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Employee Engagement Guide

1st December, 2021.

Table of Contents

Guide to employee engagement

In this guide, we will take you on a journey. Starting with the purpose and value of employee engagement before moving on to some strategies to help you improve and measure employee engagement in your organisation.  

What is employee engagement

Employee engagement is the measure of an employee’s emotional connection and commitment towards an organisation.

But while employee engagement is a measure of how an employee feels, it is the organisation that influences that opinion. Engage for Success explain this succinctly; “Employee engagement is a workplace approach resulting in the right conditions for all member of an organisation to give of their best each day.”

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Why is employee engagement important?

Employee engagement is proven to benefit businesses in multiple ways. Here are a few stats that evidence how: 

These facts speak for themselves and there are many more statistics online that further demonstrate the value of employee engagement, should you need them.  

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How employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction

Employee engagement and employee satisfaction often get intertwined but, actually, the two describe something very different.

As the definition above highlights, an engaged employee is someone who is committed to helping their organisation achieve their goals. In contrast, employee satisfaction describes someone that is happy in their job. For example, Tom works an 8-hour shift at a factory. He feels he has adequate breaks, the equipment and knowledge necessary to do his job and a decent salary. His commute is minimal and he takes home no stress from his job. Tom is satisfied with his job and yet if you were to ask him what the company’s goals were he has no idea. He does not consider himself to be part of the journey, he just works a job that he is contented with.

Contributing factors that influence employee satisfaction include salary, benefits, recognition and work-life balance.

In contrast, contributing factors that influence employee engagement include career opportunities, leadership behaviours, internal communication and company culture.

While there is a clear distinction between employee engagement and employee satisfaction it is important to note that the two are equally important. While an engaged employee can withstand a period of job dissatisfaction, if they cannot foresee improvements in the future, this is not sustainable and the majority of employees will only become engaged employees if they are first satisfied in their job.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains this perfectly. It is only when an employee moves up through the psychological needs and into self-fulfilment needs that they will be engaged. The needs at the bottom of the pyramid must be in place before they can progress.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
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What other factors influence employee engagement?

Employee engagement is a combination of a wide range of factors. Below are 15 areas that all influence employee engagement, each of which should be considered within your employee engagement strategy. However, it is important to note the weight in which each factor holds over employee engagement will depend very much on the individual because different personalities will react differently to what they are presented with. 

15 factors that contribute to an engaged workforce

  1. The vision of the organisation – do employees know it and can they relate to it?
  2. The product or service – is the very purpose of the company something the employees are proud of?
  3. Trust – do employees trust the leadership and does the leadership trust the employees? Is there an appropriate level of autonomy?
  4. Transparency – do employees have a good understanding of business performance? Do they feel leaders are honest?
  5. Career opportunities – are employees able to progress their careers?
  6. Learning – are there adequate opportunities to expand knowledge and understanding?
  7. Equipment and tools – do all employees have everything they need to do their job well?
  8. Culture – is there an inclusive culture with behaviours that are consistently demonstrated?
  9. Employee voice – is there sufficient opportunity for employees to have their say and share their opinion? Are those opinions listened to?
  10. Recognition and reward – are pay scales fair? Do employees get recognised for outstanding work?
  11. Work-life balance – is employee wellbeing considered and supported?
  12. Responsiveness – is the organisation effective at responding to incidents and major factors that influence the business?
  13. Internal communication – is there an effective internal comms function that keeps employees connected to the wider business and company goals?
  14. Use of talent – do your employees fully utilise their individual talents within their role?
  15. Manager/employee relations – are your managers effective? Do they have the respect of their team?

The impact of different personalities

While the 15 points above all need to be considered, how they are received will depend upon the personality and behaviours of your employees. Whilst you cannot psychoanalysis each of your employees it is worth considering the traits when you are planning your engagement strategy, particularly if you have a lot of employees sitting either side of the camp. 

Below is an example of some of the traits and behaviours you can expect to see within engaged and disengaged employees. 

It is worth noting, a lot of these behaviours can be changed. With the right strategy you can influence these, but you will need to consider different strategies should you have people at polar opposites. You could also consider recruiting those displaying engaged traits to help you win over the less engaged team members.

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Who is responsible for employee engagement?

In short, everyone! Employee engagement impacts your entire organisation and is affected by every single relationship within it. Every individual within the business, therefore, has a role to play.

