One of the biggest challenges for HR, managers, and even C-level executives, is ensuring that employees stay motivated. Communication is a key factor in achieving this, as helping employees understand how their specific tasks contribute to the overall goals and bottom line of the company, can massively impact employee performance. That motivation and understanding is essential to a company’s success even in “normal” times. But in the COVID-19 era, it’s not just about success – it’s about survival. In order to succeed in what may be the most challenging business environment in recent memory, companies need employees to give it all they have, and then some.
With people around the world working from home, it’s essential that organizations focus on communicating clearly with all employees to ensure that company goals are being met. However, it turns out that communicating with employees is a major hurdle for organizations even in the best of times. An Interact/Harris study shows that poor communication, including not providing clear directions, were at the root of many employee motivation issues.
Poor communication can also result in alienated employees. A Gallup study shows that just 15% of employees are engaged in their workplaces – with the other 85% just hanging on, or “riding things out” until “something better” comes along. And it’s not about money; a study by personnel firm Hays shows that 74% of Millennial employees were willing to take a pay cut in exchange for their “ideal” job. The better job an organization does in communicating its essential messages to employees – what the objectives of the organization are, and how employees help reach those objectives, each in their own way – the more satisfied, and thus productive, employees will be.
What can organizations do to improve communications? Maybe the medium is the problem. Mass emails, training manuals, and mundane presentations just don’t cut it in an ultra-busy work environment and getting employees to engage is difficult. By creating well-produced visual communications, organizations can ensure that employees at all levels, and across locations, understand their organization’s mission and strategy, and how they play a role in fulfilling it.
Making the Most of Visual Communication
Using short videos, organizations can develop messages that will clearly spell out what the company stands for – and how divisions, departments, and even how specific functions help an organization achieve its goals. Here are some ways that can happen:
Communicating strategy: Objectives and goals are often buried in long-winded documents and mission statements, and employee handbooks often don’t provide a clear indication of what the organization is trying to accomplish. Using visual communication, organizations can provide a much clearer picture of where the company is, and where it is going. Live sessions can enable employees to contribute their ideas – enabling them to feel a part of the process, thus, eliminating that “alienated” feeling.
Upskilling videos: Managers and high-level performers can record videos demonstrating relevant skills and/or provide organization-specific advice to help employees reach specific goals, like increasing sales. In addition, organizations can recruit experts to share wisdom relevant to the organization, further driving home messages on how to succeed in specific areas.
From ideation to execution: Project managers and mid-level management need visual communication to turn strategies into action. Be it to kickoff a campaign, follow up throughout a new project, or offer a data visualization video to showcase insights and takeaways, video helps employees understand how their efforts are essential at every step along the way.
Giving credit where it’s due: Employees who feel the company doesn’t value their contributions aren’t going to contribute for very long. Video can be used to increase employee motivation, highlighting the roles of teams or even individuals in accomplishing organizational goals.
These are just a few of the ways videos and engaging visual communication can be used to communicate company messages to employees, and ensure that they understand how important their contributions are to company objectives. Developing that kind of communication strategy is important at all times – and especially when so many employees are working remotely. Using video, organizations can develop and nurture an identity, a set of goals – a purpose – and communicate that clearly to employees, ultimately improving the overall health of the company.