You’re ready to roll out a new employee communication and engagement program. You’ve got your content in place, and have a solid strategy laid out. Congratulations! But don’t hit that launch button just yet. There’s still quite a bit to consider.
The greatest adoption comes when you have a well-designed plan in place. Here’s the reality: implementation is a multi-step process, and there are a lot of moving parts. Engaging employees right from the very start requires:
- Creating buzz
- Developing a targeted outreach approach
- Crafting a follow-up strategy that will ensure activation
We’ve broken down the actionable steps every communication team needs to take in order to successfully launch your program and create momentum for great adoption throughout the entire organization.
Create Some Buzz
No program gets off the ground if there isn’t a little excitement buzzing around the office! Identify key evangelists and influencers in your organization who will focus on generating enthusiasm internally. Tap them to start socializing and advocating for the program “through the grapevine.” Word of mouth is huge. They can generate interest among their colleagues about what’s coming. (And how great they’ve heard it’s going to be!)
Meanwhile, your team can build curiosity by teasing information in existing communication channels – like company newsletters, one-off emails, and collaboration tools. Make sure to include the program’s official name so folks start to familiarize themselves with the new “brand” and they recognize it when they ultimately receive invitations.
Once you’ve set the groundwork on the pre-launch buzz, use these influencers and other key team members – like managers or those who work cross-functionally – to be a part of the program. Make sure to invite them personally to ensure their participation. Remember to target a range of roles and departments. Focus on employees who have influence across the company and pride themselves on being early adopters to new technology and ideas.
Invite Your Members
Once you’ve successfully created a stir around the new program and employees are getting excited, it’s time to formally invite them to join! Give employees a heads-up that invites are on the way. (This helps build the suspense even more.) Schedule invitations in batches based on time zones. This way, people will be getting an invitation during normal work hours – and not in the middle of the night.
Within your invitation, make sure to explain the program’s purpose, value and expectations for membership. Keep the message clear, succinct, and welcoming. Nothing ruins adoption more than overwhelming or confusing information. Focus on how this is something for them, not the company. Then break down the registration steps they will need to follow in order to gain access. One pro tip: you can never over-simplify enough. You want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to register to help build adoption.
Also, be prepared to field any questions from members, especially users who may be less familiar with mobile devices apps and social media. This is going to be new territory for some people.
So, now you’ve made it! You’ve successfully launched your program. It’s out in the wild and accessible to employees across your organization!
But the work isn’t over . Actually, it has just begun. Adoption takes time and effort. Make sure to re-invite employees who still haven’t registered after about a week or so. Send the email at a different time than the first invitation to see if that helps with engagement. Reminders later in the week are often more successful as your employees usually have more time in their day to complete registration. Offer some extra support, such as training through all-hands sessions or “office hours.” Always focus on the positives. Show they how that by signing up for the program, they’ll be joining a better way to stay connected with the organization!
You’ll also need to continue engaging active and inactive members. For those who have registered and are actively engaging, send a follow-up “Thank You” communication. Use the note to also encourage them to download the mobile app, engage with content, and consider submitting their own stories.
For users who have become inactive, target them with more specific information on the value of the program and highlight new content that might interest them. These folks might need some extra encouragement. Provide testimonials from your active members or continue offering those office hours. Another pro tip: Showcase the great information and benefits this program provides. With interesting content that’s most relevant to them, your members will keep coming back for more.
It’s important to remember that onboarding employees is the most critical piece to launching and maintaining a successful program. Don’t rush through it. Plus, it should be a fun experience! Employees should be excited to register because they don’t want to miss out on interesting information. Take the time to figure out what works best for your particular organization. Leverage surveys and feedback loops so that you can improve the program as you go.
Remember: adoption is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. And the whole organization wins when everyone is onboard!