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Benefits of an internal comms app

23rd September, 2021.

15 benefits of an internal communication app

For many years we have relied upon ‘traditional’ communication methods to share information internally with our employees. From face-to-face meetings to posters in rest areas to emails and intranets. While each of these channels has its own merits, they also have their limitations.

This blog compares internal communications software with these traditional communication tools, highlighting the key differences and benefits each of those differences brings. Here are 15 reasons that an internal comms app will transform your business.

1. Give employees a voice

The traditional methods of internal communication do a good job of disseminating information but they give little opportunity for employees to have their say.

While for some business leaders enabling employees to ‘have their say’ is a terrifying concept it really needn’t be. They picture scenes of anarchy with strongly opinionated individuals standing on the pedestal broadcasting their views for all to hear, but in reality, giving employees their say is about giving them an opportunity to share their opinion on the matters that affect their working lives.

What’s more, giving employees a voice is a critical part of employee engagement. Without employees feeling as though they are listened to, it will be impossible to truly engage employees. At best you will just be good at internal communications.

2. Reap the financial rewards

As the point above highlights, internal communication apps give an opportunity to truly engage employees to a level not achievable with traditional methods of communication.

With greater employee engagement come financial benefits. There is a lot of evidence available to back this up. Here are a couple of statistics from Engage for Success that paint a very clear picture:

  • Businesses with engagement scores in the top quartile had twice the annual net profit of those in the bottom quartile.
  • Organisations in the top quartile of employee engagement scores had 18% higher productivity than those in the bottom quartile.

Switching to an internal communication tool that drives, and measures, employee engagement makes business sense.

3. Reach everybody

One of the biggest problems with traditional internal communication channels is that they rarely reach everyone. In fact, in a recent survey we commissioned, 27% of internal communication professionals stated reaching all their employees was their greatest challenge right now.

Historically, organisations have utilised multiple channels to increase their reach but even then, with different work patterns, locations and occupations, it is rare that communications reach everyone.

An internal communication app changes this. Everyone, from an individual sat in an office, to a warehouse operative, to a paramedic, will receive your communications. That is because an internal comms app can be accessed without a company email address. All that is needed is a mobile phone. (VRAMP also has a desktop version for those who spend more time in front of a computer.)

4. Put the right information in front of the right people

In addition to reaching everybody you also need to ensure you are not bombarding them with information. Employees in the sales department will require different information to those on the frontline. The last thing you want is for them to be sifting through information to find what is of interest to them. Over time this will become bothersome, they’ll give up and disengage.

An internal communication app allows you to segment audiences so that employees only receive what is relevant and interesting to them. Every time they open the internal comms app they will see the information they want to read which will further boost employee engagement.

5. Share information quickly

There are times when there is information that needs to be circulated fast – whether that is a major health & safety alert or a business announcement that cannot afford Chinese whispers.

When using an internal communication app, at a click of a button everyone receives the information at the same time. Push notifications and options to pin an announcement to the top of feeds mean that those messages are received far quicker than any traditional communication method.

Content can also be written on the go (via a mobile) enabling multiple people to contribute content. This immediacy can make a huge difference, particularly in a crisis.

6. Provide a single source of truth

Internal communication apps simplify the entire communication process. One message can be sent to every employee at a click of a button. Without needing to rely on other people to disseminate messages you know that original messages aren’t being misinterpreted or, worse still, missed altogether.

Every employee knows that the information they read is true to the original source.

7. Make it easy for people to engage

As a society we want things to be easy. If employees have to take time out of their normal working day, remember yet another password or learn how to use a new system you risk them losing interest.

An internal comms app simplifies the entire communication process. Apps such as VRAMP will be very intuitive to use, akin to many social media platforms that most of the workforce will be familiar with. There is no need for a password and the internal comms app can be accessed on any iOS or Android device.

By improving employee’s accessibility to your communications, you will automatically increase their engagement.

8. Put employees on a level playing field

The logistics involved with traditional communication channels would mean that inevitably, employees who work at a computer would receive information earlier than those who work in a different location. Purely because of the logistics of passing messages through the chain of line managers. This creates an unspoken division – a ‘them and us’ culture.

The simplicity of preparing and sending all communications from one internal communications platform means you can remove these unspoken divides. There are no hierarchies for receiving information and everyone can get involved through comments and surveys so no one feels less important than their colleagues.

On paper, this is a subtle benefit but it makes a huge difference to the culture of a business.

9. Connect employees

An internal comms app goes beyond sending and receiving communications. They also have additional features such as an employee directory and document library that help to connect employees with people and documents.

Employees can search the database to find colleagues they need support from or documents they need for a specific job. This boosts collaboration and improves productivity.

10. Monitor skills gaps

Internal comms apps such as VRAMP also list the skills each employee has to offer. This searchable database makes it even easier for employees to collaborate but it also helps managers identify skills gaps and training needs.

11. Collate more ideas

With an internal communication app, you will reach a wider audience. Through comments and survey responses these previously unreachable employees could contribute valuable ideas.

