The Secret to Employee Engagement? Giving Your Employees a Voice

As a leader of an internal communications team, I spent a good part of my early career trying to lock down and limit the amount of communication going to employees. This wasn’t because I didn’t believe in transparency or want employees to be in the know. But rather, because I wanted them to be able to focus on the important communication and take action. But once all communication flowed through my team, I learned that we had to empower others to create great content. We needed employees to tell some of the stories. And we had to give employees the ability to share feedback with us to ensure we created content that mattered.

To create true engagement, employees need to feel like they are part of the communications process. So, here are a few tips to help you begin empowering others to tell the stories of your organization.

3 Ways to Empower Employee Communication

  1. Seek out employees to share the “why” and the “what’s in it for me” and keep the tactical comms in-house. You have likely mastered a format for tactical communication that gives employees clear and simple direction, so keep that up. But to get employees to care about why they should take action, sharing an employee’s experience is key. And these messages will drive engagement.
  2. Find the writers! Talk to employees in other creative departments (e.g. marketing and training) and invite them to write content for your intranet, newsletter, or app. They will create content that aligns with your organizational values while giving it a new voice and perspective.
  3. Use video and podcasting as a means of getting and sharing content. For some employees, especially younger generations, it will be easier for them to record a vlog or call in for an audio recording in a podcast than it will be to write an article. And you should embrace this. Keep interviews short and pointed so you can turn content around quickly, keeping it relevant. Plus this will cut down on the editing time!

Involving employees in creating content will not only drive engagement but allow you to stretch your budget. Many IC teams are have limited budgets, so outsourcing the creation of content to third parties isn’t an option.

I know it’s hard to let go of the control you’ve worked hard to gain, but it’s worth it. And your employees will appreciate hearing from the people who are walking in their shoes. A good internal comms team knows that employees want to hear from other employees and local leaders to enhance and make relevant communication coming from the c-suite and corporate teams. A great internal communications team sets the cadence and flow of communication and empowers others to create meaningful content that reflects the culture of the organization.

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