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Thinking outside the inbox for employee engagement.

In today’s world, our inboxes are overflowing with emails — work updates, policy changes, event invites, not to mention the 100+ newsletters we don’t remember signing up for. But does more email equate to better communication? One of our clients discovered it doesn’t.

They were stuck in a rut, using email for all their internal communications — from business updates to events and employee benefits. While this method was quick and easy, it was also uniform and, to be honest, quite dull. Their platform’s limited design flexibility didn’t help either. The biggest issue? Employee engagement was non-existent. 

They needed a fresh approach and asked us to help.

Our solution? Thinking beyond the inbox. We studied the team’s daily routines, uncovering potential in the spaces they frequently used — the usual entry and exit paths, the café, quiet zones and working spaces, and multiple kitchens. These became our new communication channels.

We created campaigns that incorporated environmental branding, using lift doors, windows, walls, tables, and even the floors for campaign messages — all installed overnight. We also introduced ‘desk drops’, surprising employees with treats and messages at their desks. It added a fresh twist to their routine day, making internal communication more exciting.

The outcome? Employee engagement and feedback soared, event attendance rose, and the work environment became noticeably more vibrant and interactive.

The more of the story isn’t to stop using email — in fact, we didn’t. Digital mediums continued to play an essential role in all the campaigns we delivered. The key is to think differently. If what you’re doing isn’t working, recognise the need to be creative in reaching your audience. Yes, it cost more, and the marketing team had to advocate for the extra budget. But spending nothing and getting nothing in return doesn’t make for a good investment — and that’s before considering the cost of rolling out events and benefits. In this case the campaigns we’re a resounding success, and spending more created real returns.

In a world saturated with digital noise, sometimes adding some offline elements into a campaign can be the answer. In this case, it was about looking beyond the inbox and making an effort to engage employees in a unique and enjoyable way. 

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