There are a lot of environmental arguments to be made for ditching paper, and they’re good ones. But for a moment, let’s talk about a different reason why it’s time to say sayonara to ink-on-sheet communications: No one reads them.
In our latest Business Impact Workshop, we met with Angiodynamics, where the company’s manufacturing manager realized that the years-long practice of sharing internal information via printed paper just wasn’t working. Staffers were glancing at the sheets and moving on with their day, never really retaining the information, never using it to modify their strategies or perfect their processes.
The problem goes without being said: Those facts and figures are important! They’re textual breakdowns of the entire business -- what’s working well, what’s falling flat. It’s just about impossible to make necessary adjustments without a comprehensive understanding of key metrics.
At Industry Weapon, we’ve been working on digital signage long enough to know that presenting information on-screen is -- when done correctly -- infinitely more compelling than reading paper documents. But the vast majority of companies are resistant to change. (That’s something we’ve actually talked about before in one of our past BIW blogs.)
But, to go back to our little breakup metaphor from before: We all know that when things aren’t working, it’s time to call it quits. Think of digital signage as your dream guy or girl, just waiting to make you happier than you’ve ever been. (Or at least the most productive you’ve ever been.)
At Angiodynamics, finding the perfect digital signage setup took some time. While employees may not have particularly enjoyed receiving information on paper, it’s also what they were used to. So determining what types of content needed to be up on screen was a collaborative process: The manufacturing and IT managers listened to employee feedback and tweaked accordingly.
This type of employee-to-manager communication is a really important step in the transition to digital process. Employees can offer critical insights that you wouldn’t necessarily notice on your own.
Think of this ultra-basic example: What if the text is too small, and employees working farther away from the screen can’t read it? That’s an easy fix, but if you don’t know it’s a problem, you won’t know to make the adjustment.
Investing in digital signage can also foster a feeling of workplace community that paper just can’t convey. Angiodynamics had the incredible idea to film video spotlights of employees whose personal lives have been impacted by the company’s products.
That kind of humanizing content simply doesn’t come through as vividly on paper, and it certainly isn’t as easy to distribute. With digital signage, employees can watch compelling content about their own colleagues whenever it’s convenient for them, and in doing so, they learn a little bit more about the people with whom they spend a whole lot of their lives.
Abandoning paper in favor of digital signage may sound like a major move, but truthfully, it’s one of the few things in life that’s much easier done than said. Once you effectively deploy digital signage, you’ll see -- as Angiodynamics did -- that employees are suddenly eager to pay attention and actually retain the information they deserve to know. Check out the Business Impact Workshop with Angiodynamics for the whole story.