Guest Post: Richard Fortin, ITESMEDIA
Are you engaging your employees during their shifts? In this second of two posts, we will look at three other ways to increase your employees’ commitment in the workplace, using digital signage. Part 1 is here.
3 – Democratize information
In order to be committed to your work, you must make sense of what you’re doing. That means not only repeating your tasks, but understanding their essence and why you’re doing them.
A well-informed employee who is aware of the objectives and challenges of his or her business is more likely to be motivated to help the organization (and colleagues) to reach and surpass their goals. Research is showing only 40% of employees are aware of the goals and objectives of their company.
How do you democratize information? Through downward communication. In other words, ensuring that messages from the top management reach the ears of employees in the field. This seems simple on paper, but it is very hard to implement. Often, company goals and policies that are well known to management are unknown to factory workers. How do you increase your employees’ commitment if they are not made aware of the company’s strategic decisions ?
The consequences are often greater when internal changes occur. Since communication is lacking, information is shared poorly and often causes problems. According to a study, poor communication during changes increases unwanted behaviours by 42%.
Digital signage can be an effective solution for avoiding this type of problem. It has the advantages of capturing people’s attention and of adapting the message in real time (even automatically). Thus, this technology allows easy downward communication of pertinent business information such as:
- Explanations of procedures;
- Progress reports on projects;
- Reasons for recent changes.
In short, digital signage fosters the emergence of a collaboration culture. We share and adapt information to get everyone working towards the same goal.
4 – Listen to your employees
We just saw how digital signage greatly increases downward communication within a company. It allows facilitates upward communication, from employees to the administrative staff. To get more employee commitment, they must feel listened to by their executives. Moreover, they want to feel like their opinion is important and taken into account in the decision-making process. Here are some examples of questions that an employer could ask his or her employees:
- Do you agree with those new practices?
- Would you like to take this training?
- Do you have ideas for new products?
- How do you innovate in this service we are offering?
- Are you satisfied with your work tools?
It is not enough just to ask those questions, they also need to know who to send their responses to (name, contact details, title). After all, they are the ones on the field, seeing what is happening, we must therefore encourage them to take action and communicate with the administrative staff. Take an interest in your employees, their interests, their ideas, their problems. In return, they will take an interest in the success of your business.
Digital signage does not let employees communicate upward directly. On the other hand, it lets you show them that what they think is important for the organization’s success. 39% of workers do not feel appreciated at work. So show them that they are important.
In short, digital signage improves communication both ways (upward and downward), which favours collective intelligence.
Here is a concrete example from our client Unifor that can be shown on a screen to display resource persons.
5 – Repeat, repeat, repeat
There are no secrets to internal communication. Often, for the message to be understood, it must be repeated. A company with 100 employees dedicates, on average, 17 hours per week clarifying information. This represents hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.
You have now been reading this article for a few minutes, but tomorrow, you may have forgotten all about it. Hence the importance of repeating a message in order to ensure that it is well understood.
Compared to other medias, digital signage lets you repeat messages easily, effectively, and for a low cost:
- The importance of employees’ work;
- Messages that encourage a sense of belonging.
No need to have a supervisor on the floor repeating the same things over and over. It is also a media that turns out to be much more effective than traditional posters, bulletin boards, or internal journals, since it is much more dynamic and visually appealing.
Finally, this booming new media is an opportunity for you to communicate effectively with your employees in order to increase their commitment.
This post originally appeared in the ITESMEDIA blog, a great dual-language resource for digital signage insights from the Montreal-based company.”