In spite of how you might feel about technology, you must admit that it’s making some aspects of employee communication much easier and improving communication between employer and employee.
Let’s look at the QR (Quick Response) codes for example…used properly and following a few basic rules, these little barcodes can create a huge impact in your communications. For those of you who don’t know what QR codes are, they are graphical representations of a URL link and free to create. All you need is a smartphone and scan in the code; it’s that simple! Marketing teams have been keen to jump on the band wagon and use QR codes, to mixed levels of success (depending on how intelligently they have been used). But there is no denying these little graphics could be the best thing since sliced bread. For example Guinness wasted no time in combining the monotone QR code with their legendary black drink. With the QR Code printed on their glasses, the code only works when the glass is full of Guinness and links through to vouchers and deals for more Guinness. This is not only a great deal of fun but it’s the most creative use of QR codes we’ve seen to date. Just think of the potential for employee communication. How can you exploit this internal business communication tool in an innovative way to improve employee engagement? How many times have you produced a brochure or poster with a web address on it, or wanted to take employees to a particular part of your intranet? Communication tool Well now you can make it just a quick scan away! Instead of needing the employee to go back to their desk and input the URL, they can just whip out their smartphone (how many people don’t have their phone on them all the time?), scan the QR code and bingo – they are straight into the page/site. We’ve put this into practice for Wesleyan Assurance Society. Wesleyan provides specialist financial services and products to select professional customer groups. They were starting to offer pension contributions to staff as a salary sacrifice scheme. Existing pension members needed to understand the benefits of this alternative contribution system and how much money they could save. So, to accompany a beautifully designed and well written brochure, we added a QR code to it. The QR code linked to an online modeller where employees could input their specific pension conditions to find out just how much they could personally be saving. Brochure + QR code + modeller = one impactful communication. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, QR codes can be an effective employee communication tool and they are free to produce. So, what are you waiting for? Here are a few keys rules to get you started:
- Include a call to action – why should the employee scan the code? What do they get for doing so? Make sure you give them a reason that will benefit them
- Make the code big enough to be scanned and visible, so it isn’t missed – this doesn’t mean it needs to be huge though!
- A practical point – does your office have wireless connection so the employee can connect to the internet on their phone?
Chris Hopkins is managing director of employee communications and marketing agency, Caburn Hope.
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