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The Neuroscience of Optimizing Workplace Communication and Employee Engagement

Digital signage is scientifically proven to be the most effective method to engage employees by stimulating their visual cortex. Employees are more likely to remember the content presented by digital signs and therefore be more productive, knowledgeable and beneficial actors within organizations.

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Visual media, such as infographics, videos, or photos, are an efficient way of communicating information quickly and effectively– especially in organizations where data must be relayed to deskless or digitally detached employees who are unable to receive information via more traditional methods such as emails, meetings or trainings. Time and energy are crucial factors to productivity within organizations, so what is a company left to do?

Introducing digital signage: content displayed on employee-facing screens which can help with everything from communicating important announcements to celebrating employee achievements to displaying actionable data. Digital signage has helped Human Resources (HR) departments proactively optimize employee engagement and communication, tapping into the visual neuroscience that bridges the communication gap within organizations.

To truly understand the “human brain on visuals”, ScreenCloud teamed up with experts at University College London to learn more about visual neuroscience, what the research findings mean for HR and Internal Communications professionals, and how ScreenCloud can help you scale and improve your communication and engagement efforts.

Research findings

Studies have shown that flexible schedules, accessible work tools and clear praise and appreciation have a beneficial effect on employee engagement and retention. For companies to offer these benefits, they must keep a clear and open line of communication. 

This is where digital signage steps in. University of College London referenced a previous study where a California-based company used screens as their communication method rather than email. Any employee was able to post to the screens and they were placed in common and “high foot traffic” areas.

Employees can be engaged by stimulating their visual cortex via large display images. Eye-catching content, such as high-contrasting colors, high spatial frequency visuals (such as sharp edges and fine details), motion and flash, are all proven ways to stimulate and engage employees. Specifically, media that stimulates when perceived from the top-down or from bottom-up is most likely to be noticed and remembered, which makes digital signage crucial in employee engagement strategies.

Digital signage is the most effective way to encode content into someone’s memory and make it easier for retrieval later. The hippocampus is tasked with absorbing spatial information and by stimulating it through curated content with bold visuals, the retention of content is higher.

Productivity / engagement

When considering HR departments, they have traditionally taken on a defensive, and some may even describe as controlling, role within the workplace. This mode of communication has historically led to feelings of disengagement, low morale and low productivity among employees.

Only 22% of employees feel engaged at work and less than 50% of employees open and read internal communication emails. HR’s strategies to speak to workers through their emails are more likely to fall on deaf ears than not. The solution to the bloating of employee emails could have been right under their nose or in front of their eyes this whole time: digital signage.

Deskless workers

Traditional HR methods and the reliance on digitization also risk alienating the sector of the workforce that is unable to receive HR messaging in real time. Deskless workers comprise over 80% of the workforce and likely lack a company email or access to digital devices on the job. The disconnect between deskless workers and higher management only furthers disengagement among frontline workers and ultimately acts as a stepping stone towards them leaving the workplace. 

For HR to show the deskless sector that they are communicating with frontline workers in mind, HR must message in a way that reliably reaches the workers with critical up-to-date information, praise or notices. Digital signage can benefit all types of workers by increasing overall engagement and connecting to previously hard-to-reach employee sectors.

Interactive vs passive content

Some people may not be convinced by the power of digital signage. While corporate departments may prefer a hands-off communication method, such as email, others may insist on employees utilizing the most physically engaging media – interactive media. 

Interactive media is any form of media that requires employee action, such as tapping on notifications or following hyperlinks. While healthy in moderation, an excess of interactive media can cause mental strain and forced multitasking, forcing employees to split their focus when their undivided attention may be necessary. The benefit of passive media, like digital screens, is that crucial information gets through to workers quickly and does not require further action.

Make it happen with ScreenCloud

ScreenCloud is a Software as a Service company determined to help organizations maximize their employee engagement, cognition and productivity through digital signage. For the full insider knowledge on how to increase employee productivity, morale and engagement, check out The Neuroscience of Visual Media eBook, produced in partnership with University College London.  

 SC Gradient

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