The marketing world realised long ago that personalisation and individualisation were key to grabbing – and maintaining – customers.
The psychology behind it is sound: no-one likes to feel that they are being lumped in with just about everyone else. We all like to feel noticed, and dare I say it, special. If you think about some of the world’s most loved brands, they have all found some way to make every customer feel noticed at some point in their interaction. For some, it’s a hand-written note to say thank you for the order from a cosmetics company; it’s a follow-up email from a large software firm after logging a support ticket. To others, it’s a complimentary cappuccino to say thanks for being a loyal customer at a local cafe franchise. These gestures tell customers that they are valued and that they have been noticed in a sea of other customers. These gestures cost next to nothing, but they guarantee brand loyalty.
Your employees are no different. If anything, they are more important than your customers. A happy employee takes fewer sick days, is more productive, is a brand ambassador, and sticks with your company even when the organisation falls on hard times. Why? Because they feel valued. This translates directly into retention, which is good for the bottom line. It’s expensive and time-consuming to find new employees and to train them; a process that can take up to a year.
Employees also want relevant information. The sales team doesn’t want to have to sift through pages and pages of content that is meant for the logistics team. Employees in Argentina don’t need to see a company circular wishing everyone in India a happy independence day. Nor does the Montreal office need to have access to the fire escape plan for the office in Taipei. In an age of information, it is more important than ever to ensure that information is easy to digest and relevant to the reader.
In simple terms, segmentation means to divide information into parts, or segments, based on relevancy.
So what is a good example of segmentation? Well, think about current events and the need to disseminate accurate information about the coronavirus and how to stay safe to all employees across several international offices and facilities. Making sure that the information you have about lockdown legislation in Bangladesh is going only to employees there and not to the warehouse workforce in the Netherlands. Check that the research team in the lab facility is getting industry-specific hygiene practices, while the staff in the adjoining warehouse know how to follow the correct protocols while packing and shipping. Ensuring that the information offered, particularly during a crisis of this scale, is specific, accurate and relevant is crucial for securing the safety of employees across the organisation.
Today, most medium to large organisations have some sort of employee portal, but they often just end up as expensive bulletin boards and only cater to a certain type of employee (it’s important to note that the group catered for often exists in the same homogenous group as the people creating the content), which can leave certain groups feeling marginalised. Know your audience. Take an interest in them and they, in turn, will take an interest in you and your organisation. It doesn’t have to be difficult – an unengaging portal can be transformed with simple targeting and segmentation. And gifs. Gifs are good.
Think about the diversity in your workforce. Not everyone comes from the same cultural backgrounds or has the same first language. Not everyone in your organisation has the same level of education. There is the gender and sexuality spectrum, age differences, varying religions and differences in physical and mental abilities. Inclusion is a buzzword right now for a very good reason. Treat them with the same care and attention you would your family and friends, even if there are 40 000 of them. It’s far easier than you think and the rewards benefit everyone in the organisation.
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