Nick Miller

Videos for Internal Communications: How long is too long?

HiResIf you’re thinking several minutes, you may want to reconsider. You’re unlikely to have anyone watch all the way through to the end of the video.

Research shows that after 10 seconds, a fifth of your audience has already clicked away. After 30 seconds, a third are no longer viewing, and this drops to nearly half by the one-minute mark.

Get your main takeaway in with those first ten seconds or jeopardize your ROI. Think like a newspaper reporter and use the inverted pyramid formula. The highest priority information goes first, with the remaining content following according to the hierarchy of its importance. communicated to the most people.
Keep your overall length relatively short as well. It might seem logical that your audience would want more information in a longer video, but research shows that desktop viewers generally stick around for only two minutes or less, and mobile viewers have about a 30 second longer attention span. Limit the use of graphics and transition to what is necessary to make the video engaging. Viewers can be easily overwhelmed if the video is oversaturated with motion and graphic elements.

That does not mean long-form videos are never appropriate. Quarterly earnings reviews, training videos, webinars and any information that would best be communicated in a TED Talk format are all examples of videos where you might bend the rules a bit.

Lastly, stick to the subject. While you want to get the most out of your investment, include only one topic in each video. It is both confusing and unprofessional to try and squeeze HR enrollment information in a video on corporate culture or a quarterly earnings review.

Ready to produce your own internal communications videos? Tribe can help.

Nick Miller

Internal Communications: The 9 to 5 and what’s next

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Back in the early 1900s, Economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by 2030, most of the workforce would be clocking less than 15 hours a week. We are still a long way from such efficient standards, but 100 years ago, the 9 to 5 was still a relatively fresh concept. The notion of this schedule in the American workplace wouldn’t become the standard until the unprecedented effects of Henry Ford’s assembly line manufacturing and FDR’s New Deal had reached every corner of the country, with much of the globe following suit.

Keynes must have foreseen the affects of globalization, Millennials and an increasingly socially progressive society. The world is smaller; videoconferencing has changed the meaning of a centralized workforce; freelancing and self-employment are on the rise, as is mandatory vacation and maternity/paternity leave. Millennials are demanding more flexible work schedules and research on sleep and the difference between early- and late-risers is justifying their cause. How can a company communicate effectively with all these factors considered? What happened to the days of every employee at his or her desk by 9 am?

The concept of 9 to 5, a defining corporate characteristic that every single person living today has known since birth, is actually just a stop on the highly fluid track of industrial development. Internal communications might be viewed with the same big-picture perspective, evolving to match the needs of the times. New channels and technologies will be vetted for usefulness and their executions measured in order to draw key insights. No one wants to be the company known for ignoring the next big thing (see: Kodak).

The constant need to evolve applies to messaging as well. Millennial priorities are different from that of the generations before them, and the generations to follow will define their own. It would have seemed silly to boast about efforts to be more environmentally responsible as a corporation or encourage employees to exercise through fitness competitions only a couple decades ago. These are not efforts that are obviously connected to an increase in productivity, but through trial, error and due diligence, companies all over the world are unlocking the cheat codes to efficient communications and an engaged workforce. In a universe like our own where everything is in a constant state of fluidity, it would make sense that your communications would be as well.

Are you interested in evolving your communications? Tribe can help.

Nick Miller

3 Tips For an Engaging Intranet Homepage

illustrationCorporate intranets can be a company’s most valuable tool if properly implemented, but they are often a drain on resources and manpower because of a poorly thought out design that results in little return on investment. A layout that is going to keep your employees coming back requires many things, but the most important of all is a proper homepage design. The homepage is the gateway for all of your employees’ needs, but it should also be the keystone in your internal brand communications, and for these reasons it needs to be both engaging and practical. Here are three tips to get the most out of your homepage design:

 

