Communications Academy

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In this week's episode, we sat down with Emma Bridger, Manging Director of People Lab—an HR consultancy providing products and training to improve employee engagement in the workplace—to discuss happiness in the workplace, how to create an effective policy, the elements of positive psychology that support the theory, and the positive business outcomes to be had. 
As internal communicators decide which channel is best to engage their people, they can often be turned away from video and audio content, simply because it tends to intimidate those who do not have professional equipment or experience with these channels. Regarding how to overcome those fears and embrace the power of video and audio content, Debbie told us that “you’re not going to create a Hollywood standard movie on your first outing, so let’s accept that.” She noted that the best thing you can do is just pull out your smartphone and film something, and even though it might not be great, next time it will be better. In this episode, we chat with Debbie Aurelius, Co Founder and Director of Peppermint Fish, a communications and employee engagement consultancy specializing in leadership communication. Debbie founded Peppermint Fish in 2017, but before that she worked in internal communications roles and has previously done professional work in learning and development. She has combined these skills of teaching and internal communication to create her career at Peppermint Fish, where she focuses on the creation of podcast and video content, along with online courses for her clients.Links: Debbie Aurelius - Co Founder and Director of Peppermint Fish: https://peppermintfish.comBe A Bigger Fish Podcast - Lapel Microphone
Many communicators feel like the entire content distribution load is solely on them. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY!! We talk about how to locate your internal influencers. These are people that actively want to be company champions. 
What kind of security is important for an employee app?Want access to the Staffbase Security Whitepaper ? Click here.
It's not just a magic pill. You don't just add water and you have this amazing communications channel. It really has to be thoughtful and it has to build trust. It has to meet the users expectation on so many levels and if it does... it's transformational.We have customers who, six months into a project have 85% employees adoption and 75% of those people are using it every day. That has transformed how that company communicates. The shift is on personal phones and they've got easy access to the things that they want to find. But again, it's got to be just that right combination of understanding the personal context. Giving them stuff that's valuable to them. Communicating and launching in the right way. It’s not easy. There's no guarantees. But it's transformational if you get it right.
Looking to make your employee app a success? Here's three steps to do it right! were so excited to join and support the fantastic IABC community again this year! Many joined to learn about the trends that lead communications into the future. We all know that mobile employee communication is a huge trend and we are proud that Staffbase was named by Gartner as one of the leading mobile employee apps. You may now expect that our takeaway is to talk about how great and easy an employee app can be; how it helps you to reach all employees; enables you to measure; and prove your value to your organization.  While all of this is true, there is a larger shift that we would like to talk about. We see this shift happening first hand with our customers. The most successful ones have moved from looking at communication as a channel to seeing communications as the heart of the employee experience. It is one thing to reach everyone and being able to talk to all but our real challenge is to actually get employees to LISTEN and engage. We believe the only solution for that is to focus on the employee experience first. This means a mobile app is not just the place where you get corporate messages, it's a place where you get to know and learn about my team, change my shift, find all safety information for my plant, receive updates for your location, view the status of a PTO request, have one place for my benefits enrollment information and even provide feedback to rate your overall on-boarding experience after 3 days in a new job. Now the challenge here is that the more local, the more relevant and the more specific for an audience you are - the better the experience. 
Join us as we talk to a Director of Communication and Branding at a Railroad Company with almost 2,000 employees. We discuss what his organization looked like before and how a branded employee app changed everything for the better. We also discuss strategies like delivering a podcast, employee achievement program, and how to leverage local, relevant, and specific content. 
One of the biggest hurdles in deploying a branded employee app is uncovering what you need to measure. There’s a lot behind that and communicators are always looking for ways to further validate their efforts to leadership and also find new and creative ways to improve and pivot their own strategy. Today we’re talking with Frank Wolf, Co-Founder and CMO at Staffbase. He’s got decades of experience to back up his knowledge of enterprise employee engagement. From the rise and stumbles of the intranet and the launch of mobility within large workspaces. What are the key metrics you’ve found that are most powerful when presenting engagement results to leadership teams?ROI - this sounds hard to measure?Do you find it important to measure interaction between mobile and desktop?I know Staffbase offers an analytics dashboard. What are the key metrics you’ve found are most useful to the teams administrating Staffbase?What are some of the actions that result from seeing these metrics? Like, for example, if we see a particular newsfeed or channel is popular -what do you see organizations do to capitalize on that?  If you could package up the business value of a measuring engagement, what would it be?
