Winning Tips! – How to Boost Activity and Engagement on Your Internal Communication Platform

Among the top indicators of effective internal communication are reach and activity/engagement rates. Digital internal communication platforms provide precise data on both: how many have registered for the company app and the level of user activity. These statistics often reveal the true challenges.

In 2024, Blue Colibri again awarded companies that most successfully utilized their internal communication platforms based on these factors. These included the most app downloads, the highest registration rates, and the most intense engagement with the app. We asked the crucial question: how did they achieve this?

The first steps are regarding starting the registration process

The goal of introducing an internal communication app is usually to reach employees through a dedicated channel, regardless of whether they are white-collar or blue-collar workers, where they work, or their work schedule. The initial period and launch campaign are crucial, along with the first few topics/functions fully migrated to the new platform.

Let’s see how the winners had started…

The launch strategy focused on getting to know the app, discovery and content. Already at the launch, features such as the idea box, the shop, and the acknowledgments were created. "We started with a good amount of communication content, and then gradually introduced mandatory elements like cafeteria and leave records." (Mapei Ltd.)

Measures have been transferred to the interface, such as the selection of incentives. As a result, more than 90% of employees use the app to declare their choices. The app is also promoted on screens in community spaces. (Samsung Electronics Magyar Zrt.)

Employees had to complete the mandatory fire and safety training on their own platform, so after the introduction in October 2020, the registration rate jumped dramatically by the beginning of 2021 (MFS Defense Zrt., Beáta Heiling-Koltai, communications and training expert)

New entrants are registered to the platform by default. On the first working day, IT will help you download and login, and HR will give you a presentation on the operation and available functions. (ZNET Telekom Zrt.)

and how you can start too!

First, familiarize your colleagues with the app. Assist with registration and usage. Promote the new platform to spread it quickly (also introduce it to new hires right away). Activating content (idea boxes, quizzes, sweepstakes, etc.) can be very helpful, but what often works best is approaching familiar content/functions in a new form. For example, migrating well-known work-related areas (safety training, leave tracking, incentive declarations) to the digital platform at the start not only boosts registration but turns employees into active users immediately.

Favorites and Key Functions

Boosting activity can hinge on identifying the app's most useful functions, which can vary by company. Besides practical utility, preference also plays a role: the app should offer features that users enjoy and are willing to engage with.

Successful Approaches from Winners…

The Questionnaire is the most useful because it allows you to ask employees to give their opinions, which saves you a lot of administrative work. The Administration and the Appointment Booking are also very useful (to register for programs and medical check-ups). The most popular among employees are the monthly quizzes (educational, with rewards), the betting games, and the news about colleagues' achievements. The most motivating activities are those with gifts and rewards, but after a while, there is also a sense of fun and competition. In the summer, the emphasis is on experiences, and commentary and picture-sending games are added to the repertoire. "In the Administration function, we have created reporting interfaces related to cleanliness, buses, machine safety, and safety culture. The Knowledge Base helps with labor coordination and employer information."  (Samsung Electronics Magyar Zrt.)

The most used part of the app is the News/Feed feature. The interface is simple, and easy to use, and you can get the same information to everyone at the same time, using images, emojis, and text styles. "Colleagues really like content that is about them, that allows them to get to know each other, the other departments, or the photo galleries that feature them. The communities are also popular because everyone can choose to join or even create their own community based on their own interests."  (ZNET Telekom Zrt.)

The most popular feature is Recognition and any action that allows you to earn valuable points and redeem them in the store, e.g. news, notifications, and quizzes. (Mapei Kft.)

The most frequently used functions are News, Notifications, E-learning (mandatory and optional), Administration, Recognition and Webshop, Knowledge base, Booking, and Feedback.  The most popular are the games (gamification) and the news about individual successes, the monthly massage booking is active and many people also read the production bonus results. News stories that are intrinsically linked to employees' lives (new rules, new managers, new processes) get the most views. "We love all the features we use and build on them heavily in the areas of corporate communications, training, onboarding, company culture, and retention, as well as in the transparent and efficient implementation of HR processes." (MFS Defense Zrt., Beáta Heiling-Koltai, Communication and Training Expert)

and what might work best for you.

Enrich your new communication platform with relevant and interesting news, photo galleries, and videos. Report individual and team successes, introduce new colleagues and leaders, and make all documentation available to ease daily work. Provide space for learning and development through the e-learning function, organize quizzes and sweepstakes, and utilize gamification to boost productivity. The new platform will truly spread if it offers useful/informative and interesting/entertaining content, helps with administration, and provides insights into processes, people, and departments.

