You’re an executive wondering why no one seems to know or care about what’s going on at your company. We’ll tell you why:
The amount of email the average employee receives is inching up to 100 each day, according to technology research firm The Radicati Group. The problem? Most people can only deal with about 50 emails a day from all sources.1
And your corporate messages are at the bottom of the heap, too. Employees are pressed for time (and who isn’t these days?) and typically wade through their inboxes to focus on emails with information they need to do their work. Everything else comes second . . . or goes in the recycling bin. Even employees who file emails to read later admit that their good intentions often go unfulfilled.
Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad . . . except communication is a key element of employee satisfaction and engagement. The top three reasons employees don’t like their jobs, About.com says, are communication-related:
- Lack of direction from management
- Poor communication overall
- Constant change that’s not well-communicated
Dissatisfied, disengaged employees – 70% of the workforce – cost the U.S. economy as much as $550 billion annually in lost productivity, according to Gallup. Conversely, the same report says, companies with high employee engagement have 3.9 times the earnings per share when compared to those in the same industry with lower engagement levels.
It’s time to stop expecting email to do so much heavy lifting when it comes to employee communications. Consider embracing a model that clears out the inbox and delivers informative, fun and fresh content that furthers your communication goals and needs. Effective digital signage offers employers a new way to help employees connect to the organization and feel valued.
Your communication goals guide the best location and use of digital signage in your organization. For example:
Departmental work areas are the right places to use a display to communicate KPIs and other metrics that inform employees about the job at hand and help them make better decisions about how to get on with it.
Central gathering areas such as coffee bars, lunchrooms and break rooms offer opportunities to communicate corporate messaging that keeps employees connected and on the same page. Large digital signs can display company news, HR message, strategic plans and priorities, and anniversaries and birthdays.
Pass-through areas such as lobbies, hallways and elevators are good locations for less strategic messaging, such as local weather, traffic and general news headlines.
In addition to cutting down on email, digital signage offers other significant advantages:
A fresh way to communicate. Smart phones, social media and the web have conditioned everyone to receive information in small bites. Short pieces of content offered up on digital signs or via video in convenient locations help employees stay up-to-date in a way that appeals to people today.
A livelier workplace. Teamwork is more important in the workplace than ever, and the better you know your colleagues, the more effective a team you make. Encouraging people to spend time together works to a company’s advantage. Informative, interesting content offered on signage in gathering areas can bring employees together and even encourage discussion about your company’s goals, priorities, direction and news.
A method to address special communications needs. For example, people in call centers often cannot access an intranet or play videos at their work stations, since doing so would disrupt operations. Ditto for employees in open or shared workspaces, which are becoming more and more prevalent. Video walls in break areas can solve that problem and ensure that all employees can hear and see your messages.
A message that your company is up-to-date. The printed employee publication has largely gone the way of the dinosaur. In a smartphone world, digital delivery of information is the norm. A workplace that offers a modern way to communicate will set your organization apart and attract people of every generation.
As with any communication, great content is key. It doesn’t always have to be heavy. It’s OK to have some fun. But whatever the tone, you need to tell your story in an interesting, effective way. Delivery methods may be changing, but the need for fresh, lively content remains the same. Make sure to engage employees with the information they need, when and how they need it, so they don’t press the delete key on yours.
1 Harris Interactive research, July 2010.