If your workplace walls could talk, what would they say about your business?
The workplace is changing
The workplace is changing. It’s evolving to meet the expectations of the new, digitally-connected and increasingly mobile employee, adjusting to flexible collaboration and communication technologies, and adapting to business challenges for enhanced communication, collaboration, and efficiency. In fact, the workplace is moving beyond just a collection of static elements—walls, desks, chairs, and lights—to a place that is transforming based upon those who enter and move about it. So how can you create a space that reflects just that, a dynamic, engaging, and innovative work environment? Your answer, digital signage.
Through digital signage and experiential communication technology, the built environment (physical places designed for human beings) now has the ability to adapt digitally. In the business world, where employee engagement is a daily challenge and a corporate charge, a dynamic work space can mean the difference between feeling like you are a part of a well-oiled business machine or one that seems stagnant and stale. With the rise of digital signage and innovative communication technologies, enterprises now have the potential to change their work space for the better.
Why is this important? Just ask the folks at Weber Sandwick and KRC Research who just completed a study that in part, looked at employee satisfaction:
“Only 3 in 10 employees are deeply engaged with their employers. Our analysis identified approximately one in five employees (21%) who feel strongly that they are putting more effort than is required into their job yet do not feel strongly that they are being valued by their employer.” 1
As an employer, those numbers are alarming, but even more alarming is what Gallup reports in their 2013 study on employee engagement:
13% of employees across 142 countries worldwide are engaged in their jobs — that is, they are emotionally invested in and focused on creating value for their organizations every day.
Gallup’s conclusion: “…the need to build highly engaged workplaces will become more important than ever.” This is not to suggest that digital signage and other technologies are the “end-all-be-all,” as no technology can solve poor business leadership, inefficient operational practices, or a dysfunctional corporate culture. What digital signage can do, however, is exactly what Gallup recommends – begin to build more engaging workplaces that inspire creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
What is the current business environment?
As we look to solve the business engagement challenge, the following questions regarding the current business environment must be asked:
- What is it saying about my brand?
- What is it saying to my employees?
- Does it inspire innovation, creativity, pride of work, personal ownership, integrity, and collaboration among staff?
- Does it honor employee contributions to the company’s success and growth?
Do the answers to these questions matter? Absolutely.
Your corporate environment has the power to move your employees to a place of engagement and productivity—to a place where they can derive value, have fun, and grow in their career paths. In a world where employees and businesses are fighting for relevance, not addressing these questions can be costly.
Hopefully your walls, lobbies, hallways, meeting spaces, and break rooms are speaking with relevance to those who regularly traverse them. If not, you are not alone. Research indicates that the majority of businesses fail to value employee engagement to the degree that they should and could. But, to be fair, perhaps many businesses desire to connect and empower employees, but simply don’t know how.
Gallup suggests a few starting points:
Digital signage and employee engagement
Here at Array, we do a great deal of work in the corporate environment, collaborating with a variety of global brands to help achieve important objectives for internal communications through digital signage. Companies come to us eager to understand how digital signage and experiences, integrated in strategic locations throughout the workspace, can give them a channel to speak relevantly to their employees.
“Brands understand that digital media and, in particular digital signage, has the power to profoundly inspire today’s disengaged employee,” says Array Interactive’s Director of Strategy, Genesis Capunitan. “For example, we worked with a Fortune 10 brand who, for the first time, brought together employees from multiple business lines onto one campus. They used digital signage as a key environmental touchpoint to reach employees with important corporate and campus content—content designed to not only keep them informed of what is happening across the organization, but also to inspire innovation.”
3 effective ways digital signage can engage employees
The benefits of digital signage
It has the unique ability to foster engagement in the workplace everyday, right where employees are.
Through digital signage, brands can proactively initiate conversation, delivering content targeted specifically to engage an individual, group, or broad set of business lines. How? By distributing displays in primary thoroughfares, points of entry, and key gathering places. The key is relevancy; crafting messages that speak the language of your employees while remaining true to the values inherent to your brand.
“The companies most successful at engaging their employees bring the conversation of engagement into the workplace every day.” – Gallup
It turns a static environment into a dynamic, awe-inspiring experience that connects people to place.