Positive Changes and Measurable Results

The success of the new internal communication platform can be tracked through statistics and measurements, showing significant positive changes across different organizational areas. Gradual implementation is key, with some areas improving immediately and others yielding long-term benefits.

Experiences of the Award Winners in the short- and long-run…

Lost working time due to accidents at work has been reduced by 63% thanks to the use of safety gamification games. Since workers receive recognition points for completing mandatory e-learning within the deadline, the number of workers who have to be specifically addressed to do it has been minimized. By standardizing the training and supporting it with digital learning material and knowledge base, the efficiency of the training has increased, independent work can be achieved faster, and within 3 months of the probationary period, the knowledge level has reached to the point where it is even suitable for further internal development/task expansion (MFS Defense Zrt., Beáta Heiling-Koltai, Communication and Training Expert)

The app has entered the public consciousness as an information channel; ideas are coming in; administration has been simplified by using the administration/reservation functions. "If something happens within the company or there's a meeting, it's become a saying: put it on TeamZ / don't forget to post about it." (ZNET Telekom Zrt.)

Internal communication is only through the app. There has been a clear improvement in the reach rate of employees, and their response has become faster and more efficient. (Mapei Kft.)

The number of users of the platform is measurable: currently, in 2024, it is 95.7%. The viewership of content is above 80%. Colleagues are regularly contacted via chat. Messages received are read with over 90% and replied to with over 50%. Employee reaction is also measurable: according to the surveys conducted, 4/5 of employees are satisfied with the content, features, and possibilities of the app.(Samsung Electronics Magyar Zrt.)

and what can you expect from the new platform?

The app provides clear data on registrations, content views, and reactions, unlike traditional campaigns or kiosk videos. Statistics help continuously improve areas that need more development and highlight instant successes among employees. Don’t just rely on numbers – ask colleagues directly what they like most or miss. Use the app to realize their ideas, be it a company podcast, a hobby-based community, or any initiative they fancy. This boosts engagement and activity.

Maintaining Employee Activity

Launching and fully utilizing the app is a complex task with many lessons, successes, and positive results. However, every organization will eventually face the question: how to maintain momentum and keep employees interested and active? The Blue Colibri Engagement Awards 2024 winners shared their "secrets to success."

Draw Inspiration from the Winners…

"We are constantly experimenting and pushing our own and our colleagues' limits. We always strive to share regular, reliable, authoritative information, as well as community-building activities such as quizzes, polls, and testimonials." (Mapei Kft.)

In addition to work-related content, there is also a need for soft and non-standard content. This could be a prize draw, video messages from managers, a podcast series about colleagues; introducing the app and its features, and raising awareness of its benefits. You can also ask colleagues what they would like to see on the interface, and what they are interested in. It increases engagement if they are involved. (ZNET Telekom Zrt.)

The most important is continuous use. It's not enough to communicate on a campaign basis. You need to constantly share news, and recurring satisfaction surveys, maintain established case management processes, increase the number of optional e-learning courses, and introduce new features. All this should be done by aligning a strategically established communication and training plan with ad hoc updates (MFS Defense Zrt., Beáta Heiling-Koltai, Communication and Training Specialist)

The app is already the number one communication platform. Maintaining constant motivation and activity is difficult, but not impossible. It is worth finding and increasing the use of the features that interest your team most. "Sometimes it's worth pushing one login to see other content. For example, the weekly menu and the schedule are the first things they see in the app. We make the selection of incentives available only on this platform. In this case, colleagues who would otherwise look up to the platform less often do so." (Samsung Electronics Magyar Zrt.)

...and shape your internal communication to your liking!

Useful-entertaining, mandatory-optional, informative-interesting, work-hobby... the list goes on. The internal communication platform best serves needs when balanced in content/functions. It’s not just for work and administration but also for community building, engagement, and commitment. Continuously monitor user needs, gradually expand offerings, and leverage your organization’s uniqueness in content creation – every organization has many valuable insights to discover.

The Blue Colibri app opens a new era in organizational life and internal communication. It's a learning process with immediate and long-term benefits. Every organization is unique, with diverse community characteristics, so experiment with new functions, introduce new ideas, and involve employees in content creation and planning. And, of course, draw inspiration from others' experiences.

Thank you to the Blue Colibri Engagement Awards winners for their collaboration!