One hour project – one hour, one change, one difference

Make one simple change in the way you communicate

New year, new ideas! Make one simple change in the way you communicate, and see what happens…

The twinkling lights have been away for a few weeks, but it’s still dark and cold. And unless you’ve got a will of steel, all those good intentions from new year’s are a distant memory. The difficulty is, most of us make big, sweeping resolutions, and then get discouraged when we don’t see immediate results.

So how about sneaking in a late resolution that could take little more than an hour out of your day to accomplish, with quick results? Try challenging just one aspect of how you communicate with one of these simple ideas – and see if it makes a difference.

1. Make it personal

Your marketing team will tell you that personalisation is the key to increasing customer engagement and retention. We should apply the same logic to our employee comms. For example, one global study by Poppulo suggests only 28% of companies personalise their emails – and yet it’s so easy to do. Simply adding a person’s name into an email subject line, for example, can significantly increase your open rates. And it’s not just the recipient that should be personalised – try humanising your email by including a sender name (think ‘’ as opposed to ‘’).

2. Know your lines

Sticking with the subject of employee emails and subject lines, how much attention do you give to the latter before you hit the send button? Subject lines are often considered an afterthought, and yet this one line of text is actually your most important, because it determines whether or not someone will open and engage with the rest of what you have to say!

Here are a few more simple tricks you can do to increase your email open rates:

  • Keep it short and sweet. More than 60 characters and you risk losing people’s interest – or the end of the subject line being cut off if they’re on a mobile device
  • Be conversational. There’s a tendency to veer toward the formal when it comes to business communications – we forget to talk to one another like humans. Don’t be afraid to warm up your language with words like “hey”, or even the odd exclamation mark to add emphasis!
  • Create intrigue or ‘fear of missing out’ by making the subject matter sound timely and fresh.
  • Include the word “you” – it’s one of the most powerful words in communications as it addresses your audience directly and grabs their attention.

Here’s an example of all the above in practice:

Before: [Company Name] Newsletter – what we need you to know for January 2022

After: Hey Mary, we have some hot-off-the-press news for you!

3. Get Giffy with it

More and more companies are using GIFs to explain something or tell a story as part of their marketing strategy. They can work just as well to help explain an internal product or service in a more accessible way. Why not spend an hour creatively brainstorming to see what you can come up with? You could even get some of your most creative colleagues involved in the process.

  • Think about a product or service (perhaps one related to your share plan offering for example) that has a special feature or quality you want to highlight to employees.
  • Now think about the most visually appealing elements of your brand.
  • How can you bring the two together in a few simple frames?

Tools such as make it easy for you to play around with ideas. And GIFs can be incorporated into lots of elements of your employee communications – bringing presentations, emails and intranet posts to life. They’re also incredibly shareable – a well-received GIF can easily become a talking point and really engage people with your message in a fun way.

We’re all wired differently, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to effective internal comms. Trying out new ideas and continually testing keeps things fresh, and you may just hit on something that sends your employee engagement rates through the roof this year.

In search of even more creative ideas? Reach out to us!

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