Digital Signposts: Advanced Employee Engagement Channels

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One of the best applications of internal communications channels within the enterprise is to promote or enhance a sense of employee engagement. Aside from channels that convey company news, brand reinforcement, and HR-related messaging, there are a number of other ways to use employee-focused content channels—all of which serve to connect staff with a strong sense of mission.

One great example is the employee recognition channel. Delivered directly to computer desktops, place-based screens, and mobile devices, this type of channel highlights employee achievement. However, instead of recognition that originates from management and is aimed at direct reports, the channel pulls from internal social media and other content so that peers can recognize each other and let co-workers know about team members who have made exceptional contributions. Think of the channel as a way to communicate about a specific project and the challenges that had to be overcome, and then celebrate the hard-working, creative employees who contributed to its success.

Another example is the corporate employee ambassador channel. Many companies run programs that feature employees as casual spokespeople. In this way, employees become important corporate assets, representing and explaining the company brand through their social network or by attending specific events. An employee ambassador channel can aid in ambassador development, with a content toolkit at the ready to train ambassadors who are consistently on-message and completely aligned with the brand philosophy. The channel can serve as an ideal way to prepare ambassadors to deal with tough questions and crisis situations.

Lastly, more and more companies are initiating corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. The 2012 Edelman Good Purpose study indicated that 87 percent of consumers expect businesses to focus not just on their own business interests, but on society’s interests as well. Companies have responded with programs that support good causes both locally and globally. Communicating CSR programs to both internal and external stakeholders can be challenging. A CSR channel — rich in multimedia storytelling, compelling metrics, and employee testimonials — is an excellent way to transmit the scope and importance of the program, recruit participants, and incorporate the program into the company’s overall brand.

All three of these examples go far beyond simply keeping staff informed; these channels are designed to actively engage staff in specific programs that advance communications-based objectives and enhance an employee’s sense of purpose.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a Barco company. X2O Media is a leading software developer of real-time visual communications solutions that significantly improve communications throughout the enterprise. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director, and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at vernon.freedlander@barco.com.

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