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.

Defining organisational integrity

Organisational Integrity: we hear it, we see it but do we follow it?

Organisational integrity is and should be the foundation of any working environment.  Building trust and incentivising staff to go ‘above and beyond’ is encouraged through honesty and transparency filtered through great leaders.

As a collective interpretation of individual integrity; organisational integrity guides core values, aspirations and patterns of thought and conduct among staff.  It creates an environment that encourages trust, promotes accountability and consequently, better engagement.

By integrating more robust standards, successful organisational integrity creates an environment everyone wants to be a part of and fully supports, comprehends and understands any structural, transformational changes.

The core values

But what are the core values to base a successful organisational integrity strategy on? And how can you avoid disruption to the integration and implementation of the strategy including performance management, role conflicts and ethical climates?

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Fundamentally, the key value is trust!  Creating an organisational integrity strategy must encourage trust from the team; promote honest and transparent communication and create peer and senior led decisions based on the motto ‘do what you say you will do, truthfully and consistently with your team’.  Taking into consideration these core values will help achieve a more sustainable and operable strategy. We have put together our top core values tips to help create a culture of trust and organisational integrity based on three simple points.

Top three core values tips:

Smarter decisions: Decision-making can be an easy task.  But if you are over-committing or under-valuing expectations, respect for leaders and managers soon becomes waned and tiresome.  As a result, staff motivation starts to drop.  Making more meaningful and attainable decisions can contribute to a better engaged and trusted workforce.

Honest accountability: Composing and delivering decisions can naturally become hierarchical if not communicated effectively or coherently with the team.  Integrating decision making that responds to crisis situations or provides honest account of current problems can have a cascading effect on the mentality of the team.  Avoiding happy illusions will encourage staff to respond in the same transparent manner; it enables them to see the reality of their situation and taking responsibility for delivering results.

Open environment: Creating a more open and receptive culture within any organisation allows staff to feel supported; it encourages them to speak up as and when a situation may arise.  This leads to greater accountability and responsibility to improve, excel and promote a more effective and motivated working environment.

As employee engagement experts, Engage for Success state: ‘Trust is fundamental to high performance in a team, and high engagement in an organisation. Organisational integrity builds trust’.

Have your say

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 developing an organisational integrity strategy, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.

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

tweet us @ClearVoiceComms

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.

Intranets – a powerful digital tool?

How intranets can improve employee engagement

Intranets work as a collaborative platform that contain information specific to a company and can only be accessed by its employees.

A well-thought out intranet site can be a powerful digital tool that can help boost productivity and engagement.  It can also serve as a central hub of company information and resources that can help employees do their jobs, quickly and easily.

The benefits of intranets?

Intranets have a catalogue of benefits.

From cutting administration costs to supporting employees within a centralised digital workplace, intranet sites provide a key role in building an inclusive and engaged culture within the company.

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The value to HR departments

Intranets can have a significant, positive impact on key HR objectives through their ability to support, develop and communicate the employer brand and contribute to the overall employee experience.

Royal Mail and Tesco are great examples of how employee focused platforms can strengthen the employer brand and provide a wholesome employee experience.  Dedicated to staff, the sites provide valuable insights, colleague focused offers, company news, uniform order forms and exclusive employee login points which lead to confidential hub areas.

Integrating HR processes, Royal Mail’s intranet site aptly named myroyalmail.com also provides online access to employment policies, health and safety processes, share offers and business standards.

Tesco’s intranet platform, ourtesco.com, gives colleagues a central hub of staff-focused information including magazines, internal product and service promotions, community and charitable events and administrative documents including pay slips and business conducts.

A resourceful tool

Intranets considerably reduce administration costs and resources by centralising information to one area instead of across a multitude of internal servers, cloud-based platforms or even relying on one allocated body.

It also has the capacity to improve roles, expand employee engagement, strengthen employer brands and migrate company policies and procedures.  As a result, creating tangible benefits for HR departments and overall strategies.

Giving employees a reliable, dependable and resourceful digital platform.

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 intranet platform, 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.

engage, 4-Drive Model, ClearVoice, engagement, audience, demographics, diversity, diverse audiences, employee

#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

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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.

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.

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!

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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.

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 integrate culture change within your workforce, call or email us today and let us show you how engagement can boost your organisation.