The first step to enhancing your internal communications is planning. It sounds obvious, we know, but internal comms planning can be tricky. Comms emergencies are inevitable, and communication teams are often looped in at the last minute to help put out the fire.
But developing a plan doesn't have to mean that your communications are locked in and set in stone. With some flexibility, your employee engagement calendar can be a critical tool for developing communications that are strategic, adaptable and ultimately more successful.
That's because planning your internal communication calendar means less scrambling to put together ideas and materials and more time refining how you communicate with your employees. It helps you keep track of all of your communications in one place, so you can make sure that you're not overwhelming people with too much information. And because internal campaigns require buy-in and participation, planning your calendar in advance allows you to bring people in early so you can stay on schedule and reduce stress for everyone involved.
How to use this calendar
We developed the employee engagement calendar to help communication teams plan their campaigns, stay organised and keep stakeholders in the loop. The downloadable calendar template is fully customisable, so you can modify it to meet your specific needs. And unlike other content calendars, it includes Workplace-specific details, so you can keep track of the features that you use to enhance your organisation-wide communications.
To help you drive engagement all year round, we've also included links to campaign kits for each month of the year. Click on the link to learn more about the campaign, find instructions on how to run it and download the campaign materials.
Why employee engagement is important
Employee engagement affects every function of your organisation, from productivity to retention to customer satisfaction. Employees who are engaged are up to 21% more productive, according to Gallup. Engagement can reduce turnover and absenteeism, leading to a more stable workforce. And it can improve your organisation's reputation, as genuinely engaged employees are more likely to go the extra mile to improve the experience for your customers.
Tips for planning your Workplace communications
The employee engagement calendar was designed to help you keep track of all of your internal communications, whether they take place on Workplace, in email, newsletters, print or more.
But when it comes to communications on Workplace, there are a variety of different features that can help you amplify your message and stay on schedule. Here are some tips to help you make the most of them:
- If you're using Draft for to compose posts for members of your executive team, make sure that you draft the post in advance and get executives to sign off on the copy early. This way you can be certain that they'll approve and share the post on time.
- If you're sharing posts with employees in other timezones, try scheduling them in advance so they post at the best time.
- Live video streams can also be scheduled in advance. When you schedule a live video, you'll be asked to provide a title, description and a start time. A post will be shared in the group that you plan to go live in, so employees get notified of the upcoming broadcast. When the scheduled time arrives, your camera will automatically turn on and the live stream will start. For that reason, it's best to have the person who plans on going live (for example, an executive) schedule the live video from their own Workplace account.
- If you plan on running a Q&A using live video or Q&A posts, make sure that you announce the Q&A in advance to give employees time to prepare their questions.
- For critical company announcements, make sure that you use Mark as important. When you mark a group post as important, all group members will receive a notification and the post will appear at the top of their News Feed until it's marked as read. System admins, content moderators and admins with permission to mark posts as "Important" can use this feature. To learn more about admin roles, click here.
- For the complete guide on running a Town Hall in Workplace, download the Live Town Hall playbook.
Good communication is all about change and adaptability. It's important to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your campaigns so you can continue to improve your messaging and meet the needs of your people.
The "campaigns" feature in the Workplace Admin Panel helps you measure engagement on multiple posts. You can use it to analyse metrics such as seen by numbers, reactions, comments, percentage read and even campaign sentiment. Learn which teams and departments are viewing and engaging with your content and which ones aren't, and find out how campaign sentiment trends over time.
Set up separate Workplace campaigns for each of the internal campaigns you're running in 2021. Compare their performance against each other to learn what worked and what didn't. Use these insights to continue refining your internal campaign strategy throughout the year.
For a full guide on using the campaigns feature, click here.
Gather data on specific posts and track post performance by going to your Admin Panel, selecting Insights and going to the Posts tab. Then, use the post URL to view seen by numbers, average percentage read, comment sentiment and more. Scroll down to analyse post consumption across your Workplace. Use the filters to compare consumption across job titles, departments, locations and more.
For more information on Insights in the Admin Panel, read this guide.
Surveys are a great way to get quick feedback on communications directly in Workplace. Employees can receive surveys in Workplace chat and survey results are always anonymous, so people feel comfortable sharing their honest thoughts and opinions. Use surveys regularly to gather valuable feedback on company events, campaigns, organisational changes and more.
To learn more about Workplace surveys, read our guide.