Guest Post: Trey Hicks, Visix
Values are just as important as goals to the modern workforce, especially when it comes to the fastest-growing segment – millennials. Some 25% of millennials say their number one career goal is to “make a positive impact”on their organization, according to IBM.
Organizations should not only have clear targets but should also have a clear sense of doing the “right” thing and improving the world around them. And they need to let their employees know about it.
Transparency is a key factor for success in today’s business environment, where employees’ expectations can help or hinder a company in very real terms. The word “transparency” literally means “something shown through, as in viewed by light shining through it or by projection.” That brings to mind digital signage, and how it can help you remind your employees of just what your organization stands for.
According to a survey from Eagle Hill Consulting, 47% of Americans don’t know their employer’s key values. That’s nearly half. Often, the general assumption is that the company is there just to make money, which fosters a cynical attitude and results in lower engagement.
Workers Want To Know
Maybe some decades ago, this didn’t matter to workers, but today’s workers need to feel like they are part of something bigger than just themselves and their specific job tasks. They also want to be listened to, and feel like they have a stake in where they work 40 hours a week. Otherwise, they aren’t as productive and will move on to somewhere else.
HubSpot reports that 50% of employees say that bosses sharing data and information significantly impacts productivity and motivation in a positive way, and Ultimate Software shows that three-fourths of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns.
Employees want transparency, but past experience has not made them expect it. GeckoBoard says a whopping 76% of employees don’t trust managers who don’t share company data.
RaptMedia, in a report called Detached, Disengaged and Disenchanted (which concludes that lack of engagement costs US businesses $500 billion a year), suggests 57% of employees say their leaders are out of touch with the workforce, and an infographic by SalesForce.com shows that less than half of US workers believe their organizations are truthful or effective when they do tackle issues. Ouch.
So, honest communication is more important than ever, and your digital signage system is the best, most pervasive and most effective way to address these issues and improve your organizational culture.
Your screens are everywhere you employees are – in hallways and other high-traffic areas, in break rooms, at elevator banks and other places they linger. Sending out emails touting what the company is doing is ineffective at best and looks like paying lip service at worst. Plus, an email has to come from an individual, while your digital signage messages feel more like verifiable facts – information that is out there for all to see.
Messages that succinctly explain the company’s overall goals and values help people keep these in mind as they go through their day. Just this one simple thing can go a long way to shifting an employee’s mindset.
You also want them to feel like they are being listened to. Town Hall style meetings have become very popular, allowing lower-level employees and upper management to discuss and share things in an informal atmosphere. But you don’t have to limit that type of collaboration to once or twice a month – with your digital signage, this can become part of the daily organizational culture.
Encourage feedback and suggestions from your workforce by setting up a vibrant social feed as part of your intranet that can be easily accessed via a QR tag or short URL on digital signage messages. That way everyone can not only see everyone else’s comments, but management’s responses. Or you can make it a bit more private, by having a sort of electronic suggestions box, where people can submit things anonymously. But use those screens to display the most common, most pressing and most interesting input and the responses.
People want to feel like their leaders are taking an active interest in their suggestions, so while initial comments may be anonymous, make sure you assign a specific manager to respond. The American Psychological Association finds that 89% of workers who have leadership support are likely to recommend a company as a good place to work. Having employee and manager spotlights in your playlist can also help humanize the whole team, especially in large organizations.
Regular feedback is crucial to Millennials, and using your digital signage to give some of that feedback can provide what they need while also saving managers time. Instead of telling every member of the sales team that they are on target for quotas, show a message on your displays so everyone in the company sees it. Even departments that have little to do with one another will start to feel like they’re all part of the same team. This drastically increases engagement.
You may be surprised at the results – Temkin Group’s Employee Engagement Benchmark Study says highly engaged employees are three times more likely to do something good for the company that was not expected of them.
You can even use your digital signage to encourage professional development and training. Not just advertising courses and workshops, but micro-learning on a weekly or even daily basis. Give people a challenge, and they will almost certainly rise to it. Again, be transparent by showing progress and recognizing those who successfully meet requirements.
With just a few simple additions to your digital signage playlists, you can turn your company into one that feels open and honest, that recognizes the value of employees’ contributions and concerns, and helps break down the barriers between management and their teams.