Leadership Communication Tools to Increase Employee Engagement

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In today’s podcast episode we interview Sam Kolbert-Hyle, President and CEO of Brandlive. Brandlive helps the world’s best brands create experiences that move people — from town hall-style internal meetings with soul to major marketing events that drive revenue. Their process takes content and transforms it in ways that present key messages in dynamic styles and formats. In this podcast, Sam shares how to increase employee engagement through videos and meetings based on good content, dynamic story-telling that inspires commitment and trust, and the creation of dramatic events for team members as they Team Anywhere.

The Shift to Hybrid Work: A Prologue to Video Content Consumerism

Almost half of the world population is less than 30 years old. The Baby Boomers are now retiring and it is time for the Millennials and Gen Zs to take over the workforce. At the same time, the emergence of hybrid work has proven that it is almost impossible to focus on zoom meetings for four hours straight.Meeting fatigue zaps energy, creativity, and innovation. 

The Millennials’ and GenZs’ attention span is typically shortened due to the fact they consume interesting video content on different social media platforms. With that being said, leaders should be able to make team meetings more interesting and engaging at the same time. If not, team members are more likely to switch to a company that promotes a more exciting and lively culture.

Why Are Team Members Getting Less Engaged at Work?

Unfortunately, few leaders have the time or skill to make things interesting for team members; this in turn, leads to a more disengaged workforce. Some team members are often doing the bare minimum at work, which has sparked the term “Quiet Quitting”. Underperformance can also be caused by the hybrid nature of work and the lack of mindful times for meaningful interactions. These conditions have heightened the need and opportunity to increase different forms of engagement; namely, the use of strong video content and storytelling.

Leadership Communication Tools to Increase Employee Engagement

According to Sam, there are a lot of ways to increase overall engagement and productivity. The following tips can help a leader move towards more impactful communications.

  1. Figure out who your people are – Invest in getting to know your people personally. This allows them to open up on their goals and motivators. In this way you can create approaches that better resonate with them. 
  2. People need to see the Office as a Destination – With the COVID pandemic slowly dissipating, Sam discussed that people need to see the office like Disneyland wherein they can have fun through events and interesting work interactions that go beyond the classic coffee bar, free lunch, or ping-pong table.
  3. Experiment Other Ways of Communication – As leaders, you have to experiment with communication in ways that are more modern, interesting, and compelling. Given the intensity of social media in the lives of Millennials and GenZs, they gravitate towards great stories and engaging content. 

Putting On a Very Dynamic Show For Your Team Members

Just like an interesting show or movie we see on television or our computers, we tend to commit to it if the story is interesting, compelling, and engaging. We switch channels or shows if it is disinteresting and disappointing. Same is true during team meetings via Zoom. Our attention span is limited. Thus, it is now important for leaders to begin to use resources that will help in the design and production of content that is more compelling and memorable. This builds focus and trust. This production capability needs to become a part of every organization’s platform–just like other forms of technology and specialty roles. 

Leaders need to either learn themselves or obtain expert resources that can create asynchronous and synchronous content that offers compelling stories towards vision, workflow, and culture. Leaders need to move towards not only creating PowerPoint slides for presentations but are actually writing out scripts for instilling connection, partnership, goal achievement, and mutual support. 

Who is Sam Kolbert-Hyle?

Sam Kolbert Hyle is the President & CEO of Brandlive. During the 2020 election, Brandlive helped the Biden campaign establish its virtual event presence. Brandlive powered 230 campaigns for Biden’s team, securing more than $30 million in donations.

As a child of two lesbian parents, Brandlive’s values of inclusion and equity are particularly important to Sam. He has intentionally built a culture that promotes and values creativity, flexibility, and inclusion. Sam started his career in private equity at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors in Los Angeles, a private equity firm focused on growth investments in profitable software-as-a-service and other enterprise software businesses.

Before Brandlive, Sam spent nine years on the executive team of Smarsh, the leading electronic archiving SaaS company valued at over $2 billion. Sam lives in the Irvington neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, with Sarah, and their kids Ari and Sylvia.

To learn more about increasing employee engagement, download this episode now.

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