The role of HR

HR should foster a culture of engagement – becoming a leading example of how others in the organisation need to behave and ensuring the relevant policies and guidance are in place to support this. The HR team will also need to support and develop managers and manage any day-to-day matters that influence employee engagement. 

The role of leadership

All eyes are on the leadership team so they need to ooze with all the positive traits and behaviours that will drive employee engagement forward. From setting the company vision, to communicating effectively, to interacting with employees with respect. Your leadership team should become your employee engagement advocates and inspire employees through their own actions and behaviours. 

The role of managers

Managers are the linchpins that bring the aspirations of the business to life for employees. They must create a working environment that is transparent and respectful. One that fosters strong working relationships and supports employees with the day-to-day working life and career aspiration. This grounded and supportive approach, combined with their own demonstration of the values will encourage employees to engage.  

The role of employees

It is important not to lose sight of the value an individual employee can have on your employee engagement strategy. One highly engaged employee can often have far more influence on their peers than a manager. So, make sure you listen to them too. Ask them for feedback on your strategy; give them an opportunity to contribute and bring innovative ideas to the table. Also, remember that for them to be engaged they need to be empowered to make their own decisions. Checking that this is the case on a regular basis will always be beneficial.

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10 steps to improve employee engagement

For you to improve employee engagement you must first understand your current situation. In fact, analysis plays the biggest part in improving employee engagement; hence the first 8 points in the 10-step guide covering your existing ways of working.  

1) Understand what your employee engagement levels are – if you have been measuring employee engagement gather together all the data to understand your current situation. If you haven’t, it will be worth running an employee survey to find this out. Without this information, you cannot measure the success of the actions you are going to take.

2) Listen – if you recognise a need to improve employee engagement your first port of call to improve it should be your employees. What do they think? What is important to them? This will not only give you the basics of a strategy but also help you to prioritise.

3) Review your recognition scheme – consider whether your recognition scheme is effective. Are all employees recognised equally? Is that recognition well received? Do people get recognised for effort or for the time they’ve worked? If the latter, it may be time to review it. Similarly, are employees incentivised or recognised? While incentivising works with certain personality types others respond far better to recognition. Ensure you have the right balance for the right teams.

4) Review your development and training policies – if your employees state a lack of opportunity as an issue it will be beneficial to take time to explore your training and development policy. Does it meet the needs of ALL employees? Is it promoted effectively?

5) Review your wellness policy – how effective are you at supporting the wellness of your employees? This relates to both physical and mental wellbeing. Your approach should cover both an individual’s wellness and their understanding and appreciation of their colleague’s wellness.

6) Review your communication methods – a lack of transparency can often be a route cause for employee dissatisfaction. But this comes in two forms. Firstly a genuine lack of transparency in which information considered to be important to the employees simply isn’t getting through. This is a quick fix, assuming all management team members are on board.

The second is trickier – this is where employees perceive the organisation to be obscure and ambiguous. A perception is far harder to change, particularly if it is an incorrect perception. To resolve this issue you will need to strip things back and unearth where the perception stems from. Inevitably it will be a cultural issue, but you won’t be able to fix it until you fully understand where it stems from. Focus groups, employee surveys and 1:1s will all be an effective way to drill into this. All will require time but depending on the depth of the challenge, this is likely to be time well spent.

7) Review your onboarding process – how successful are you in embedding your company culture with your new starters? This should be from the very first engagement they have with you at the job application stage all the way through to their onboarding process when they start their employment with you.

8) Review your cultural values and mission – are your company values demonstrated in the actions and behaviours of all your employees? Are your employees bought into your mission?

If employees aren’t connected with your mission there are three possible reasons:

1. They are unaware of it

2. They do not believe in it

3. There is something else within their workplace that holds them back

If your values aren’t being demonstrated there are typically just two reasons:

1. They are the wrong values for your organisation

2. Your wider company culture prevents these values from being displayed.

Your task will be to understand the reason and then dig deeper to find the root cause.

9) Put a plan together – improving employee engagement is a long-term commitment. While you are likely to have some short-term fixes, many of the improvements you make will take time. By putting together a roadmap of your plans and communicating this with your employees they will be able to see your commitment to improved employee engagement.

10) Measure employee engagement – there is no point in embarking on an employee engagement improvement programme if you do not have measures in place to monitor their success. The more you can measure the more confident you can be in the decisions you make. This is a vital step so we have detailed ways in which you can measure employee engagement in the section below. 

