Could digital signage become the non-desk employee’s intranet?

How do you get non-desk workers to the intranet? Companies with workers in manufacturing plants and distribution centers — or with employees in other locations where they’re not spending their days sitting in front of computers —  often struggle with the issue of getting this segment of the workforce online. Some companies provide computer kiosks in natural gathering places, like break rooms. Others add a mobile platform to their intranet, hoping employees will access all that company news from their own phones. Still more companies depend on managers to cascade communications, supplemented with printed posters or flyers.

Another solution is to use digital signage to convey some of the same content employees would ordinarily find on the intranet. Of course, digital signage can’t replicate the social interaction possible online, and it can’t handle long articles or allow employees to download forms.

But digital signage can help connect this audience to the company in ways that posters and flyers just can’t. The topics covered in an editorial calendar for the year might include company values and vision, safety, new product introductions, sustainability, human resources, and employee recognition, among others. Brief videos can help non-desk employees feel connected to other parts of the company or their executive leadership team. Photos of your real employees help build authenticity and human connections across teams or silos, whether those shots are of employees pitching in on a community service project, the Halloween party or work-related achievements.

You can help make digital signage become a must-look medium by including information employees want to know with some regularity. The weather is a no-brainer, but you might also include the time and date, your current stock price, employee birthdays or anniversaries. You could include a live feed from a news source or from your company social media sites.

To better engage employees in digital signage, consider these three important tactics: professional design, limited copy and fresh content. Just because someone on your admin staff can figure out how to load Powerpoint slides on your digital signage doesn’t mean that’s a good idea. Your non-desk employees deserve the same caliber of design you apply to your intranet, which hopefully is several steps above the typical company Powerpoint.

By the same token, the text should be professionally written, and most of all, brief. Don’t give in to the temptation to cram a bunch of words on there. Employees are unlikely to stop and read the signage if it’s too text-heavy.

Lastly, you’ve got to keep that content coming. Live streams help add fresh content continuously but you also will want to refresh company content steadily. Think of each section of the sign as its own channel, and use varied playlists for each of those content areas. When employees see the same material over and over, they’ll learn to ignore the signage altogether.

Interested in using digital signage to communicate with your non-desk employees? Tribe can help.







Beyond collaboration, innovation and sharing best practices: the engagement benefit of connecting silos

When a company wants to encourage collaboration, innovation and the sharing of best practices, breaking down silos tends to be the go-to solution. With good reason, since helping employees connect with those in other departments, business  units or geographies is one of the best ways to promote these three business objectives.

There are also two other powerful benefits. Tribe’s recent research suggests that engagement is higher in employees who have built relationships with those in other silos and are aware of what role the other silos play in the company overall. Perhaps even more important, their sense of alignment with the company vision is stronger, as is their understanding of the part they play in supporting that vision.

Those two benefits, engagement and alignment, seem to build on each other. In other words, employees who experience more alignment also tend to be more engaged. And those who are highly engaged are more likely to feel aligned with the overall vision.

In Tribe’s employee study, we heard comments like these:

“The largest benefit of being connected (across silos) is creating value. Feeling like you create value in your perspective realm of influence gives you fulfillment in your job.”

“Everyone needs to see, feel and understand what the company does to better the world, and how their part contributes.”

“It makes work more fun. If you feel like you are directly contributing to the bottom line, you feel a sense of worth coming into the office. Collaborating between groups is the first step in getting to this.”

Engaged alignment is what Tribe calls this synergy between employee engagement and alignment with the company vision. Are you interested in increasing the engaged alignment in your company? Tribe can help.

Introducing Inbox, a New App from Google

“We get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks” That’s the thinking that spawned Google’s latest app simply called, Inbox. It’s a common issue, from individuals to large companies, and at Tribe, we deal with email overload in our client work regularly.

Google Inbox aims to eliminate the overload by putting what really matters on the forefront and organizing the noise in a way that doesn’t involve you scrolling through page after page of SPAM. Here are the key features of Inbox and how they could help you out.

+ Bundles

Inbox now automatically (or as they say, “automagically”, but we’ll just pretend they didn’t) groups together similar messages into categories like Promos, Travel and Purchases. You can even create your own. Now your flight info, rental car confirmation and hotel booking info can all be easily retrieved from one place.

+ Highlights

This seems like something that should have come about a while ago, but that’s often how you feel about fantastic tech. This feature simply lets you preview the key information in the message without actually opening it. Too cool.

+ Reminders

With Inbox, you can easily set reminders that align with the information in your inbox. And because this is a Google app, you can set your reminders with help from other Google tools for trip times, business hours, and they easily sync with your calendar.

+ Snooze 

Now here is a feature from which I could personally benefit. Too many times have I received an email notification on my phone at a time when I can’t reply. I close the message to get back to what I’m doing, and then don’t remember to respond until much (much) later, so I have to begin that email with an apology. This feature allows you to “snooze” email notifications, so you can schedule another notification when you know you’ll be free to respond.

If the next step for Inbox is an enterprise edition, we might be in for a revolution. And needless to say, we are ready. Email is so engrained in the corporate atmosphere, it’s clear that we aren’t ready for a replacement. We need improvement and evolution. It’s exciting to see Google taking strides with a communication channel that so many are dismissing as dinosaur technology., and this proves that it is anything but. I can’t wait to see how this app takes email into the future.