  1. There is no need to scroll down. Scrolling is so in right now. The popularity of never-ending feeds on widely used sites like Facebook and Twitter inspire some employers to design an intranet that scrolls for days, but this is the most detrimental design element when founding or renovating your homepage. When an employee visits the corporate intranet, it is generally because they are driven by the completion of a task, not because they are there to browse. Help them achieve that goal by giving them what they need at the get-go. There are proven psychological effects behind the design of a webpage, and studies show that users feel overwhelmed when they visit a site that overloads them with information from the start. By designing a homepage without housing information “below the fold”, you are rewarding your readers two-fold. Firstly, they will immediately feel the successes of processing all of the information on the page quickly, and secondly, they will complete their task without the stresses of filtering through an overload of content. This tip is especially applicable to mobile functionality, since a homepage that does not scroll is likely to transition to mobile more fluidly.
  1. Make sure the first thing the eye is drawn to is constantly fresh. If your employees are expected to visit the company intranet everyday, give them a reason to come back. Design your homepage to feature some sort of company news, imagery or video that is updated frequently. Since employees are visiting the intranet on a task-driven initiative and will generally only glance at the homepage, call the content out by making it larger than the rest or more brightly colored. Take advantage of this brand touchpoint by communicating vision and values. Try to use photos of actual employees instead of stock photography (they can always tell!). Make sure that content is written for internal readers as opposed to repurposing language intended for customers. Make it fun!

This is especially important when it comes to launching a new intranet. You can avoid overwhelming your employees by periodically rolling out new functionalities. The homepage should be where these features are announced and explained.

  1. Design your layout to be tool-centric. Always prioritize business needs over creative impulse. Sure that carousel looks nice, but if it takes away from the practicality of the intranet, you are threatening your ROI. Like we’ve already discussed, it’s all about helping your employees do their jobs more efficiently, so give them the tools to do so. Provide an effective search bar, easy to locate policies and links that are both strategically grouped and start with the most relevant keyword. Don’t over format, exclude icons if they aren’t necessary, and let your employees Google search the weather and sports scores on their own. Usability is key, and by not focusing your intranet on the tools that make it an assistive asset, you are defeating the entire purpose.

Looking for more advice on how to build or manage your intranet? Tribe can help.

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Silos and Company Vision

iStock_000083496539_Large (1)True or False: When employees are isolated in functional silos, they have trouble connecting to the goals of the company overall.

True: Understanding how their work connects to the company vision is one of four negative impacts of silos, according to Tribe’s national research on functional silos. The other three downsides to solos cited by employees are poor communication, limited collaboration and duplicated work.

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.

Nick Miller

Engaging Employees: 4 ways to get the most out of your interns

Group of happy business people

For companies across the country, May marks the onboarding of summer interns as campuses empty and students prepare for their first taste of the corporate world. Here is some advice on how to engage your interns in order for both parties to get the most out of the summer months.

  1. Include them in your corporate culture. Interns are temporary employees, but they are still employees. Treat them like you would any other employee and engage them in the company’s culture. Illustrate to them how their role is important in attaining the company vision like any other associate. Introduce them at town halls, feature them in the company newsletter, and invite them to after-hour events. You will get more productivity out of interns who feel like they are part of the company rather than fringe employees, not to mention benefits like future applications and positive word-of-mouth recommendations to friends.
  2. Allow them the opportunity to collaborate across silos. Internships are a good time for students to prove to themselves they are in the right field. Allow them to work with multiple departments in order to get a feel for what they want to do. There is often a large discrepancy between what a student will learn in class and how to apply that knowledge in a corporate setting. They may find that what they want to do is, in reality, very different. Communicate to them how that’s okay and help them hone in on what they are passionate about doing by giving them the chance to dip their toes into other departments and job functions. You may find that having a cross-departmental intern will improve general communication and collaboration between silos, even after they have returned to school.
  3. Send them away with tangible skills. An intern is always looking to bolster their resume. While general workplace skills are a valuable acquisition over the course of an internship, they won’t be able to put “fluent in corporate email lingo” on their resume. Depending on the field of work, give interns a chance to become an expert in a relevant software or trade such as Salesforce, Adobe Suite, or coding HTML. Even something as fundamental as basic Excel competency can make or break a future job application and take up a little more white space on their resume.
  4. Pay them. While it is perfectly acceptable to host unpaid interns, cover your bases to make sure that your internship program is legal. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, it is against the law to employ interns in a manner that their work is a substitute for regular workers without paying them at least minimum wage and overtime compensation. Unless the employer is a non-profit organization, a company can only employ unpaid interns if their employment program is akin to an educational or training course. They can shadow employees and be taught workplace skills, but any production by the intern that leads to a direct profit without properly rewarding their efforts can land your company in hot water and is unfair to the intern.