 
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How to measure employee engagement

The purpose of employee engagement is to improve the experience of your employees and the performance of your business. Measuring your progress is therefore critical. But despite this 48% of businesses do not measure the effectiveness of employee engagement. To avoid implementing employee engagement strategies that go unrecognised here are some effective ways to measure their success. 

1) Employee engagement – perhaps an obvious point but one that many organisations overlook. Often because it isn’t currently something they measure. But it is very easy to measure how engaged your employees are with the right tools and processes in place. 

First, you need to consider how frequently you are going to measure employee engagement: 

  • At a set period of time – select a set time of the year in which you survey employees and use the results as a measure. That may be part of a wider staff survey or specifically an employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). The sole purpose of which is to measure employee engagement.
  • Continuously – some organisations prefer to have a real-time view of employee engagement. This is beneficial if you have a number of variables that could impact a one-off score, such as a seasonal peak in work pressure for example.

Another factor to consider is whether you want to measure employee engagement purely as an entire company or whether it would be useful to understand at a team level too. This is usually dictated by company size and/or your processes. Larger organisations typically benefit from greater insight at a team level purely because of their scale. But some organisations also choose to drill down deeper because they have the internal processes to be able to effectively respond to any dissatisfaction. By picking this up at the team level, these organisations can be very responsive and start resolving the challenges that cause the disengagement before it affects others in the organisation. 

Once you have decided the above you then need to decide how you are going to measure employee engagement.

If you have an employee engagement platform this will all be done for you. The software will automatically monitor interactions with your internal communications and, taking many different factors into consideration, give you real-time engagement scores.

If you don’t have employee engagement software, you can run an employee survey. Either of the following would be suitable. 

  • Employee surveys can include a section that asks people about their level of engagement. These questions should be consistent every time they are asked to give you accurate results.
  • eNPS surveys – an employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is an effective way of measuring employee engagement. With just one question you can quickly gauge engagement levels providing a solid benchmark to work from. 

Whichever method you choose from above, we recommend you use the results alongside some, or preferably all, of the following:

2) Staff turnover/employee retention – by keeping tabs on how many people are leaving your organisation you can get a good indication of the scale of disengagement. 

If you have them record historical figures because until you have these you have no benchmark to work from. 

3) Exit interviews – as employees leave you could get some valuable insight into why they felt disengaged. This will often provide a depth you can’t gain elsewhere so it is worth tuning into this data source. You may also want to consider adding some specific questions around engagement in the exit interview for more direct feedback.  

4) Absenteeism rates – a study by Gallup found that disengaged employees have a 37% higher absenteeism rate than their engaged counterparts. Monitoring your absentee rates will be a valuable addition to your statistics. It is also a great early indicator for disengagement which will always be helpful.

5) Productivity – evidence shows that disengaged employees are less productive. You are likely to already have ways of measuring productivity, whether through output statistics or 1:1s. By reviewing these historically at a team or company level, you will be able to identify trends. 

While engagement may be the cause of decreased productivity it is important to remember there could be many other causes too, such as process failings, silo working and inefficient tools or equipment. This statistic should therefore always be aligned with others to see if the trends marry with other findings. 

6) Profitability – a very high-level factor but as we know, engaged employees do result in greater profitability so it is worth measuring this connection. If nothing else, it can be used to help evidence the value of employee engagement.

7) Customer satisfaction – organisations with top quartile engagement scores average 12% higher customer advocacy. It is therefore valuable to keep tabs of customer satisfaction alongside employee engagement so that you can observe trends. As with profitability, this will also be a useful data point to evidence the success of employee engagement.

There is a reason that ‘measuring employee engagement’ is the biggest section in this guide. Measuring the performance of your employee engagement strategy is absolutely vital. Without it you cannot deliver communications your employees want to hear, you cannot identify ways to improve employee engagement and you cannot evidence the value your employee engagement efforts are having on the wider business.

 
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Conclusion

If you’ve reached the end of this blog well done, there was a lot to get through! What your dedication suggests is that you are clearly committed to either beginning, or improving, employee engagement within your organisation.

The information above should help you to build that strategy, but employee engagement is a big project. In a recent study, we found that half of those responsible for employee engagement spend less than a quarter of their working time on the function.