With a larger source of ideas available it will not only boost creative thinking, but it will also make employees feel more valued, increasing loyalty and engagement.

12. Strengthen the company culture

With better communications reaching more people your employees will have a greater understanding of the company vision and goals.

The other points listed above will also help each employee understand where they fit within those goals and how they contribute to the company’s success.

With a strong, well understood culture across your entire workforce, you will have a powerful army of people that will drive your business forward.

13. Communicate more efficiently

As many of the points above highlight, an internal communications app will enable you to communicate and engage far more efficiently. And if you choose the right internal comms app there will also be no need to swap between platforms for internal communications and employee surveys.

Having everything you need in one tool not only makes your working life easier, but it will also help you work more collaboratively with any other colleagues who hold responsibility for internal comms or employee engagement.

14. Measure and prove the ROI of employee engagement

Potentially the biggest benefit of an internal communication app is its ability to provide you with data. You will be able to see which communications employees have engaged with most, which topics of conversation are most interesting to them and what employee engagement scores look like on a company and team level.

Furthermore, if you choose an internal communication app that includes employee survey tools you will also be able to view all the employee survey results in the same employee engagement system.

This level of data is game changing. Particularly when the traditional forms of communication have provided very little if any, analytics.

It means that employee engagement finally becomes a valid, valuable Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that can be measured alongside other business goals to evidence how employee engagement contributes to business performance.

15. Improve employee engagement

Without accurate analytics you cannot be confident in any changes you make to better your employee engagement strategy. An internal communication app removes the need for guesswork or hunches. Instead, you can make confident improvements to your strategy safe in the knowledge that you can measure the effectiveness of each of your changes.

The level of data that an internal comms app provides makes it possible to continually improve your employee engagement strategy.

Take your journey to the next level

If you’ve read this far it suggests that you can really see the benefit of an internal communications app. And rightly so, these are 15 of the strongest points, we could waffle on for days about the brilliance of internal comms apps!

Perhaps now is the time to discover more about how our internal comms app could help you realise these benefits? Either give us a call on 01392 984175 and we’ll happily answer any questions you have or request a demo of VRAMP to see exactly what an internal communication tool can do for you.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

ISO 27001

July 14, 2021. VRAMP achieves ISO 27001 VRAMP is thrilled to have been awarded the highest international information security standard. The ISO 27001:2017

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Is terminology standing in the way?

employee-engagement

September 16th, 2021.

Is terminology standing in the way of employee engagement?

Have you ever paused and thought about the terminology we use and the connotations those terms may have? I found myself doing this recently and it’s really hit a chord. It’s made me question if some of the language we use could be preventing, or at least holding back, employee engagement. Let me explain why…

We commonly use phrases such as “deskless workers” and “remote employees”. But surely these terms go against the very definition of employee engagement?

For an employee to feel engaged they must feel part of the company. They must feel like a valued member of the team. But both these terms create separation. “Less” within ‘deskless’ suggests a lower level to their office counterparts. The term “remote” instantly makes it acceptable that these people are more distant.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve created a divide. In the 1920s the term “blue collar worker” was created to represent the jobs which were typically carried out by people who wore darker clothes to hide the dirt. Accompanying that was the “white collar worker”. Over the years, these terms took on wider meanings with “blue collar workers” often being seen as low paid jobs completed by uneducated people. A divide was born.

Today we hear these terms less and less because those labels are no longer seen as acceptable. Furthermore, they are in no ways beneficial. So why are we repeating history?

It’s time for change

In the past, terminology that divides office-based workers from their frontline counterparts may have been necessary. Purely from a logistical point of view. Communicating with someone using a computer was very different to communication with someone on a factory production line. No doubt, albeit subconsciously, these terms favoured our office workers because they were far easier to communicate with. Sending an email or publishing an intranet article is much more straightforward than ensuring a message is disseminated through line management for example. Due to this completely different way in which we communicated with the two groups, there was a need to categorise them. Although I would still argue that we could come up with better terminology than “deskless workers”!

But today we do not need this definition.

We have internal communications software that can send (and receive) communications to every employee no matter where or when they work. Communicators can now focus on communications rather than the logistics of communications. This technological advancement means we do not need to segment employees by their access to a computer.

But to add to the argument; we now work in a world of hybrid working. The pool of “remote workers” has grown exponentially since the COVID pandemic. If we continue to define these people as a separate more ‘remote’ group, we are going to find our employee engagement taking a downturn.

With the help of internal communications software we have an opportunity to actually treat everyone the same. To create a level playing field that brings everyone together playing their part in the company goals.

I accept that internal communications software is a relatively new solution that hasn’t been adopted by every organisation yet, but I have hope. Hope that with the help of an internal communication tool and an eagerness to make hybrid working a success, we could see the end of divisive terminology.

