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Don’t just talk about your company’s employee experience, go and experience it—from the perspective of the audiences your communication programs and content touch every day. Call it job shadowing, a ‘day in the life’ exercise…or something far more creative. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just get out and do it!
And here’s why.
1. Get first-hand perspective and feedback. Go beyond the demographic data and known technology capabilities and get first-hand perspective of your employees’ typical work day. Sure, you may know that a population of your employees are not at an office location or in front of a computer, but take that a step further to understand what a typical work day is like, as well as the tools they use to get their job done. You can learn how they’re personally engaging (or not) with content, what’s their “go to” for accessing company news and information, etc.
2. Ask questions you may not otherwise have the opportunity to ask. “Our sales force never accesses the company intranet.” We’ve heard this statement, and others similar in nature, many times over the years, both in our time at corporate and as consultants. And while it may be an accurate statement, wouldn’t it be great to probe further? While you can’t possibly job shadow every sales employee, for example, you can ask specific questions of those you do to better understand communication preferences, communication challenges and much more.
3. Build relationships…gain buy-in. Taking the time to learn more about the different groups you’re communicating with every day goes a long way. And when it comes time for you to consider a new communication program or channel in the future, you now have a built-in, cross-functional group of employees you can pulse. Their feedback can help inform your future strategy and improve your adoption and overall engagement.
4. Uncover new or dig into known technical limitations. “We had no idea our entire customer service group, which makes up a large portion of our company, have no computer speakers!” This statement came from a client who uncovered this tidbit after investing a significant amount in high quality videos that were never even seen (or heard, rather) by a large population of their employees. Oops! While video continues to be a method used for some company communications, the production and delivery were adjusted to ensure all employees receive the content as intended.
Are you going to job shadow every employee? No. Will this take time? Yes. Is it a valuable use of your time? Absolutely! This is a marathon, not a sprint.
These are just a few of the many reasons why this approach can help shape your communications strategy and content, or at least be a supporting piece to your overall measurement strategy.
Have you used this tactic with success? What was the biggest “a-ha” you learned?
We get it. Creating and delivering content that employees are compelled enough to engage with is an ongoing challenge. We’ve been on both side of this coin – the employee and the communicator trying to break through the clutter.
Bronn Communications, LLC can be a resource for your internal communications needs.
Bronn Communications is an Atlanta-based internal communications agency that helps companies reach and engage their most important audience and brand advocates—employees.