If you too are going to be stretched on time focus on doing less, but more effectively. Deploying a tactic and having the right measures in place to monitor its performance will offer you far more value than deploying many tactics with no ability to measure them.

An employee engagement platform would also be a big time saving. VRAMP customers can send internal communications and surveys quickly to whoever they are relevant for. Then they receive feedback from employees with data presented in easy-to-digest dashboards. It’s a one stop shop for all employee engagement requirements. Find out more about VRAMP here.

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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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Guide to buying an internal comms tool

Your guide to buying an internal communications tool

The way we communicate is changing. In part, this is due to technological advancements, but the COVID pandemic has also caused a big shift in how we work.

Many of these changes are set to last as outlined in this Gartner article. We have seen an increase in remote working from 30% pre COVID to 48% now. The pandemic has also resulted in an increase in responsibility for employee wellbeing and we continue to see a shift in which employees are taking back control. For example, we are seeing many employees demand more transparency from their leaders. Potential employees are also looking for clear evidence that an organisation values its people.

The digital transformation

Prior to COVID, we were seeing organisations adopt technology to support them with their internal communications. But in response to the greater demands COVID put on internal communications teams and the shift in how we communicate with employees, we are seeing an acceleration in the internal communications digital transformation. As company cultures shift it’s vital that businesses have an internal communications tool that is employee-centric and can deliver efficient, transparent communications.

The employee communication journey

To reach this digital transformation we have come a long way. While employee communications have always been part of everyday working life, historically announcements would be made in person through newsletters, bulletin boards or letters.

The arrival of the internet saw the entry of a wave of new channels such as email and intranets but all of these internal comms channels focus on pushing communications out. The information the business leaders believe employees should know has been sent out to them but that is where it ends. There is no understanding as to whether the information reached every employee and no opportunity for those employees to provide feedback.

The next arrival on the market was employee survey tools. These filled the missing gap and enabled employees to have their say. But, while employees finally had a voice, that voice was only heard at the time a survey was released. The results provide a snapshot in time but do not show a true representation of employee sentiment.

Cue internal communication tools. In recent decades technology has developed to an extent where all the outcomes achieved by ‘traditional’ internal communication channels have been wrapped up in one internal communication tool with a heap of additional benefits added too. As a result, top-down communications are a thing of the past and businesses can communicate quickly, easily and transparently.

Today, these tools also play their part in maintaining productivity. By connecting, more employees with the right information businesses are empowering their employees to achieve more in their roles. The digital transformation is leading to a cultural transformation.

The journey of employee communications: 

But which internal communications tool is right for you?

If you too are looking to transform your internal communications, your next step is to establish what internal communications tool will be best suited to your business.

We have moved from a time when there were no internal communication tools available to properly manage employee engagement to an era when there is an overwhelming number of options. You just need to look at a software comparison site such as Capterra to see this. Under the ‘Internal Communications Software’ category, there are over 200 options.

This guide will help you refine what you are looking for so that you don’t have to sift through 200 different software solutions!

Internal communications platform features – the pros and cons

Before we consider the pros and cons of the different internal communication tool features, it is important to have a base point. Below are the ‘additional’ features of an internal communications tool. These assume that the basics of sending messages, videos, files and images are covered. But it is always worth checking these basic capabilities of a system too. To be on the safe side, we have included these in the ‘internal communications tool procurement checklist’ so that you can double check when you start your procurement process.

The additional features to consider are:

An employee app

Typically speaking, an internal communication app is a reciprocal for the communications you create within your internal communications software. Once you have created a message and hit send, it will be visible within the app. Some providers also enable you to create messages within the app which will be very beneficial if you would like multiple authors (see below for more details on that).

Pros Con

An internal communication app is a highly effective way to reach employees if they don’t have a corporate email address or don’t work in front of a screen.

All employees will be required to download the internal comms app on their mobile device. For many this will be their personal mobile and they may be reluctant to have work-related app on their phone.

Information can be sent to employees quicker. Should you have an urgent message, some internal comms apps include push notifications alerting employees of urgent messages. For those who work away from a screen this will be a far more effective way to keep in touch.

The roll out of the software will require project management to ensure everyone downloads the app.

An internal communication app can be used by every employee. That means you will have one version of a message sent to everyone. No Chinese whispers and no delays; just one version of the truth.

When the internal comms app is on a personal device the lines of work/home life can be blurred. Expectations and, potentially, policies would need to be in place prior to the roll out.

