3 minute read

Organisations have to generate employee documents on a regular basis, such as pension and reward statements and annual pay reviews. However, legacy systems can limit the output of employee data, resulting in employees receiving irrelevant and meaningless content. 

This can make them feel undervalued and unengaged, impacting team morale and productivity. However, if organisations can better use data to deliver more personalised and meaningful content, employees will feel more engaged, empowered, productive and motivated.

You are probably wondering, ‘how can I achieve this?’ The answer? Contextual data and this blog will cover:

  • What is contextual data 
  • The benefits of contextual data 
  • How to use contextual data for employee communication 
  • How to use contextual data for customer communication 

What is contextual data?

Contextual data refers to any background information that provides a broader understanding and perspective of an event, person or item.

So, what is contextual data in business? Data is information and it’s the information that helps organisations analyse characteristics and behaviours to deliver a more unique and personalised employee and customer experience

It can be gathered through events, calendars, social media, location intelligence software, CRM practices, and many other techniques, products or services. 

How organisations can use it for employee communications

You can use contextual data to create documents that are personalised and relevant to your employees. However, if you have  legacy HR/Payroll systems, it’s likely that you have limited options for outputting these documents by design, layout and distribution.  

Your systems hold a wealth of employee data that could be presented in more efficient and effective ways. For example, you can create targeted and relevant messages through the contextualisation of data. Let’s illustrate this with an example. 

You’re creating a letter for all members of staff explaining the new benefits they could receive as part of their reward package. This can include a pension scheme, bike to work incentive and childcare vouchers, along with some others. 

This letter is three pages long because you have included information on all the latest benefits. Your employees may have scanned through the letter and lost interest after the first page because they didn’t find any of the benefits relevant. 

Now, imagine you were able to select from the data the benefits that were relevant to each employee. Not only would you reduce page volumes, but you would also send relevant and engaging content to your employees. This means they are more likely to take action.

informal meeting over a desk with coffee and laptops

Just because the data you have is complex, doesn’t mean your documents have to be boring and irrelevant. You can transform data from your payroll, HR, pension and reward systems into personalised employee documents.

The benefits of contextual data

Now that you’ve been given some more context on what contextual data is (see what we did there?) and how it can be used for employee communications, we can now reiterate and outline some of the advantages:

  • Employees receive meaningful, relevant and personalised content, making them feel valued and part of the organisation they work for.
  • This can lead to increased empowerment and motivation, which aids with productivity, indirectly saving organisations time and money.
  • Employee retention will then naturally increase, because they don’t want to leave such an understanding and wonderful organisation.
  • It delivers a better overall employee experience so no nasty surprises on Glassdoor reviews!
  • Organisations can make use of the wealth of data they already have and let it not go to waste.
  • Internal teams can better understand what kind of contextual data they can collect.
  • As content becomes more relevant, page volume in letters, for example, will be reduced. This is because the data will ensure irrelevant content won’t be included.

Using it for customer communications

Just as it can be used to improve employee communications, it can also be used externally for customer communications. You can leverage the power of contextual data analytics to deliver direct and customised documents to your customers. 

informal meeting

You can use past buying behaviours, preferences, or buyer milestones to generate more leads through your customer communications. You can also utilise personalisation and marketing automation software to account for environmental factors, such as weather or location.

Final thoughts 

In short, we’ve explored how contextual data can be used to drive employee engagement and enhance communications.

The benefits are invaluable, especially for organisations that place their people at the centre of everything they do. Plus, it’s using data they already have to improve the personalisation and relevancy of communications.

For further reading on how to deliver better employee communications with your existing software, this article will be useful.