What's the best tool for internal communicators to measure and improve employee engagement on internal emails?
We spoke with Rebecca Bruner, Manager of Internal Communications and Employee Engagement at Navigant to find out how her and her team have found employee engagement success with Bananatag and how it compares to another tool they tried for Internal Comms:
Bananatag: Thanks for chatting with us today, Rebecca! Tell us a little bit about yourself and what lead you to IC.
Rebecca: About nine years ago, I moved to Chicago where I got a job with Navigant on the marketing team doing a hodge-podge of various tasks. I had a great manager and mentor who saw my potential for comms, specifically employee engagement, and the potential for creating a communication cycle and feedback loop within the company. Today it’s common for companies to have an internal communicator but nine years ago when I started at Navigant, it wasn’t a role you saw in someone’s title -- we were really ahead of the curve in the industry. Now companies see that employees are first and foremost; you need to make sure that it’s not just about keeping them informed but it’s about really engaging with them and that’s what IC has turned into today.
"We want to make sure we're engaging everyone in the conversation, whatever the issue is"
B: What's the most important aspect of your job?
R: Making sure that we’re not just communicating, but that we're giving everyone in the company a voice. We have to be listening and reacting to what they want when it comes to how we're communicating. Innovation has been a buzzword for many years now, but really making sure we’re creating programs that allow employees to get involved in company innovation, making sure we’re communicating with them, providing opportunities, progress, looking at where we’re seeing success, and what lessons we're learning. We want engage everyone in every conversation.
B: What's the most difficult aspect of your job?
R: Reaching people. We’ve periodically held IC audits, with surveys, interviews and focus groups and it’s a mixed bag. Some people want an email they can quickly skim -- they don't want a link to our intranet, a video, a podcast, etc. Other people say, “I get so many emails I’m never going to read them and anything from corporate is put into a folder in Outlook.” Some say, “I wish I had a podcast I could listen to on my way to work.” It’s hard for me to believe anyone will listen to Navigant corporate updates on their way to work! Figuring out how to reach everyone and get them excited about what they’re receiving is tough. I’m always striving to think creatively about how to get their attention in the midst of their busy lives.
B: Where/how are your employees working? I.e. field work, in the office, etc.
R: Being a consulting firm, our people are very much on the road; at client sites Monday through Thursday and often working remotely from home on Fridays. We can’t rely on posters in office break rooms anymore. Our workforce is becoming more remote, which means it’s getting harder and harder to easily connect. We’re spread out globally and we’re continuing to grow in regions outside of the U.S. As of recently, we have 1200 employees in India — this is definitely a new challenge for us.
"One thing I love about Bananatag is that I can send emails from so many different mailboxes and it doesn’t have to be just me as the sender."
B: What was the largest source of frustration before using Bananatag?
R: Ease of use. We were previously using a different email tracking system for internal communications before we got started with Bananatag. We were able to measure our emails, which was very important, but our IT department often had to communicate with their team to troubleshoot issues. It was very slow and we constantly had technical problems. We also had trouble looking at past stats since it would take a long time to load. I’ve had zero of those issues with Bananatag; getting started – and staying productive – has been easy.
I love that I can send emails from so many different mailboxes with Bananatag and it doesn’t have to be just me as the sender. We were really limited on licenses with the previous internal comms email tool.
Because we don't have to worry about various licenses, other team members can easily get started. We have someone who does IC for a division of Navigant and she uses Bananatag to measure quarterly newsletters. Location metrics for that group are particularly useful as well. I like to be able to easily send from our CEO’s address and measure more extensively.
"I wouldn’t have been able to tell my leadership how much this topic resonated, it really broke through the clutter if I didn’t have Bananatag metrics to share."
B: That's amazing to hear! What kind of feedback has been received internally since using Bananatag?
R: The handful of people who are using Bananatag at Navigant have found it very easy to set up, no complaints there. As far as sharing the results, it's also been very positive. We developed a tracker for our weekly newsletters and we have a couple things that go out to different populations that we can now successfully measure.
What I really need to know is how many people opened the email, what was the popular link, and the location of employees; Bananatag gives us all of this. Usage by device type is also useful information when we assess how employees are receiving information.
B: What has surprised you the most?
R: My “aha moment” was how Bananatag is totally streamlined, user friendly, and easy to read. We had a big leadership meeting recently and sent an email to employees with a recap and a link to a video. We had about 92% of recipients read the email and 700 employees clicked on the video. Having access to these metrics through Bananatag gave me a lot of power – not only for this communication – but to help guide future communications and topics that resonate with our employees.
"Having access to these metrics through Bananatag gave me a lot of power"
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Rebecca and sharing your thoughts on internal email tools!
If you're an internal communicator interested in learning more about how to measure your communications and get power with data, check out how to use your Bananatag email engagement data.