In a decade I really hope that I look back on this blog with a smile on my face having realised that I haven’t heard the term “deskless employees” or “remote workers” for an absolute age. If I do, we’ll know that employee engagement has reached a new point in its evolution. A more sophisticated, employee centric point that in which businesses will be reaping the rewards that come hand in hand with an engaged workforce.

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Darren Hepburn

Director

Bon Jovi loving, social media junkie and F1 fan. I spend most of my time thinking about the impact technology is having on our society and the world of internal communications. And my pug Winston…

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Better Engage Hard to Reach Employees

26 August, 2021.

5 steps to better engage your hard to reach employees

The number of employees we segment into the ‘hard to reach’ category is expanding. Technological advances, a ‘give it to me now’ culture, and new hybrid/home working policies are all influencing how and when our employees work. From warehouses to home offices, supermarkets to oil rigs, hospitals to delivery drivers – our hard to reach employees make up a huge part of our working population.

It therefore comes as no surprise that in a recent survey we conducted with internal communication professionals, 27% said an inability to engage their hard-to-reach employees is their greatest challenge right now.

In some ways it is refreshing to see that this is a top priority for over a quarter of internal communicators. It suggests they recognise the importance of engaging with these people. For too long, organisations have focused on communicating with the easy-to-reach people; relying on third hand channels to cascade information. Not only is it impossible to know how effective these channels are, but it is also a sure-fire way to make these people feel less important. To feel marginalised and disconnected from the collective vision. Once that feeling is ingrained productivity will decrease and staff turnover will increase.

So let’s prevent this from happening and ensure you find the right ways to engage with your hard to reach employees.

5 steps to better engage your hard-to-reach employees

1. Select your channels and get buy-in

How you are going to communicate is the first hurdle to overcome. If you are reading this blog, it suggests the channels you currently use are not effective. But before you discard them and start from scratch, first consider why they aren’t effective. Do they require your employees to take time out of their working day to consume the information? Is this perceived to be a distraction from their ‘actual’ work? It may be that your existing channels are the right mode of communication, but the culture surrounding them needs to shift.

Manager and senior leadership buy-in is absolutely critical. They need to set an example to your employees. They need to be seen using the communication channels and they need to spread the message that it is acceptable to take time to participate in those channels. They also need to spread the wider purpose; the reasons for the new methods of communication. Nail this and you are already well on your way to improving engagement.

So what about the channels? There are many to consider:

  • Team briefings
  • Newsletters
  • Emails
  • Posters and signage
  • An internal communication app
  • Letters
  • An intranet
  • Social media channels
  • Text messages
  • Company events
  • Employee surveys

It is highly likely you will select a few different channels. In fact, in the study we carried out, most organisations have at least 3 channels to communication with their employees. As the provider of an internal communication app, we are obviously advocates of using technology but, ultimately, you need to consider what is right for your employees. What kind of people are they? Is the majority of your workforce made up of millennials who would embrace an app? Or do you have a real mix and need to consider two internal communication channels at the opposite end of the spectrum?

If you’re unsure, carry out an employee survey to find out more about your hard-to-reach employees. That way you will be confident in your decisions.

2. Harness your advocates

Humans are like sheep. We are more likely to join in and get involved when we see others doing so. Therefore, once your channels are up and running and while you are building up your engagement levels, advocates could really help you. Identify who is engaged within your hard-to-reach communities and use their enthusiasm to spread your messages wider. Encourage them to promote the channels you are using and work closely with them to gauge feedback.

Within our internal communications software we automatically identify these advocates making it easy for you to identify and engage with them.

3. Engage rather than broadcast

The moment you start broadcasting information through your channels is the moment you risk disengaging your employees. Where possible, segment your employees so that the communications they receive are only relevant to them. If everything they receive is interesting, they’ll keep reading.

As you put a communication together always consider what’s in it for the reader. How is that information going to help them and what do you want them to do. By keeping these basics in mind, you will write communications for your employees rather than for your leadership team.

Our internal comms app also has the functionality to like or comment on messages which further helps employees to engage with what they are reading. Not to mention helping you to see what people like reading, but I’ll come to that in a moment!

4. Consider your timings

When you communicate could make a real difference to your engagement levels so consider your audience carefully. Are there tight deadlines at a particular time of the week/month that you should avoid for example?

You may also want to consider creating a communication schedule so that your employees become familiar with when they are going to receive set communications. Routine is a large part of our lives, both at work and at home. Having a familiar schedule will really help with engagement encouraging employees to take a few moments at the same time each week/month.

5. Measure and take action

You now have your channels in place, buy-in from those that can influence engagement, and a solid strategy for how and when to communicate. The final string in your bow is to know how successful your communications are. Without this insight you are working blind and will never truly know how engaged your employees are or what you can do to improve employee engagement.

Our internal communications software tracks the interactions with every communication you send. You can compare them side-by-side so that you can see what your employees have engaged with and what they haven’t. You can also carry out surveys within the employee engagement survey feature to gain even further insight into what your employees want to learn about.

