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An Edelman perspective on making meaningful employee

connections that deepen engagement, build trust
and accelerate business performance

January 2017


Three practices internal communicators should commit to in 2017

By Mollie Scott, Account Supervisor, Employee Engagement
Amidst fitness, financial and other personal resolutions, the start of a new year is also the perfect time to evaluate
your internal communications approach. Whether youre focused on reaching your employees more effectively
or need ways to make your communications more engaging, we have a few ideas to get you started. Based on
our work with clients and overall industry trends, here are a few simple resolutions you can make and keep! to
strengthen your internal communications and employee engagement programs in the coming year.

Resolution 1: Adapt to the Changing Political

The recent U.S. election has caused uncertainty across
all industries. Its important that employees feel
supported during times of change so they can remain
focused on what really matters. Here are a few tips to
help employees navigate during periods of volatility:

Accept uncertainty. The last six months have been

marked by a flurry of legislative changes with direct
impact on companies and employees: potential
U.S. Department of Labor overtime changes, new
tax implications for multinational companies and
new antitrust enforcement guidelines. But it is
unclear whether any of those changes will be
halted or reversed under the Trump administration,
leaving many companies wondering how to
proceed. While you cant predict the future, you
can remind employees that amidst all the
ambiguity, your company and its mission and vision
arent changing. Remain true to your values and
reiterate that your purpose is still the same.
Focus on open communication. Now more than
ever, its essential to keep the lines of
communication open and create an environment
where employees feel comfortable expressing their
opinions and concerns. Employees want to feel that
their voice is being heard, so be sure to build in
sufficient time for listening as well. Equip key groups,
like HR colleagues and managers, with the
resources they need to have productive
conversations and answer tough questions.

Go back to the basics. Dont forget about basic

change management principles they apply to a
variety of situations. Be planful, do your best to stay
on top of trends and anticipate changes on the
horizon. This will help your organization feel more
prepared for whats to come and stay nimble when
the need to course correct arises.

Resolution 2: Reward and Recognize Your

While many companies have annual awards or sales
incentive programs, sometimes little acts of recognition
have the biggest impact on employees. There are
many ways you can infuse recognition into a daily

Encourage peer recognition. Receiving praise from

your manager is always welcome, but sometimes
peer recognition is just as fulfilling. One of our
hospitality clients has a pay it forward recognition
program, which encourages employees to
acknowledge a coworker who has gone above
and beyond in their job. That person receives two
small tokens of appreciation one to keep and one
to pass on to someone else to continue the cycle of

Feedback, feedback and more feedback. Its no

secret that employees, especially Millennials, crave
feedback. Real-time recognition is an easy way to
infuse positivity into the workplace and boost

2017 Edelman

You dont have to wait for a one-on-one meeting or

formal review process to recognize colleagues.
Instant, positive feedback will make people feel
appreciated in the moment and beyond. And
dont forget about constructive feedback as well
it allows people to course correct, leading to more
opportunities for growth and development.

Celebrate the present. When celebrating a

milestone, remember to use all communication
channels available everything from videos and
dedicated intranet portals to manager toolkits
and promotional materials. This is an easy and
tangible way to keep the content top of mind for
employees. Consider including a hashtag or
tagline to help curate and promote content. This
can serve as a rallying cry for employees and can
be used throughout communications to create
consistency and a sense of collaboration.

Look to the future. Its also important to keep

employees excited about whats ahead for the
company and how they can contribute. For
example, creating a virtual time capsule, where
employees can write emails to their future self,
submit a piece of work theyre most proud of or
post pictures with colleagues, allows employees
to tie their personal accomplishments to the future
success of the company.

The magic words. Were often so busy and

wrapped up in our work that we forget to
acknowledge a job well done. Remember that a

Resolution 3: Celebrate the Milestones

Be it an anniversary, a new product launch or a
company milestone, major events deserve a little
celebration. Besides being fun, celebrating these key
moments in time can help increase engagement and
build pride throughout the organization.

Remember the past. Anniversaries are a great way

to commemorate your companys history and
remind employees where it all started. If
approaching a major milestone 25, 50, 75 years
consider a year-long campaign with build-up
communications, exciting launch events and
ongoing engagement activities to keep the
celebration going. One immersive way to do this
would be to create an experiential timeline that
employees can physically walk through to learn
about key dates and company achievements. At
the end of the timeline, invite employees to write
their own proudest moment on a dedicated wall
space to make it personal. Its also important to
acknowledge other types of anniversaries as the
pace of merger and acquisition activity continues
to accelerate, M&A anniversaries are emerging as
an opportunity to unite employees and recognize
progress. Celebrating a year together as a newly
combined company will help employees see how
far theyve come and what theyve been able to
accomplish together.

About Us
organizations accelerate business performance,
delivered by highly engaged and trusted
employees. We do this by making meaningful, trustbuilding connections connecting employees
with the company, with each other and with the
outside world.
Our global network of employee engagement
specialists develop engagement strategy; deploy
the tools and processes to deliver it; create the
multimedia channels and content that support it;
and design the insight mechanisms to measure it.
For more information, visit us at,
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