Sterling Bank is one of Nigeria’s largest banks. As an employer of more than 4,000 staff, its communication team is under no illusion as to the importance of effective message cut-through. Like many organizations of a similar size, it was becoming increasingly concerned that essential messages were being ignored.
Traditionally, the team relied predominantly on email to communicate with its employees, who were located at multiple offices across the country. But due to the large volume of daily emails, communicators had no way of tracking whether the content was getting read; if it was of interest; and importantly, whether staff were up to date with important company news and information critical to their job. Furthermore, a significant amount of time was being spent developing email content and materials, yet with no sure way to measure their value.
Recognizing the problem was only going to get worse, Sterling Bank began to investigate alternative communication methods.
Sterling Bank's internal communications team was increasingly concerned that information overload was getting worse. Staff were missing important messages, and emails were no longer an effective communication method. The team had no insight into whether their content was being read, and if it was relevant.
To improve message cut-through so that important news reached the right people at the right time.
To push communications directly to employees, and force them to acknowledge what was being communicated.
To track what was getting read and learn which content type engaged better with employees.
The bank opted for a locally hosted employee communication solution comprising desktop alerts, scrolling ticker bars, newsletter and the quizzes/surveys tools.
Each of these were chosen for their ability to ‘cut- through’, with each performing specific communication functions. For example, as its staff deal with significant financial services and transactions, Sterling Bank did not want users to have to switch windows when reading their emails.
The desktop alerts and ticker bars allow for this, enabling staff to be informed of important updates the moment they happen. The Snap magazine was chosen to cater to various departmental newsletters that were being produced, consuming a lot of internal resource. This tool enabled the bank to digitally organize and communicate newsletters using one platform.
The quizzes and surveys gave the internal communications team a holistic view and statistics on campaigns, to help make informed decisions.
Internal communications have significantly improved within the bank: control of this important business function has been regained.
First of all, there has been a dramatic drop in the amount of emails sent to employees and therefore fewer distractions. As Kelvin Igbodo, Communications and Marketing Manager at Sterling Bank, explains: “Staff can focus more on their duties without the constant interruption of emails. This allows for more productivity.”
It also means that when a message is delivered via the SnapComms platform, staff know to take notice. Important news is finally getting the required attention.
The useful targeting features allows the bank to segment its audiences, such as business units, departments and regions. This stops irrelevant communications and reduces information noise, a key objective.
The built-in measurement functionality enables the bank to track which units and individuals are (or are not) reading each message. “The reports allow us understand what staff are most interested in,” adds Kelvin.
As a side note, the administrators quickly grasped the new software. “The system itself is easy to navigate and use, and the various video tutorials are extremely helpful,” says Kelvin.
An extra plus is that there is now a stronger sense of identity and value attached to the Sterling Bank brand. Clever use of visuals and imagery is helping to inspire a greater sense of pride amongst staff, in a way that a wordy email never could.
Example of a SnapComms desktop alert in action
promoting wellness at Sterling Bank.