Lesson 4: Introduction to Communications

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🕒  Time to complete: ~15 minutes

Welcome to lesson four, where we delve into Axonify Communications.

Regardless of the size of your organization, Axonify Communications provides a two-way communication and feedback system that connects everyone. Say goodbye to the chaos and ensure that everyone across all time zones and geographies remains up-to-date. Let's get started by checking out this video to learn more!

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Communication Matrix

Let’s start by providing a breakdown of the different types of communications you can use with Axonify.

Broadcast Messages
Allow you to send company-wide updates and urgent messages.
Team & Individual Messages
Allow managers to send announcements and reminders to specific groups or individuals.
Campaigns
Give you to the ability to send different types of Announcement, Behavior, Confidence, and Knowledge communications to gauge preferences, attitudes, and understanding.
Posts
Allows you to send communications where your team can respond, interact and discuss through reactions and comments.
Articles
Let you share on-demand materials that employees can easily reference throughout their workday.

We’ve created the chart below to help you understand the different communication options available, which one to use for your specific needs, and some examples. You can also download it below. 

Note: We’ve tied in practical learning scenarios to really help you piece together the core functionality.

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And coming soon in 2023: Chat, where employees can chat directly with others on their team, or in a location-specific chat which encourages real-time, secure chat and collaboration.

If you're unsure about your package or interested in a feature that may not be included, contact your CSM.

 

What Order Are Communications Delivered to Employees?

When choosing which communication method to use, you may want to consider the priority level. Below is the order of priority:

    1. The first thing employees see is a Broadcast Message, which takes priority and must be viewed before accessing the rest of the platform.
    2. Team Messages are next in line, followed by Individual Messages.
    3. After that, Learning, Timeline, and Discover open up for employees to view.
    4. Once learning is completed, then Tasks and Campaign Communications are displayed on the homepage. Tasks will appear in order of their due date, with only overdue or due-today tasks visible, and Campaign Communications are ordered chronologically by date regardless of their type.

 

How-to Content for Your Campaign

Now, let’s explore the benefits of taking a campaign-based approach when delivering communications.

A communication campaign is a series of planned communications that build on each other over time, with a specific goal in mind. Campaigns can last days or months and are a great way to organize many communications related to one specific topic.

 

Why Use Campaigns?

As with training, it's important to have a clear purpose for every communication and to ensure your frontline is only receiving the information they need to drive business results. With a campaign-based approach, you can not only identify the most relevant information to share but also ensure its timely delivery for maximum retention and engagement among your team.

Whether your objective is to increase sales, enhance employee engagement, or launch a new product, a campaign-based approach can be an effective strategy to achieve your goals.

 

How to Use a Campaign-Based Approach

When crafting a campaign, your objective is to discover the secret sauce. This winning formula should resonate with your frontline and align with your goals. Like an exceptional recipe, you may need to experiment with the ratios of ingredients to find the perfect blend.  Ultimately, your aim is to integrate different approaches and achieve the optimal mix of content that speaks to your employees. 

To effectively develop a communication campaign, you can follow these five major steps:

Step One: Identify the Goal

Much like we covered in Lesson 3: Introduction to Learning, you always want to start by identifying the specific business goal you want to achieve with your communication. Whether you seek to increase sales, launch a new product, or boost employee engagement and retention, establishing a clear objective will enable you to concentrate your communication efforts and gauge success.

Ensure that each communication has a specific objective that aligns with the overarching campaign goal. Why are you crafting this communication? Are you providing instructions to associates on how to complete a task? Are you soliciting feedback from them? Are you sharing a positive news story to enhance support or alter an opinion? Understanding the aim of your communication is vital in directing your writing and serves as an excellent starting point. Consider the action or behavior you intend to inspire in your audience after they read the communication you're sending. 

Step Two: Break Down the Campaign into Specific Initiatives

Organize the content of the campaign into initiatives, each with a specific focus. For example, if you're running a safety awareness campaign, you could break it down into initiatives such as ladder safety, COVID protocol, and PPE.

Step Three: Determine the Types of Communications to Use

As you start to map out your content by each day and week, you can choose which types of communication are going to be the most effective. As a reminder, there are Announcements, Knowledge, Survey, Behaviour, and Confidence surveys. Each type serves a different purpose, so choose the appropriate format for each initiative.

Step Four: Divide Content into Three Buckets

Categorize your content into tactical, strategic, and cultural categories. Tactical content focuses on "how" to accomplish a goal, strategic content on the "what" and "why," and cultural content on building relationships and community.

Note: Make sure your content includes a good mix of tactical content, strategic content, and cultural content. As a general rule, when planning a campaign we recommend a mix of 60% tactical, 25% strategic, and 15% cultural content for peak campaign effectiveness.

Step Five: Schedule the Campaign

Schedule your campaign, spacing out communications to avoid information overload. Follow up with skill-testing questions and surveys to identify gaps quickly, but limit sends to no more than two per day for maximum effectiveness.

Note: Use templates organized by goal or campaign type to create a repeatable process. If you find a tried-and-true campaign format, you can save it as a template and easily use it again for future campaigns.

It's important to remember, content that the frontline doesn’t need to memorize can be stored in Discover for easy reference.

 

How to Write Engaging Communications

You now have the basics down pat – congratulations! Hopefully, we’ve convinced you that campaigns can deliver some serious benefits to your internal communication strategy. However, you may be pondering where to start.  

There’s an art to writing communications that the frontline will love (and remember).  The good news is, we’re here to teach you, and it’s entirely possible to make even the most corporate, drab topics feel fun and exciting with a little creative writing flair. Below are our top tips to jazz up your communications:

  1. Know your audience and be very specific about who this message is relevant for, and cater the tone and scope of the message directly to them.
  2. Speaking of tone, make it conversational; it should sound like you’re speaking directly to the reader.
  3. Don’t shy away from adding unique images that surprise and delight the reader.
  4. Use literary devices, like puns or alliteration.
  5. Condense to be short and concise.
  6. Emojis - use them sparingly, to highlight a list or accentuate a point.

To learn how to design campaigns and write effective communications, refer to our Guide to Effective Communications which provides detailed examples and worksheets. 

 

How to Report on It

Just like with Learning, your use of Communications will get better as you gain experience and learn what works best for your organization. You can find all the insights you need to improve your communication strategy within the Reports section of AdminZone.

Here’s a quick overview of just some of the things you’ll be able to see using our pre-built reports:

  • Which employees received which communications, and who responded to them?
  • Which campaigns are performing better than others? 
  • Which people or teams are the most engaged?
  • What’s the breakdown of responses to surveys, knowledge checks, and confidence surveys?

You can also find details on how to access and use our Discover and Timeline reporting. Check out communications insights here and page insights here.

 

➡️  Next Up - Lesson 5: Introduction to Operations

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