Built environments aren’t meant to be static—they are designed to accommodate life. So transform your workspace into something that elicits positive emotional reactions from all who enter it. Leveraging digital signage technology, high-impact creative content, and environmental design will revamp and revolutionize your workplace, moving it from static to incredible. Perhaps it is an emotionally inspiring, expansive video experience that sets the mood and tone as employees enter the building, a thought-provoking interactive or gesture-based experience where content changes dynamically depending on who and how people walk by it, or sensors that detect movement and adjust the ambient lighting, audio, and environmental content. Why go through the effort? Because engaging environments positively reinforce to employees the reasons why they decided to work for you. Whatever the goal and method, digital signage offers a vast array of options to powerfully connect with employees. And a positively engaged employee, is a happy and increasingly productive employee.
Adobe, a global leader in digital marketing and media solutions, has embraced this opportunity. They have been inventive, creating spaces that are not just extremely functional, but also inspiring. Forbes highlighted the company’s 280,000 square-foot Utah campus noting, “(it) features four floors of innovative design that places its emphasis on the 1,100 employees inside.” This is perhaps best expressed in the three interactive screens that exhibit “up-to-the-minute Adobe activity in New York City, Salt Lake City, and Tokyo, Japan” and “the interactive multi-touch screens that highlight real-time analytics from the company operations around the globe.”3
Adobe’s visionary leadership understands the benefits of connecting people with place. In 2013, Array was commissioned by Adobe to create a 1×3 gesture-controlled video wall. The experience set the tone for executive visitors and employees who entered the space—engaging both their imagination and intellect.
It has the ability to reach regionally, nationally, or globally dispersed employees while consistently reinforcing other vital digital communication channels.
Digital signage displays are powered by a network, making it flexible to manage content from a single, centralized location (e.g. corporate headquarters) or numerous regional offices. Either way, the dynamic nature of the platform allows businesses to schedule and deliver content that reinforces email, intranet, and other internal communication mediums. All of this, however, takes careful planning, coordination, and a dedicated team, but once it’s set up, it has the ability to profoundly affect engagement.
Recently, we partnered with Riverbed Technology, an application performance company with 78 offices across 40 countries. They envisioned a platform that could deliver key content internally to employees based in their newly built San Francisco, California headquarters. We brought their dream to life, creating a set of interactive and static digital signs strategically placed in highly traversed locations throughout their multi-floor environment, including the lobby, outside elevators, and in break rooms. The solution, appropriately named Riverbed Now, enabled relevant video and dynamic news feeds to be published with consistency and regularity for employees. This, in turn, empowered performance through an increased knowledge of key meetings, events, symposiums, new corporate initiatives, and financial achievements. The application’s success has led to its rapid adoption in the company’s other offices such as the one in Sydney, Australia. While oceans away from headquarters, the delivery of content is not hindered, thanks to the centralized platform designed to engage employees, wherever they may call home.
Workspaces speak volumes about your brand—its business values, beliefs, focuses, and priorities. They express to the people that work there how your company feels about them, and what you’re willing to invest to grow them as vital assets of the company. In other words, creating and sustaining a profitable company directly correlates with the degree to which the company takes care of its most valuable asset — its employees.
“Engaged workers are the lifeblood of their organizations. Work units in the top 25% of Gallup’s Q12 Client Database have significantly higher productivity, profitability, and customer ratings, less turnover and absenteeism, and fewer safety incidents than those in the bottom 25%.”4 – Gallup
Creating an atmosphere that incites engagement is a business imperative. So, embrace this reality and learn how digital signage can play a significant role in shaping and fulfilling your company’s engagement strategy.
Give us a call.
We’re ready to engage whenever you are.
1. Weber Sandwick, KRC Research, Employees Rising: Seizing the Opportunity in Employee Activism, Page 6.
2. Gallup, State of the Global Workplace Report 2013. Page 6.
3. Forbes, Adobe Debuts Its Newest Campus – Bring Your Gym Shorts!
4. Gallup, State of the Global Workplace Report 2013. Page 7