From Vision Statements to Employee Engagement

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#employee engagementI was driving to the city for a meeting the other day when I got stuck in dreadful traffic. Sitting there, bored, I started to think about how bad the traffic problem was getting these days and how we could try to solve it. Immediately, I remembered Uber’s vision statement for the future “one of many fewer cars on the road.”

I don’t work for the company nor do I have any shares in the company.  Just like everyone else, I want to get through traffic faster so that I can live my life and get to my appointments on time. On this particular day, I really wanted their vision to succeed.

This train of thought led to my thinking about other companies with great vision statements, like:

Tesla:  “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market as soon as possible.”

Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

The one element they all have in common is a call to action.

To accelerate – to organize – to connect

Powerful words used to inspire and motivate employees.

But here’s an interesting stat that is as problematic as being caught in rush hour traffic.employee engagement

Employee engagement is at an all-time low.  The bigger the organization, the greater the challenge we have to get that universal message out to hundreds and thousands of employees. It’s something most organizations are struggling with. My friends and peers IABC, a great association of corporate communication folks, are often discussing this problem and a lot of great literature is written about it.

So here is the million dollar question – how can we, as corporate communication professionals, get employees to care about the company’s vision statement?

Remember, it’s not just employees and shareholders that are counting on the organization to be successful. It’s the selfish beneficiaries like me (PAYING CUSTOMERS) that just want to get out of the freaking traffic and get to my kids soccer game on time.

From my user experience working with my clients, I discovered a few simple tricks that I want to share with you.  The first step is to start thinking like a marketer and ask that one simple question, what are you selling?  CORPORATE KOOL-AID.

To get buy in from your customers, or engagement from your employees, how are you going to get them to drink the Kool-Aid that is going to get them juiced-up? (Pardon the pun.)

Do you have your marketing hat on? Let’s begin with identifying a few key components that you’re going to need to sell your product. In order words, think about a campaign you can create and broadcast to your employees.

The key components for any successful TV commercial campaign are:

♦  Know your audience

♦  Create a simple message

♦  Make it relevant

♦  Repeat it often

The benefit of having a digital signage network in your place of work is that it enables you to schedule your content on multiple different channels playing for the facility.  You can make it very specific to each department and schedule your loop for morning, afternoon, and midday.

Entrepreneur.com has an excellent article entitled 5 Ways to Create Engaging Content Here are the three content ideas that I found to be the most valuable:

5 Ways to Create Engaging Digital Signage Content for Employee Engagement

1. Dream up a challenge or contest.

The desire to compete seems to be part of our DNA. Dream up some type of challenge or contest where people compete against each other for a prize.

Idea: You can have the real-time data being published on large screens within the department area or break rooms and see the performance and recognition of your team.

 2. Add visuals.

Numerous statistics suggest that all types of visual content, including video content, is a sure-fire way to make an audience fall in love with your content. An article in The Guardian noted many of these findings, including Cisco’s research that suggests that video will account for 69 percent of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, while YouTube already receives more than one billion unique visitors each month.

Action: Animating videos, on a digital signage network, can be easily created with professionally designed templates.

3. Provide giveaways.

People like to get something more than they paid for, so offer some type of content takeaway. Serve up something useful to your audience for free and you will win fans. Offer these takeaways as a download to get data on each person who takes that free content. You will learn more about them and market to them better in the future.

Action: Advertise those incentives within your digital signage messaging loop and personalize it with pictures of employees that are enjoying some of these takeaways, like a night out, watching a baseball game.

One way to feed that engagement is by displaying QR codes on your digital screens for employees to scan, which will take them directly to a website for more information, or to take them to a survey.

The overall outcome is to convert and engage those employees. Once employees start seeing the bigger picture and start believing in the vision, then you will have them truly engaged. And that is what we call employee engagement.

These are just a few ideas that will help you move the engagement needle up a notch.  We certainly do not have all the answers; however, we want to use this platform to start the conversation with other corporate communication professionals to share ideas with what’s working with them.

Remember, it’s not just employees and shareholders that are counting on it. If your product or service provides true value in the world, it’s the millions of consumers and selfish people like me that want your product or service to succeed.

I think that’s enough blogging for one day. Besides, my Uber ride is here.

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