The ability to email messages

This is exactly what it says on the tin – the ability to also send messages via email.

Pros Cons

For employees who do sit at their screen most of their time they may prefer for all their messages to come in via one channel. By receiving messages via email they will not need to have other browser windows open or keep an eye on their mobile.

With options, comes the need to understand preferences. If you choose to procure an internal communications tool that can also send messages via email you will need to identify which employees would prefer this option.

If email will always be a channel in your internal communications strategy an employee engagement platform will save you time. Rather than creating one message in your internal communications tool and one in your email platform, you will be able to create one message in your internal communications tool and simply select the relevant distribution channels.

Audience segmentation

The ability to group your employees so that you can send more targeted information to them.

Pros Cons

With segmentation you are likely to see higher employee engagement rates because you can send them information that is both relevant and of interest to them.

Any segmenting will require resource. Usually just at the outset but there may be an element of ongoing management.

Employee segmentation is also very valuable when collating information because you can just ask the people your research is most relevant for.

Some internal communications tools have limited segmentation options. For example, they may only allow you to segment by department.

Collaborative authoring

Collaborative authoring enables multiple people to contribute and distribute content.

Pros Cons

If you work within a team you can easily share the workload whilst still having visibility of the communications that have been sent. This removes any silo working and increases efficiency.

Depending on the number of authors you have, you may need an agreed structure to ensure employees don’t get burdened with too many messages.

Author access can be given to anyone which means important messages can be sent instantly. For example, a major health and safety alert could be created by a line manager at the site.

You may need to brief each author on your brand guidelines and tone of voice to ensure consistency across all your messages.

Some internal communication tools enable you to create content in the mobile app too which is perfect for messages on the go.

Translations

Particularly useful if you have a workforce that consists of multiple nationalities where English is the second language.

Pros Cons

By automatically translating your messages you can save significant time and money on translation services.

Translation features often come at an extra price. Consider the percentage of staff that would require this to calculate how essential it is.

You know that all of your employees are receiving your messages at the same time.

Some translation options can be flaky. If you require this as a feature ensure you see it in action to ensure the translations are accurate.

Chat options

A function to enable two-way conversations with individuals or groups, similar to that of Teams or Slack.

Pros Cons

Chat features can improve collaboration amongst employees.

By opening this feature up to your entire company it can interfere with day-to-day productivity.

There may be an opportunity to consolidate your systems if you already have a chat/messaging tool in place.

Some chat features may have limitations, i.e. you may only be able to have conversations with individuals rather than within groups.

Open and click rates

A way of measuring the success of the communications you send.

Pros Cons

Open rates show you how many people wanted to read more of your message once they saw your preview. This can help you to identify what content catches people’s attention.

Open rates are only an indication of the interests of a recipient. While they may have opened the message, you will not know if they read it in its entirety.

Click rates show you how many people clicked on a link within your messages which is an indicator of how interested they are in that particular link.

Open and click rates are often high-level statistics. They enable you to make a generalist conclusion but cannot influence future content strategies to any great length.

Open and click rates can often be distorted by multiple opens blurring the effectiveness of these statistics.

Engagement statistics

A way of measuring the success of internal communications that takes a number of variables into account. These may include the duration a message has been read, an emoji response and the number of employees that have opened a message.

Pros Cons

Engagement statistics typically dive deeper than the traditional open and click rates giving more thorough analytics that can be used to inform employee engagement strategies.

To fully utilise employee engagement statistics you will need time/resource to monitor the analytics.

Some internal communications tools will time how long someone reads a message to identify if they are skim reading or fully engaged.

Employee engagement scores usually monitor real-time engagement enabling you to quickly identify disengagement so that you can take corrective measures sooner.

With the right internal communications tool you will be able to set employee engagement benchmarks, using the statistics to monitor progress.

Analytics with greater depth will enable you to report on your work more effectively, whether that is to line managers or as a KPI in board reports.

In-built employee surveys

The ability to send employee surveys via the internal comms tool.

Pros Cons

With a survey feature included in your internal communications tool you only have one platform to access for all your employee engagement activities.

Some internal communication tools may have a limited survey feature. Our ‘internal communications tool procurement checklist’ lists all the potential options to help you ensure you get what you need.

All the results of the surveys will be recorded in the same place as your communication engagement statistics making it far easier to connect all your activities together. The right internal communications tool will also include additional statistics such as how many people have opened the survey.