Another huge benefit of our internal comms software is the ability to see which teams are or aren’t engaged. For example, our customers can see if a team has historically been engaged but in recent weeks and months that engagement has dropped. It enables others in the business to explore the reasons before the disengagement becomes ingrained.

How you collate and analyse data on your employee engagement is up to you. Just make sure you have a way to measure your success. And when you have the data, ensure the insight is used otherwise you will be back to square one. There is nothing that will disengage a workforce more than them providing you with feedback and that information not being used. They need to see that you are listening and see that you are achieving your goals of improving employee engagement.

Good luck on your journey to improve employee engagement! It won’t be quick, but if you incorporate all five of these steps, you will see the results.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

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Blog Employee Engagement Employee Wellbeing

Motivate Warehouse Employees

how to motivate warehouse employees

How to motivate warehouse employees

The demand for warehouse employees is rising. As stated by the Financial Times “employers are scrambling to recruit staff”. Now more than ever there is a need to focus on how to motivate warehouse employees. Improving employee engagement will both retain existing employees and appeal to future recruits. But this is an enormous challenge in this sector. Someone once told me; “The only thing that motivates warehouse employees is their salary and the people they work with.” There is certainly some truth in this. As you can see below from the top 10 reasons people leave their employment, compensation features highly while many of the others fit into the category of ‘cultural fit’.

Top 10 reasons employees leave their employment

  1. Feeling unappreciated
  2. A lack of proper compensation
  3. Insufficient time off
  4. Change in management
  5. Outdated machinery and equipment
  6. Unrealistic goals
  7. Lack of management support
  8. A lack of challenge
  9. Lack of joyful environment
  10. Lack of career progression

While the distribution sector is so buoyant there is a lot of competition with the potential to poach your employees. There is also the added challenge of many of the baby boomers now retiring resulting in the need to appeal to a very different generation.

Combine this with the fact that the average cost for losing and replacing an employee is £12,000 (Employee Replacement Cost), and it is clear that you need to do everything you can to retain and motivate warehouse employees.

5 steps to retain and motivate warehouse employees

By improving motivation and better engaging employees, you not only increase retention rates but you are also highly likely to see improvements in productivity. There are few sectors where staff satisfaction has such a direct effect on productivity. Here are the 5 steps we recommend every distribution organisation adopts in order to maximise staff retention and employee engagement.

1) Understand your employees

An obvious point but one that is often overlooked. You can’t improve their working lives unless you truly know what makes them tick. What are their motivations for coming to work? What do they enjoy about their working day? What don’t they enjoy? What barriers do they consider to be hampering their performance? What do they enjoy doing when they leave work?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions it is important to understand them. Without these answers you cannot set a benchmark, you cannot relate effectively to your employees and you cannot improve warehouse staff retention rates.

To find out the answers you could carry out employee surveys or ask in 1:1s. Whatever your method, ensure you get as many people involved as possible and explain the reasons for the survey to get buy-in.

2) Review your remuneration package

In such a competitive market, it is always a valuable exercise to review what you offer your employees. From salary, through to productivity incentives and holiday allowances. When warehouse staff can pick and choose their employer, these factors will make a huge difference in their choices.

You may want to carry out research on your closest competitors to understand where your remuneration package sits in comparison. The answers to the questions in step 1 will also guide you on what your employees expect and need.

If you don’t already, you could introduce some productivity incentives in which employees receive a reward when they reach certain productivity milestones. If you do this, the most important factors to consider are; make the targets challenging but achievable and consider your reward carefully. You may even want a few different rewards to cater for different employees. Another option to consider is ‘employee of the month’ which recognises and rewards employees who have achieved their productivity targets or who have demonstrated your company values.

You may also benefit from considering more flexible working hours in your employee engagement strategy. This is something the younger generation are likely to look for and is becoming more expected since the pandemic.

3) Provide a pleasant working environment

A very basic but absolutely vital employee need. An unpleasant vs a pleasant work environment will influence an employee’s decision on whether they stay or leave your company. Here are some factors you should consider:

  • Cleanliness – dirty areas are depressing but also potentially dangerous. Investing in a cleaning regime will always boost the mood of your employees.
  • Machinery and tools – in a job where productivity is measured constantly, anything that hampers an employee’s productivity will cause significant frustration. Where possible, ensure you have the right machinery and tools in place to minimise these frustrations.
  • Space to relax – working in a warehouse is hard work and often noisy. By providing a quiet, comfortable space to retreat to will help your employees recharge their batteries and have the downtime that is so vital in a busy work environment.
  • Use music – as well as improving morale, a study found that playing music improves the productivity of 73% of warehouse workers. This is therefore well worth considering if you don’t already have a music policy.

4) Ensure effective managerial support

Positive working relationships with managers make a huge difference to employee engagement. With the right processes and feedback loops in place a manager’s role in the distribution sector is absolutely critical to staff retention. They can show appreciation for the work the employee has undertaken. They will help the employee with any career progression aspirations. They will identify any training requirements or opportunities. And they will cascade information in both directions.

