I was teaching about change communication recently and the discussion unfolded about campaigns to engage employees in a brand change. It dawned on me that we may have lost, or are losing our creativity… our focus on fun.
This must be considered in terms of your culture; what’s happening in your organisation in terms of change and what you’re trying to achieve. But it would be great to see us bringing back the fun and creative ways of thinking that we considered pre-COVID-19.
So, with that in mind – here are some things to think about to bring back an element of fun to your communication and why it’s important:
- One of the traits of resilient people is humour – being able to find humour in difficult situations is important to lighten things. Is there an opportunity to bring humour into a leadership event? Can you run photo competitions that are based around something funny?
- Having diverse people in the room to brainstorm campaigns will help you do things differently – we need different perspectives to help us create messaging that speaks to individuals in the organisation. Can you get people together in a room to share ideas – the quirkier the better – about what could be done? The experience alone should be fun and engaging through facilitation and there should be opportunities to go wild with ideas without constraints – that is true brainstorming.
- Change how you serve the business – gather your team together and discuss how you can change the way you work with other teams in the organisation. If you’re overloaded with requests, how can you work differently post-pandemic? What do you need to change about how you work to change how people work with you? Turn things on their head.
I’ve had a look back over my career to remember the creative internal communication campaigns I ran and what we did that was fun. Here are some examples to spark some memories and ideas:
- To launch a sales incentive, we sent props to each office linked to it and ran a photo competition
- At Easter I’d go into the office early and hide Easter eggs around the building – I’d do another drop at lunchtime to keep it going throughout the day
- When we launched our first TV advert, we gave out popcorn and created a short film using the classic ’70s Pearl & Dean music to introduce it
- Using scenarios, I’ve run internal events that require people to move in certain ways to get resources and face fines when they don’t (and even “jail” when things went really bad!)
- I’ve used external speakers to inject humour into events for memorability
- Linking with global sporting events, we had departments renamed to countries throughout the competition, with local events happening where possible.
It’s easy to send out an email, put a post on an intranet or add it to the town hall. But that can quickly get lost. If you want to engage people, change behaviour and develop your culture, we need to bring some creativity and fun into our work to make our messages more memorable and actionable.
I’d love to hear your examples and share more ideas about what people can do to inject a bit of fun into their communication. Please send your ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share the ideas with our community.