Many organizations aim to have a very specific % of activations on their branded Employee app. Here's 5 ways that can help boost activations:1. Branded Swag & Posters2. Set up kiosks at your various offices. Make yourself available and let folks talk with you as you help them get setup. 3. Find champions at each of your locations and arm them with swag and a very specific shirt or badge that welcomes questions and assistance. Hang up a few posters or fliers with the champions face on it that says, find me!4. Consider a contest. Have a few stragglers that will tip you over that % goal? Offer something very intriguing like two NFL tickets of their choice. But have a catch: the contest won't activate until everyone complies. That way their friends will nudge them to get it going.5. Probably most important, is throwing a go-live party. How your organization interacts add accesses their most important information is Paramount... Prove it!Want more? Here's the Top 10 IT Questions About the Staffbase Employee App:'s assume you've been looking at the Staffbase app and you really like it. That means your next step is likely to be "talking to IT." If that's the case then this is the article for you. To help you out, here are ten of the most common questions we get during our initial talks with IT professionals. We love talking with them, because these conversations usually follow a similar trajectory: skepticism about Staffbase being “just another app” changes to real enthusiasm with the realization that it's an enterprise-ready platform built with professional IT environments in mind.
Top 10 (ok 12) Incredible Quotes from Kristin Hancock (@KristinAnneH)“Internal’s about your employees being fulfilled at work, it’s about how the employee experience is, whether that’s onboarding or training or all those kinds of pieces” - Kristin (4:17)“Part of why I’ve become so passionate about [internal communications] is because I’ve seen the impact in both ways. I’ve seen the really positive impact when you have a thriving culture and employees who are fulfilled and enjoy coming to work everyday. I’ve also seen the other side of it, where people don’t want to go to work everyday and dread being there” - Kristin (4:52)“Are you listening and are you paying attention to what [your employees’] natural state is and what their behavior is? Maybe we’re not. For me that’s the biggest first step, looking back and looking at the big picture but also looking at the little nuances. What is your culture in its default state? … It’s not going to help you to build anything without knowing that” - Kristin (6:33)“Spoiler alert: if you launch a new intranet app, a shiny tool… but your workplace culture sucks, the tool isn’t going to work” - Kristin (11:35)“Finding people within your organization who are champions of your messaging; that is, I think, the secret sauce in launching a new tool, in rolling out a new strategy… on the flip side… leaning into your skeptics can also be incredibly powerful… finding people who are not tech savvy at all…  because if you can bring them on early, they will become champions because they will feel empowered, they’ll feel like they’ve learned something new, they’ll be telling everyone else” - Kristin (14:40)“Yes it’s about the technology and it’s about the tool, but it’s so much more about the culture… If you have a culture where leadership controls the message, you likely also have a culture where employees have a fear of owning that message as well. It’s about flipping that whole script so part of it is that leaders are comfortable letting other people be empowered but also letting those other people know that it’s okay for you to comment or post or share or like, those kinds of things” - Kristin (17:46)“Half the reason people watch the Superbowl is for the Superbowl ads… because it’s video, it’s engaging, it’s emotional, it tells a story… If you are in internal comms, then you are in sales and you are in marketing and you are in advertising and you are in PR, and all of those departments use video to sell a product or a service, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be using video to sell an engagement story or strategy, or a new initiative or tool” - Kristin (23:50)“Do high production value videos have a place in the internal communications world? Of course they do. But… if you have a district manager who once a month shares a message about something and they’re sitting at their desk using their iphone to shoot the video, that’s relatable… it's an easier level playing field” - Kristin (30:12)“In terms of KPIs and what to measure… one of my favorite things to measure on an employee survey… Would you recommend a friend to work here? That’s a really powerful question to ask because if most people are saying no, that means that maybe they’re just sticking it out, going through the motions to keep their paycheck… The other powerful question i love asking is how peopl
Virtual Roundtable - HR Perspective3:45 Question about employees hearing from their leaders instead of HR directors / dealing with employee engagement.4:14 Nick answers: Being on the recruiting side of HR, the most difficult times for him were having to reject people at the end of their candidacy for positions because of downturn. 5:19 Wesley answers: “If engagement is an HR issue, you’ve lost the battle before you’ve started”. There are a lot of tools HR can provide to leaders, such as exit interview questions and engagement teams, so that they have beneficial interactions with employees. 7:08 Jeffrey answers: His company finally gained traction with a diversity and inclusion when they realised: “This is not an HR initiative, it is a business imperative. Once our people feel included, then we will be a force to reckon with and it will be very hard to compete against us''. “HR plays a role as a coach and an advisor behind the curtain”.    