Take a deep breath: I want to talk to you about Christmas. And yes, I write this in the middle of a sweltering UK summer. But it’s precisely because Christmas seems a lifetime away that I’m writing this post. Because a touch of long-term planning today is all it takes to ensure you’re ready to deliver a major dose of employee engagement later in the year.
Every year, Belong helps clients to make their people feel recognised and valued for their work throughout the year (see images below from campaigns for RSA and Isban). Every year I reflect on what we could achieve if we started the exercise a lot earlier.
As such, I promised myself I would share these thoughts in the height of summer. So here goes: three simple ways you can get ahead of the pack:
1. Get your people to document ‘moments of emotion’
The end of the year is a priceless opportunity to make people feel connected to their organisation. Facts and figures are only part of the story. What makes the biggest impact are moments of emotion - stories, images and video snippets which capture the highs and (importantly) the lows of the year.
For inspiration, I urge to you revisit the Sainsburys 2013 Christmas campaign – it’s made from footage shot on phones, but it packs a huge emotional punch, because it shows people in all their diverse glory.
So have a think about what you can do to stockpile moments of emotion. When you’re at live events, grab footage, photos and comments. Run competitions on your internal social network. Challenge your employee networks to help you. Cast your net far and wide and get collecting.
2. Get your leaders off guard
The end of the year is about generating a warm glow of pride about the organisation. Leaders have an important role to play in this. We all respond well to authentic leaders, but it can be surprisingly hard to find material that shows leaders being relaxed, accessible and funny. So don’t leave this to chance. Actively seek opportunities to get material that reveals their personalities.
3. Review your progress every month
If your team have a monthly meeting, add a rolling item to the agenda: The Good Stuff Pile. Take stock of what you’ve accumulated. Give contributors a high five. Talk about the month ahead, and agree who’s going to grab material at upcoming events. By doing this every month, you can end the year in a very smug position with plenty of goodies to share.
Good luck with your efforts – and now, back to the Great British Summertime.