Nadeen Jackson-Barker: Engineer engaging communications

Is there a right way to communicate that will drive engagement in your workforce?

With workforces becoming increasingly diverse, it is more and more difficult to find the right communication approach to engage staff.

Nadeen Jackson-Barker, AXA UK

And with shrinking benefits budgets and soon-to-be five generations in the workplace, how can employers be sure to communicate benefits programmes in a way that is effective and packs an engagement punch?

Like many organisations today, Axa UK’s approach is often multi-channel, with a scattergun effect, using all possible methods, from posters to deskdrops, to email alerts and roadshows. But in this fast-paced world of digitalised information, employees may think such communication is just another form of spam.

The tide of change for how we communicate with our employees is certainly upon us, but what is the right direction to take?

A huge number of articles have promoted segmentation as the best way to go, but I think more focus should be placed on personalisation, rather than just a blunt attempt by the employer to box employees into groups based on age and gender, with personal preferences not necessarily identified.

Imagine a world where employees could personally choose the format in which to receive their communications. Perhaps employers think this idea is too costly and burdensome.

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But as employers, we already create a multitude of communications, so my question is this: are we looking to segment in the wrong place? Perhaps benefits communication should be about segmenting existing communication materials and distributing it according to employees’ individual preferences.

Nadeen Jackson-Barker is HR reward manager at Axa UK