Bring Your Employee Communications to Life With Video

Bring Your Employee Communications to Life With Video

Employee communications videos are an increasingly viable and popular way to connect and engage with your staff. While you still may choose other methods for your internal communications (multiple channels are important to make sure your message is heard), adding video to your toolkit is a beneficial way to bring your communications to life. Video grabs employees’ attention faster than email, long presentations, large documents, or lengthy team meetings.

One major reason for the popularity of videos is that they are fast, interactive and entertaining ways to digest information. Data shared by YouTube shows that people watch one billion hours of video on the platform every day. Another benefit of video is analytics. Statistics give you the ability to see how many people viewed your employee communications videos, assess your video strategy, and adjust that strategy if needed.

Employee Communications Videos Connect With Younger Employees

Employee communications videos help you stay relevant in the changing workplace. Gen Z, people born after 1994, has started to graduate college and find jobs. This wave of new employees shows preference for video. A study by Awesomeness shows this generation watches an average of 68 videos each day.

It’s vital to make sure employee communications videos are mobile friendly, since Gen Z can’t remember a time before cell phones. Their preferred way to consume videos is on their phones. Make sure all your employees hear, understand and remember important internal messages by adding video your communications mix.

Short and Sweet Employee Communications Videos Win Attention

Being mindful of your video’s length is a proven way to ensure your message reaches the most viewers possible—and keep their attention. Wistia, a video hosting platform, looked at 564,710 videos and more than 1.3 billion plays to determine the relationship between video length and viewer engagement. What they discovered is viewer engagement is steady up to 2 minutes.

After that two minute mark, there is a significant drop off in viewers. This suggests short and sweet is the best policy. If your employee communications video needs to be longer, put the most important information within the first two minutes.

Adding video to your toolkit is another useful way to bring your employee communications to life. It’s a necessary tool for communications teams who want to ensure all employees receive and pay attention to important messages.

Written by Mike Turko

Mike is a senior graphic designer at Trion. He specializes in communicating ideas through both print and digital design mediums. Mike also works to develop custom, interactive digital marketing campaigns that effectively engage a variety of employee audiences.

Trion Communications mike.turko@trion-mma.com

The Value of Video and Audio for Employee Communications

The Value of Video and Audio for Employee Communications

There are many ways to communicate information to employees. Some are more successful than others, when you know your employees’ communications preferences and what works in your organization. If you haven’t tried it already, research tells us the value of video and audio. Content distributed through video and audio (like podcasts) is one of the most powerful ways to ensure your message sticks with your audience.

In fact, research says people process visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text. The value of video and audio for employee communications is endless; some ways include interaction, repetitiveness, and savings.

Value of Interactivity

Have you ever noticed people can become distracted while you’re giving a regular PowerPoint presentation? They check their phones, stare out the window or worse yet, nod off a bit. That’s a sign there may be better ways to get your message across. It starts with a robust mix of communications tactics, like print, presentations, and especially, audio and video. In the digital world we live in, more and more people recognize the value of audio and video to get their information.

At Trion, we use the cloud-based technology, Brainshark, to create narrated and often animated video presentations in PowerPoint. These engage our clients’ employees around benefits and allow Human Resources teams to create compelling and interesting presentations. This approach has been extremely successful because of the robust functionality and interactivity of the platform.

Interactive videos keep employees engaged and alert, which helps to effectively communicate important information.

Value of Repetition

When you communicate important information to employees, you can do more than just hope that they’ll remember and comprehend it. You can repeat it – over and over again. Research shows repetition is one of the keys of effective communications.

Stats also show people comprehend illustrated text (or text with design) 83% more effectively than text alone. Sharing content through audio and video supports not only retention, but increases the likelihood information will be shared. Digital content can be passed along easily and quickly, again proving the value of video and audio for employee communications.

Value of Savings

By sending audio and video content to our clients, we help them save time and money. They don’t have to travel to different parts of the company to hold face-to-face meetings with employees. Instead, they can send that information through the computer, using cloud-based technology that doesn’t require any back-end technology on their part. Spouses and dependents outside of the company’s firewalls can access this information. Clients get analytics and other information about how employees consume the information.

