COVID-19 has drastically changed employee communications needs. We’re guessing this isn’t the first time you’ve considered that. We’re continuously learning about best practices, and we’re always eager to share them with you. Let’s dig in.
Although many people are working remotely, we’ve seen an increase in companies beginning to bring people back to the office. And that’s caused our clients to reach out to us to learn how other companies are adapting their workplace communications strategies to more effectively reach their employees. Now more than ever, there’s a demand for more timely, relevant content, which puts digital signage front and center for communications. A push toward a more dispersed workforce has challenged business leaders to find a new way of communicating with employees, whether they’re working remotely, returning to the office, or embracing a hybrid return to work strategy. There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are certainly some trends we’ve observed among our customers that we’d like to share with you to help tackle how to communicate effectively during our present challenging times.
Let’s dive into some of the trends that we’ve seen in corporate communications and what some successful content strategies look like in our current COVID-driven world.
Effective Communication in the Workplace: Implement a Top-Down Strategy
During these difficult and rapidly changing times, employees have a heightened sensitivity and an appetite for more regular and more transparent communication from their leadership.
One particularly necessary topic to increase the frequency in communicating is health and safety procedures for those that have returned, or will be returning, to the office environment. Guidelines are constantly changing as businesses learn more, and employers need to communicate these changes as quickly as possible to their workforce.
By deploying company-wide messaging on your office digital signage, you not only keep staff mindful of company policies and recent health and safety guidelines, but also help to prevent a potential outbreak by ensuring that everyone in your facilities is aware of and complying with your latest health and safety recommendations.
Make Employee Comfort a Priority with All Corporate Communications
It’s important to keep in mind that your employees are faced with making difficult decisions for themselves and their families on a daily basis. When it comes to a strategy for deploying content to your workforce, it’s important to recognize that they are under significant and unprecedented personal strain while still being asked to create success for your business. Help put your employees at ease by reinforcing the health and safety measures you’re taking on their behalf, including measures to create social distancing, mask wearing policies, and practices concerning proper hygiene. We’ve put together some free COVID prevention content for you to download and display to your workforce—check it out here. On top of delivering simple and thoughtful messages to show employees that you care about their wellbeing and are doing everything you can to make them feel safe, it’s important to balance health and safety content with other information too.
Find a Content Balance With Your Office Digital Signage
When workplaces initially started reopening, the majority of content that was displayed on our customers’ digital signage throughout their offices was generally health and safety focused. However, it is now evident that inundating employees with non-stop health and safety content isn’t an effective way of getting crucial messages across – this information has to be communicated, but there must be a balance struck. It’s important to keep your content light and engaging, and mix health and safety information into your normal messaging about your corporate culture, anniversaries, departmental goals, and more.
Having a little normalcy while still reminding employees of proper hygiene and COVID-19 prevention will keep everyone engaged, informed, and can relieve some of the COVID information frequency fatigue. Plus, you can schedule content in advance to display key health and safety information at certain times of day when employees are more likely to look at your signage. One great way of mixing up your content and preventing things from getting stale is to display health and safety reminders in the morning and afternoon when employees are arriving at the office and leaving for the day, then switch to lighter content throughout the day while employees are sitting at their desks.
Be Proactive and Prepared for Rapid Changes to Your Corporate Communications Strategy
As we learn more about COVID and the necessary precautions to prevent further spread, it’s inevitable that information is going to change, and you may need to make important updates with little-to-no prior notice. It’s crucial to implement a flexible internal communications platform that allows you to push emergency messages out to your entire workforce on-the-fly. While you may be using email to communicate updates quickly, it’s easy to miss important details in an email and displaying these announcements on office digital signage will catch more attention and further reinforce key information. Check out this video to see how one of our top customers uses FWI Cloud to quickly and easily roll out new content to their screens from any mobile device.
Improving Communication in the Workplace while Catering to a Hybrid Workforce
While a number of employees have returned to the office, there are still many people working remotely. Having an internal communications strategy that allows you to push messages out to employees both in the office and working from home can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to avoid overloading them with emails. By using a digital signage platform that allows employees to view content from wherever they’re working, you can empower your entire workforce to engage with your content and feel connected to your company culture. It can be extremely challenging to communicate to remote employees and provide the same workplace experience that employees in the office receive. However, simply displaying the same messaging to remote employees that you display in-office also isn’t an effective way of engaging your remote workforce. With the FWI Cloud Viewer Channel, you can connect and inform a hybrid workforce and create custom communications for remote workers—check it out here.
Business Communication Trends: Leverage New Technology
Admittedly, this isn’t so much of a communications trend as it is a best practice to both make your office safe for your employees and embrace the new normal of hybrid work. As a result of social distancing and sanitation guidelines, businesses have had to get creative when it comes to adding new technology to help reopen the workplace. One way that employers are getting everyone safely back in the office is by implementing a desk hoteling and meeting room booking solution that allows staff to reserve workspaces in advance, ensuring that they’re getting a clean workstation and are at a safe distance from their colleagues. Another great use case that we’ve seen among our corporate customers is implementing IoT sensor technology to track traffic patterns, measure meeting room occupancy, and enforce social distancing. Check out our guide for more information on desk hoteling, sensors, and other technology to help facilitate a safe return to the office, offered by SmartSpace Global, an FWI company.
Employee health and safety is on everyone’s mind and employers have been forced to quickly reimagine the office and adapt to a new way of working. If you’re interested in learning how Four Winds Interactive can help safely get employees back in the office and improve your internal communications strategy, fill out this form and one of our teammates will reach out to help.