When mentioning internal communications, most of us think intranet and emails as we imagine the staff as white-collar employees, sat at their desk in front of computers. Yet by doing so, we tend to forget about a very important segment of our workforce – the non-wired one.
Field technicians, sales executives, logistics personnel, and staff in production facilities don’t have access to their emails and sometimes not even their mobile phones. How do you ensure that they, too, feel part of the company, are up-to-date with news and understand the corporate values?
You generally have two options.
The most common one is using flyers and corporate magazines. While these have their undisputable benefits, they tend to get outdated before they reach an employee and they could never contain up-to-the minute information. Besides this, they can easily be forgotten, unnoticed or simply not read.
The second option is digital signage- or in plain words, TV screens installed in locations where your blue-collar staff is to be found. They could be likened to flyers, just that they can be instantly updated with fresh information, supporting dynamic, moving graphics that catch attention.
Reaching elusive employees
An article of the Corporate Executive Board mentions three types of hard-to-catch employees. The ‘’On-the-Goers’’, the ‘’Time-Starved’’ and the ‘’Information-Avoiders’’. Here’s how digital signage can help you reach all of these three types:
1) The ‘’On-the-Goers’’. You don’t need to spend too much time in a place to catch a phrase from a conversation, a name or a date. This stays true for digital signage too. Well-organised information will allow staff to take it in before they even realize it. (Remember, even if moving images catch attention, in environments where people are on-the-go, a bold simple text could be far more impactful.)
2) The same could apply to those ‘time-starved’ employees that just don’t have ‘the time’ to read or watch the news. With digital signage, they don’t even have to. When emails aren’t read and news boards aren’t checked, screens in locations where those employees have to spend some time (ever thought of elevators?) can do the trick. If your messages are correctly constructed (i.e. short and to the point) then they can be seen and read even by the busiest employee of all.
3) The ‘’Information-Avoiders’’. Believe it or not, some employees avoid information, especially if they don’t see it as directly related to their job. Cultural differences or an intimidating manager along with the lack of access to a personal computer or a mobile might prevent a part of your staff from accessing important company news. Post these on a screen and you’re offering free access to accurate information and a guilt-free communications tool.
What you can display on your screens:
1) As people today prefer visual communications, photos are a must-have for an impactful message. Pictures of staff, taken by the employees themselves, will not only attract eyeballs but will also motivate staff to contribute with content and watch the screens;
2) Besides photos, other file types supported by most digital signage software today are: HD videos (pre-recorded videos), RSS feeds (Twitter, FlickR, news etc.), HTML5 files (weather widgets etc.), Youtube videos so you can present your communications in a dynamic, eye-catching manner and not just in plain text;
3) Content-wise, all the information communicated via the intranet or your corporate magazine can be summarized and shown on your displays. According to Alberto Carrero de Roa, the Director of Internal Communications for ArcelorMittal in Spain, the company spices up its messaging by acknowledging employee- achievements, voluntary work and non- work related hobbies of staff. They use TV screens to reinforce the other channels too and redirect employees to the magazine for finer details on the stories presented.
4) These can be complemented by executive messages, reinforcement of Health & Safety policies, training materials (videos, presentations) and other job- related information. You can also display messages in several languages should you have a multilingual staff.
The non-wired staff is often a neglected audience due to the difficulty to reach them. According to Corporate Executive Board, there is no surprise that managers have to have difficult conversations or face adversity when change occurs. These employees have never been prepared for it. Digital signage can help companies to keep them too in the loop and to cultivate trust and a feeling of ‘unity’ throughout the company.
To find out more about how TV screens can complement your other internal communication channels and allow headquarters reach non-wired staff, download our whitepaper.