November 13, 2018
Audience Engagement

Open Your Eyes: Company-wide Employee Communication isn’t an Impossible Vision

How to Manage Employee Communication Across All Locations, No Assembly Required

You’ve got hundreds of employees scattered across the globe. Wouldn’t it be awesome to gather everyone together, every last staffer from every last department, for an all-hands meeting?

Let’s be real -- it’s not happening. Even at Industry Weapon, where most of our employees are situated in one office, it’s still hard to get everyone in one room at one time.

Vicki Norris, the director of marketing at Highwoods Properties, knows that her CEO, Edward Fritsch, would love to host one of those mythical all-hands meetings. But as she put it: “With 450 employees, never gonna happen. Not gonna happen once a year, every five years … we can’t shut down and bring everyone to one location.”

But Ed had, as Vicki put it, a vision. And who are we to deny Ed his vision? Here’s how Highwoods and IW teamed up to make it happen.

A Look at New Employee Communication Tools

Before figuring out the right internal communications strategy, most companies go through a few clunkers. The most common tried-and-failed employee communication strategies are print and email.

In years past, these were the only options. And they worked! But times have changed, and today, you’d be hard-pressed to get any employee to be fascinated with a flier pinned to a bulletin board. Not to mention that fliers aren’t eco-friendly and tend to make offices look dated. (Can you tell we really don’t love fliers?)

So that leads us to email. Look, email is critical for day-to-day employee communication -- there’s no doubt about it. But employees are drowning in emails and have to mentally prioritize which ones actually deserve their full attention. As Highwoods and countless other companies have found, internal communications rarely make the cut.

So what other employee communication tools are left in the box?

With flopped attempts behind them, Highwoods was ready to try an innovative, engaging new employee communication solution. The marketing team pinpointed the most optimal communal spots throughout each office to install digital signage, on which they display their daily electronic newsletter.

The broadcast medium attracts staff of all departments with fun, socially relevant content. In between, employee communications like the internal newsletter are displayed on the screens.   

What employees like even more than the digital signage itself is the ability to pop onto the intranet and view anything they missed. If you catch just the end of a story, you can pull the same content up on your own computer to get the whole message.

This method of employee communication is more effective than blasting the newsletter via email or print once and hoping each person reads all the important announcements.

Is it possible to round up hundreds of employees for one big, beautiful meeting? Maybe not, but with digital signage, you can create that cohesive all-hands-on-deck feeling. Let’s make the vision a reality. See how Highwoods Properties makes employee communication a year round conversation in episode one of our Business Impact Workshops.