How Digital Signage Helps Foster Workplace Transparency
It’s often claimed that transparency—that is, clear, honest and consistent communications—is one of the top drivers of employee engagement. If that’s true, then what’s the implication of a Gallup report that claims 65% of employees are actively disengaged? Obviously, many organizations need a little help with transparency.
Harvard Business Reviewstresses just how important transparency is to employees, with 70% of workers saying they are most engaged when management provides open communication. Unfortunately, that does not mean that 70% of company management does so on a regular basis. In fact, 50% of corporate employees feel their company’s lack of transparency is limiting its success, not to mention their careers. And 46% of workers point to lack of transparent communications as their reason for seeking another job. So, not only does lack of transparency lead to disengaged employees, it results in costly employee turnover and ultimately constrains business growth.
Transparency is not just about what information a company shares with its employees, but also about ensuring such information reaches all employees in a consistent timely manner. All the open-book management in the world won’t result in better employee engagement, if employees cannot easily access that information.
Let’s examine some of the information employees consider essential to transparency, then look at how companies can delivery this info in a new way—with digital signage technology in the workplace.
What does it mean to be “transparent”?
What does it mean for a company to provide real transparency to its employees and thus keep them engaged, satisfied, and feeling part of the team? We mentioned open-book management a moment ago. In a nutshell, this means employees should receive not only information they need to “do their job” but also to understand how the company is performing and why. While this isn’t the only approach to workplace transparency, the important thing is that if employees
are fully aware of the workings of the business and how they fit into it, they can affect its success and—yes—share in its rewards. That leads to more engaged and productive workers, which improves the company’s chance of success. Here are just a few types of information a transparent workplace should make accessible on a regular basis to boost employee engagement:
Company values – It might surprise management how unclear these may be to employees that aren’t in management, yet how critical they are to foster employee’s sense of belonging to “something more.”
Company performance metrics and goals – Core to open-book management, providing employees with detailed, timely information and understanding of how the business’ success is measured. For example, knowing goals for customer satisfaction, Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer renewal rates are crucial if employees are expected to positively affect such metrics.
Where employees fit in and impact reaching those goals – Workers need to know how what they do on a daily basis can help (or hinder) the company reaching its goals.
Company successes – Knowing when the company lands a new deal, reaches a milestone, or other “wins” encourages employees to work even harder and smarter. They should be shared with everyone, not just the C-suite and financial teams.
Company and marketplace challenges – Not everything is rosy all the time, so workers need honesty about the challenges the company faces if they are to remain engaged enough to help meet them.
How they’ll be evaluated(ahead of time) – Performance reviews may not be everyone’s favorite work activity, but there should never be any surprises.
Employee recognition – Providing public recognition for going the extra mile lets the company celebrate the achievements of an engaged employee, not the other way around. And why shouldn’t everybody know, instead of just a few?
Work place policies – Employees have to read a handbook maybe once a year—or at least sign a waiver saying they did. But do they really understand and apply the most important policies on a consistent basis? Some policies are easily forgotten, some are added, some change—and some need to be reinforced from time to time, to everyone.
Training and opportunities for advancement – Lack of clear, widely disseminated info about avenues for advancement can make workers feel they have no future with the company, especially if they find out about an opportunity too late.
When information such as this is withheld or not delivered for whatever reason, employees feel powerless, less engaged, and as we noted, may actively seek other opportunities.
Digital signage provides a channel for transparency to workers whenever and wherever they are
Even when management has every intention of being transparent, delivery of all this information equally to all employees can be a challenge. While email, mobile apps, and other electronic methods are often used to distribute information, that doesn’t always work for retail, manufacturing, and other industries with high percentages of non-desk employees. A staggering83% of non-desk workers don’t have a corporate email address. And of those permitted to use personal devices like smartphones, 45% have no access to the corporate intranet while at work. That means that disseminating all the information necessary for workplace transparency relies on word-of-mouth, overworked managers, or a seldom updated marker board in the break room. In other words, it often either doesn’t happen or isn’t effective.
Digital signage is the ideal medium for delivering the information needed for a transparent workplace, even to workers without access to traditional channels. Digital signage reaches employees wherever they are—on the sales floor, the break room, the assembly line. In addition, content can be updated as frequently and quickly as needed. From corporate messages to team performance scorecards to training to recognition, digital signage gets noticed.
By using workplace digital signage to improve workplace transparency and internal employee communications, you can have a well-informed workforce—one that truly understands the business AND feels empowered to make it better.