Unravelling current
communication challenges

Top 10 insights from our communication challenge at EB Live

At Landscape we love to have fun while making the complex simple. We did exactly that at Stand 534 at EB Live. Our interactive data map inspired the passers-by to stop for a chat and talk through their communication challenge. It was colourful, engaging, a bit knotty on occasions, but very revealing.

This is the first in our series of insights from our pulse check, representing approximately 650,000 employees. We can now reveal the top 10 insights, what’s hot and what’s not from our map. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be digging deeper into the findings and revealing the journeys our respondents wanted to tackle and how they wanted to take them.

We believe there’s good news out there – with improved focus, constant creativity and remembering to keep it simple we believe the majority of employees are keen to make the most of what their employer has to offer.

 
No. 1

Employees remain
'front and centre'

71% of employers are tackling all employee communication issues - segmenting audiences at first glance is not seen as a priority.

As communicators we often focus on specific target groups - whilst we believe this to be best practice, it seems that having good communications in place for 'all employees' is something we're still striving for.

No. 2

New talent
and millenials

21% of employers cited new talent and engaging millennials as their top communication audience.

This is no surprise. Attracting and retaining the right talent continues to dominate our headlines. What's interesting is that our journeys show that it is small to mid-sized companies that are finding this more of a challenge. If the 'big brands' are getting this right we should consider how to adapt their methods to fit smaller audiences and smaller companies.

 
No. 3

Engaging your senior team

27% of small to mid-sized companies need to focus on managers and leaders.

Small to medium companies want more from their senior team. They need leaders and managers to own and deliver messages for the business. Two-thirds of them confirmed leaders and managers, as well as employees, were a critical part of their communication challenge.

No. 4

Winning hearts and minds

There are opportunities for all to focus on the positive with 1/3 of the audience being keen, excited and impatient to move forward.

Good communications take the audience on a journey. Those journeys may also need to move your audience from a negative emotional state to another. Our data map showed a rough split of 1/3 positive emotions, 1/3 negative emotions and 1/3 indifferent or apathetic.

 
No. 5

Face to face

20% of employers still want to use face to face and town halls. This supports many of the communication and engagement surveys already published.

Face time has not been replaced. In times of change and uncertainty, face time is critical whether your organisation is large or small. However, our largest employers don’t rely on this – they cite a range of channels, from the internet to social, mobile and personalised and targeted solutions.

 
 
No. 6

Old habits

Just over a quarter of employers are having to rely on the internet or their intranet.

It seems we're still reliant on our intranets. We hear frustration and many appear to be questioning whether to move away from it completely or revamping it to make it more engaging and easier to use. We heard that it still has a role, for now, but going forward employers are struggling to make it work.

No. 7

Excitement

There's excitement around apps, social and mobile tools - with around 30% wanting to introduce or use more in this space.

With ageing intranets and consumer grade expectations from both existing employees and new talent, it's clear that mobile tools and apps are in demand. Our challenge here is to keep what works from the 'old' and embrace the 'new' and make it work well. Just because it's new and shiny, doesn't make it the answer to all your communication needs, however, using new tools in the right way could make your communications more 'personal' without necessarily having to do all the initial segmentation and targeting.

 
No. 8

Simplicity and Creativity

Above all employers value simplicity and creativity and see these as essential to getting the message across. 1/3 of employers value these aspects above techniques, such as using Behavioural science, gamification, change management principles or consumer grade.

Sometimes it's the simple things that make the biggest difference. For example, using an animation may not be new, but it might break down the barriers that have been difficult to overcome in the past. Animations by their very nature are short and engaging. We've seen a resurgence in their use, for this very reason.

No. 9

Being rounded

1/5 of respondents highlighted communicating their Employee Value Proposition as their main challenge. If we add Reward, Pensions and Wellbeing (additional core components of an EVP) this becomes a challenge to over 50% of the employers.

To our surprise, pensions do not appear to be a primary challenge to the attendees at EB Live. Could it be that the last few years of auto-enrolment activity and new pensions flexibility has exhausted activity in this area and other topics are taking centre stage? Or perhaps our bright red stand put the pension professionals off! Either way, pensions are now a mandatory financial benefit. We believe that helping employees through the choices they have now and the impact those choices could have on their future financial security, should remain high on the agenda. Albeit, under the context of financial education or the overall employee value proposition.

 
No. 10

The most popular challenges?

Not surprisingly at EB Live, Reward and Benefits were the most common communication challenges, followed closely by employee value proposition.

Our findings showed that smaller employers are now focusing on the EVP. Once again, it appears the big brands and larger organisations have covered this ground already, and it's time the rest of us caught up. Research from Deloitte confirms that stepping up efforts to attract talent is essential. If a candidate is choosing between organisations offering similar financial incentives other factors come into play. Communicating these factors as a package will help employers differentiate themselves in the market. Without a high profile, customer-facing brand, there's much more work for some smaller employers.