employees located across 71 countries; HSBC, has launched a weekly TV programme that aimed to unite and screen their employees inside and outside the business.

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According to the Event and Visual Communication Association, a 15% engagement increase was recorded internally as a result of the new channel entitled ‘HSBC Now’; embracing the open culture of their workforce.

Royal Mail created an online platform aptly named myroyal.com giving public accessibility to internal news and recent accreditations, awards, shares, employee feedback and even, an online uniform brochure!  Subsequently, Royal Mail’s latest online channel led to better engagement with their employees as well as their customers.

The dynamics of internal versus external communication

Below are three fundamental tips for creating a unifying relationship between internal and external communication:

1. Communicate & explain: Create an understanding of team responsibility from the onset and this can help to reduce negative impact on departments who are divided.  Schedule workshops or regular meetings with key teams, which aim to inform, listen and deliver key campaigns in the pipeline.

2. Liaise & feedback:  For a crossover of internal and external communication to be successful, implementation of key messages must be shared across the channels.

3. Share & implement: One of the biggest downfalls for organisations who don’t communicate their internal or external comms strategy, is their inability to communicate, share and implement the campaign internally as well as externally.  For employees to actively engage and promote the company message they need to understand, participate and engage in the campaign.

Brief, share, reiterate what you are doing, why you are doing it and how it affects the whole company.

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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 step away from internal versus external communications, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.