The role of a manager cannot be overlooked in this sector. They need to be granted the time and processes necessary to carry out effective 1:1s, provide quality support and put focus on employee engagement. This in turn will foster loyalty, all of which contributes to staff retention.

5) Consider your company culture

The final factor that wraps all of the above steps together is your company culture. Your culture should demonstrate the attitudes and behaviours you expect your employees to adhere to. In essence, when you have nailed your company culture, everyone will be working towards the same goals with mutual respect for one another. It is this shared ethos that will create a community and that will create loyalty amongst your staff.

Central to a solid company culture is communication. Your employees need to know what is expected of them and where they fit in the company goals. Likewise, your employees need to feel listened to and have the avenues to provide ideas and feedback. You can achieve this two-way communication loop far easier in today’s world. Technology such as employee communication software provides all of this in a single platform helping you master employee engagement and ensure your employees feel valued and part of the company’s journey.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

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Blog eNPS

Turning Passives Into Promotors

employee net promoter score passives

Employee Net Promoter Score - turning passive employees into promoters

For eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) to work effectively it needs to ignore passive employees. But while it is the promoters and detractors that generate the employee Net Promoter Score, it is actually your passive employees that hold the greatest potential. Before I explain why, let’s remind ourselves how someone becomes a ‘passive’ employee.

How the eNPS calculation works

The employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a measure of how likely your employees are to recommend your company as a place to work. Employees are asked one question and answer that question on a scale of 0-10. Those who provide a score of 0-6 are classified as ‘detractors’, those who choose 9 or 10 are ‘promoters’ and those who opt for 7 or 8 are known as ‘passives’. To calculate the eNPS score passives are ignored and the percentage of detractors are subtracted from the percentage of promoters.

While this calculation is extremely effective at benchmarking employee loyalty, running an eNPS survey gives you so much more than just a score. It gives you an opportunity to start exploring the reasons behind these scores.

Life after an eNPS survey

Once you have completed an eNPS survey you will want to explore the reasons behind the scores. For example, if you have a high percentage of detractors you will need to quickly delve into the reasons so that you can take remedial action. Likewise, you will want to learn more about the positivity of promoters so that you can encourage that further. While follow-up approaches for these two groups will need to be carefully considered, they are relatively straightforward. You want to know the reasons for the negativity and the reasons for the positivity. Passives however are much more complex and because of this complexity, they are often overlooked.

What a passive employee could be thinking

‘Passives’ are on the fence. They have a relatively neutral opinion of your company. But the reasons for the neutrality could be vast:

  • They may like your company but had a recent negative experience that is holding them back.
  • They may be negative about your company, but their morals or fear of being reprimanded may have prevented them from pressing the score they really wanted to select!
  • They may just be a reserved character who doesn’t naturally have strong opinions either way.
  • They may not trust the anonymity of the eNPS survey.
  • They may simply be moderately happy at work.

This list could go on an on and as you can see, the reasons for a passive falling into this category are vast. But one thing that is certain – passives hold significant opportunity. They act as a bridge between detractors and promoters. If you can understand their decision to score a 7 or 8 you have an opportunity to convert them. And this conversion will be far quicker than those who are detractors. You also have an opportunity to prevent them from becoming a detractor, or from seeking employment elsewhere.

How to motivate passive employees

Whether through further employee surveys, focus groups or one to one conversations, you need to delve deeper into the minds of your passive employees.

Hot tip: With the follow up questions ensure there is no room for neutrality. You need to ask a question that will give a definitive answer. For example, ask “What single thing can we do to increase the likelihood of you recommending our company as a place to work?” rather than asking “Is there anything we can do to improve your experience at work?”. By being much more direct in your questioning, you will get more valuable answers.

When you know more about the reasons it will be time to make changes. For this to be effective you will of course need buy-in from your leadership team. In fact, they need to be onboard before you even embark on your eNPS survey. Without them understanding the benefit or purpose, you will struggle to follow through on any of the points your employees raise. And that is a guaranteed way of disengaging your employees!

The next step is to communicate. Not just the actions you have taken in response to the survey, but the survey results themselves. Transparency will earn respect and trust, particularly within a group of people who may typically be more reserved.

Finally, you may also want to reflect on your company culture. Particularly if you have a large percentage of passives. There could be many underlying factors that are preventing passives from becoming promoters. The little things that just niggle away at people. For example, an expectation to work longer hours or a disparity between team recognition. Even if these are just perceived scenarios, they will have a negative impact. Addressing these blockers and communicating that they have been addressed, will really help your passive employees view your company more positively.

Converting passive employees with the right software

If you would like to discover how our employee survey tools can help you run effective eNPS surveys and gather deeper follow-up insight have a look at our eNPS page and employee survey page for more information.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

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ISO 27001

VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

July 14, 2021.

VRAMP achieves ISO 27001

VRAMP is thrilled to have been awarded the highest international information security standard. The ISO 27001:2017 certification highlights VRAMPs dedication to providing a highly secure employee engagement software solution.

What is ISO 27001?