Employees only need to go to one place to provide feedback.

Document library

A location within the internal communications tool that employees can access files.

Pros Cons

You will no longer need paper documents or forms.

If documents were previously printed and filled in manually you may need to convert these into editable files to make them usable on a screen.

Employees will be able to save time because all the documents they need will be in one place. No need to scroll through emails, multiple drives or to ask colleagues.

Some internal communication tools may limit the type of files you can share/store.

Forms

Digital forms accessible via the internal communications tool.

Pros Cons

Digital forms will eradicate the need for paper work.

Employees using the forms will need to have a basic understanding of tech to fill then in effectively.

Forms will speed up your processes because the data from the form will be immediately visible in the internal comms tool.

You may need to recreate forms to make them editable.

Employee directories

A directory of employees to help people find the right person to speak to.

Pros Cons

A searchable directory improves collaboration because employees can find the help they need with very little effort.

Most employee directories are reliant on the employee to keep their profile updated.

Skills overview

Often part of an employee directory the skills overview is a list of the skills each employee has.

Pros Cons

A list of skills further enhances the searchable employee directory for further efficiencies.

As this is often part of an employee directory it relies upon the employee to keep their skills updated.

Well considered internal communication tools will also give you a high level overview of all skills across your organisation. This combined view is great for identifying skills gaps.

Corporate branding

Instead of having the branding of the vendor on your internal communications tool, you will have your branding instead.

Pros Cons

With your own branding on your internal communications tool it will instantly feel familiar to your employees.

These elements may be hard coded and require a fee to update.

Some vendors may limit what you can update within the internal communications tool.

Integrations

A way of enabling multiple systems to link with one another.

Pros Cons

Integrating systems will often cut out laborious, repetitive tasks.

Sometimes businesses assume they need system integrations when actually a system consolidation would be more beneficial.

The efficiencies gained from system integrations can improve take up of the new internal communications software because it makes the life if the user easier.

‘Off the shelf’ integrations may have limitations. Ensure you look at the detail carefully.

With the above in mind have a look at our ‘internal communications tool procurement checklist’ to refine exactly what it is that you need from your internal communications tool. The checklist enables you to highlight the essential features as well as the nice to haves and long-term requirements. This will help you get a clear picture of which internal communications tool will be right for your business.

Questions to ask when you have a demo or trial

With a clearer picture of what your need from your internal communications tool, your next step will be to see some solutions in action. As well as delving into the features that you want to know more about, this is also your opportunity to explore the processes that sit behind the internal comms tool – the areas that will get you up and running and keep you running smoothly. Here are some important questions to ask:

1) How easy is it to use?

An absolutely critical point. If it isn’t easy to use those administering the internal comms software will struggle to stay motivated. If your end users don’t find it intuitive to navigate they won’t engage risking your entire adoption process.

When evaluating usability consider your entire employee base. How technically capable are they? If a large proportion of your workforce has minimal involvement with apps, consider what they would be familiar with and whether the internal communications software works in a similar way. If you have a tech savvy workforce, workarounds or unnecessary clicks are likely to really annoy them so put yourself in their shoes and analyse the user journey they would experience.

2) How do you access the internal comms tool?

The type of work your employees carry out will likely dictate the best method for accessing your internal communications tool. If the majority of your teams work at a computer and have a company email address, a traditional Username and Password may suffice. However, if you have a large percentage of your workforce that doesn’t have a company email address you will need a way of accessing the internal comms solution without the need for an email address. A passwordless login may also be beneficial because it is likely to increase adoption, particularly early in the rollout process.

3) Will the internal communications tool protect your data?

When handling any personal information it is important to ensure that data is protected. There are a number of certificates and competencies that will ensure your data is safe including GDPR compliance, ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials.

If you are based in the UK double check the GDPR capabilities of a vendor. For some, the data will be stored outside of the UK which could cause issues. It’s also worth checking that they adhere to UK GDPR legislation rather than EU GDPR legislation.

4) How easy is it to get up and running?

Adoption of your new internal communications tool will be very important. Firstly, the implementation of the software and secondly the widespread adoption by all your employees.

Assuming you like what you’ve seen so far in the demo, establish what will be involved in the implementation process. What resource will you need and what timescales will you be looking at?

Then when it comes to the rollout what do they recommend? Does that align with your thoughts? Do they offer any support to help you maximise uptake?

