Effective communications create engaged employees which create loyal customers who in turn create bigger profits. - from “Employee engagement: the what, why, and how” by Andy Parsley, Author and Employee Engagement Expert
Employee comms meetings can be highly valuable and companies can reap the rewards of them, but only if they avoid these 4 deadly sins.
1. Death by PowerPoint
Reading verbatim from your PowerPoint slides almost guarantees that your employees will lose the will to live or fall asleep. By creating comms meetings that are more dynamic, interactive and relevant to your employees, this increases the likelihood that your audience will be more attentive.
Put your employees at the heart of your meetings, it’s called employee comms for a reason! Consider all aspects of your meeting: is your subject matter (presentation or handouts) visually appealing, how much detail will you go into and how much time will be spent on each section, and could the use of technology enhance the experience for your workforce?
Presenters/facilitators should also think about workforce participation. For more effective employee comms meetings, be sure to use two-way communication throughout and find ways to create audience participation to increase engagement. Do a practice run through your presentation slides and other content with some volunteers ahead of time to get their feedback and to find out what could be improved.
2. Death by Neglect
As touched upon in section 1, an important part of the planning process is to consider who your meeting is for... Specifically target your messaging and material towards your attendees and make the session relevant to all. Show and tell them that their contribution and time taken to attend the meeting matters. If you have remote attendees, then involve them equally, as you would those in the room and make sure they can participate during the meeting through tried and tested methods.
3. Death by Disengagement
Disengagement is the ultimate death knell for your employee comms meetings. If your employees are not engaged, then they will not be receptive to your communications or motivated to put any of your action points into play. Failure to engage with your employees means that they will be waiting in anticipation for the next coffee break or even worse, wish they didn't turn up at all!
Instead, create a safe environment where employees can ask questions and share ideas or feedback throughout the meeting in a helpful and constructive way. A discussion and Q&A platform (like Vevox) empowers your employees and gives them a voice, without disrupting the flow and focus of the meeting. This can also eliminate any fear of retribution and embarrassment when vocally giving opinions.
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Any remote attendees can also contribute and give their feedback via a digital system and to have an equal opportunity to have their say. Employee comms doesn’t have to be awkward or lack the human touch, technology can help you and your employees stay better connected.Think about what technology tool you want to use to help create this interactive environment and boost your employee engagement.
4. Death by Ignorance
This one is a big no - avoid at all costs! Not measuring the impact or efficacy of your communication and not getting employee feedback will only end badly. How do you know if your town hall or internal comms meeting was a success? Not taking time to collect feedback is dangerous, as having no awareness of your employees feelings leaves you blind to issues. It also does not reflect well on the company, as it signals that you do not care about employee feedback or views, which will leave them feeling ignored.
Collecting feedback doesn’t have to be difficult, time consuming or awkward and there are many collection methods to choose from. Firstly, consider what areas you want to get feedback on and establish what success means for your comms meeting. For example, is it how well change was communicated in the organisation and how many people understand the changes? Or it is how many people thought the meeting was valuable to them?
Typically, people use a show of hands tally or a questionnaire to get a ‘feeling’ but both of these methods are outdated with the availability of live feedback platforms out there like Vevox. Live digital feedback is quicker with instant results, requires no paperwork or risk of estimations and most importantly, feedback can be anonymous, which helps you to get honest and uninhibited answers.
There is no single approach or key ingredient to creating a successful employee comms meeting. However, anything that impacts the engagement of a workforce in a meeting is significant and needs to be assessed and addressed in the planning phrase. Using a technology solution to gather workforce opinions and employee feedback can help you understand how engaged your workforce is in your meetings and beyond.
Empower your employees and give your workforce a voice in your comms meetings. This way you will gain valuable feedback from your employees and also engage your workforce more. This will also help with making more informed business decisions as feedback can help you with reporting on what could be improved or evaluating what is working well.
For more information on how to get instant and meaningful feedback in your comms meetings, download our guide.