An effective communications strategy helps attract and retain talent. According to the Holmes Report, companies with an effective communications strategy have 47 per cent higher returns to shareholders, more engaged employees and less employee turnover. So what can companies do to improve theirs?
Technology is at the core of any effective communications strategy. For years, email ruled the roost in the workplace, but with the average employee spending 40 per cent of their working time on internal email, it is clear that it is not the most efficient way to communicate with staff.
Businesses are starting to recognise the value of video – IP video specifically – and are increasingly integrating it into their internal communications, providing employers with a number of benefits.
According to a Ragan Communications study of 713 communicators (including business owners, managers and content producers), 76 per cent of respondents said that video improved internal communications with remote employees, and 58 per cent found it increased alignment with company organisational goals.
IP video, or AV-over-IP, can provide organisations with a more powerful and efficient way of communicating with employees.
It helps workers stay up-to-date with relevant news and information in real time by delivering TV and video over an existing network, to corporate desktops, communal area screens and mobile devices, ensuring they remain informed, productive and engaged, regardless of their location.
The following key areas highlight how IP video is empowering organisations to improve their current communications strategy and enhance the employee experience:
(1) Enables real-time reactivity
Video can be an invaluable tool for high-pressure industries, such as the financial sector, which require employees to react quickly to news that can change in the blink of an eye. In this particular instance, an IP video system can distribute breaking news, trends and regulations directly to a worker’s desktop, so they can make quick and informed decisions.
(2) Increases visitor and employee engagement
Digital signage has become a key component of an organisation’s overall unified communications strategy, and is a natural companion to IP video.
The integration of digital signage and IP video empowers administrators to manage their communications systems seamlessly and tailor content to various audiences across their premises, including public areas, staff rooms, factory floors, or the CEO’s office.
For example, a CEO and senior management will be interested in receiving industry news and updates, whereas welcome messages and company information will be more suited to visitors in the reception areas.
The ability to automatically distribute information and turn any screen into a digital signage display ensures quicker decision-making for time-sensitive tasks, while providing a welcoming and helpful atmosphere in public areas.
(3) Ensures remote workers remain productive and engaged
According to research by BT, 88 per cent of German respondents rank flexible working as one of their most important employee benefits, confirmed by 80 per cent of UK, 75 per cent of Spanish, and 59 per cent of French respondents.
With more and more millennials and generation Zs crossing the threshold into the workplace, the demand for more flexible ways of working is only expected to rise. According to a study by Flexjobs, 85 per cent of millennials want to telecommute 100 per cent of the time, 54 per cent want to work a flexible or alternative schedule and 50 per cent would be happy telecommuting some of the time.
By utilising an IP video system, businesses can ensure remote workers remain productive and engaged by providing easy access to corporate information and news on-the-go, so staff retain a sense of belonging, wherever they are in the world.
(4) Enhances staff training
Staff training plays an important role in an organisation’s success; it helps employees increase their contribution to the business, boosting engagement and motivation because they see that their skills are worth investing in.
However, coordinating training sessions is not an easy task, particularly when it involves a large number of employees, so making use of video is a natural alternative.
IP video can provide a cost-effective and flexible solution by archiving learning materials and corporate updates for on-demand playback, which employees can view at a convenient time and on the device of their choosing.
Additionally, training events can also be broadcast live to multiple locations, which means remote workers feel equally valued.
(5) Protects organisations from video piracy
The digital era means that vast amounts of content are being distributed across a number of different networks, which increases the risk of video piracy. When premium content is distributed over an IP network, the responsibility falls on the end user to protect it or face potentially costly consequences.
When distributing digital content, organisations must adhere to the latest content protection requirements – and the increasingly stringent security demands of broadcasters and other content owners – to ensure that content is accessed and distributed legally across different types of networks.
Video provides companies with the ability to quickly deliver relevant information to employees, which drives staff productivity and engagement.
As the demand for more flexible working increases, IP video and digital signage solutions help ensure that staff, regardless of their working habits, location, device, are always informed and motivated.
Colin Farquhar is CEO of Exterity