It’s said that there are three rules to success in business…
‘KNOW YOUR PEOPLE, KNOW YOUR PEOPLE, KNOW YOUR PEOPLE.’
A great way to help that happen is through your internal magazine. Employee interviews in internal publications can be engaging, social, and fun and they can help colleagues connect with each other in an easy-going, lighthearted way. A well-considered employee presence delivered with a personal, human touch helps to create a powerful sense of belonging and ownership – it’s ‘our magazine’ representing ‘our people’.
It’s important to keep the content of this feel-good platform fresh and relevant to keep readers coming back for more. There are lots of quirky ways to go about introducing employees to the rest of the organisation by injecting some energy in to your employee interviews…
TAKE INSPIRATION FROM ‘MEET THE TEAM’ PAGES ON THE WEB
Creative companies are always coming up with fresh and engaging ways to present their people to the public. There’s a lot we can learn from this, swiping some cheeky ideas to transfer to our internal environment. The websites to look out for are the ones that focus on people, rather than abstract company info or dull product detail. Peruse your favourite funky companies to see how they do it.
Some of the best ideas we’ve spotted include heaps of humour, creative imagery, cartoon portraits, random facts, yearbook presentation styles, ‘skills scales’, top trumps type features, personal stats cards and super hero power capabilities. All these approaches work well for printed publications as well as digital channels where you can use different formats like video and animation too.
REVAMP YOUR QUESTIONS
If your employee magazine has been around a while it may be time for a refresh.
Have a think about how the questions you ask set the tone for you employee interviews. Some of the more lighthearted options can help employees to ‘open up’.
Here are 20 of our current faves:
- What gets you out of bed in the morning?
- How would you describe your day job to a child?
- What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
- What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
- What three words would you use to describe your role?
- If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
- What is on your wish list for your next five years here?
- What are your biggest professional challenges?
- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
- If you could change one thing about working here, what would it be?
- What do you like most about your job?
- What advice would you give to recent new entrants?
- What’s your most memorable facepalm moment?
- When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
- What is your motto or personal mantra?
- What’s your favourite blog?
- What’s the most recent app you’ve downloaded but are yet to use?
- Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?
- What’s your favourite line from a film?
- What is your guilty pleasure?
REPACKAGE THE FEATURE
Another way to freshen up an interview feature is to give it a new identity. Internal magazine features don’t have to be dry, corporate content. Rather than a humdrum Q&A session, get a little creative with the format. We’ve come across some really strong internal magazines where the employee interview always hits the spot in the popularity stakes. These include:
- One Minute With…
- Stuck in the Lift
- Q&A by the Coffee Machine
- Spotlight On…
- Lunch Break Roulette
- Centre Stage
- An Audience With…
- On the Grapevine
ASK EMPLOYEES TO INTERVIEW EACH OTHER
If interviewing doesn’t come naturally to you or it’s just time for a fresh approach – there is another way.
Readers have a unique relationship with each other, understanding the right questions to ask while also knowing what people want to read about. Employees understand the priorities, the subjects that they’re all talking about, and the juicy stuff that gets all the hits. Cutting out the middleman can uncover this detail faster and produce a purer, more sincere result. You can set a few parameters or guidelines but really you want to hand over the reins and encourage some creativity!
Ask employees to simply record it and send you an audio file – that way you’re not waiting for a finished product that’ll never come. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the raw, unadulterated dialogue!
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Take a good look at how you’re currently presenting your employee interviews. Could you be a little more creative? A spot more stimulating?
Ask employees what they’d like to see, have some fun with a few new ideas and introduce your people in appealing ways. People love to see a familiar face, ‘one of them’. A fresh new look to your employee interviews will certainly peak the interest of your readers and could end up being your most loved feature.
If you’d like us to take a look at your internal publications and give our own unique perspective then drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you!