You’ve got hundreds of employees working, 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 our employees are situated in one office, it’s still hard to get everyone in one room at one time. And we pride ourselves on open communication practices.
Yet, a lot of companies are made up of part time and contracted positions and may not be included in the company culture happenings. This exclusion is not by design, but rather because these employees aren’t granted access to the forms of communication that cover meeting invites.
Employees feel less motivated when they’re left out of inter-departmental meetings. For one thing, the meeting topics usually revolve around the big picture vision of for the company. To miss this mean to miss out on collaborative conversations.
Also, the employee experience takes a nosedive when one feels excluded. It’s like sitting at the kids table for a family holiday when your similarly aged cousins are with the adults. It doesn’t take a communication specialist to understand that these scenarios need to be avoided.
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 Industry Weapon teamed up to make it happen.
Her team had to come up with an internal communication strategy that could feel as authentic as a face to face interaction, but wouldn’t be overly formal and intimidating. To have an employee engage with a program sent out by the communications department, it had to be relevant and digital.
Before figuring out the right internal communication and engagement 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 fascinate an employee with a flier on a bulletin board. Not to mention that fliers aren’t eco-friendly and 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? Mobile apps? Social media posts?
With flopped attempts behind them, (see their Business Impact Workshop for flop details) Highwoods was ready to try an innovative, engaging new employee communication solution.
Enter digital signage. This broadcast medium attracts staff of all departments with fun, socially relevant content.
The marketing team pinpointed the most optimal communal spots throughout each office to install digital signage, on which they display their daily electronic newsletter. In between, employee communications like the internal newsletter and safety messages 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.