An employee app created and managed in the right way has the potential to not only improve but transform the everyday lives of frontline workers. This is particularly true for those who work underground, at sea, in the field or on the floor and are often left out of the communications loop. When a client decides to invest in the Wyzetalk solution, there are several success factors that influence the bottom line results.
The first step is to onboard employees quickly and get them using the company employee app, mobi or USSD link. Easier said than done when you have thousands of employees who are dispersed in remote locations, with contrasting differences in culture and language, right? Over the last few years we have successfully registered more than 500 000 employees from head office to mines and sugar cane fields. We’ve collected all those learnings to create this employee engagements launch and activations guide. It covers all the elements you need to have in place to successfully onboard your workforce.
Before the launch date is even an asterisk on the calendar, begin with scoping sessions to identify and understand the business case. This process involves asking key questions such as:
- How do we want employees to use the platform?
- Why would they sign up? What’s in it for them?
- Who are the stakeholders across Management, HR, Corporate Affairs and Comms?
- How are employees going to respond to the technology?
- Are there previous change management processes that we can learn from?
- What will a successful launch look like?
Once the scoping is complete, you’ll need to decide on a launch date and work backwards from there. Cross reference against other events taking place in the business to avoid any negative impact. For example, it’s not a good idea to launch a new employee comms solution right after a retrenchment or while wage negotiations are taking place.
Establishing buy-in from management and team leads is a critical step in the process. Start with those in the value chain who will be most affected by the success of your employee comms platform. Get them onboard by hosting info sessions that will help them to see how their life is going to be made easier. Once management is onboard, they’re more likely to prioritise filtering the right message through to the rest of the company. Where relevant, engage with unions to make sure they understand the importance of employees signing up and the benefits that the platform will bring.
Planning, planning, planning
Your launch plan will need to include a roadmap and timeline for the following:
- Info sessions
- Branding and collateral
- Training and support
- Activations team
Remember, the first launch and activation is only the beginning of the onboarding journey. The hardest part in the process is getting the last 20-25% to sign up. Consider a 6 - 12 month adoption plan and how to get change managers involved in the conversation to help drive the process.
Understanding worker sentiment and the layers of education that may be required to prepare the workforce for the adoption of a new digital comms solution is critical to success. Create presentations and flyers that can be shared at info days leading up to launch day. Highlight the benefits to employees as well as the purpose for the company and how that impacts on everyone. Layer the information shared at education days for companies where tech and digital adoption as well as worker sentiment are particularly low.
Consider the number of days that activations teams will need to be onsite, how many hours and which ones. How do the shift rotations work and how many sites and locations are there. The number of employees that need to sign up impacts on the size of activations teams and logistics. As far as possible try to work in consecutive days, they have proven to be more successful. Best practice suggests onboarding teams at head office first as they have more influence over what happens at business unit level, and work your way down the value chain.
Activations go much faster when employees have been properly briefed and are well informed ahead of the launch. With this approach, employees are already convinced of the benefits and tend to sign up straight away. Sharing campaigns and messages in the lead up to launch day can be critical to the success of activations. Keep the message clear and consistent, emphasising the benefit for them such as how it’s going to fast track their HR processes.
Teaser campaigns announcing that “something new is coming” have proven very effective with our clients. Closer to the activation date, run a launch campaign announcing when and where activations are going to be happening, and what employees can do to prepare. Plan for incentives. Everyone loves a freebie - whether it’s a framed selfie, a company branded pen or airtime. Be sure to include this as part of your plan.
Branding and collateral
The branding and collateral required for any activation is dependent on the plan itself. Having spent quite some time working with and negotiating with suppliers, we now have a robust team that produces quality branding collateral of excellent value. Our clients receive a ratecard with a menu from which they can pick and choose the branding and collateral for the launch. We have a design team that puts the creative concept together that can be mapped to the project plan and timeline. For employees, a message from a trusted brand instills confidence. Having company branded collateral that’s easily identifiable helps employees to be more receptive to the communication.
Training and support
If comms teams are going to be managing content themselves via the CMS, they’ll need training ahead of the activations to understand how it works and effectively roll out the comms plan. We recommend having as many familiar faces present on launch day as possible. It dispels any nervousness that employees may be feeling. Staff can help with activations, and receive the same training as the activations team. Enable them to solve basic login issues etc. and define a quick and easy escalation process. Having done this a number of times now, we’re familiar with the kinds of issues that typically come up, and make sure the activators are well versed to handle these issues.
The number of people that you’ll need to onboard employees at activations depends largely on the number of employees at each site. We recommend using a reputable activations company to source activators who can be trained ahead of activations day. Try to use the same activators as often as possible so that you’re not constantly having to re-train teams. You’ll need to communicate with the activators regarding the agenda for the day and what’s expected of them.
Read our next blog: Employee activations guide: What to expect at activations to find out more about what goes into successful launch planning and how you can get the most out of your employee engagement solution.