Published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 27001:2017 requires a detailed audit to ensure compliance against an extensive list of information security criteria. The standard evidence that a business holds data safely and has the systems in place to combat any threats to the integrity of that data.

What this means for VRAMP’s clients?

It provides confidence that we have the best information security, cybersecurity and privacy protection a business can achieve. Our clients know that we have the systems in place to protect their data.

What ISO 27001 means to us

There are many milestones a business can reach, achieving ISO 27001 is one of them.

Protecting all data within our business, in particular that of our clients, is routed at the core of what we do at VRAMP as a data handler. This accreditation means that we not only meet the highest standards today, but also confirms that we will review our processes and information security on an ongoing basis to ensure VRAMP continually meets the highest standards.

We also believe that it sets us apart from our competitors. Many in the employee engagement software industry just rely upon their data centre to meet the ISO 27001 standards. We choose not to take any shortcuts. While we still only work with ISO 27001 accredited data centres, we also ensure we meet these standards too.

When you combine or security with the capabilities of our employee engagement software, it makes all of us extremely proud of what we have achieved for our clients.

If you feel like you need to find a better way to improve employee engagement, get in touch and we will show you how our employee engagement survey tools will help you achieve better results.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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improve employee survey response rates

6-quick-wins-to-improve-employee-survey

July 2, 2021.

6 quick wins to improve employee survey response rates

Surveys are a very well-known and proven way to get employee feedback, however, sometimes you are left wishing more people would take part, or the answers were a bit more involved. If you do find yourself asking these questions it is a clear sign that your employees may be finding it difficult to complete the survey. The good news is there are some really quick wins that can turn your employee survey response rates around.

Before you implement these tactics, you must be confident that your employees aren’t feeling fatigued. Our blog, ‘How to avoid survey fatigue’ discusses this in more detail and ultimately, if your employees have lost faith in the output of the surveys, the following steps will either have very little impact or simply won’t work.

But if you know that you have a solid employee survey communication loop in place, here are 6 quick wins that will help you see the survey responses you want:

  1. Predict the time required to fill in the feedback survey.
    By advising your employees how long it will take to complete the survey they know exactly what to expect and are less likely to put it off.
    Top tip: estimate how long it will take and add a bit more. Finishing the survey ahead of the expectation will give your employees a little boost!
  2. Make completing the employee survey part of their day.
    Designate a specific time when employees are invited to complete the survey so that it becomes one of their tasks rather than a task to fit in around everything else.
  3. Utilise advocates.
    Establish who your advocates are and encourage them to spread the word about the employee survey. A good employee survey platform will monitor who these people are, enabling you to ask for their support at the outset.
  4. Only send the survey to relevant people.
    Segmentation is key if you are to maximise survey participation. Most employee survey tools should enable you to segment your employees so just ensure you spend time identifying the most suitable groups.
  5. Use the right tone of voice.
    Ensure the terminology you use is relevant to the employees you are sending it to and avoid any loaded questions. It’s easy to fall into this trap when you are writing the questions so we would also suggest you get someone else to proofread the survey.
  6. Ensure there is value in every question.
    As you write a question think about the possible answers and how you can utilise those answers. Unless every question will generate responses that will confirm theories or inform actions there’s no point asking it.

If you feel like you need to find a better way to gather feedback, get in touch and we will show you how our employee engagement survey tools will help you achieve better results from your employee feedback survey.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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Blog Employee Surveys

avoid survey fatigue

how-to-avoid-employee-survey-fatigue

June 25, 2021.

How to avoid employee survey fatigue

Surveys are unquestionably an extremely valuable way of gathering employee feedback. But in a world when many organisations turned to employee surveys to ‘check-in’ on their employees during lockdown, the term “survey fatigue” is increasingly being used. But survey fatigue needn’t become an issue. This blog looks at the reasons employees suffer from survey fatigue and the steps you can take to prevent it happening.

What is survey fatigue?

Survey fatigue occurs when an employee becomes frustrated or lacks enthusiasm towards an employee engagement survey. Those who feel fatigued are likely to either not complete the survey in the first place or provide inaccurate results. Both, of which will hamper employee engagement strategies.

There are two ways to define survey fatigue:

  1. Survey response fatigue – employees feel like they have been asked to complete too many surveys.
  2. Survey taking fatigue – whilst completing the survey employees lose interest and disengage.

The reasons for survey fatigue

If you ask your employees the reasons for feeling fatigued, they are likely to give you a number of reasons but actually, if you drill into them, most employees will be experiencing a lack of action fatigue rather than survey fatigue. If they do not feel like their responses will be used, or if they have not seen evidence of how their input has been used, they will quickly question the value of contributing to a survey. Four out of five employees stated that their managers would not act on survey results in a study by HR Magazine. This is an enormous proportion and highlights just how important it is to structure your entire employee survey process effectively.

