17 December 2019

10 top tips for employee engagement in 2020

The festive season is upon us, hopefully giving all of us some time to rest and prepare for another year of engaging colleagues and transforming cultures.

We know how hard it is to step outside of the BAU and lift your head above the noise, with so many conflicting priorities fighting for your time. So here’s a piece of content to bookmark, and read over the festive break with a cuppa (or something stronger, up to you!)


Our 10 tips for 2020

  1. Get planning. 

Don’t rely on what’s always worked. Don’t get trapped in a cycle of reuse and recycle. Get your team together and regroup in January. Ensure every member of your team knows:

  • The business priorities and strategy for the year
  • The communication priorities
  • The comms/engagement rhythm and ‘big bang’ moments
  • Your KPIs and success factors

Talk to us about our NLP inspired planning sessions if you’d like help planning your 2020 strategy. Or read this article for some advice and best practice.


  1. Get measuring. 

The days of vanity metrics are over. 2020 is the year of effective measurement. Vanity metrics, annual measurements – these just don’t cut the proverbial mustard anymore. The quality of your comms, activities and content must relate to the engagement, wellbeing and productivity of your people. And the engagement of your people must relate to your business growth and success.

Read more about why measurement matters or ask us about our bespoke measurement framework.


  1. Get creative.

Be inspired by the best marketing campaigns of 2019 and push yourselves to make 2020 the year of creativity. Our mantra at Synergy is “creative in our strategy and strategic in our creative” – let this be your ethos for the year ahead. How can you step up the creativity, amp up the fun and let ‘wallpaper comms’ be a thing of the past?

Have a read of our Design Director’s top tips for finding your creativity here.


  1. Get nudging.

Behavioural science is a marketer’s number one resource to nudge consumers further down the purchasing funnel. Over the last two years, we’ve seen a huge increase in the amount of transformation and change briefs that are coming through the agency doors.

It’s why we invested in our very own nudge unit courtesy of Behavioural Strategist, Chloe Foy. We’ve got our HUMANISTS checklist that we share with all clients to help them remember the key nudges to getting colleagues thinking, feeling or doing something differently.

  1. Get simplifying.

With so much vying for our attention, and change quickly becoming the norm, it falls to internal communicators to make life simpler for our colleagues – whenever and wherever we can. From taking a journalistic approach to content – “news in 5, or deeper dive” – to creating an overall change narrative and concept, rather than lots of different change messages, there’s lots we can do to make life a little easier for our people. How can you keep it simple this year?


  1. Get tailoring.

One way to keep things simple is to only engage colleagues with content that they need to be engaged with. The key to this? Segmenting your communications. Not sending all things to all people. Being considerate and effective with your approach through targeted communications and clear personas. Once you’ve got this bit out of the way, make sure you share your personas with everyone in the business who might have a comms requirement – from Recruitment to HR to Legal. 

Is there such a thing as simple segmentation? There sure is.


  1. Get upskilling.

Managers are responsible for over 70% of engagement, but do we invest 70% of our time into ensuring they are clear, capable and motivated communicators? Definitely not. Use the new year as an excuse to look at your manager community with a critical lens. Rate your organisation on how well informed managers are, and how capable and confident they are to be your cascade channel. 


  1. Get auditing.

When did you last do a thorough audit of your communications channels? Do a Marie Kondo and “discard items that lack value”. To do this, you need to identify what value means to you. So for your comms channels and content, what does value mean in your organisation? You need objectives (a clear role for each comm), insight (qualitative colleague feedback) and analysis (quantitative data based on channel use). Discard channels that lack value, maintain channels that have impact. 


  1. Get learning.

Learning and development shouldn’t be confined to your colleagues in the L&D department. It’s been a key employee engagement trend in 2019, and won’t be going anywhere in 2020. But are you guilty of pushing out L&D messages but not actually prioritising learning for yourself?

Inspiration really is everywhere. Some of our favourites include the Sweathead podcast, the Habit Weekly newsletter, the Harvard Business Review, all Planning Dirty resources, the Contagious reports and the Eat Sleep Work Repeat podcast.

Check out how Vodafone created a culture of learning amongst their employees in our case study


  1. Get coaching.

Learning is important, but learning without ongoing coaching is futile. According to Harvard Business Review, training programmes can increase productivity by 23%. Add coaching in and you see productivity shoot up to 88%!

With four coaches at Synergy, we’re already seeing the impact of creating a coaching culture. It takes time, but will pay dividends. As Gallup says, “the future of work is being shaped by extraordinary changes in tech, globalisation and overwhelming information flow. Workers are asking for something different. They want a coach, not a boss. They want clear expectations, accountability, a rich purpose and especially ongoing feedback and coaching.”


So that’s it – 10 tips that we know will make a difference to culture and engagement in your organisation. If anything we’ve said has sparked an interest, you can message our Head of Strategy, Rhiannon and pick her brains.

Enjoy the festive break, take a well earned rest and wishing you all the best for 2020!

Similar Articles

22 August 2023

Top Employer Branding Trends for 2023

Employer branding has made the cut on the list of strategic business priorities for many…


24 July 2023

Inspiring Diversity and Inclusion: Key Takeaways from the D&I Leaders Event

What we’ll cover in this blog:How sustainability, purpose and inclusion can all work seamlessly togetherThe…


20 July 2023

Building an Authentic Employer Brand: Overcoming Challenges and Maximizing Impact

What we’ll cover in this blog:The key challenges to building an authentic employer brandQuestions to…


4 July 2023

Key take-outs from the Internal Communications conference in London

We were thrilled to be part of the Internal Communications Conference which took place in…