Fortune Magazine says that employee retention is the number one worry for employers this year. Many workers are neither satisfied or unsatisfied – they simply see their job as a job, and not much more. Half of US workers are already looking for the next job opportunity, according to Manpower Group Solutions, and a Towers Watson Global Workforce Study shows that over a fourth of current employees plan to leave their employers in the next two years. A study by Glassdoor says that over half of employees surveyed feel that, if they lost their current job, they could find a comparable one inside of six months.
And then there are the Millennials – the fastest growing segment of the employee population. Jobvite says that 42% of Millennials expect to change jobs at least every 1-3 years. Gallup says that Millennial turnover alone costs the US economy over $30 billion annually. But they also say that engaged Millennials are 64% less likely to switch jobs. Unfortunately, 71% say they are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. Companies have known about these trends for a while, and have been trying to find ways to increase employee satisfaction to retain talent.
Engagement is the key – getting employees to feel a personal connection to the company and that they are actively participating in furthering its goals. A Gallup poll asked employees if they’d leave their current position for a 20% or less pay increase, and while 54% of actively disengaged workers said yes, only 37% of engaged employees would. In fact, the attrition rate for disengaged employees is 12 times higher than for highly engaged ones, according to Glint.
You already have a powerful tool to get your workers engaged – digital signage. Since your digital signs are in high traffic areas and places employees linger (like break rooms), you can use them every day to keep people informed, and boost participation in events and initiatives. It’s also a simple matter to use this tool as part of your employee retention strategy.
Start engaging people on their very first day by making them feel welcome and helping them get oriented to their new work environment. A welcome message in the playlist, including their name, picture and notable accomplishments, lets everyone know who they are and encourages company veterans to reach out and say hello. You might also have interactive touchscreens or kiosks with directories and wayfinding, making it a simple matter to get around your facility.
You should also include a few messages that highlight the mission and values of your company, your products and services, current goals and strategic objectives, and reinforce your organizational culture. Just having this sort of thing out there is not only good for newcomers, but helps remind current staff that they are part of something larger than just their department. This gets people engaged.
Training programs are always a good incentive, so advertise opportunities for certification, online training or professional development in your playlist rotation. New hires will get excited at the possibilities, while long-time workers might get inspired to try something new and get revitalized.
And because good communications always have a call to action, show messages that remind people who to contact if they have any issues or questions.
Modern workers, especially Millennials, want more than just good financial compensation. They want a good work-life balance. You can use your digital displays to advertise events and teambuilding opportunities. You can also integrate into the local community by offering special discounts at local cinemas, cafes, bookstores and restaurants. Or you might have special vacation package deal arrangements with a local travel agent, which you can show on your screens.
The best thing is to find out where your employees’ interests lie, and then come up with a way to integrate what they like to do with your workplace. If Mary and her friends already love going to the movies, and your company offers a special price for the local film festival because she works for you, that gets seen as a big bonus in her eyes.
Employee recognition and rewards can also play a huge part in making people feel engaged in the workplace. When the company notices and recognizes them, they will reciprocate and start thinking about what the company does well. Things like hitting targets or landing a big client are great, but don’t discount micro-kudos for smaller scale achievements. Even something like a message congratulating a department that recycled more paper this week than any other can make them feel good. And, as a bonus, it also highlights your culture of attention to sustainability.
Your digital signage doesn’t have to be just one way. You also want your employees to interact with the information they see. One simple way to encourage that is to supply short URLs or QR codes in messages, so people can get more detailed information on the topic. And today’s workers appreciate transparency, so the more information you can share about what’s going on, the more included they’ll feel. That’s another way to keep them engaged.
You can also use your digital signs to encourage employee feedback. Simply reminding people of the policies and procedures for this can go a long way to getting real data from your staff. Or you can take it a step further, with interactive kiosks or QR codes that lead to a dedicated online survey or questionnaire.
Office rumors can sometimes be a problem. But you can quash them quickly by supplying accurate information on your displays. You can even use your screens to point people to an online discussion group or Q&A session.
Video captures attention much more than text, so consider showing clips from town hall meetings or annual report presentations, or even live streaming one from time to time. You can also let your employees make their own videos to share what they’re working on with the rest of the organization. A person talking on screen is always more engaging than an email full of text.
Don’t just set team goals – let them see their progress towards those goals on the screens. With information being updated in real-time, they can immediately see where they are and what still needs to be done.
Recognition goes a long way here as well. And gamification, when appropriate, can get different teams and workgroups competing in a friendly atmosphere, which builds cross-team camaraderie. You should also celebrate your team diversity – if you have a few people from India in IT, show some messages marking holidays like Holi.
And let people know what senior teams are up to. Harvard Business Review found that 40% or employees have little confidence in their co-workers and even less in senior teams. That’s probably because they don’t know them, or don’t know what it is they have accomplished. Executive, employee and team profiles, combined with kudos and updates can go a long way to improving employee confidence.
Employee retention is about much more than just offering good salaries and benefits packages. Getting your workers engaged with some clever use of your digital signage can do wonders for making people not only do a good job, but want to do a good job. There’s lots of advice out there on the web about different ways to retain employees (such as this excellent How To Guide from The Wall Street Journal). Whatever your employee retention plan is, think of ways you can include your digital signage in each step and element. There is nothing that can reach a large audience faster.