Video and audio shows its value in employee communications because it gets straight to the point. This content helps you communicate clear, concise, and valuable information to your employees. Employees can re-watch digital presentations, like Brainshark, which eliminate confusion over core information.

Video and audio is a great add to your marketing/communications mix. It’s a necessary tool that can help your company engage and inform employees, while being mindful of the bottom line.

 

 

Written by Paige McQuillen

Paige McQuillen is a summer marketing intern for Trion. She is a rising Junior at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where she majors in Marketing. Paige enjoys using her creativity in her writing and has previous experience with blogging.

Trion Communications paige.mcquillen@trion-mma.com

Four Reasons Good Design Will Help Your Bottom Line

Four Reasons Good Design Will Help Your Bottom Line

As a graphic designer, I know that good design is good business. I know that without good design, communications do not educate and engage employees effectively. High-performing organizations make employee communications a priority. They know that an engaged workforce contributes to the company’s success.

The organizations that engage their employees the most know that good design helps that goal. It’s the constant the blends message, images, illustration, typography and motion graphics into an appealing whole.

Here are four reasons good design is good business.

1. Good Design Pays Off

The DMI Design Value Index applies six good design management criteria to publicly-traded U.S. companies on the S&P 500 Index. The criteria reward companies that invest in good design practices as a business strategy. Some tactics include:

  • Designers have a presence on the leadership team
  • The company grows its investment in design
  • Design is integrated into company procedures and policies

Of those companies, 16 met the standards of good design. These members of the Design Value Index outperformed the rest of the S&P by 211%.

“We see design not as a pure factor that makes our DVI company’s stocks perform better on the stock market, but rather as a highly integrated and influential force that enables the organization to achieve outsized results,” wrote Jeneanne Rao, CEO of Motiv Strategies, who partners with DMI to create the list.

2. Good Design Saves Time

When it comes time to decide on format—for example, a JPG, TIF, EPS, PDF or GIF —a good graphic designer knows which print or digital format gets results. If it’s alphabet soup to you, it may be time to engage a designer. The same goes for RGB versus CMYK color modes, paper weights, and uses and types of website content management systems. Are your communications scaled properly and do they have enough color contrast to be easily read when published?

Graphic design professionals have the training, mastery of industry software and years of experience to make the correct choices. You won’t have to waste time and aggravation to try to figure out what makes for good design.

3. Good Design Saves Money

It pays to invest in good graphic design. Cheap design often means poor design. Yet, poorly designed graphics can be more expensive in the long term. Without the expertise of a professional graphic designer, you may end up with a product that is not formatted for print or online publishing. It could be expensive to print due to color management or layout problems.

Changes, delays and redesigns cost money. A cheap, crowdsourced logo may end up costing more than one from a higher-priced, experienced graphic designer. It’s just further evidence that that good design is good business.

4. Good Design Keeps Employee’s Interest and Attention

Whether it’s webpages, emails or printed materials, communications with high-quality visuals grab attention at a higher rate than those with poor design and no images. Online shoppers cite image quality as one of the most important criteria in their purchasing decisions. In one study, 46% of people ranked a web site’s design as the number one way they rate a brand’s credibility.

Good graphic design uses smart layouts, high-quality photography, infographics, illustrations and video to create successful, attention-getting communications.

Written by Mike Turko

Mike is a senior graphic designer at Trion. He specializes in communicating ideas through both print and digital design mediums. Mike also works to develop custom, interactive digital marketing campaigns that effectively engage a variety of employee audiences.

Trion Communications mike.turko@trion-mma.com

Engage Your Employees With These Best Design Practices

Engage Your Employees With These Best Design Practices

I’ve worked in employee benefits communications for almost a decade now. As a graphic designer and communications expert, I’ve seen and created my fair share of pieces. These include guides, newsletters, postcards, posters, narrated videos and more. Benefits are complex and the stakes are high, so I feel good about helping clients deliver meaningful and visually appealing materials.

Not everybody has the luxury to work with a professional communications services firm to design their campaigns. If you’re in a DIY situation, this blog post teaches best design practices to improve benefits communications.

