Employee Communications & Engagement 2.0
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Employee Communications & Engagement 2.0



Whether your organization is involved in social media or not, your employees most certainly are. Social media has radically and permanently changed your employees’ expectations of internal ...

Whether your organization is involved in social media or not, your employees most certainly are. Social media has radically and permanently changed your employees’ expectations of internal communication, connection and collaboration. Employee Engagement 2.0 helps you adapt to this new communication landscape, finding new ways of connecting with employees to help drive business results.



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  • The challenge we’re facing as communicators is the confluence of three factors:We’re working in the most information saturated era in the history of mankindSM has been the death knell of command and control communicationOur audiences have heightened expectations as a result of their experience on SM in terms of radical transparency, speed and one-to-one information and dialogue
  • We have huge opportunity for much more meaningful connection with our employeesOne-on-one, user-driven experienceRelevance- Key because engagement is an individualized experience
  • So, the way out of this tension is that we really need to make a fundamental shift in the way that we think about internal communication.Instead of SM being either the enemy, or some bright shiny object that will save us, I think we have to embrace it as a culture, and acknowledge social media’s transformative effect on our culture and the definition of how we connectSimplest way to do that is to keep in mind that form should follow function – so if we truly want to connect with our employees, we have to engage with them in a way that makes that possible. Basically, I think you want to lean into an employee communication 2.0 model in a way that can be quite subtle, but savvy. That may be as simple as changing a quarterly meeting from a traditional talking head format, to moving to round tables to foster discussion. (WDFG example)
  • So, what is employee communication and engagement 2.0It’s really about a shift in internal communications and engagement that’s mapped to the cultural changes caused by social media.The main characteristics of 2.0 types of communication and engagement activities are:DialogueAuthenticityStory telling that cultivates sharing and user generated contentSense of community and connectionA rich experience that is emotionally relevant and connects to the individual, usually through strong visual and multimedia contentInterestingly, and this is the critical point – In my mind, communication and engagement 2.0 is not strictly speaking a digital experience – while there does tend to be an online component such as intranets, wikis or blogs, the best examples are about having a social dimension to communication, on and off-line. (I’ll share some examples later in today’s workshop)First, it’s about recognizing, and embracing that our external communication landscape has profoundly and permanently changed due to the omnipresence of digital communication, and that change in landscape can’t help but seep within our organizations and shape expectations of internal communications. A lot of leaders seem to want to keep up an illusion that these two worlds – the internal and external are separate – but of course, that cannot be since communication is a human experience, and we oscillate bewteen internal and external, between work and play in an increasingly fluid way.
  • It’s also about recognizing that communication aned engagement fuel organizational performance.Put another way, without communication and engagement, there is no business or organization. Period.Executives would do well to keep in mind that running an organization with chronically low levels of engagement is like driving a car with the brakes on
  • We’vetended to have a verynarrowview of what communication is … and I think in the social media-mediated world we live in, we really have to kind of blow up our basic concept of what communication means in the first place.It has to do with connecting, conversations, collaboration and community – and this is good news for communicatorsbecausethese are opportunities for us to really make a difference and operate at a whole new strategiclevel. We are not justpumping out employee newsletters and President’s messages no one wants to read and that no one cares about, we are shaping the very essence of how our organizations function and thrive
  • A good starting place is the definition of communication – key here is the concept of exchange
  • We have to see our organizations as complex ecosystemsThe old-school cascade model of communication is at best blind faith and at worse delusional
  • Communications and engaagement is everyone’s responsibilitySpills across organizationTherefore the value add is about capacity building, building ambassadors, raising the bar to create a culture that fosteres communication, collaboration, co-creation and alignment ** This is the sweet spot of relevance for internal communicators
  • So why should we care?
  • There are truckloads of evidence to illustrate that internal performance has a direct impact on fuelling external performance.Case in point – the AONHewitt and Queen’s framework on engagement used to identify the Top 50 Employers in Canada based on a sophisticated model of evaluating engagement states that organizations with the most engaged employees (as compared to the rest) achieve:65% greater share price increase26% less turnover100% more unsolicited employment applications20% less absenteeismUp to 15% more productivityClearly there is an established business case for employee engagement.That being said, there is also a direct correlation between organizations that want to succeed in the social media arena to generate PR or sales results – this requires a deliberate effort to ensure strong alignment internally, so that an organization is set up for success in social media by starting with the internal realm.SM is all about a culture of authenticity, radical transparency and trust… these basic values have to be anchored in internal culture if they are ever going to succeed externally.
  • Nature abhors a vacuumNot communicating sends a very strong message in and of itself – it also puts you in a deficit situation in terms of employee engagement.Crisis comms for CSEC and HoC – the reality is that employees will find things out on Twitter, not through internal channels first – blurring of the lines
  • So, all this talk of employee communications and engagement 2.0 sounds great, but I’m very aware that many of you face real challenges and barriers in making those things possible in your organizations…So what are the barriers you face? (Explore from employee and CEO lenses, too!)
  • Let’s look at some practical ideas on how we can get to embrace 2.0 approaches that are strategic, creative but also very realistic and pragmatic
  • Be tactic agnostic – more useful to look at SM as a culture, rather than a “thing”
  • Requires a whole shift in approachNeed to resist the gravitational pull toward the safety blanket of control, because it’s the antithesis of the modelAgain, form should follow function
  • Pivot point in your communications model is audience segmentationHave an audience-centric model so look at segmenting by:FunctionLevelGeographyProject
  • Relevance is at the point of intersectionMost organizations are overwhelmingly focused on the information side of the equasion – dial up the emotive pieceEx: content that goes viral always has an emotional element
  • Have the discipline of outside-in thinking
  • Form should follow functionThink about exchangeLook at the organization as a series of networks, an ecosystemCultivate social campaigns like a delicate flower and don’t kill it!It will be fluid …go with it and get comfortable with that approach
  • Hundreds of tools out thereKeep in mind this is not about technology, it’s about a deliberate, intentional and sustained effort at creating a communicative and collaborative culture aligned with your organizational goalsThink about off-line communication that has a social flavour:Ex: Quarterly meetings as dialogues, list of staff that have photos and bios – this is not about technology, it’s about the experience of communicating, connecting, sharing ideas and information across an organization in order to drive high performance results
  • Success will not happen by accident – start with a clear sense of what you’re trying to achieve and how you’ll know when you get there  Results Map Card

Employee Communications & Engagement 2.0 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS & ENGAGEMENT 2.0 IABC Ottawa February 13, 2014
  • 2. AGENDA  Breakout exercise: exploring the internal landscape  Presentation  Case studies  Breakout exercise: content strategy worksheet  Strategies for dealing with resistance  Wrap-up 2
  • 3. 3
  • 4. 4
  • 5. WHAT? 1
  • 9. WHY? 2
  • 11. HOW? 3
  • 12. TRADITIONAL VS. SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT TRADITIONAL SOCIAL Highly structured Highly unstructured One to many Many to many Controlled message Uncontrolled message Asynchronous Synchronous Hierarchical Democratic
  • 13. E M O INFORMATION I O N 20
  • 14. 5 GUIDING PRINCIPLES 1 Form should follow function 2 Get comfortable with the uncomfortable 3 Cultivate an open communication culture 4 Think in terms of relationships 5 Focus on the emotion first, the information second
  • 17. WWW.RESULTSMAP.COM @carolinekealey caroline@resultsmap.com