Every year, when I see the Coca-Cola ‘Holidays are coming’ advert on TV, it makes me feel a bit warm and cosy. Now, “warm and cosy” aren’t generally words you’d use to describe drinking Coca-Cola – so what’s going on? And what the devil (you may ask), does this have to do with Reward communication?
Well, everything actually.
The reason I feel warm and cosy about Coke is down to the way in which they use Contextual and Content Marketing. Contextual Marketing comes from the world of online shopping, where brands use their knowledge of you, your needs and desires to serve up more content that they think will be of interest to you (think Netflix recommendations). Content Marketing is more about raising general interest and establishing a two-way relationship with people, rather than a hard sell (Coca-Cola demonstrated their mastery of this kind of marketing in 2011’s “Share a Coke” campaign). The combination of these two elements allows brands to be front of mind all year round.
Global brands are increasingly focussed on creating impactful and inspiring content and developing an ongoing meaningful relationship with their customers. It’s exactly the same when it comes to engaging with employees. Within so many organisations, Reward communication is often driven by deadlines relating to cyclical processes, rather than focussing on what employees really want (incidentally, Coca-Cola does this bit rather well too).
And what do they want? Well, the same as consumers (because employees are consumers too) – simple, personal and relevant messages which are timely, meaningful and genuine.
Reward practitioners have an enormous opportunity to use communication and all the channels at their disposal – not simply to notify employees of transactional changes to their remuneration packages – but to regularly connect their company’s purpose, vision and strategic priorities to the desires and ambitions of individuals in a way that drives sustained engagement, performance and behavioural change. Effective communication is, after all, a balance between the transactional and emotional elements to drive greater employee engagement.
So, where to start? Here are a few tips:
So, in summary, start thinking about Reward communication as an ongoing action, not a deadline-based action. Your people and your company will thank you for it.