Adding creative internal communications ideas to your content plan can drive participation and ongoing engagement for your employees.
Internal communications often get a bad rap. Employees may complain messages are boring and not worthy of their time. Compared to other messages we consume daily via social and traditional media, those complaints may be valid. Avoid the trap of boring messages by adding a few creative internal communications ideas to your content plan.
Of course, some types of internal communications need a straightforward approach. Company announcements, core values, and safety information are all common corporate messages requiring little response or reaction from employees. Wise communicators will understand the engagement limitations of those messages and include extra content designed to encourage employee interaction.
Including creative, interactive content in your internal comms plan can encourage employees to check your internal communications channels more often. Creative content can also promote relationship building and employee engagement. Here are three creative internal communications ideas inspired by elementary school activities that any company can adopt.
All about me
Corporate environments are an ever-changing mix of people. Unlike when you went to school, no one expects employees to make an “All About Me” collage to share with the company during their first week. Yet, the idea of sharing tidbits of our personal lives with our co-workers is a great way to build relationships.
Aim to ask at least one get-to-know-you question each month, so new and long-term employees have a fun way to learn more about each other. Ask employees “What’s your why?” to understand what brought them to your organization or why they do what they do. Other questions to ask:
- What was your first job?
- Do you have any pets?
- How do you get to work each day?
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If your internal communications platform includes photo sharing, encourage people to share with some regular photo prompts. Groups separated by geography can get a glimpse of what a work day looks like for others with a prompt like #MyDesk, #MyView, or #MyOfficeToday. A job-themed Throwback Thursday is another fun prompt where employees share photos of themselves at their first job.
Show and tell
Industries evolve and change over time and there is usually no shortage of business articles relevant to your company. Ask leaders to share a business or industry article they have recently read along with a brief summary of what was most impactful to them.
Recruit leaders and managers to be a part of the team that will take turns sharing knowledge. Establish a day of the week to share this information to create consistency and assign each a day to share. When you create a regular cadence, other employees may also share articles they believe are relevant to your organization. This can encourage two-way communications and pave the way for interesting business conversations.
One of my elementary school teachers would write “happy grams” each Friday. Each note would include at least one thing each student did well during the week. Even as adults, most of us still appreciate recognition for a job well done.
Regular employee recognition should be a part of your internal communications plan. But, it can sometimes feel a bit constrained or formal. Encourage employees at all levels to recognize their peers for a job well done by implementing a weekly recognition day. Call it “Winning Wednesday” or “High Five Friday” to set the expectation of a place for regular recognition. Tying it to a day will encourage employees to take a moment to reflect on and celebrate team wins as a regular part of their job duties. Focusing on and celebrating the positives helps employees feel valued by the company.
When you lean too much on routine, top-down communications, you make it easy for employees to check out and ignore your messaging. Adding a few creative internal communications ideas to your content plan can encourage more interaction with your messaging, build employee relationships, and have a positive impact on employee engagement.