Using Touchpoints to Drive Employee Engagement
If you’ve been following Dialogue since its launch you’re well aware of our team’s conviction that applying a disciplined process to the development of strategic integrated employee communications is critical in today’s business climate. We’ve looked at some quantitative data that directly connects the effectiveness of an organization’s employee communications with its financial performance. Our three-part paper on the employee engagement model substantiates its value as a driver of financial performance and positions strategic employee communications as a way to increase engagement and foster a more performance-based corporate culture.
The strategies we develop in our internal communications practice come to life through various channels as our messages reach out to the various stakeholders in the organizations that we work with. We identify these channels for employee communities during our development of a communications plan. Each of them is a touchpoint with employees and can have a great influence on how he or she receives our information going forward. More specifically, each touchpoint has a direct impact on the extent to which we can engage our target audience in constructive dialogue.
Case in point:
We have been working with the leader of a national commercial sales organization on a sales force transformation initiative that led us to identify their District Sales Managers as employees who could effect change across the entire organization. Our strategy was to reach out to this community of managers, and engage them to make this transformation across their teams.
We developed a communications plan that incorporated a timeline of touchpoints to provide our target audience with opportunities to participate in this process and hold a voice in how changes will be implemented nationally. Our plan involved:
- Bringing the managers together for a live, two-day engagement
- Establishing a new online channel to enable ongoing collaboration and the sharing of best practices
- Providing access to ongoing coaching in management and sales leadership
- A pre-communications package that provided context and a shared framework we would work with during the two days of open forum and workshops
The pre-communications package was carefully planned to set the stage for a new style of communication that this community had not experienced from their organization. Copied below is an email that the national vice president received from a district manager, in response to his receipt of this initial touchpoint.
“I just received my [program] kit today, and I certainly couldn’t go without communicating how fantastic these are. These are first class packages, which without question reflect the commitment to our strategy, our team, and our common company goals and initiatives. Being new to the organization I am extremely excited to participate in such fantastic event, to meet my colleagues, engaging in all learning aspects, and certainly the ongoing learning of our strategy and direction.
In all my organizations that I have worked for, this by far is the most professional, first class package I have received. Looking forward to the event.”
Certainly a successful start to the journey. This experience emphasizes the value that each touchpoint serves, and how critical it is that tactics are developed as part of an overall communications strategy.