Engage employees through a blended strategy
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to bring about great change to the landscape of corporate communications and how they are conveyed, ensuring clear messaging of your corporate strategy, whilst prioritising employee engagement in a remote-based workforce is vital.
The way of working for the majority has changed forever as a result of the Covid pandemic, with remote, flexible working here for the long term. This required communication channels and methods to be adjusted to ensure that objectives are met with optimal employee engagement. Honest, open communication creates an environment of trust and provides resultant increased motivation, loyalty and connection.
All communications need to have targets around ROI, whether increasing workforce engagement, pursuing specific outcomes, or through the successful implementation of new initiatives and this is where the channel being used serves to influence the outcomes.
Connecting the Leadership team with their workforce through a targeted mix of virtual, hybrid and live events, whether a conference, town hall or leadership summit, provides an opportunity for open dialogue and live Q&A with company leaders and provides an accessible, engaging environment to remote teams.
Inclusivity and diversity
With inclusivity and diversity at the top of the agenda, virtual and hybrid events provide a communication platform open to all. Creating virtual opportunities for inter-team networking and round tables to increase cross skilling provide improved returns on investment, enhanced collaboration and increased motivation and importantly, can be achieved in any location. Using an online platform to facilitate this interaction, enhances the employee experience, increases participation and, vitally, can provide targeted ROI.
Virtual and hybrid events rely on a strong digital delivery. The messaging must be informative, engaging and eye-catching. With the volume of online interactions currently faced by everyone, the creative delivery of your communications must be a top priority to ensure employee attention and messaging is retained.
Providing immersive environments with tools to interact with your content throughout, via engagement and social media integration such as Sli.do and Everwall, or using the engagement features via platforms such as Swapcard, will all increase retention of the content and enable you to measure involvement.
Communicating your strategy
The priority for any Communications Lead is to ensure that they understand the options available to them. This requires open dialogue with their potential service partner, providing as much information as possible around communication objectives, any potential internal and external risks or threats which need to be considered and dealt with as part of the event and the specific ROI they are looking to achieve. This pre-engagement conversation will enable your partner to provide tailored, creative solutions, and will enable any proactive partner to put forward ideas and budgets to suit.
With budgets always under scrutiny, the virtual communication options available come with a correspondingly large range of delivery budgets. In essence, there is a solution for every budget.
An often-unforeseen advantage of virtual and hybrid events is the potentially quick turnaround. It is possible to create an agenda and a live event in a matter of weeks (or even days), with options available for pre-recording of sessions, followed by live Q&A with the presenter. Pre-recorded presentations often prove to be successful in allaying any nerves around possible Wi-Fi issues on the event day and could be presented as panels, for example the SLT discussing their priorities for the coming quarter, or individual updates from specific departments.
Technology enables your audience to view both the presenter and their presentation, followed by ‘live’ Q&A interaction, as they would in a face-to-face environment. This delivery mix enhances employee engagement, whilst delivering the content in a professional, seamless manner.
When moving forward in the post-Covid event world and looking at producing a hybrid experience, seamless integration of technology to facilitate participation between a live and virtual audience is key in delivering real results. You must create an experience that caters to all audiences in a viewer-friendly way and put your online and live audience on the same level throughout. This may mean different interactions and offerings throughout the event, according to whether your audience is in the room, or remote.
When it comes to engaging your teams, whilst the messaging is key, there are many ways in which to deliver it. Perhaps your brand has an innovation, new product, or process, that you can involve a range of your employees with, in terms of appointing them as ‘testers’, or even submitting their feedback or insights from their experience of your new product or process. Pre-event engagement is key, so why not introduce tactics such as pre-event polling or requesting potential topic areas or questions in advance, which makes your audience feel that the content presented at the event will be tailored to their needs.
You also have the option for relevant events, to provide swag bags, or activity boxes filled with items that can be used during the event, creating a super-engaged audience.
Our professional team has extensive experience in producing successful virtual, hybrid and face-to-face events for a range of brands and businesses. Working proactively and in partnership with our clients, we share valuable insights and provide advice into the opportunities, challenges and benefits that go hand in hand with switching up your communications strategy for a more blended experience.
An effective agency should be an extension of your team and a trusted partner. Contact us for further information and to find out more!