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Summer Is Over: 4 Internal Comms Tips to Re-Engage Employees

Aug 31, 2021

With restrictions lifting across much of the country, and employees taking advantage of the end of many travel and leisure restrictions, it might have felt like a long (though-not-very-hot) summer for many businesses.  

The end of the summer is in sight and, as the kids start to return to school and campsites close, people will be returning to work. However, a study by US firm Captivate found that workplace productivity falls by as much as 20% during the summer season, with attendance declining by 19% and project lead times increasing by up to 13%, making the vacation season a hard knock to take for many businesses. 

This is the time to re-engage with employees, to reconnect and energise your teams and bring them back into the fold. Here are four top comms campaign ideas that can help to get your workplace buzzing again.  

Campaign one: Reach out and reconnect

28% of UK workers will reconsider their jobs whilst on holiday. It’s no big leap to start questioning your reality when you’re in a relaxed environment away from the daily grind. Even the most engaged employee might question their 9-to-5 role after a week drinking Aperol spritz and chatting to Jake the barman, living his best life tending bar in Santorini. 

Your employees have had time to think and, when they come back to work, this is the time to remind them that they are an important part of your organisation, that they are listened to and valued. It’s a great time to run a campaign to gather employees’ ideas and input, to say ‘we need your help to make this the best company to work for’.  Open up a campaign that gathers input into the way you work as a business, to ask for input on the big questions like ‘What does flexible work mean to you?’, or ‘What makes for a welcoming office environment?’. 

Case study: Monzo wanted employees to remain engaged and energised about the new banking experience they were building. They used an employee engagement survey to ask questions about everything the workforce wanted – the office environment, the work they did, what really mattered to them – and then used this feedback to shape the employee culture. They now offer free lunches, remote working and subscriptions to Headspace. They have opened up a more productive dialogue about mental health and have changed the roles of managers and leaders in the organisation.

You can: use Ripple’s Publisher to create a pulse survey campaign wrapped in engaging creative content, and use the Campaign Dashboard to dive into the pulse survey results and review them alongside the wider engagement with the campaign. 

Campaign two: Start a holiday snap showcase

Your employees are your most valuable asset. So, why not let them engage each other. Following the holiday season, run a photo competition asking for entries across categories that fit with your business purpose or values – perhaps a spotting competition for fleet vehicles for a haulage company with prizes for the most remote, a ‘who wore it best’ for a fashion retailer with points for celebrity selfies, or an ‘innovation in nature’ theme for a tech company with kudos for inventiveness. Whatever the brief, running a photo competition will definitely generate content that represents your business and your people, and can be particularly valuable for a multi-site business where colleagues may never have met. This is the kind of campaign that can start conversations, build relationships, and generate new engagement across the business.

Case study: HSBC Global Communications team generated thousands of photographs for internal comms through an international internal photography competition judged across six categories. This award-winning campaign resulted in HSBC holding a catalogue of imagery which truly represents the ethos and culture of the business, and boosted engagement as employees were able to see themselves reflected in the projected image of the brand.

You can: Run your competition through Ripple and track the reactions against each photograph as well as using Dashboard to analyse the sentiment each image generates. This is sure to give you a valuable lens on employee moods, relationships, and attitudes after the summer break.   

Campaign three: Remind them why they make a difference

If you’re looking to re-engage your employees with your company’s purpose following the vacation season it might be worth running a campaign that puts your customer at the forefront. Reminding employees who’s at the receiving end of all their hard work can be very empowering. You may want to ask customers themselves to provide video, audio, or written content. You could even gather favourite customer stories from different departments or divisions and release them in a regular magazine format or in short engaging snippets over a month.

Case study:  SAS International – an architectural metalwork company – needed to engage its diverse, global workforce and developed a regular magazine of content covering new projects, customers, products, and people across the business. The ongoing communication tool has been highly successful and is now delivered to customers as well. 

You can: Use Ripple’s Publisher to create and run a magazine style campaign that delivers beautiful, inspiring imagery and interactive content, scheduled through Planner to deliver in small bitesize snippets across a series of weeks or days, or delivered regularly.   

Campaign four: Get them hooked on a podcast

Effective campaigns need to capture interest and hold it. What better than an engaging podcast series to grab your employees’ attention and have them returning for more. Identify and use your most enigmatic leaders, fascinating customers, and passionate employees to tell stories and explore topics that will inspire and enlighten your workforce. Start with a theme that targets engagement and expand to bring in diversity, innovation, and other big topics. Get the conversation started around the podcast series with associated chat groups. 

Case study: Canadian corporation BC Pension were finding that their employees were disengaged after a business transformation.  They launched a podcast series designed to turn employees into change advocates, including a thought leadership series featuring CEO, Laura Nashman, in discussion with change management experts, and StaffCast which showcased employee perspectives on change. This regular beat of communication showing strong leadership and engaged employees successfully turned around a disenfranchised workforce and won a number of awards. 

You can: Promote and broadcast your podcast series through Ripple. Plan out the schedule for launching episodes using Planner to target prime spots for engagement and avoid busy trading or reporting periods for maximum uptake. Use Dashboard to get live feedback and incorporate employee generated ideas for new episodes. 

Whatever your post-summer communication plans, make sure you have the right tools not just to deliver your campaigns but also to measure, track and understand the impact they are having on your employees. Ripple gives you all this capability and more, so reach out to us if you want to understand what it could offer your company. 

Want to learn more about Ripple and how we can provide the tools you need to re-engage your employees after the summer break? Get in touch.