This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
To Test the Effectiveness of Your Employee Communication Plan
TEN QUESTIONS TO TEST THE EFFECTIVENESS
OF YOUR EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATION PLAN
Whether you’re starting a new equity plan or re-launching/promoting an existing one, effectively communicating with your employees is a vitally important step that many administrators forget about, or ignore. But they shouldn’t – a strong and well-thought-out communication plan can make all the difference in your equity plan’s overall success and its ability to retain, motivate and attract talent. It’s not uncommon for plan administrators to become overwhelmed with the idea of creating communications plans for their participants – effectively communicating with all employees involved is a huge undertaking. but, it’s also vital to the success of your plan. So, where do you start when designing, or re-designing a plan? Solium’s communications team, which specializes in building customized client communications, has come up with these ten questions to help guide you through the development of the best communication plan possible for your current and potential plan participants.
1. WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES?
Before you can design your communication plan, you need to know what it is you’re trying to communicate and what results you want to come of it. A communication plan will undoubtedly fail if it does not have clear-cut messages. Once you have answers to these questions, you can then go on to meet with a communications specialist to help you develop a plan to facilitate your goals. Ask yourself: • What am I trying to communicate? • What are the goals of this communication plan? • How do I want my employees to respond to these communications and what actions do I want them to take as a result?
2. WHAT ARE YOUR KEY MESSAGES?
Further to Question 1, this step requires you to be more speciﬁc about the key message you want to send your employees. Most plans will have more than one message, so it’s also important to introduce an order of importance to ensure employees receive the messages in the most streamlined fashion. At this point, it’s also important to consider how much your audience knows about the topic of your communications. Ask yourself: • What are the most important messages I want my employees to take away from these communications? • If the employee will only take away one key piece of information from this communication, which one do you want it to be? • What do I want them to do as a result? • What is the best way to introduce these messages, and in what order? • Is my audience familiar with this topic, or do I need to introduce background, or educational information?
Example: A typical communication plan introducing a new stock option plan might include four separate documents containing the following four key messages: 1. Notify the employee that they received the new stock option award 2. Provide detailed information on the new stock option plan (i.e., FAQ or Plan Booklet) 3. Provide instructions for next steps (i.e., accept the award agreement, login to manage awards or transact) 4. An introduction to the plan administrator, including their beneﬁts
3. WHO ARE YOU TARGETING?
Knowing your audience will help determine the medium, tone and style of your communication plan. Before you consult with a communications specialist, consider your audience and the best ways and media to use to reach them. Consider campaigns you’ve done in the past, if applicable, and what worked and what didn’t. Ask yourself: • Who am I targeting? • How many people am I targeting? • Where are they located? • What is the best way to reach these people (email, regular mail, messages posted to the company intranet, online video, group presentations etc.)? It’s also important to consider how to customize your communications to make sure they are speaking directly to your intended audience, offering them information that is beneﬁcial to them, in a manner in which they prefer to be communicated with. Ask yourself: • What do my employees want to hear and how can I shape my communications around that? For example, if you want to promote participation in your employee stock purchase plan, begin by highlighting the beneﬁts for employees, such as saving for a ﬁrst home or retirement, etc.
4. WHAT IS THE BEST TIMELINE FOR DELIVERING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS?
Once you’ve determined your key messages and audience, the next step is to develop a timeline and schedule for delivery that will not undermine the effectiveness of your plan. Determine what milestones are involved with your plan and look at the key dates that correspond with these milestones, including the plan launch date, the enrollment cutoff date, etc. Then decide how your communications should co-ordinate with these timelines. For example, it’s a good idea to give your employees a heads-up about the introduction of a new plan before it launches, but not so far in advance that they’ll forget about it.
Ask yourself: • What are the milestones and key dates involved with my project? • How can I plan my communications to best correspond with these dates?
5. ARE THERE ANY FACTORS, SUCH AS OTHER CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS, SPECIFIC DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS (E.G. QUARTER-END) OR HOLIDAYS, THAT MIGHT INTERFERE WITH YOUR TIMELINE?
When making a timeline for your communication plan, it’s also important to coordinate with other departments who may be communicating with your target audience. Overwhelming your employees with many types of conﬂicting communications at once may undermine their effectiveness. Also, try to avoid launching new projects or communications during busier times of the year, such as Christmas or summer, as your employees will likely be distracted with other things. Ask yourself: • Are there other things going on during your intended timeline (other department communications, holidays/conﬂicts of schedule, etc.)? • Could these distractions undermine the effectiveness of your project?