This will be a daunting time for many because us humans are often averse to change so make sure you have a solid understanding of what will be involved. You need to be comfortable and confident that together you can make the rollout a success.

5) What ongoing support is provided?

No matter how simple software is to use there will always be times when you need support. What support package does the vendor provide? Some will offer basic support and then provide a greater depth of support at an additional cost. Consider your team and how tech-savvy they are. This will help you to evaluate the available options.

Another question to ask is whether their support package is entirely responsive or do they also provide regular reviews? Account reviews help you ensure you are getting the most out of the system, potentially finding more efficient ways of doing things or highlighting other features that you can benefit from.

Questions to ask to ensure a strong working relationship

If you’ve got to this point and are feeling positive you will have found an internal communications tool that ticks most, if not all, of your wish list and meets your expectations when it comes to the implementation and ongoing support of the software. You will also have confidence in the security and integrity of the solution. Your final checkpoint is to ensure you would have a happy working relationship with the vendor. After all, you are purchasing internal communications software to improve engagement and communications – it makes sense to work with a provider that understands the value of relationships and strong communication.

Ultimately this final check is to ensure the vendor you work with is a good cultural fit. Some areas to discuss to help you conclude these are:

1) Responsiveness and quality of communications to date

You may only have been speaking to one person so far but their manner and approach should be a good representation of their culture. Have they been responsive and helpful? Have you liked their approach? If you have concerns now is your opportunity to ask further questions to ensure you won’t be frustrated working with them.

2) As part of the ongoing support do you have a named account manager?

It’s a small difference but if you build up a relationship with someone you are likely to resolve any problems far quicker than if you are just speaking to a faceless call handler.

If a vendor takes this approach it is also a good indication that they don’t just want to solve problems, they want to ensure you get the most out of the internal comms tool. It proves that they are invested in you as a customer.

3) How is their pricing structured?

A basic question but the answer can tell you a lot. Are they very transparent with their costs or are there lots of ‘additional extras’? Do they have different tiers and if so, is it clear what you get with each tiered package?

As well as needing to be confident there will be no ‘hidden extras’ now, you also need to be confident that you won’t get ‘stung’ further down the line. A transparent approach to pricing is also a great indication that the vendor will be open and honest with all other aspects of your working relationship too.

4) What is the history of the business?

 Understanding a little bit about why the business was started and who is behind it will be really valuable. What were the motivations for starting the business? Are the people that created the software still in the business or is the business now led by people focused predominately on the money? Ultimately you want to find out if the people behind the internal communications software have a passion for improving employee communications. If they do, they will be much more invested in your journey with them.

5) What are the future plans?

This question applies to both yourself and the vendor.

For you are there any future business plans that could impact your internal comms solution? How might your internal comms tool need to adapt and scale over the coming years? Can the vendor accommodate these plans?

It will also be worth you exploring the vendor’s plans. Nearly all internal communication tools will be SaaS (Software as a Service) products. If they are, explore the vision of the vendor? What items do they have on their roadmap and how do they manage that roadmap? Is it purely generated internally or does customer feedback inform future developments?

The questions in this section are perhaps the most important. The answers you gather will ensure that the internal communications tool, and the company that provides the tool, will not just work for you now but also long into the future.

Conclusion

Don’t forget to use our ‘internal communications tool procurement checklist’ to help you refine and find the right internal communications tool for you. Good luck on your buying journey!

Internal Communications Tool Procurement Checklist

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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employee Net Promoter Score guide

guide to eNPS

A guide to employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

We have long measured customer loyalty, but many organisations are now recognising the importance of also measuring employee loyalty. Organisations that are armed with their employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) are better positioned to retain talent and maximise productivity. This guide explains why.

What is employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) is a measure of how likely your employees are to recommend your company as a place to work. It is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure associated with customer satisfaction surveys, and asks just one question – “How likely are you to recommend our company as a place of work?”

The reasons eNPS is effective

What makes employee Net Promoter Score effective is that you can work out your score with just one question. This simplicity benefits both those creating the survey and the employees because they can contribute quickly and easily. Once you know your score you can then take the right steps to improve or maintain how satisfied your employees are.

How is eNPS measured?

Your employees respond by stating their likelihood to recommend your company on a scale of 0-10. That score is then categorised as Promoter, Passive or Detractor.

Detractor (0-6)

They are not particularly satisfied with you or their work and could spread negativity towards the company.