Five steps to prevent employee survey fatigue

The golden rule to preventing survey fatigue is to drop the term “survey fatigue”! Instead focus on “lack of action fatigue”. As the statistic above highlighted, 80% of employees believe there is a lack of action within their organisation so by addressing this first, the rest will follow. The prevention is a simple one, albeit multi-faceted: communication, communication, communication.

Step 1: With every employee survey you complete you must first explain the purpose of the survey and how the results will be used.

Step 2: Once you have your responses and have analysed the results it’s time to communicate the findings to your senior leadership team and agree on the actions.

Step 3: Next you need to relay this message to line managers so that they understand what actions will be taken, why and what is expected of them.

Step 4: At this point don’t rely on your line managers to spread the message to your wider teams. We would always recommend you communicate directly with each employee to ensure everyone receives the same consistent message. Whether through an employee app or a company briefing, you need to know that everyone has seen what you are doing with their survey response.

Step 5: There is then one final step to close the employee survey loop. As actions come to fruition remind your employees why the changes are occurring. Some changes can take time to put in place so a gentle reminder that “you told us X, so we did Y” will reconfirm the value you put on their opinion.

Once you have a survey communication loop in place and you are confident that all actions are being followed through on, there are other best practices for employee engagement surveys than you can call upon to further improve survey participation rates. Take a look at our 6 ways to improve employee survey response rates blog for more information.

If you would like any support preventing survey fatigue and improving employee engagement, get in touch today.

author-rachel-stidworthy

Rachel Stidworthy

Marketing Manager

With over 15 years’ experience in communications I have seen first-hand the difference strong internal communications can make. I am passionate about helping organisations reap the rewards of an engaged workforce and feel privileged to work for an organisation that has this same passion. We can achieve so much more when we work together towards the same goals. 

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Blog Employee Wellbeing

The Barriers Employees Safety and wellbeing

barriers to keeping frontline employees

The Barriers to Keeping Frontline Employees Safe and Well

Every organisation will say that the health and safety of their frontline employees is of utmost importance. But despite this awareness and eagerness, keeping everyone safe and well is extremely difficult. The statistics speak for themselves: in 2019/20 693,000 people sustained an injury at work, whilst an additional 828,000 suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety. We are also currently experiencing a decline in the mental health of the UK workforce as evidenced by a 2020 CIPD survey which found that just 35% of respondents believed work had a positive impact on their mental health, compared to 43% in 2018.

This decline in mental wellbeing combined with the knowledge that physical and mental illness results in a loss of 38.8 million working days per annum, highlights the need for UK organisations to up their game. In this blog we address the challenges and identify how you can improve the mental and physical health of deskless employees.

The barriers to frontline employee safety and wellbeing

When you read the stats above and then add COVID to the mix, the challenge of reducing injury and improving mental health is big enough as it is. But combine this with the complication of how to effectively reach your employees that ‘work on the tools’ and the scale of the challenge is amplified. Ultimately, there are two factors that complicate matters.

Their environment

By the very nature of their job, your frontline employees are more difficult to keep safe. For starters, their job roles often mean they are at greater risk of injury, but they are also harder to communicate with. They often work at different locations or on varied shift patterns. They simply don’t have the same consistent access to the information their desk-based counterparts have.

In fact, many frontline workers are still reliant on their line manager to pass on a message. This reliance on receiving information secondhand presents many problems:

  • Line managers will rate messages at different levels of importance and convey these accordingly.
  • Those responsible for distributing the message have no idea whether the message was received or if it was portrayed effectively.
  • The staggered method of distributing comms makes it nigh on impossible to communicate anything urgently.
  • Employees have a very limited opportunity to provide feedback.

Ultimately, any dependency on third party communications is unreliable. There are too many steps involved in the process and too many variables that will impact the speed, effectiveness and responsiveness of each communication.

Their perception

While the environment is an obvious blocker to communicating and keeping remote workers safe, there is a more problematic, silent barrier. Perception.

How frontline employees perceive the company they work for, their manager and the senior leadership has a big impact on how they work. Many of the decisions and actions that an employee takes will be influenced by their own motivations and drivers. If they are not engaged, the risk of them not reading the latest health and safety notice, or taking potentially dangerous shortcuts, or not mentioning their increasing anxiety, is increased.

But many organisations also suffer from a two-way perception challenge. Remote workers are often seen as just that, ‘remote’. They are labelled as outsiders. They are unseen employees whose needs and voices often come lower down in the pecking order than their office-based team members. It’s often a historical pattern that is engrained into the organisation. How many times have you heard things like; “we’ve always communicated that way” or “but the operatives just don’t care about that stuff”. These are all perceptions that need to be addressed and without addressing them, organisations will be left with a ‘them and us’ culture.

Ultimately, any perception, whether misconstrued or accurate, will be a blocker. If those on the frontline perceive themselves, or believe someone else perceives them, to be less valued than their colleagues they will lack pride, confidence and satisfaction. They will feel as though they don’t have a voice and the company culture, and profits, will take a hit.

Using employee engagement to improve health & safety

What the two barriers above highlight is that unless your remote employees are engaged, your health, safety and wellbeing policy will not be effective.

