It is that time of the year when most organizations look to celebrate their successes and engage staff in year-end parties and communication. It is also that time of the year when internal communicators are hard pressed to deliver high quality content and communication even as work winds down!
However, in the frenzy to get a great event done or communication out very often we miss out on opportunities to help staff rewind, recollect, recognize and relay the best moments of the year with their families and friends. The multiplier effect of improving the brand reach and recall is immense and here are some recommendations on what can work.
Choose the best moments: A great start to the New Year begins with appreciating what got accomplished this year. Therefore, internal communicators who usually have a ‘bird’s eye’ view of all that takes places across the businesses can do their bit by collating the best moments. Again, not all the milestones may be relevant to share. So choose what you want to relay. It can be in the form of an Infographic or a presentation that plays on your plasma screens or a pop-up on your desktops.
There is a lot to say – spread out the message: Every organization, big or small, has many accomplishments and it is important to help employees reflect on it. Be it the number of client wins, a new product launch, scale of operations, the quality of recognition programs or initiatives to improve workplace experience. Spread the message over the weeks leading to a wrap-up event or a summary communication.
Lead up to the event: Very often employees need to be reminded and reinforced with messages that made the year relevant and enriching for your organization’s stakeholders. It helps to lead up to your party with snippets of the best moments. Invite employees to discuss, engage in conversations that make them feel that they belong and are proud of where they are. Even better if you have coached and designated bloggers, ‘tweeters’ and ‘Facebookers’ who can get content hosted real-time and consistent with your brand.
Get a better sense of what matters to your employees: Today most employees have their own high end camera phones and digital devices and they can take far better images than what you can imagine.So instead of inviting agencies to photograph and videotape your organization’s event give your employees a free hand. ‘Crowdsourcing’ images and videos are a great way to also get a good sense of what your employees observe and relate to. Review the images and look for trends. For example, a member of a company’s informal photography club shot images of leaders dancing with others on stage. To him, leadership participation made it feel like a good place to be.
Tap into your immense employees’ social networks: There is nothing more powerful than all your employees sharing, blogging, tagging, ‘digging’ and ‘tweeting’ what makes your workplace tick. The multiplier effect can do wonders for your employer brand.
Trust employees to be mindful of your brand: There is always a fear that employees will misuse images and footage in social media forums that can embarrass the organization. I strongly believe that if we make employees feel responsible for leveraging content in the right way and give them clear directions there is no possibility that they will let you down. In fact, your brand gets a boost if word gets around to campuses about how cool the culture is. It gets more prospective candidates excited and therefore gets organizations first-day slots on campus.
Allow staff to share their perspectives: So what did your employees feel about the year gone by? Which specific event or milestone struck them as important? What made them most proud? You never know the insights that you will get and help you think more about areas to focus in the next year.
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