Red e App recently exhibited at the HR Technology Conference in Chicago. Our team enjoyed meeting attendees, speakers and fellow vendors.

I had the opportunity to attend a few of the informative sessions and there was one in particular I want to share with our audience … Delivering Great Employee Experience with Cutting-Edge Communications presented by Rosemary Arriada-Keiper of Adobe and Keith Kitani from Guidespark.

Employee experience is the latest buzzword for describing ALL of the programs and environment at the organization that influence an employee’s perception — including culture, physical space, technology, services and work.

Focusing on a whole experience is challenging.

It’s much easier to address components in silos, such as culture — individual departments are typically responsible for each component and collaboration takes a back seat. But this isn’t how your employees view their experience. They see the big picture. Employees feel overwhelmed by the information overload hitting them in all directions from various departments.

Information Overload

Rather than take the time to decipher which messages are important, employees likely choose to be disengaged (hence the reports of 87% disengagement).

As George Bernard Shaw so eloquently said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Managers believe that if a message was sent or posted, then it has been communicated. That’s a false assumption — the message has not been communicated unless you know it’s been read and understood.

Improving your employee experience starts with a focus on two-way communication.

Linear communication has proven to be unsuccessful. Two-way communication begins with knowing and engaging your audience. Consider their needs and preferences — select channels, content and timing that appeals to their preferences. Engaging your employees with means for them to reply and provide feedback will help them feel valued and connected.

Keith provided the following 5 tips for improving employee experience . . .

  1. Consider the entire communications life cycle — Internal communications are mini campaigns. How many messages are you going to send to employees as part of the campaign, what is the timing, what is your call to action?  Similar to a marketing campaign, multiple touche
  2. Communicate via multiple channels — Select which channels you are going to use based on your audience and call to action. What is all employees don’t have access to email? Is the direct supervisor the best person to relay a message?
  3. Use a human approach — Make message personal and relevant to your audience. It may be better to segment your audience so that you can personalize content to each group. Focus on connecting with your employees versus making declarative announcements.
  4. Make it interesting — This is obvious but difficult to keep in mind when you’re in the midst of crafting many messages a day. Ask yourself before posting . . . will my message stand out in the clutter, does it look good on mobile?
  5. Pay attention to the analytics — Make adjustments based on your objectives and results. Your analytics can tell you the best days and times to send messages, who your most engaged employees are, and the most popular content.

Rosemary put these tips into practice at Adobe during their recent open enrollment cycle. Rosemary’s goal was to increase enrollment in a new plan. Most employees stay with the status quo because, let’s face it, benefits enrollment in confusing.

She started with knowing her audience — conducted a survey and focus groups to determine how to make the process less confusing for employees. Based on the results, she limited plan choices, simplified the documents, personalized the content based on employee demographics, and used a variety of channels (video, postal mail, infographics, intranet). The changes resulted in exceeding their enrollment goals.

I hope you enjoyed the conference. Let me know your favorite session in the comments below.