How to Engage Your Teams With Internal Communications

12 December 2019

Internal communications

The way we communicate has changed radically over the past decade or so, and workplace communication is no exception.

With mobile technology at our fingertips, disseminating information throughout your store network should be easier than ever - but many companies still suffer from a lack of effective communication between stores, area managers and HQ.

Here are 3 ways you can transform your internal communications system to inspire your teams and give them the drive to represent your brand at its best.

Short on time? Watch this short video summary instead: 

Engage with internal comms

Information

Nobody likes feeling like they’re out of the loop, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, that’s often exactly how deskless workers feel.

Maybe it’s the fact that they’re on their feet all day instead of sitting in front of a computer, or that staff turnover is particularly high in retail (81% last year).

Whatever the cause, employees who don’t feel like they’re part of the conversation are unlikely to be engaged in their work.

That’s why providing them with all the information they need is so crucial.

Got a new product line coming out? Send out a little training session to help boost employee knowledge of the new items.

Launching a new seasonal campaign? Let everyone know what the concept and plan is, so they can carry it out effectively in every store with no confusion.

About to start your January sale? Get everyone on the same page with a notification about the terms and conditions of the offer.

Don’t take it too far, though - information overload is just as useless as not giving employees any information at all.

In fact, one study has indicated that in young adults (i.e. the demographic that makes up most retail and hospitality staff), a central memory store can only hold 3-5 meaningful items at a time.

So to make sure employees aren’t getting notification fatigue, you should be able to tailor updates according to their relevance to the user.

And while you’re at it - make it interesting! Use a mixture of written posts, videos, photos, gifs… have fun with it. Because let’s be honest, nobody can resist a good cat gif.

Actual footage of the YOOBIC content team at work, via GIPHY

Motivation

Ok, so you’ve got the “boring” part down. And you’ve even managed to get creative with it.

Now for something a little more fun - motivating your staff.

It’s all about creating a positive atmosphere amongst your team. Sharing motivational quotes and fun, lighthearted words of encouragement will make checking their messages enjoyable and give them a little boost on a difficult shift.

You can also use your comms system to organize fun contests. It could be as trivial as the best team selfie, the best Halloween decorations, or the cutest pet.

Alongside those, include more “serious” competitions like which store, or even individual employee, makes the most sales in a month. Offer a reward to the winner - perhaps a small bonus, or even an extra day off - and see how the friendly competition drives performance.

And to spur on your teams even more, why not share a leaderboard where people can see their progress? Gamified elements like these are far more effective at getting a user’s attention than just a dense block of text announcing the latest boring update.

Polls are another great way to motivate your teams. What’s so great about including this kind of feature is that it goes a step beyond the one-way, top-down communication deskless employees are used to.

Instead, it creates a dialogue. Asking for employees’ opinions - and displaying the answers in a transparent format - shows your staff that their involvement is valued, that they’re not just a cog in the machine.

Celebration

This goes hand in hand with motivation. A motivated team is spurred on to do a good job, and teams that do a good job deserve to be praised.

Sharing positive feedback and data - for example, a great Yelp review or impressive sales figures for a particular store - is a great way to champion your employees and show them that their achievements don’t go unnoticed.

The same can be done with a variety of other communications, such as:

  • Celebrating employees being promoted or reaching other career milestones
  • Welcoming new joiners to the team
  • Marking new store openings
  • Highlighting positive attention in the press
  • Announcing new partnerships with other brands or influencers
  • Wishing your employees well on national holidays

Engaging and nurturing your employees with these 3 strategies will encourage a sense of loyalty to your brand, resulting in a highly motivated workforce and better-performing stores.

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