Passive (7-8)

Generally happy with the company but would be receptive to offers from other employers.

Promoter (9-10)

They are loyal and like working for your company. Actively promoting the business through word of mouth.

To calculate an eNPS score the passive scores are disregarded. It is simply the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.

%PROMOTERS

minus

%DETRACTORS

equals

YOUR ENPS

Here’s an example; company X sends an employee net promoter score survey to its 1,000 employees and gets the following response:

200 (20%) were Detractors

450 (45%) were Passives

350 (35%) were Promoters

35% -20% = an eNPS score of 15

What is a good eNPS score?

An eNPS can range between -100 to 100. A score above zero is widely considered as acceptable. But a good employee net promoter score typically ranges between 10–30 and anything above that figure suggest a very loyal, happy, and driven workforce.

eNPS benchmarks by industry

While it is always interesting to compare your eNPS with other organisations, there is little value in doing so. There are so many variables that could influence an eNPS – size of organisation, age, location, culture – the comparison is likely to just leave you with questions.

Instead, we recommend to our clients that they benchmark against their own data. This direct comparison keeps you focused on your employees and helps you establish how to make improvements.

How often should an eNPS survey be completed?

While a consistent cadence is important, the most important factor is how you respond to the results. For an organisation with good engagement, open channels of communication and the processes in place to effectively react, our recommendation is to run an eNPS every quarter. This takes a consistent temperature check and enables you to react quickly to any fluctuations.

But one size does not fit all. Before you embark on quarterly eNPS surveys it is important to consider all factors. How engaged are your employees? How likely are they to respond? Do you have the right internal communication channels in place to involve everybody? How quickly can you and your colleagues react to the results?

The latter point is perhaps the most critical. If you cannot analyse and respond to the results within a 3-month window expand your timescales. Your employees must feel as though the employee Net Promoter Score is being used for them to continually want to be involved.

How to improve your eNPS score

Measuring your eNPS is just the start. In essence, it is a signal of how much work you have to do and how quickly! No matter what your score, we recommend you undergo the following four steps so that your eNPS survey successfully contributes to your employee engagement strategy.

1. Explore

Wherever your score lies, initiate further tactics to explore the reasons behind that score. You could carry out a deeper survey, hold face-to-face conversations or send further pulse surveys. This also gives you an opportunity to quiz the passive employees to understand what is making them ‘sit on the fence’. What you ask will depend on your eNPS results but these follow-up questions are commonly used:

  • What is one thing we could do to improve your score?
  • What is stopping you from referring friends to the company?
  • Describe what you enjoy about working here?

At this stage you want to ask open ended questions that will give you thorough insight. Avoid yes/no questions such as “Do you see yourself working here in 5 years?” because they just won’t give you the information you need to evolve your engagement strategy.

2. Communicate

Keep your employees informed at every stage to help them feel part of the process. Once the initial eNPS survey is completed let everyone know the results and the next steps. Likewise, when you complete the follow-up investigations, explain the reasons for the survey and the results. This is easy to overlook, particularly if the results are not as good as you hoped, but honest and transparent communications are critical. They not only evidence the organisation’s commitment to employee satisfaction but also encourage employees to take part in future initiatives.

3. Act

Perhaps the most important aspect of the process. Employees will quickly disengage if they do not see actions being implemented following their input. No matter how big or small, ensure the actions are effectively carried out. Some actions will take time to implement so it is always worth reminding your employees why you are doing what you are doing. Simple statements such as “you told us this, so we are doing this”, all help to reaffirm that there is value in participating in employee surveys.

4. Repeat

Keep the cycle going. Once you have decided the cadence of your employee Net Promoter Score be consistent, not just with the timing of the survey but also with all the actions above. The more familiar and routine the process becomes, the more natural and effective your eNPS surveys will be.

The most important aspect to remember with your eNPS

The employee Net Promoter Score is an extremely valuable tool to measure employee loyalty but, it should always be a contributor towards a wider employee engagement strategy. By combining the eNPS with more detailed surveys and other employee engagement tactics you will have a very solid picture of how to better engage your employees.

At VRAMP we recognise the value of this combined effort which is why our eNPS survey software sits side-by-side against other survey tools and internal communication channels. This gives our clients all the tools and data they need within a single system for fast, effective employee communication and engagement. If you would like to discover more about how VRAMP can help you measure and bring eNPS into your engagement strategy, contact us today.

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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