Remote work has challenged internal communicators like never before. Employee emails have to do so much more than just communicate information; they have to fight for employees’ attention and communicate their content as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Using your internal communications, you can not only maintain but boost employee engagement among remote workers. Employee engagement is directly linked to productivity, and internal communicators are tasked with understanding how employees relate to each other and their workplace.
With a focus on employee engagement, internal communicators can employ various practices to keep remote workers connected with their organisation. The most effective employee engagement strategies are those that contend with your organisation’s culture and unique employee makeup.
When reading our ideas for boosting employee engagement with internal communications, consider how these ideas would be implemented in your unique work environment.
Engaging Remote Employees with Internal Communications
Employee engagement in 2021 will look very different from years past. In-person meetings, water cooler chats, team-building exercises, celebratory events, and more seem infeasible in the foreseeable future, and require remote-work substitutes.
The nature of employee engagement is different for remote workers, as are the challenges they face. How engaged an employee feels with their workplace is even more intertwined with their overall wellbeing, and as internal communicators you’re challenged with tailoring employee emails with this in mind.
When you’re thinking about boosting employee engagement among your remote employees, consider the following factors:
- Always consider the fact that your employees are being inundated with emails. Send fewer, better employee emails to maintain engagement.
- Your employees are facing myriad struggles during the pandemic. Ensure your internal communications are sensitive to those who are struggling.
- Think about how to make your emails stand out amongst a sea of COVID-related emails.
- Your employees shouldn’t dread receiving your emails; include health and wellbeing resources in your employee emails to keep focus where it matters most.
Your internal communications are a vital resource for keeping your remote employees engaged. Take your employee emails seriously and develop a strategy to avoid overloading your employees with information!
Boost Employee Engagement with Internal Communications
There are numerous ways to boost employee engagement using your internal communications. Internal comms encompasses numerous channels like email, phone, SMS, fax, and more, and your internal comms landscape is unique to your organisation. When choosing an employee engagement solution, ensure you don’t neglect how your employees actually get their internal communications.
Remember: The best employee engagement strategy is the one that works. Listen to your employees, collect feedback, and understand what your employees have to say about what engages them.
Employee engagement campaigns
Giving your employees more tasks in addition to their job responsibilities can at first seem counterintuitive to increasing employee engagement. But the proper motivation can turn a chore into a fulfilling project.
Employee engagement campaigns can coax initiative and enthusiasm from your employees. These can consist of voluntary challenges or contests meant to elicit ideas from your employees as to how they can improve a particular aspect of your organisation.
For example, perform an employee Shark Tank. If you are a business that produces a product or service that is constantly being upgraded, you can conduct an employee engagement campaign centred around collecting the best ideas for the next upgrade.
These creative tasks are usually reserved for a small team, and the result of such decisions are felt by the entire organisation. It can be a fun, engaging, and illuminating experience for all employees, who can get a glimpse into the development world and have a say as to what they think is important.
Incentivise employee participation by stating the best ideas will be realised, and offer a prize for those best ideas as well. Not only will your organisation get a bunch of great recommendations for updates and upgrades, but you’ll also encourage employees to learn more about their organisation and the legwork that goes into researching and proposing new ideas.
Another great way to collect employee feedback while simultaneously informing employees about the latest company news is to conduct regular town halls.
Town halls consist of large meetings where departments, managers, or leaders will share updates on past performance and previews of future initiatives. Employees can share input and hear ideas from their peers, and managers can hear from people they might not normally hear from.
However, there are plenty of pitfalls that come with town halls as well. You defeat the benefit of town halls when they become boring, monotonous, and predictable. Here are some easy ways to keep town halls fun:
- Mix things up by having different employees host the town hall each month. Encourage your hosts to have fun with presenting each speaker.
- Break up the regular order of operations during your town hall by featuring a group activity like company-centric quizzes or trivia. Don’t forget to incentivise winning!
- During each town hall, set some time aside for employees to shout out their colleagues who have done an exemplary job since the last town hall.
Not only do town halls help employees stay up-to-date on the latest goings on within your organisation, but they give employees a venue in which to focus and praise each other’s accomplishments.
Big events featuring large groups of people are great, but organising them takes time. You can nurture employee engagement on a day-to-day basis using your internal communications as well.
