Talking to Yourself: Making Employees Aware of Your Projects

By Jeff Ghannam|January 22, 2014

Photo courtesy of Fairmount Minerals

Photo courtesy of Fairmount Minerals

The Wildlife Habitat Council knows that including employees in the planning, designing, and implementation of a wildlife habitat project is vital to its success. When an engaged group of employees take ownership of a project, the project is likely to be better maintained over the long term and viewed more favorably by the employees and the company.

But how do you simply communicate to your employees about your habitat projects? In a time when employees are busier than ever, how do you make them aware of all the benefits of getting involved? We’ve put together some ideas for you to consider so you can inform, educate, and engage your employees.

Printed Communication

  • Fliers – Use one-page fliers that highlight the program and the benefits it provides to the company, employee, and the community.
  • Internal newsletter – Company newsletters (whether in print or via email) provide consistent communication to employees. Use them to communicate announcements about your activities, to recruit volunteers, and to discuss benefits to the community and company..
  • Internal magazines – Many larger companies have regularly published color magazines. Work with the editors to write an article about your program. Use photos whenever possible because wildlife makes for great subject matter.
  • Annual report or corporate sustainability report – Your company’s annual report or corporate sustainability report is a great opportunity to communicate about your company’s corporate sustainability initiatives to shareholders and other stakeholders.
  • Monographs – Consider publishing a monograph or white paper to highlight your program. Many companies publish these to inform external audiences but they are also an ideal internal communications tool.
  • Staff handbook or on boarding documents – New employees should be made aware of the wildlife program and given the opportunity to get involved right from the start. Work with your human resources department to include mention of your program.
  • Bulletin boards – Traditional bulletin boards in common meeting places such as break rooms are an ideal venue for posting materials about your program. Catch employees’ attention with photography and then give them information about how to get involved.
  • On-site signage – Clear signage around your property and your wildlife habitat will allow employees to experience your site first hand and explore on their own.

Electronic Communication

  • Email—Email is the primary internal communications tool in most companies. Use regular email communications to promote your program but do so sparingly. Use email newsletters or other scheduled emails so as to not overwhelm employees with emails.
  • Listservs – Many companies have in-house employee listservs for quick and informal communications for employees. Use this tool to communicate updates and promote activities.
  • Tele/video conferencing – Use this tool so employees can learn about your program without leaving their desk. This is especially useful if your company is geographically disbursed or has employees in the field or telework.
  • Webinars – Webinars are a great way to visually communicate about your program and activities to geographically disbursed employees.
  • Employee surveys – Electronic surveys are an easy way to poll employee awareness of your program and how they may want to get involved or be informed.
  • Videos – Videos are ideal for capturing staff/community testimonials, field footage, and other content you can share with employees through a variety of electronic platforms.
  • Intranet – Carve out your own section on your intranet or internal communications platform and make sure it’s regularly updated with announcements about your program.
  • Employee or company blogs – Companies often employ professional writers to blog about the company’s activities and they always looking for good stories about the good work the company is doing.
  • Social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or YouTube – Use existing company platforms or develop your own presence to promote your program. Social media is often considered an external communications tool but employees are the most frequent users of their own companies’ social media platforms.
  • Website – Reach out to your webmaster to see if there’s a place to promote your wildlife program on your company website. Studies show that employees are the most frequent visitors to company sites.

In-person Communication

  • Staff meetings – Get on the agenda of routine staff meetings as a way to promote your program and communicate how it benefits the company and employees.
  • Individual meetings – The best ambassadors for your wildlife program are the employees who are already engaged.  Arm them with talking points and promotional materials so they can personally share the benefits of the program to other employees.
  • Recognition programs – Employees who are supporters of the program should be recognized in company publications, at staff meetings, or during performance reviews.
  • Social events – Hold events like “Lunch and Learns” or family fairs to inform employees in a relaxed and fun setting.
  • Field tours – Employees will relish an opportunity to get away from their desk on a sunny day to tour the wildlife habitat and personally view the good work being done on the ground. 

Not all of these methods will work for you so pick and choose the ones you want to try. And I’m sure we’ve missed some tactics. Just add them to the comments below.

Read more WHC blogs.