Looking for more advice on how to engage and communicate to interns? Tribe can help.

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Provide a Positive Experience

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Question: Are denied applicants likely to recommend others to apply to the same company if their overall experiences are positive, despite not getting the job?

 

Answer: Yes, very likely. According to Tribe’s national research on thoughts and preferences in regards to hiring practices, 87% of respondents would be likely to encourage others to apply to a company from which they have been denied, as long as their experience was positive. In an age when word of mouth acts as a major factor when deciding where to apply, Tribe has found that it is of the upmost importance to interact with applicants in a courteous manner in order to not deter the best talent.

 

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Print Versus Digital Publications

iStock_000009356598_LargeTrue or False: Older generations are more likely to opt for a print newsletter or magazine over electronic publications, while younger workers prefer the opposite.

 

False: While all generations prefer digital publications to print, according to Tribe’s national survey of preferred employee communication channels, it is the older generations (Baby Boomers and Gen X) that prefer digital to print by a much wider margin than Millennials.

 

Exactly 44% of both Baby Boomer and Gen X respondents expressed interest in digital, whereas 20% and 19% respectively expressed interest in print publications. Millennial interest in digital publications came in at 36% and 25% for print. The differential for Baby Boomers and Gen X in preference of print versus digital is 22%, but only 11% for Millennials. Tribe’s findings are consistent with recent studies that have uncovered a Millennial preference for print books over digital, one of the main factors in the phoenix-like rise in popularity of the bookstore with companies like book-sales giant, Amazon, beginning to open brick-and-mortar locations.

 

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.

 

Source: http://www.techtimes.com/articles/131055/20160205/more-than-90-percent-of-college-students-prefer-reading-paper-books-over-e-books.htm

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Communication and Growth

Success business concept: arrows hitting the center of Blue Email target on wall background, 3d render

Question: Does a lack of corporate communication correlate with a disconnect between employees and the company’s vision for growth?

Answer: Yes. According to Tribe’s national survey of associates of companies with more than 1,000 employees, there is a very strong correlation between how often a company sends out corporate communications and whether or not employees feel like they know the executive leadership’s vision for growth. When asked if they knew the company’s vision, only 22% of respondents said they did and that they understood the importance of their role as an element of that vision, whereas 32% did not know the vision and felt that it did not concern them.

Of those who felt they had a good idea of the company’s vision for growth and the role their own job played in that vision, 45% worked for companies that sent out corporate communications on a daily or weekly basis, whereas 13% rarely received communications. For employees who had no concept of the company’s vision, 39% could not remember the last time they received any sort of corporate communication, whereas only 6% received frequent communications.

While communications that are too frequent can render negative results, well-channeled and precise messages are a mandate for an informed and included workforce. These results demonstrate how important corporate communications can be in including employees in the company’s vision, a crucial element of success and a unified brand experience for customers.

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Foot the Bill and Gain More Interest

HiResQuestion: Does paying for employees’ mobile phones lead to a greater interest in what’s happening around the company?

Answer: Possibly. According to Tribe’s national research on using personal devices for corporate communications, respondents whose phone bills were covered by their company are 15% more interested in what people in other parts of the company are working on than those whose phones were not paid for by their company. Additionally, the former group of respondents is 11% more interested in communications regarding top management’s vision for the company than the latter.

One potential explanation is that high-level managers and executives are more likely to have their phones paid for and they are also more involved in the company.

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.

Nick Miller

TRIBE TRIVIA: Intranet Benefits by Generation

A younger employee shwowing an older employee the way forward

True or False: Millennials are more likely to find benefits in a company intranet than their senior coworkers.

False: According to Tribe’s national research with employees of large companies, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials equally find benefits in an intranet, such as news tickers, corporate blogs, collaboration spaces and content management/archival. The only disparity among generations is the benefit of a social media application, with Millennials finding it up to 26 percent more beneficial than their older counterparts. Gen X and Baby Boomers, however, find benefits in two-way communication and a space to share innovative ideas, so their lack of interest in “social media” may be due to negative associations with the term itself.

 

For more information on this study, see Tribe’s white papers and other resources on the expertise page of tribeinc.com, or shoot me an email.