Are your employees brand advocates? You want them to be. Whether you know it or not, at least half of them are posting on social media about your company from time to time, if not more often, according to a 2014 Weber Shandwick study – but only 39% of them are sharing something positive.
One of the reasons why they might not be affirming your organization online is a lack of effective communication. Internal communication is the second strongest driver of employee advocacy (or activism, to use Weber Shandwick’s term), trumped only by leadership.
Yet according to the firm’s research:
- Only four in 10 employees can confidently describe to others what their employer does or what its goals are.
- Fewer than three in 10 report that they are being communicated with, listened to and kept in the loop.
- Fewer than one in five highly rate communications from senior management. As expected, immediate supervisors are rated as better communicators than senior leadership, but still not as highly as might be expected.
Digital signage can help with this problem. Here’s how.
A brand is the sum of the interactions your customers have with your business, and your employees embody that experience and can be the best or worst example of it.
And as shown by the Weber research, while communication is only one factor in creating an advocate, it’s an important one.
To successfully share information with employees, your organization’s communications need to be:
Honest and transparent. “It’s all about trusting people to speak for you, trusting them with information, trusting their judgment and acumen. Employees have to feel empowered enough to want to speak up, which also means hearing what they want to say,” Meghan M. Biro, a talent management and HR tech brand strategist, author and speaker, wrote in a recent Forbes magazine leadership blog. “If [employees] don’t feel like they know what the organization is doing, they can’t advocate with enough authority — or candor.”
Clear. If skeptical millennials haven’t convinced you of this yet, the time for corporate speak is over. Simplicity and clarity are in and jargon and wordiness are out. And while you’re at it, if you haven’t converted at least some of your communications to infographics and video, now’s the time for that, too.
Multi-channel. Best practices have long called for communications to be served up a number of different ways to make sure your messages are reaching all audiences. This has never been truer in today’s multigenerational workforce, something we discussed in last week’s blog.
While email and intranets are still popular (though email somewhat overused) and social networks in the workplace are growing, digital signage isn’t as prevalent a communication channel in corporations as it could be, considering its benefits:
- Digital signage serves up bite-sized, consumable information. It’s a particularly good medium for graphics and video, which add interest to your content and can attract more attention than text-heavy communications.
- It’s available to all. Digital signage is typically placed in high-impact areas: lobbies, pass-throughs and common and gathering spaces. That helps organizations with, for example, call center employees, who often are limited in their ability to use their computers to access company information. In addition to filling that gap, signage in common areas can bring employees together and encourage discussion about your company’s goals, priorities and direction.
- And it puts everyone on the same page. Displays can keep news, messages and performance information front and center, 24/7. Everyone knows what’s going on and there’s no confusion about what’s important; it’s being constantly communicated.
Digital signage can play a significant role in creating the kind of informed, connected employees who are more likely to advocate for your brand. It can even help define your brand, if you’re interested in being seen as a modern, up-to-date organization – and who isn’t these days? That’s a message you can be proud of – and that can attract and retain workers and customers alike and help your business grow.