3 Ways SGN Are Using Their Employee App to Fix Covid Comms Challenges

SGN’s award winning internal comms team are making fantastic use of their employee app: SGNapp, to ensure that their employees are kept not only informed about the company’s response to Covid-19, but also feel involved and know that their voices are heard. Here are three examples of how the app is making a big difference for employees in troubling times.

1. Employee Blogging: Encouraging a Range of Perspectives

SGN have a really interesting approach to content in their app, in that they try really hard to have a wide range of voices and perspectives in focus, from right across their business. Rather than every post simply stating that this is a piece of information you need to know about, they prefers to avoid the top-down approach when possible, and instead they invite various employees from different departments to write blog posts on subjects that they’re experts on. Or they send them some questions by email - so that the content is presented in a Q&A format. This really helps to bring an air of authenticity to the content and means it’s much more likely that other employees will engage in the comments section.

SGN have recently started publishing a series of Q&A interviews with a range of employees in their app, to get their perspectives on how Covid-19 has impacted their job roles and their lives. When a news story about the business is presented through the eyes of the people that it impacts, it really helps that content to land with their audience, and builds the sense of community and identity that the business is fostering with SGNapp.


2. Keeping the Message Clear with Consistent Updates and Encouraging Staff to Say Their Piece

Because it feels like we’re moving towards the ‘beginning of the end’ of the lockdown, and restrictions are beginning to be lifted, it’s more critical than ever to make sure employees are kept informed. Some shops are open, some are closed, some offices are opening this week, some next week… rumours and concerns are abound on the social media sites and messaging apps used by employees. Because of this, SGN are publishing daily updates in SGNapp which outline the company’s current strategy for Covid-19, and any updates to planned re-opening of sites. Because the comms team are being consistent, their employees can trust that if they want the very latest update from the company they just have to open SGNapp. Consistency is the key word here. Building up trust from employees with these regular updates means that people aren’t running to social media or texting their colleagues and potentially getting the wrong information.

Another important facet of the consistent updates, is in allowing employees to say what they need to say in a company-wide forum like the app. SGN are enabling comments on every one of their business updates, and while some of our customers might think that’s risky given that emotions can run high at times like these, their internal comms team are making sure to reply to every comment, even if it’s a negative comment, with helpful guidance or signposting those employees to the information and resources they need. Again, in terms of building that sense of community in their employee app, the importance of this approach to employee comments can’t be understated. It’s an incredibly brave and positive approach that I’m sure their employees respect and appreciate.

3. Providing a Space for Employees to Ask Questions Using User Generated Content

Not all of the guidance and updates around Covid-19 will cover every employee’s unique circumstances. So SGN have created a forum in their app where employees can ask questions on a wide range of topics, and get answers from others in the business. They’ve created a list in their app’s main menu called ‘Covid-19: Ask a Question’, then have sub-lists inside that for each of the various topics to keep everything organised. Each ‘topic list’ has User Publishing enabled in the Thrive CMS, so that when users access that section of the app, they’ll see a button which they can press to make a post in that category. When the post is made, others can view the questions and respond by leaving a comment. The comms team are also making sure that if no other employees have left a comment, they’re doing so themselves so that no question goes unanswered.

This is a great use of our User Generated Content feature, and just like the consistent daily updates, means that employees can trust that they can go to SGNapp and trust that they’ll get the information they need from it.

SGN are doing a fantastic job of tackling their Covid comms challenges head-on by making full use of their Thrive app feature set. Building trust among employees during difficult times like this is worth so much in the long run for employee satisfaction, happiness and retention.

In the not too distant future, people will be remembering how their companies acted in the face of this pandemic and at Thrive we’re incredibly proud that SGN are using our platform to make such a positive impact with their app. We want to encourage all of our customers to harness the power of their employee apps for positive change in their businesses – so if you want to find out more, or you’d like advice on content creation or enabling features like User Generated Content in your app, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our support team today!

Written by: Ian McCutcheon, Customer Success Manager, Thrive. 

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