How digital signage can improve internal communications in the workplace
By Libby Johnson, Content Marketing Assistant, SignStix
If you were to ask any employer what they would like to see from their workforce, answers such as "loyal," "driven" and "committed" would most likely be the most popular — not forgetting, of course, the age old "always willing to go the extra mile." It is a natural ambition for any corporation to aim for high levels of productivity from their employees, and numerous studies have shown a direct link between a company achieving increased revenue and generally better results when their workforce is highly engaged. If you aren't convinced, research by Dale Carnegie Group found that companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202 percent. That's huge.
"Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organisation and its goals. The emotional commitment means engaged employees actually care about their work and their company. They don't just work for a paycheck, or just for the next promotion, but work on behalf of the organisation's goals." — Kevin Kruise
Quite simply, a high level of engagement equates to above average productivity. Yet, despite this, only 25 percent of business leaders have an employee engagement strategy, and at 65 percent, the U.K. recorded the lowest average employee engagement level worldwide.
It is essential for companies to strive for higher levels of employee engagement, as employees that feel valued and involved are more likely to demonstrate belief in their organization, a desire to make things better and an inherent understanding of business context — and the "bigger picture." They are also less likely to throw a sickie. According to a study by the Workplace Research Foundation, which found that companies who actively engage their employees have an average 2.69 sick days taken annually (per employee), compared to companies with weak engagement efforts reporting an average of 6.19 sick days.
Communication is key
So, while we have established that having engaged employees is a crucial aspect of any organization hoping to achieve the best results from their workforce, the question remains: How can they do this? The simplest answer: Communication.
Successful corporate communication is an industry all on its own, as it is the embodiment of an organization. Corporate communication grants a company the platform to project a distinct voice — one that is measured, clear and controlled, and one that can be relied upon to provide consistency throughout the highs and lows that a business might encounter.
If a company is going through a particularly rough patch, a corporate voice can help to soothe anxieties, boost staff morale and set out guidelines about how an employee is expected to behave or represent the company during the difficult times (an example perhaps being a mass redundancy or a product failure). Similarly, if a company is experiencing a "high," (i.e. the successful completion of a large, important project) corporate communication can be used to praise the efforts of the workforce and to recognize contributions made by individuals.
The creation of an environment where hard work is not only recognized but also valued is vital for engaging employees, as the Institute for Employment Studies found that feeling "involved" is one of the biggest drivers of engagement. There are many traditional ways that a company can promote inclusiveness in the workplace, but for forward-thinking businesses, digital solutions such as digital signage are one of the best methods for this practice. Properly implemented, digital screens help to create an open, trusting and engaging environment in a fun and modern way.
The strategic placement of digital screens throughout the busiest parts of the office, such as the kitchen, the elevators or the general office area, can help to ensure that any corporate communication is absorbed and retained by members of the staff. The screens can be used to engage staff in a variety of ways, such as motivating a sales team by showing incentives or highlighting business wins and new product information.
It is also expected from employees in a modern working environment that a healthy work/life balance can be maintained. A study from PwC found that millennials in particular view this as highly important -- even placing more value in it than the figure they can expect to earn. From this perspective, digital screens can be used to encourage social events, such as advertising the next staff meal or night out, or the next group event, such as training or away days.
Feeding into the social aspect of work life, digital screens can also encourage social participation, such as asking employees to submit written pieces for internal newsletters or publications. Allowing employees to get involved with tasks like these creates an inclusive atmosphere where the staff feels valued because their voices are being heard, and they are directly contributing to the corporate communication. Industry news, live television, recognition of hard work or achievements … the possibilities really are endless when using digital solutions to engage staff.
Reaching a global audience
As the ways in which we can communicate with our peers around the world continually develop, so too do the opportunities that businesses have to expand around the globe. It is important for companies that employ a global workforce to ensure consistent and effective communication, and that cultural confusion or miscommunication is avoided. Digital signage can be deployed to anywhere in the world with the click of a button, meaning that key messages and announcements can be sent to everyone that needs to see it instantly and simultaneously, whether they be in the U.K. or India, the U.S. or Australia.
With all of the benefits that digital signage can offer for the corporate communications industry, it is now easier than ever to raise staff engagement levels. As with any aspect of life, good communication is vital. For a corporate company aiming to create an inclusive environment for large numbers of people, it is even more so. A workforce that is happy and engaged means higher levels of productivity and better results, and if there was ever a good indication of positive return on investment, that would be it.