As a provider of employee engagement software, we have worked with our clients to strengthen their employee engagement strategies so they can communicate health & safety strategies that resonate and take effect. Take a look at our 7 employee engagement techniques for a deskless workforce and 5 steps to better engage your hard to reach employees to discover how you can put the right foundations in place to break through the barriers.

Or contact us to see the difference an employee communication app could make to your deskless workforce.

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

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Blog Employee Wellbeing

Mental health workplace

mental wellbeing

Mental wellbeing in the workplace: 6 steps every organisation should take

A study by Oracle found that 76% of employees believe their company should be doing more to protect the mental health of their workforce. This statistics alone speak volumes but when you then combine this with the estimated cost of mental health on UK businesses, the message becomes even clearer. The Centre for Mental Health found that poor mental health costs UK employers up to £35 billion a year and this figure keeps on rising. This equates to a cost of £1,300 for every employee in the UK economy.

Many organisations are already stepping up and acknowledging mental health as a big part of their engagement and wellbeing strategy but if anyone in your organisation still needs convincing; Deloitte identified that for every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover. When you add this hard economic fact into the mix, it is clear that employee mental ill-health has to be a top priority.

How mental wellbeing strategies should fit into your organisation

It is important to note that any mental wellbeing initiative cannot be a standalone project. It isn’t something that should just be mentioned during Mental Health Awareness Week. It needs to be deeply ingrained in the culture of the organisation. At VRAMP we firmly believe that mental wellbeing and employee engagement are inextricably linked. After all, when you strip back employee engagement, its purpose is to make someone feel they matter. That positively impacts our mental health. We would therefore always recommend that mental health initiatives are part of your employee engagement strategy so they can be weaved into your company culture.

How to better manage and support mental wellbeing at work

We have combined suggestions for some of the UK’s leading mental health charities and support organisations to create a checklist of steps an organisation should take to implement better mental health support.

Step 1: Have the right support networks in place

Mental wellbeing is complex. For you to provide effective mental healthcare it is likely that you will need support from professionals. This could be access to a workplace mental healthcare scheme, links to mental health helplines, employees trained as mental health first aiders or support creating a mental health policy. Once you have solid support provisions in place, you can take on the remaining five steps.

Step 2: Change perception

Many employees are still reluctant to declare a mental health issue for fear that their employer will regard it as a weakness or failure. Your employees need to be comfortable and confident in sharing their experiences. They need to know that good health, both mental and physical, is a company priority. The best way to achieve this is to lead from the top. If senior leaders and line managers are honest and open, the barriers will begin to lift.

Step 3: Ensure your leaders are confident

If an employee went to their line manager and informed them they were struggling with their mental wellbeing, are you confident that all your line managers would know how to respond? If not, some internal training will be necessary to run through the support you have available and how to personally provide ongoing support – from the right questions to ask to a reminder to consistently carry out 1:1s and return to work interviews. If your line managers are confident, your employees will feel better supported.

Step 4: Communicate in many different ways

The more we communicate about something the more comfortable we feel. But we are all different and we prefer to consume information, and engage, in different ways. Therefore, the more channels you use to spread the message the more aware your employees will be of your commitment to support their mental health. From the induction process, through to articles, posters, weekly tips for line managers and guest speakers at company conferences. Every time you discuss mental wellbeing, it has the potential to resonate with another person.

Step 5: Involve employees with organisational decisions

The more you involve people, the greater sense of ownership they will feel, increasing productivity and morale. This might be input on your mental wellbeing policy or opinions on how the organisation should evolve. No matter how big or small the decision, you have multiple routes available to make it happen. These include staff surveys, focus groups, performance reviews, innovation events, team briefings and feedback through internal communication tools.

Step 6: Regularly take stock

To know how to effectively support your team you need to know if there are any factors that have changed that could have a negative impact on mental health. For example, a big project with tight deadlines, a noisier work environment, an increase in lone working, or poorly managed change could all cause mental health problems. By taking into consideration all the possible triggers and ensuring you monitor and measure them, you can make the necessary changes or interventions to protect your staff.

The final word

Ultimately, for us to normalise mental health and give it the same non-stigmatised understanding that physical health has, we need to communicate and engage. And when we spend around 50 years of our lives at work, the workplace has to be somewhere we are comfortable discussing our mental wellbeing.

For further guidance or support we recommend visiting:

NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/

Mind – https://www.mind.org.uk/

Mental Health Foundation – https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/

Mental Health at Work – https://www.mentalhealthatwork.org.uk/

Centre for Mental Health – https://www.centreformentalhealth.org.uk/

daniel wright

Daniel Wright

Marketing Assistant

With a desire to grow personally and a wish to improve working lives through employee engagement, I am thrilled to be part of building an internal comms system that connects everyone.

Relevant resources

what is employee engagement

Employee Engagement?

What is Employee Engagement? To answer the question “What is employee engagement?” let’s turn to the famous visit President John F Kennedy made

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