8:48 Fred answers: “Rather than focus on the employee engagement itself, I would say focus on the things on either side of the workplace environment and experience employees are provided and the results of their labor.”10:15 How do we enrich the experience for employees, and how do you find the talent to do this?10:53 Wesley answers: “To start out, as a business you’ve got to have a clear sense of what the employee value proposition is...why are we here as a business and why would you ever want to join us?” Furthermore, “Staying ahead on sourcing and talent pooling [is] one of the challenges in oil and gas,” but it is very important for attracting the employees you need. He also notes you must stay “relevant to what appeals to the different generations or types of employees that you’re trying to bring in”, referencing the use of social media, a multigenerational workforce, and more. 15:40 Jeffrey answers: His company’s use of a program that seeks out talented high schoolers and pays for their college tuition for them to work their after graduation has been a huge success in gaining consistent new talent for the company. 16:45 Fred answers: “If your message is offbase from what the experience is, if there is a gap between the aspirational and functional culture that employees experience, then your message is going to differ from the message from internal employees through social media, and that’s going to create challenges for you”. 17:40 Nick answers: Through an apprenticeship program that gives on-the-job training to veterans in the company, these veterans can “make up money as they’re building up their career, but it’s also a huge retention bonus for us...and it’s a competitive advantage”19:30 How important corporate culture is in keeping people at their workplace. 19:57 Jeffrey answers: The culture nowadays is “if you haven’t convinced me or impressed me by lunchtime on the first day, I’m probably not going to stick around,” and people say “they are here because they want meaningful experiences...they want to contribute”. Companies must respond to this to keep employees. There are three components that lead to whether or not people will be attracted to your company and how long they will stay: “emotional connection people have with their organization, the local culture, and how inclusive you make insiders and outsiders feel.”28:39 Fred answers: It’s about “the emotional connection employees have with supervisors and also about the emotional connection the employee has with coworkers.” 30:51 Nick answers: Many programs that focus on the employee experience at his company teach employees “how to interact better with each other. There’s constant de
Get the full report here: Future Is Already Here—It’s Just Not Evenly DistributedOne thing seems abundantly clear: established, forward-looking companies are aligning around strategies related to the implementation of the employee experience concept. Given that businesses often copycat the practices of market leaders, the question is just how long it will be before other companies take up arms in the employee experience revolution.
90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and we process these visuals 60,000 times faster than with text.Taken in conjunction with the dwindling attention spans of Gen Z, it’s clear that video is an ideal platform for effective internal communications. However, nobody wants to waste their time with a video that looks unprofessional—it suggests that the content will be equally low quality.What if we told you that you already own everything you need to create high quality, engaging video content for your internal audience?Check out our detailed blog post for detailed tips to help bring your videos to the next level!
In this episode Peter is back! We talk about how, in order to successfully deploy an employee app you must plan for, execute, and govern a truly mobile-first strategy. We also review customer stories and where we see the industry headed. Enjoy!
In this episode we talk about the 5 Questions Every Decision Maker Must Ask Before Going All-In with a Branded Employee App. The five questions we discuss are as follows:1. Am I in a Competitive market for talent?2. What's my current readership like?3. Are any of my current methods backfiring?4. Are my communication needs unique? 5. How do I measure success?We talk about all of this in great detail and welcome your thoughts, feedback, and interaction. Enjoy! 
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Here's 7 of the top tools that make communicators more effective: of the biggest challenges communicators have is finding ways to get your organization to read, respond, and actively participate in your communications strategy. Tiffany Elle, Senior Global Corporate Communications Manager at Versum Materials knows this all too well. However, she's found a way to achieve a 96% active adoption rate. That's NOT a typo 96%! Check out this episode to learn more about what makes her communications strategy so wildly successful. 
Well-written copy is the key to communicating effectively—especially with employees in a busy workplace.In this episode of Communications Academy, we’ve outlined a formula that provides a powerful method for writing copy proven to drive readership with messages that won’t sit unopened in a busy inbox.State the ProblemProvide a SolutionProvide ExamplesEmphasize the BenefitsEnd on a CTAFor bonus tips and more:
Is this week’s episode of Communications Academy, we sat down with Jaime Klein, Founder of Inspire HR, to discover her most valuable tips for building a comprehensive diversity and inclusion policy. Read more about building a comprehensive D&I strategy and download our free guide on the Staffbase Blog.Read Jaime's article, "How to Proactively Plan for Transgender Inclusion."
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Podcast Details

Apr 12th, 2019
Latest Episode
Nov 25th, 2019
Release Period
No. of Episodes
Avg. Episode Length
21 minutes

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