With just 13% of the world’s workforce feeling engaged, there is a need to revisit if the approach leaders and communicators take currently is the most appropriate. There is also lack of clarity on what covers engagement and where do we draw the line. Also, what is the role of experience in the overall journey an employee takes inside an organization. According to Gallup, employee engagement is essential for an employee to feel psychologically safe to do the job best at work and is an an ongoing part of the employee experience. Employee experience covers a broader journey an employee takes with an organization.
Welcome to the 24th edition of Intraskope’s Spotlight Series featuring Andrea Greehous, an employee experience & internal communications expert based in Ottawa, Canada. She runs Vision2Voice Communications and her life’s purpose is “to make the world of work better”. Having worked with Fortune 500 high technology companies, large government departments, and organizations as diverse as, construction, finance, and higher education, she believes in tapping the power of employee voice and extending their influence and impact. Her blog has over 60 articles and has authored three e-books, including the critically acclaimed, Job Love.
In this interview, I spoke to Andrea on the relevance of employee experience, what it means, how does it play out and what can leaders and communicators gain from investing in this area.
Watch this interview with Andrea to learn more.
In the Spotlight on Internal Communications Series, I talk to thought leaders on topics interrelated with internal communications such as culture, crisis, change, executive presence and leadership. The goal is to help unravel why they matter, what can leaders and communicators learn from experts and how we can put insights to practice.
1. Trends indicate that organizations are shifting to experience from engagement. What does it mean and how different is it?
Engagement is a term that is overused and because of that has lost its meaning. It’s also not specific enough. Employee experience is emerging because:
- As organizations are rethinking their definition of delivering value (ESG) and their most important stakeholders
- Organizations are taking a more human centred approach (engagement is very much focused on productivity and the benefit to the organization where Employee EX is more focused on the person).
- We’ve learned in the pandemic that you can’t separate work and life. We need to take a more holistic, human and employee centric view.
2. What can communicators, especially internal communicators do more to understand expectations from this shift?
Explore resources that help you understand what makes people tick such as neuroscience and psychology. Spend time understanding your employees and build personas that defines what matters to people.
3. In practical terms, how does employee experience play out in communications?
Communication is infused in every aspect of work and our organizations and that shapes every aspect of the employee experience. From tone, style, frequency, openness, transparency to the channels used and how much emphasis you put on listening.
4. Are there any best practices that you have witnessed and can share?
In our work helping organizations adjust to a more flexible way of working, we design content that equips employees with the information they need based on their roles and their concerns.
5. How does it link to culture within the organization and what’s the role of internal communications?
Culture needs to be aligned with strategy. It is about mindsets, behaviours and is driven by what matters – or values. I think internal communication is inextricably linked to culture because the stories we tell and the content we share helps bring values to life and makes them tangible and meaningful. There’s also a lot of sense making going on – what is expected of me? How do I act in meetings, when are the guiding principles that I need to follow when I make decisions, how am I expected to lead my team and interact with my colleagues.
6. What advice do you have for leaders and communicators when they think of employee experience in the future?
- Put people at the center of everything you do. Understand what people need to thrive.
- Think about the need for:
- A sense of purpose
- Autonomy and empowerment
- Feeling feel valued and respected for their knowledge and ideas
- Gratitude and celebration
I explore a lot of these concepts in my blog: https://www.vision2voice.ca/blog/ and in my online books: https://www.vision2voice.ca/resources/our-books/
Watch the complete video interview on YouTube or read the complete transcript above.
Missed the earlier episodes? Watch them here: D. Mark Schumann (Culture), Peter Yorke (Executive Presence), Sia Papageorgiou (Leadership Communications), Dianne Chase (Strategic Storytelling), Gloria Walker (Communication Planning), Rebecca Sangster-Kelly (Stakeholder Management), Ray Walsh (Localizing Employee Communications), Prof. Matt Tidwell (Reputation), Geri Rhoades (Manager Communications), Erik K Meyers (Business Acumen), Russell-Olivia Brooklands (IC Practice Governance), Paul Barton (Public Speaking and Business Communication), Cyrus Mavalwala (Digital Communication), Elvera N Makki (Social Impact Communication), Philippe Borremans (Communication Preparedness) and Magdalena Petryniak (Influence in Communications), Priya Bates (Communicating Diversity & Inclusion), Zora Artis (Communication Alignment), Diana Bonczar (Communication Execution), Jane McConnell (Gig Mindset), Paul Mathews (Trust & Communications), Brad Whitworth (Creativity in Communication) and Zane Ewton (Podcasting).
You can also look up the ongoing Intraskope’s Spotlight on Internal Communication Series featuring practitioners from around the globe sharing best practices and perspectives.
Liked the interview? Post your comments and share it with your network.
Keen to participate in the ongoing series on Personal Branding, Crisis Communications, Internal Communications or CSR Communications? Drop me a note at [email protected]
Here are Internal Communications resources you can use:
- Learn: Internal Communications Fundamentals Course on Thinkific
- Internal Communications Series: https://forms.gle/KcqmPzLwq7NQi5Km6
- Chat with Aniisu – Internal Communications: https://www.instamojo.com/intraskope/connect-with-aniisu-60-minute-personalized-d/?ref=store
- Internal Communications workshops: https://bit.ly/2zdBRl1
You can also visit my website www.intraskope.com and You Tube channel to know more about my work.
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