Looking to those at the highest of their respective fields provides a completely unique source of inspiration that one can apply to their work. Taylor Swift could be a brilliant songwriter and businesswoman. To remain fresh, relevant, and interesting is tough for any brand or person; to try to do so as a girl in an exceedingly male-dominated industry and in a very culture that’s often rooting for you to fail may be a tremendous feat. Along with her surprise eighth studio album release, folklore, Swift proved another time why she is at the highest of her game. She also had several clever tactics she took with the album’s release that internal communication and human resource professionals should observe to use in their work.
Lesson #1: Invest time in nailing your strategy — and do not be afraid to pivot
Taylor wisely shifted strategy when Covid-19 struck. Gone are the times of milking an album for 2 years while one embarks on a stadium tour as the main revenue source. Seeing that that model might not be sustainable (or even preferable) for the foreseeable future, she took a distinct tact by creating and releasing content more quickly to plug the revenue gap.
Many clients I work with don’t have a well-defined communication strategy — if they need one to the slightest degree. That’s an issue. Right now, employers must take a tough observe what strategy changes are needed to fulfill the new employee engagement challenges Covid-19 has surfaced. While many human resources and internal communication teams are in crisis communication mode since the pandemic first hit, as we slowly get won’t to Covid-19 being in our lives, the conversation goes to shift — and people businesses leading that conversation are better positioned to weather the storm. Issues that may be addressed and updated in your employee engagement strategy include addressing the dearth of leadership visibility at work, the changing emphasis within the worker value proposition, the challenges and practicalities of reopening workplaces, fairness issues around who gets to figure from home and who doesn’t, new mental state needs, and more.
Lesson #2: She paid attention to what people want and wish
Swift understood that what listeners want is changing. Short attention spans, being stuck reception, and being shaken to our core by a world pandemic means glossy pop with bombastic videos isn’t modish. Authentic and relatable content is what people want — and that they want more of it. Releasing an album to a captive audience who may have grown bored with taking note of her prior album Lover on repeat means she harnessed a privileged moment to relinquish the people exactly what they need, which is new Taylor Swift songs to enjoy and dissect.
What your people need from you has changed. Perhaps they have more ways to form references to colleagues and feel a part of the team. Or they need you to know that productivity may have tanked during the lockdown and amended performance management criteria is so as. It’s up to you to proactively consider how the landscape has changed, and what meaning for what people might need. Then, supplement that with a listening activity. While surveys will liquidate a jam to urge a steer from your people, one-to-one interviews tend to capture more nuanced and sensitive feedback.
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Lesson #3: Novelty captures attention
When we notice something new and/or unexpected in our surroundings, our attention is straight away drawn to that. Swift leveraged the facility of difference by breaking her tried-and-tried (and expected) promotional model that typically heralded a replacement release. Which served to pique more curiosity and interest than it’d have otherwise, she dropped her new album overnight with no prior fanfare instead.
What does novelty seem like within the employee engagement world? The key’s visiting be to travel for the first, unexpected, and surprising. This might be the form of a print item so it stands going into the mail; something within the environment that’s unexpected, sort of a message embedded in an exceeding staircase; or maybe the message itself — something that they don’t expect to listen to from their internal communication or HR teams. This is often where brainstorms as a team that encourage silly ideas could land you a winning, novel concept.
Taylor Swift knows the way to get and keep listeners
Keeping fans who want to learn easy Taylor Swift songs on guitar presents the identical challenges as keeping engaged employees. That also means a number of identical solutions apply. So take a glance at brands, performers, and artists that try this well — and take a page out of their playbook.