6. WHAT ARE THE BEST TYPES OF COMMUNICATIONS FOR YOUR GOALS?
Now it’s time to consider your actual communication pieces. A communications specialist can help you determine the best mediums to ﬁt your audience and communicate your message (for example, a company-wide email, a letter delivered by regular mail, a plan booklet or FAQ outlining a quick overview of the main beneﬁts of the plan and how to enroll, etc.). There are many types of communications today, both print and digital, and the choices can be overwhelming. It’s best to work with a communications specialist who is experienced in working with companies like your own to help you determine your most effective options based on what has worked in the past and what’s available to you. Ask yourself: • What are my options for different types of communications? • What types of communication pieces have been effective in the past with my intended audience and company culture?
7. WHAT IS YOUR BUDGET FOR THIS PROJECT?
Now that you’ve determined the best way to communicate your message, you need to determine how this campaign will ﬁt into your budget. A communications specialist can give you a pricing estimate for the communications plan you have in mind, but you need to know your bottom line.
Ask yourself: • What are the costs associated with building the proposed communication plan or communication piece(s)? • What is my budget?
8. HOW WILL YOU DELIVER THESE COMMUNICATIONS?
Now you must determine the best way to reach your intended audience. Consult with your communications specialist to determine what has worked in the past with your target audience and others similar to your own. There are a variety of options, so it’s a good idea to consult with a communications consultant (email, hard copy, regular mail, digital communications via your company intranet, etc.) Ask yourself: • What is the best way to reach my intended audience? What has worked in the past?
9. WHO ARE YOUR RESOURCES AND KEY PLAYERS?
Who will write, edit, deliver and follow-up with your communications? Maybe you have an internal communications team that can be assigned certain tasks, or maybe you have outsourced the entire project to an external ﬁrm, or your plan administrator’s ﬁrm. Either way, when you’re working with tight deadlines it’s important to designate who is in charge of what, who is overseeing the process and who will be reviewing the communications before they’re signed off. If you’re working with a communications specialist, these tasks and persons responsible should be outlined in a signed contract. Ask yourself: • Who is responsible for writing/editing the communications? • Who is participating in the review process and who will sign off on ﬁnal versions? • Who is responsible for the delivery of the communications? • Is all this information clearly outlined in a contract, if applicable?
10. WHAT ARE YOUR SUCCESS FACTORS?
With any big project, it’s important to determine your goals early on and outline how you are able to measure the success of the project, throughout the process and after its completion. A communications specialist can help you outline measures of success for your plan. Ask yourself: • What are the goals of this project and how can we measure our success in achieving them? • What is success? For more information on designing employee communication plans, contact one of Solium’s Solutions Consultants today.
ABOUT SOLIUM CAPITAL
Solium is a leading global provider of web-based stock plan administration technology and services. Our software helps companies automate and manage their stock option and purchase plans by providing unrivaled comprehensive regulatory and ﬁnancial reporting capabilities. Founded in 1999, Solium has ofﬁces in Canada and the United States. Solium’s mission and sole focus is to simplify stock plan administration for everyone through technology and services. Our innovative and passionate approach to simplifying and automating tasks, along with our industry-leading Shareworks® software, has made Solium a disruptive force in the stock plan administration industry. Since our inception, we have emerged as pioneers in the industry. We are always striving to change the status quo – and challenge and update traditional methods. We take great pride in being leaders of change and delivering the most innovative stock plan administration experience possible for ﬁnance and HR professionals, and plan administrators and participants.
ABOUT SOLIUM TRANSCENTIVE
Solium Transcentive, a subsidiary of Solium Capital, is the equity plan provider of choice for more than 850 companies worldwide. To meet the needs of today’s equity compensation environment, Solium Transcentive offers a comprehensive range of technology and advisory solutions, designed to help companies manage equity plans and drive efﬁcient and effective plan administration. Solium Transcentive develops, maintains and markets the Express Equity suite of products, which includes Express Options, Express Stock Purchase, Express Desktop and Express Share Tracking.
Toll Free: 1.877.380.7793 Email: email@example.com um www.solium.com
© 2011 Solium Capital Inc. All rights reserved. eserved. nd Sharewor re trademark Solium Capital, the Solium Capital logo and Shareworks are trademarks of Solium Capital in Canada and/or other e t countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective ow owners.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.