GlaxoSmithKline on Cultivating a Culture of Dialogue in Internal Communications
May 16, 2018
The initial challenge with internal communications
Two years ago, the Internal Communications team at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Singapore faced the challenge of employees not speaking up at internal conferences such as Town Halls.
It is a common challenge for organisations around the world: Employees tend to stay quiet, fearing the repercussions of voicing their opinions.
At a Town Hall, there is also often not enough time for employees to formulate their thoughts, phrase their questions, and take three deep breathes before walking up to the open mic.
Using live Q&A for employee engagement
Then they tried Pigeonhole Live to improve the employee experience and the engagement level, and the team has been using the Q&A tool for more than a year now.
"This really is a step forward... as it gives the employees a sense of their questions being heard and answered. It's a win-win."
We reached out to Pei San Chia, who is Commercial Training Manager at Global Business Insights for GSK — and now an expert at using Pigeonhole Live to drive employee engagement at internal conferences, physical and remote meetings, as well as training and workshops.
She's shared with us 3 best practices in using a tool like Pigeonhole Live to cultivate a culture of dialogue within the organisation:
1. Allow anonymity to encourage employee questions
Recounting her very first experience using Pigeonhole Live at GSK, Pei San shares that the team managed to get a lot of questions right off the bat. She believes that it has to do with the anonymity that Pigeonhole Live provides.
“Especially for questions that are sensitive in nature, Pigeonhole allows you to respond anonymously so it takes away that pressure from the ground, and what it means is that in turn you will have better response rate from your employees – which is what you want.”
2. For optimal employee engagement, warm them up first
When driving employee engagement, Pei San does not jump straight into the Q&A segment, explaining that the audience needs to warm up and get familiar with the tool.
Instead, her events typically start off with a few "simple-to-answer" live polls.
Then, she moves them into a live Q&A session, before finally ending off with a survey that is usually a feedback form about the entire workshop or Town Hall.
3. Respond to employees' questions and comments
Besides allowing anonymity, Pei San shares that "the management was able to answer on the spot" some of the employee questions.
"You really get the management to start acknowledging some of the concerns from the ground, and we managed to to get first-hand responses."
Aside from the live employee engagement, GSK Singapore also leverages on reports of the responses collated automatically on Pigeonhole Live to follow up with employees.
“Even for questions that we couldn’t answer on the spot, we made it a point to get the management to answer them after, and we actually sent email communication back to the employees.”
Flexibility and impact of the Enterprise Plan today
As a user on the annual Enterprise Plan, Pei San's team at GSK now has the flexibility to organise and implement unlimited Pigeonhole events. They use it for physical and remote Town Halls, internal meetings, conferences, training and workshops, and focus group feedback.
Sharing her success with Pigeonhole Live, Pei San says that personally, her experience with internal training workshops has been the most impactful.
“I’m very encouraged by the responses from the audience, people coming up to tell me that they feel like they are able to retain their learning because of the experience of using Pigeonhole Live.
I felt like Pigeonhole Live really helped me get to people who are very shy... people who acknowledge, I don’t like to put up my hand to ask a question.”