How can digital signage boost productivity and improve communication in the workplace?
Internal communication is a growing area of both opportunity and concern for many small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). 77% of people say that being updated about company news helps their job performance—yet, 29% say that their company’s current method of internal communication isn’t working (Source). Businesses with poor internal communication are missing out on boosted productivity, employee advocacy and engagement. But how can businesses improve how they communicate? Digital signage may be the answer.
Alongside long-established solutions such as mass emails and face-to-face meetings, companies are now using digital signage to keep staff informed. Corporate digital signage gives SMEs the opportunity to display company announcements, mass communications and important statistics.
As society continues to embrace digital, SMEs need to adapt in order to avoid being left behind. The growth of smart cities has shown the importance of utilizing technologies in traditionally ‘offline’ situations. Cities now recognize the role of signage in helping get their message across and empowering citizens to feel involved in their city. But why is the same not happening in more offices? Smart cities are growing, but smart workplaces are still catching up.
Why internal communications are important for SMEs
People are at the core of every business, and effective internal communications have the potential to transform reluctant workers into loyal brand ambassadors.
While 2 in 5 people say they want to receive company news—only 1 in 3 employers currently deliver (Source). The appetite for internal communications is there, and so are the benefits: employees who feel out of the loop are less likely to invest their time in the company they work for long-term (Source).
Internal communication influences employees’ engagement and effort levels which, in turn, affects the finances of businesses. Willis Towers Watson’s Communication ROI 2009/2010 Study Report found that companies with highly effective communication had 47% higher total shareholder returns than firms with less effective communication (Source). More recent research has found that each employee who crosses from disengaged to engaged adds $13,000 USD to a company’s bottom line (Source). Businesses with employee engagement also achieve 26% greater YOY increase in company revenue (Source).
Despite the importance of internal communication, few companies are doing it well. There is an opportunity for growing SMEs to take advantage. Using digital signage for workplace communications can directly impact the bottom line by reducing financial waste—a 2014 Siemens study found that a business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours each week clarifying communication, amounting to an annual loss of $528,443 USD. Investing in a technology that ensures clear and consistent communication will increase engagement and reduce downtime, ultimately maximizing revenue.
How digital signage can be adopted for effective corporate communications
Using digital signage for corporate communications ensures that all levels of a business have visibility. A common pitfall of internal communications is revealing announcements to senior members of staff but leaving junior employees in the dark. By displaying company communications in a way that is visible to all workers of all levels, internal information silos are broken down.
Internal communications can be used to make employee announcements, celebrate company changes and transparently share data. Informing a workforce of updates keeps employees engaged with the company culture. This is not all about blind positivity, however—it’s about honesty. Over 90% of employees believe bad news is better than no news (Source). SMEs who do not share any news with their staff risk demoralizing and demotivating staff.
One tool that can help SMEs make the most of signage in the workplace is Brandwatch Vizia—their software helps businesses visualize social and marketing data, alongside key customer data, on displays. This allows, various data sources to be visualized on screens in a readable way, helping people from all departments understand the data. This opens up new opportunities for internal communications, with accessible data visualizations displayed alongside announcements and company happenings. The physical presence of signage combined with clear insights helps everyone to be involved.
Information can be shown on TV panels or a wide number of professional-grade signage solutions. Using professional-grade signage is the most cost-effective when considering lifetime expenses. This is because PIDs have greater durability and longevity than non-professional panels. For example, Samsung Display PID use Thin Film Transistors to prevent image burn, but TVs do not have this technology. PIDs do not suffer from black mura or image sticking either—two issues that commonly cause TVs to be replaced prematurely. Although digital signage is a bigger upfront investment than TV panels, the costs of repairs and replacements should be considered when measuring the overall cost.
"Brandwatch Vizia has allowed Co-op to share beautiful data visualizations with thousands of colleagues right where they work, to help with their work. With our colleague-facing screens, we're helping colleagues understand topics of social conversation about Co-op, key metrics from websites and even surfacing sales data based on Co-op Member transactions in Co-op Food stores.
Our aspiration is to learn more about what colleagues need to see on these screens and iterate more visualizations. We also want to help specific teams realize their own visualizations, specific to their industry or profession, in a way similar to how our Social Media team make use of Vizia in our Social Command Centre set-up."
Gail Lyon - Head of Digital Engagement, Co-op
Being customer-centric is essential for the success of companies of all shapes and sizes but this strategy and mindset needs to be instilled by the brand both inside and out. By having a central place to display information from key customer-data sources (such as social media, online search, TV analytics and CRM), teams are able to make informed decisions more easily, creating greater efficiency and visibility. This integration also helps champion and communicate the importance of the customer's voice across organizations.
Internal communication is an important consideration for SMEs. Within workplaces, it can be used to build a community and foster employee engagement. Making data accessible and visible to all employees also encourages staff to make data-driven decisions, helping shape evidence-based company-wide considerations and goals.
Through incorporating various sets of information, internal communication can become extremely powerful—helping people feel informed and get involved. Although there are many methods of internal communication, digital signage is the most transparent.
If you’re concerned about the risk of silos and want everyone to feel part of the conversation, you need to consider corporate digital signage for your internal communication strategy.
For more information on Brandwatch Vizia, visit their website.
To find out more about smart workplaces, read our feature on The Edge—one of the world’s flagship smart offices.