GUEST POST: Sean Matthews, Visix
The term “employee engagement” has been a hot topic ever since a 2012 Gallup study showed that companies with highly involved employees significantly outperform those who don’t. This confirmed with hard data something managers had long suspected – people work harder when they feel like they are part of something, and like where they are.
Other studies show that even small gains in improving communications with your workers leads to increased performance. It’s a simple concept: happy, engaged employees come to work more often, stay at their jobs longer and do better work. This, in turn, leads to higher profits and a more efficient workplace.
That’s the why. But how do you get your employees more engaged? One very effective tool is something they see every day – your digital signage system. It’s faster than email, it reaches everyone, it presents information in a visually appealing way, and yet it’s also non-intrusive – people can look or not look, as they wish. The trick is to make them want to look.
In addition to your usual content, incorporate messages that make your employees feel like they know what’s going on in the company, and that they are a valuable part of the organization. Having company events and team-building activities are tried and true ways of building a sense of community, and your digital signage can certainly help get the word out about them. But there’s a lot more your system can do. Here are a few ideas:
Represent your brand, mission statement, ethos and corporate culture
Simple messages about what your company believes and finds important reminds employees on a daily basis, and helps keep them mentally on track with your organization. Not Big Brother-type dictates, but reminders of what you do, how people benefit from your company’s products and services, testimonials from satisfied clients – things like that. In earlier times, this sort of thing might have been considered the exclusive domain of management, but today’s workers (especially Millennials) need to feel like they are doing something worthwhile, and want to see the bigger picture and their place in it.
When goals are met or exceeded, when milestones occur, or when employees and teams get official recognition from your industry, why not let everyone know about it? Create an employee of the month program, which generates excitement and a healthy sense of competitiveness. When a department makes important progress on something, share that information. Showing company metrics also helps keep your workers “in the know”.
Revitalize the atmosphere
Add fun to your digital signage playlists. Post trivia questions, funny quotes and memes, beautiful pictures your employees have taken – anything to add a sense of playfulness. Holding contests and giveaways will certainly engage employees, as well as giving you an immediate way to measure how effective your communications are. You might encourage your employees to contribute messages as well.
Things like birthdays and anniversaries also make people feel included and make the workplace feel more familiar and welcoming that just the place where they do their jobs. Your employees are more than just workers – they’re people, and will appreciate a company that remembers that.
Just something as simple as including news feeds, weather and traffic will be seen as something value-added to your employees. If you can save someone getting stuck in terrible traffic, or get home before a severe thunderstorm, you have done them a favor and they will appreciate you for it.
This is doubly true for incorporating an emergency alert system with your digital signage. Your people will know what to do if something goes wrong, and that you have thought about their well-being and safety.
You can even display things like building energy usage, which would be important in an organization where people feel environmental concerns are important.
Reinforce with repetition
One of the great things about digital signage is that you can repeat your messages throughout the day and in multiple locations. Changing the layout and wording from time to time will keep it seeming fresh, while your core message continues to be communicated.
Think about using long-tail campaigns along with your one-off messages. A series of connected messages that tell a story or build on a theme will have people paying attention and talking about what comes next. You can actually create “viral” messages right there in your own company – if people are talking about it, and directing others to see it, then you know it’s working.
And, of course adding video, interactivity and wayfinding will further entice your staff, as will attractive design. With just a bit of planning, your digital signage system can be used to engage your employees, so they will actively enjoy their workplace experience.
Sean Matthews is President and CEO of Visix, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Visix’s AxisTV enterprise digital signage software allows clients to create, manage and schedule organizational communications from anywhere and to deliver messages, media and alerts to virtually any endpoint. Visix also provides award-winning content design, meeting room signs and applications for targeted messaging to desktops and personal devices for a complete digital signage solution.