The Evolving World Of Workplace Communications
MAY 23, 2018
NEW MEDIUMS OFFER OPPORTUNITIES
Communication with employees is critical to keeping staff engaged, productive, and loyal. According to a State of the American Manager Gallup poll, 74% of employees feel a disconnect, having concerns that they are not being informed about relevant topics.1 Furthermore, disconnected employees cost organisations real money—between $450 to $550 billion in annual productivity losses, as cited in Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report2. Figures like these can’t be ignored, and similar results are found in the workforces of countries around the globe.
Yet, communicating effectively with employees can present challenges. Workplaces have changed dramatically over the last decade, causing even more disconnection. Employees are no longer all in one location—some companies have offices all over the world; some employees are considered telecommuters, and some just don’t have convenient access to the same means of communications others do. As workplace dynamics continue to evolve, so must communication mediums.
COMMUNICATION EQUALS TRANSPARENCY
Employees today demand transparency. They want to be kept abreast of company news, goals, processes, and stats. Communication is the key to offering that transparency. In the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM) Job Satisfaction and Engagement survey, 52% of employees cited communication of organisation’s goals and strategies as a critical factor in the employee engagement strategy of a company.3 Sharing company related information helps each feel they are part of something bigger, a stakeholder in the organisation’s success.
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS LINKED TO BETTER BOTTOM LINES
The Workplace Research Foundation reported that highly engaged employees were much more likely to have above-average productivity, to the tune of 38%.4 Although Communications and HR departments endeavour to keep employees in the loop about everything from policies to benefits, even with Intranets and company-wide emails, many employees still feel left in the dark. However, investing in an effective communications strategy can do much to promote engagement.
HOW WORKPLACES ARE COMMUNICATING
For most organisations email is still the most popular way to communicate with employees; however, in some organisations, a huge percentage of employees do not work at desks or have immediate access to email; this is especially true in manufacturing and other industries such as services, retail and healthcare where workers are on the floor or in the field. Communication with these employees is typically limited to quick discussions in break rooms or on the floor. Outdated posters and flyers pinned to bulletin boards and walls tend to be ignored.
THE DIGITAL WORKPLACE EMERGES
In today’s tech-driven society, particularly for the millennial and Gen Z generations, the average worker is typically already using some form of social media platform, email, or messaging app to communicate in both their personal and work lives. These mediums have gone far in improving workforce communications. However, beyond these traditional digital formats, there are even more innovative ways to transform workplace communications, specifically digital communications displays.
DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS HELP WORKERS STAY ON TASK AND IN THE KNOW
Digital communications provide a plethora of opportunities to ensure workforces remain informed and engaged. However, digital communications can do much more than display company news and information. With software that allows for instant updates and the ability to broadcast content on any screen on the network, these systems can be used as an incentivising tool to keep employees current and on task. In manufacturing, digital communications can be used to transmit productivity objectives and what jobs should be prioritised. In call centres, displays can broadcast caller queues, call durations, and advise teams on daily goals. In any setting, digital communications can be used to celebrate something as simple as an employee’s birthday, or to recognise company victories like quotas met, promotions earned, or sales targets reached.
Also, employers using digital communications in tandem with email and social media platforms can disseminate information via several mediums, providing multiple methods to reach more recipients and increased message exposure for better data retainment.
INCORPORATE DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS TO GET EMPLOYEES IN THE CONVERSATION
Improving workforce communications increases employee engagement and loyalty. Traditional channels that are often overlooked or disregarded are ineffective. However, digital communications displays are designed to catch the eye and hold the viewer’s attention. Digital communications are an opportunity to connect with employees and provide transparency while enhancing productivity with vital information. Simply put, digital communications have the power to get employees involved in the conversation.
Jennifer is Marketing Manager at Omnivex Corporation. She joined Omnivex in 2011 and is responsible for all aspects of marketing including strategy, communications, and execution. Jennifer has helped Omnivex redefine what digital signage is and how it can help organizations enhance and extend their two most valuable assets – people and data.
Jennifer brings 20 years of software industry marketing experience. She has held numerous marketing positions at software companies including PeopleSoft, Longview Solutions, and Microsoft. Prior to joining Omnivex, Jennifer was the Industry Marketing Manager for Microsoft Dynamics in Canada.