Our Employee Engagement User Conference – a success up on the roof

Last week we held our first User Conference. Over one hundred customers gathered for the day in a most magnificent location: The Kensington Roof Gardens in London.

The agenda included key notes and a panel discussion from thought leaders in the Internal Communication space (simply-communicate, Melcrum, CIPR Inside, Blacknell Ventures). The day included presentations by our customers sharing their internal communication success stories, including: Angela Parry Jones from CHEP; Sally Young, James Miller and Ross Johnson from The Financial Ombudsman; Den Carter from easyJet; Steve Gilbert from Vodafone UK and Melinda Illes from AB InBev.

We’ll be putting together detailed customer success stories to share with you here; but for now you can get a taste of the entire day of insights and strategies from our twitter stream #ICmatters and also simply-communicate’s report.

Some of the top employee engagement takeaways

  • The growing importance of Internal Communication – This is a maturing function, and it’s clear there is a growing respect from senior leaders. However, communicators must be able to prove the business value of their function’s accomplishments – and that is accomplished through the ability to measure.
  • Take a multichannel approach – One platform is not going to do everything, nor are channels in conflict with each other. The most successful communicators take a multichannel approach to enhance the reach of their communication strategy. For example, Vodafone UK use their email communications to increase the adoption of their intranet.
  • The growing importance of mobile – Gartner predicts that by 2015 at least 60% of information workers will interact with content via a mobile device.  Now is the time for communicators to remove all barriers to their communication channels – and make them accessible via mobile to the entire workforce. ALL channels – including email, intranet, and social networks.
  • Technology is simply a tool – Face-to-face communications will never be replaced by technology. However you can use the technology available to you to help enhance and extend the reach of all your messages, e.g. with video and podcasts.
  • Design is not an afterthought – The design of your email communications is an asset and must be enhanced with the interactive features of the digital age. Design to be easily consumed anywhere (desktop to smartphone), and with a  high impact, branded, scannable lay out. The design should easily facilitate  two-way social communications and conversations, and allow for the embedding of videos, podcasts and images.
  • Data is the key to your success – Access to data helps you personalize – which automatically enhances your communications to each employee – increasing engagement. You’ll also have more meaningful insight from the measurements because you’ll have an in-depth view across the organization of engagement by data groups – rather than one big data cloud.
  • Measurement increases engagement and proves business value – If you don’t measure you don’t matter. You must be able to measure your communications in order to improve on your results. By having data and metrics you can improve and see the impact of just about every aspect of your communications.
  • Storytelling is very powerful – We no longer can take a ‘tell or sell’ approach to communicating. In the networked organization, storytelling and corporate narratives are crowd-sourced and are what engage employees. Use your insight from your measurement to find where the stories are – because the stories may not come to you.
  • Employees are at the center of  your company’s success – The reason we’re engaging with employees in the first place is the power of the crowd, the power of the information and the power that the employees have to add to the company’s performance. And it’s the power that’s within the employees, and the ability to harness that engagement in the first place that is the core reason you want to engage.

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