Digital technology is now transforming and expanding the range of options corporate communications teams tasked with internal communications have to engage employees.
For large corporations with huge numbers of staff located at multiple sites and across different markets, social media such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have become integral to inward-facing communications.
Now technology developed in the poster advertising industry, using internet-connected networks of digital screens which can carry live content is the latest way in which companies can talk to staff. These systems provide internal comms teams with their own digital poster network which is capable of being integrated with social media and other digital channels and represents a step-change in the way companies can talk to employees.
When harnessing digital screen technology, there are five key elements internal marketing and communications teams need to consider in order to effectively use the medium for employee engagement.
Give stakeholders access to information
Digital signage is traditionally used in the advertising sphere to sell consumers a product. For internal marketers harnessing the medium, employees don’t necessarily need to be sold on a product, but rather informed about new and on-going initiatives, company policies, programs and opportunities that would help them become more effective in their jobs in an easily digestible format.
Digital screens provide an accessible platform to make employees aware of company events, calendars, competitor activities, industry updates and their company’s coverage in the news so that they are informed about their employers, making them better in-the-know ambassadors for their company.
They are also fantastic platforms to keep employees engaged, make them feel included and take responsibility for company CSR, sustainability and environmental initiatives and performance, and for broadcasting information such water and electric usage.
The screens are also a sophisticated and simple way to communicate health and safety notifications, security alerts and fire alarm information and can become first port-of-call for employees wanting information of this kind.
Digital signage’s ability to publically broadcast and reach large numbers of people gives teams tasked with internal marketing the opportunity to shout about successes and inspire other company members.
Internal communicators should use large format digital screens to broadcast motivational messages from management, showcase work and praise individual and team achievements, to congratulate individuals and inform and include the whole company.
The displays can also be leveraged to promote, support and raise awareness of initiatives that staff may not be aware of such as charity sponsorship or fundraising events that employees could be involved in. Such initiatives promote well-being and good will amongst staff, and so should be well publicised through digital internal communication screens to encourage staff buy-in and involvement.
Keep it live to keep it relevant
The ability to be relevant is the key advantage of digital signage networks as communication platforms.
Unlike with traditional signs or laminated notices pinned around a building to inform occupants, cloud based technology means the displays can be up-dated in real-time so messages can be relevant to a particular month day or hour and can be totally responsive. If a new deal is clinched or a new client is won, this can be communicated immediately, and if the screens are used for this purpose they become the first place employees look to for updated information, making them a more effective communication channel by driving higher engagement.
Effective internal marketing means communicating, educating and motivating and most all, engaging employees. Internet connectivity means the screens can also carry relevant live content, such as news, sports, local travel, stock market and weather information. In the morning they could run weather information, or advertise coffee and breakfast deals at nearby locations, and in the evenings they may show a loop of travel information. In this way, the screens become a service provider for employees, with tailored content that adds value to their daily working lives.
Think about your audience
A key element of employee engagement is giving stakeholders access to information when they need it and where they want it. In reception areas, screens should look to engage with visitors and display welcome messages and information about the company they are visiting. In communal areas such as lift lobbies screens should broadcast content that is relevant to all employees, whereas on particular floors and in particular departments information and messaging can be tailored to individual teams.
Use the screens to complement other internal marketing strategies
In order for digital signage internal marketing campaigns to be effective, they should be used in conjunction with other internal communications channels to enhance and be consistent with existing internal comms strategies.
Digital screens can integrate company social media channels, or be used to drive traffic to intranets and staff social network pages. Conversations, issues and messaging from other media types- electronic, print, face-to-face - should be reinforced on the displays. It is also important to be consistent in the fonts, logos and templates that are used across online, offline, digital and print channels in order to reinforce and strengthen the brand identity of a company. A consistent employer brand, communicating a consistent culture, is proven to increase employee trust, motivation, engagement and loyalty, which in turn increases performance and overall business productivity.
Antony Ceravolo is CEO of ECNlive
ECNlive is the first digital display network for corporate office environments in the UK. The company has recently launched a dedicated internal communications network for corporate brands called “ECNconnect”.
ECNconnect enables companies to enhance their internal communications strategies through live content displayed on specifically designed digital displays. The digital screens can be used by companies to display live, relevant news and information, motivational messaging, company performance and CSR notifications and drive staff to corporate intranets and other internal comms channels.