This post is an introduction to a series of articles where I explain the most effective frameworks for creating attention-grabbing communications that drive behavior. Subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive the rest of the series.
By Vlad Gyster, Founder & CEO of Airbo
Time To Read: 2 Minutes 48 Seconds
As I sat in a windowless conference room in rural Minnesota, I felt a sense of déjà vu.
There was a palatable tension in the air. On one side of the table sat the HR leadership team, flanked by a group of consultants with an average billing rate of $450 per hour. On the other side of the table sat representatives from a newly implemented wellness vendor.
You couldn’t ask for more resources. This is the kind of team many organizations dream of having the budget to hire.
And yet, everyone in the room was here to come to grips with a startling fact: employees weren’t participating in the Health Risk Assessment and Biometric Screening, a program that cost over half a million dollars to setup and launch.
Suddenly, the big budget didn't matter. The wellness vendor's clinically accurate methodology didn't matter. The consultant's health management strategy didn't matter.
What did matter? Employees weren’t paying attention. And as a result, they weren't participating. And because they weren't participating, the program wasn't working.
I’ve witnessed a version of this scenario repeat itself over and over again, at companies from one hundred employees to one hundred thousand across all parts of HR.
This is the engagement gap: the difference between the possible employee appreciation and participation, and what actually happens. An engaging employee communications process is how effective HR functions close the engagement gap.
The engagement gap is not conceptual. It's very real. It’s that hair-pulling conversation with Dave from sales that missed the Open Enrollment deadline but claims he never received the ten communications that you know you sent. It’s those open jobs that employees aren’t sharing with their friends even though there’s a referral bonus. It’s the empty chairs in the presentation about retirement benefits your team spent months setting up.
Every HR person has a Dave - maybe even a few of them - but the engagement gap represents an incredible opportunity. It’s a chance for HR leaders to increase the value and efficiency of HR by improving employee awareness, appreciation and participation in programs, activities, and benefits.
Over the last ten years, I’ve been fortunate to have worked on helping to engage employees in HR programs with hundreds of companies, first as a consultant at Willis Towers Watson and then as CEO of Airbo.
During that time, I’ve tried a lot of different things: imagine the alphabet soup of buzzwords, from gamification to apps to social media. Some stuff worked, some stuff didn’t. But over time, I noticed a consistent set of effective strategies.
HR leaders that followed these strategies seemed to be running downhill. Even if the company didn’t have the best benefits or ra-ra culture, employee awareness, appreciation, and participation just kept rolling on.
Yet in other companies, even with amazing benefits, a charismatic CEO, and plenty of money to spend, getting employees to care seemed to be a struggle.
What’s the difference between how these kinds of companies capture employee attention and drive behavior? I’m excited to share what my team and I have learned.
Subscribe at the bottom of this page to receive the rest of the series. If you’re already on the Airbo mailing list, you’ll receive new posts as they’re released.
This post is part of a series called: How the Best HR Teams Capture Employee Attention and Drive Behavior - a Playbook for Engaging Employee Communications.
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