For those quick conversations that don’t require an entire email chain, team messaging apps like RingCentral are the way to go. Quickly and easily send direct messages, share files and collaborate on documents using RingCentral’s desktop and mobile apps:
Private rooms for teams make for fast, reliable, and secure communications. Build team-specific and project-specific chat rooms where your employees can collaborate and share files as they need to:
Fast, efficient team messaging helps your employees stay connected to the company and to one another. A solid internal communications system can do wonders for your employee engagement.
Sometimes direct messaging your coworker doesn’t fully substitute for a face-to-face conversation. While such conversations are temporarily not possible, video meetings let employees have quick, in-person conversations with ease.
Video conferencing is so important for employee engagement. Being on video allows employees to communicate emotion that is absent when using messaging apps. Create real connections and foster friendships while your employees work remotely by utilising video conferencing.
Your email newsletter is a powerful resource for boosting employee engagement. A well-developed newsletter communicates its content effectively while engaging and entertaining its audience.
ContactMonkey’s drag-and-drop template builder makes it ridiculously easy to customise an employee newsletter to your exact specifications. Start from scratch and build your own template, or choose from a number of our pre-made themes and templates:
Email templates also make it really easy to create consistent email newsletters. Plug in new information to your existing email templates, and save hours and days on your email design process. Email templates built in ContactMonkey are fully responsive, and will appear perfectly on your employees’ desktop and mobile devices.
Not everyone is sitting in front of a computer all day, but that doesn’t diminish their need for employee engagement. Keep in touch with your remote employees via their mobile devices using RingCentral’s phone app.
Easily conduct phone calls, send SMS messages, and manage faxes all from your preferred mobile device and OS:
Phone calls are a great way to quickly communicate information with your employees, and they also present the chance for small talk which helps build employee camaraderie.
Whether celebrating a work anniversary or conducting a monthly town hall meeting, your internal communications can make or break attendance for your event.
Everyone is familiar with sending invitations via email. Sending invitations to your employees is a good start, but it can leave organisers guessing if their recipients have received them. That’s why an event management tool is indispensable if you’re sending email invitations.
Using an event management tool, you can create, send, and track your email invitation in Outlook and Gmail. Embed them in your employee emails, see if they get opened/read, and even collect employee comments on their RSVPs.
Many employees are pretty worn down from constant webinars and virtual meetings. By listening to their feedback about your events, you can tailor your presentation to meet their expectations and provide value for them.
Feature employees in comms
Making your non-COVID related emails stand out to your employees can be a challenge. After almost a year of receiving email updates with information that directly affects their health and wellbeing, employees can be excused for now scouring their emails looking for such updates.
How can internal communicators create engaging non-COVID emails? Get creative! Try implementing an initiative or activity that makes employees look forward to your emails.
One of the best ways to spice up your non-COVID emails is to feature employees in your communications. Include a section praising particular employee accomplishments that made a big difference in the last month, or highlight an employees’ volunteering or social contributions.
You can easily engage your employees by recognising their accomplishments, whether in regards to their work at your business or effort they put into a cause they care about. Encourage them to share what the accomplishment meant to them, or a related picture you can include.
Employees don’t have the same opportunities to learn about each other’s lives, and small things like this can spark conversations all over.
After you implement a new employee engagement strategy, how can you tell if it’s working? How do you measure if your employees are engaged? What metrics do you measure?
Tracking employee engagement can seem daunting at first, but with the right internal communication tool, measuring employee engagement is super easy. Collect both qualitative and quantitative data to get the true picture of your employee engagement.
Quantitative data like open rates, click-through rates, and read time help to determine how your employees are interacting with your emails. ContactMonkey let’s you compare this information from the beginning of an employee engagement campaign with the same information at the end and see how your employees responded:
In addition to collecting quantitative data, collecting qualitative feedback can give you unique insight into how your employees feel.
Conducting regular pulse surveys and collecting anonymous employee comments has a double benefit. Your employees get to share their input and see their ideas get enacted while you gather information about how to improve your company culture. Talk about a win-win.
Internal Communications Tools to Boost Employee Engagement
In your effort to improve employee engagement, the right internal communications tool can make all the difference. However your business is organised, the easier you can keep in touch with your employees, the more likely you will.
Assess your employee engagement landscape, decide which areas you want to focus on, and find the tool that best fits your use case. Is your company experiencing growth? Ensure your chosen employee engagement solution can scale with and facilitate your company’s success.
Ultimately, your internal communications are an essential resource for your employee engagement strategy. How you allow your employees to communicate with you and one another has a direct impact on how engaged they are with your business.
Originally published May 06, 2021, updated Jan 16, 2023