Engaging better with employees

Recently, I attended a workshop on Internal Communications (IC) ‘Internal Communications 301 – Employee Engagement and Beyond’ conducted by Aniisu K.Verghese. Professionals from various organizations like GE, Bank of America, CIPLA, CISCO, Ness Technologies, HP, HCL and Flipkart also participated.

A full day of educational sessions and workshop exercises turned into a highly interactive and knowledge-exchange forum for budding IC specialists. We were educated on employee engagement in India, its evolution, challenges and trends, and future. The issues were wide-ranging

  • From how to create a common platform for sharing knowledge between the internal stakeholders and customers in a collaborative effort to product development,
  • Effective employee engagement for employees on a shop floor without any access to the web world,
  • To increase employee visits to the company intranet, and
  • Preventing employees from posting comments that are harmful to a company.
 Participants at the workshop - Yorke Communications

Equally challenging as the issues were, the discussions and the resulting solutions were more intriguing. People agreed that while employee engagement was important to keep up employee motivation, so was the consistent messaging from the recruitment, to separation to maintain the experience. Otherwise, an employee may tend to get disconnected. Other interesting recommendations to improve internal communications were:

  • An alumni program for ex-employees – they are your brand ambassadors, make them your well-wishers
  • Allowing employees to draft their social media best practices – you cannot create a wall high enough to keep your employees away from social media
  • Making intranet a one-point access to everything – attendance, internet, human resource, and project management
  • Transparency and access to information is paramount today – allow knowledge sharing across all levels of employees and stakeholders
  • An understanding that communication specialists are facilitators and not owners of IC – IC is owned by everyone

The workshop  concluded with a team exercise on  predicting the future of IC. Most participants agreed that as the workforce becomes more mobile and globally connected, IC will play a major role in keeping the workforce of a company together. And, the more engaged or connected the employees of an organization are, the greater are its survival and growth rates.