Best practices show a thoughtfully constructed layout combined with well-crafted text results in better comprehension. So remember to spend some time on design as you prepare to talk about your company’s benefit programs.

Employees rely on you to educate them on new offerings, changes to their current plans, or any perks that may be available. Design is a strategy to grab their attention and make it easier to navigate complicated information.

Here are five best design practices to give your materials that visual edge.

1) Have a Focal Point

At first glance, your piece needs a visual focal point. In a newsletter, for example, use a catchy headline in a bold font to reel in your employees. If you’re introducing new cost-saving benefits this year, make them stand out with a headline that reads something like: “Guess What’s Coming in 2018? New Benefit Offerings to Help You Save Money!” A visually striking headline is one best design practice that will make your employees want to read more.

2) Use Quality Photography

Quality stock photography is another best design practice that improves benefits communications. Select photos that help personalize your messages. You could take it a step further and use photos of your own employees to communicate your company’s benefit offerings. Balance text with memorable images to spark employees’ attention and communicate in a visually pleasant way.

3) Pick a Color Scheme

Simplify your newsletter with a minimum of two to three colors. If your company has a specific color palette or branding guidelines, add some of those elements to create best design practices. This insures the “look and feel” is compliant.

A color scheme brings a sense of harmony and balance to the layout. If you want to direct your employees to take action on a specific task, you could apply your company logo color to a call-out box. This draws more attention to the eye and helps guide your employees to take action.

4)Use Enough White Space

Allow enough space in between paragraphs, columns, images and text boxes to help identify where content belongs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across pamphlets or brochures where the text from one column ran into another. This is clearly not a best design practice! When text and imagery are spaced proportionately on a page, it makes it easier to read and understand the material.

5) Keep Your Fonts Simple

Just as the context you’re communicating is important, your font choice is just as crucial. I typically stick with two fonts, at a minimum. Too many different fonts make your newsletter feel cluttered and turns away readers.

A helpful way of incorporating good font usage in your newsletter is to use a typeface from a font family such as Arial or Franklin Gothic. This enables you to apply a bold, italic or semi-bold font from the same family and not go overboard with competing font choices. This best design practice will improve your benefits communications

These simple adjustments to your designs will win over your employees. They will stay engaged and interested in learning the value of their benefit programs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Amy Boulden

Amy works as a benefits communications specialist. Her creative background in graphic design has allowed her to create a library of client communications. Amy’s approach is to focus on simple, clear language and relatable graphics to effectively educate employees.

Trion Communications amy.boulden@trion-mma.com

3 Activities to Get Your Office in a Holiday Spirit

3 Activities to Get Your Office in a Holiday Spirit

We’ve reached December! Many of your employees are preparing to celebrate Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Festivus, etc.

It is also a season of stress, with cooking, gift shopping, and traveling. Adding some joy to the workday can help people forget their to-do lists, even for a little while.

So, why limit the merry making to after work hours? A thoughtful, seasonal celebration can raise office morale. Here are three ideas to make December a month to remember.

 1. Give Back

The saying goes, “It’s better to give than to receive.” Channel some of that spirit of generosity into a holiday giving program.

Here at Trion, we collect toys and games for Toys for Tots, which celebrates its 70thanniversary in 2017. In 2016, the charity distributed 18 million toys. Many workers, especially those with kids, are already shopping for toys this month. This program is a simple way to give a child a little holiday wonder.

Another popular option is a sponsoring a family. The Soldiers’ Angels program collects toys and gift cards for military families. Ask your county’s social services agency which local families need extra cheer. Departments could team up to buy wish list items for parents and children in need.

If you’d rather take a more active approach, organize a volunteer event. Serving food at a homeless shelter or visiting elderly residents a nursing home are two ways to spread good cheer around your community. Some people do not have family and a hot meal or a friendly chat are simple ways to brighten their spirits.

2. Friendly Competition

Spark a little good-natured boasting at the office with a friendly, low stakes competition.

Many cultures serve traditional sweets at the holidays. Host an office bake-off. Workers whip up their seasonal favorites. The culinary-challenged serve as judges. When’s there dessert, everyone wins, but consider a small prize, like a gift card to a specialty food store for the winner.

Ugly sweater parties have become a staple this time of year. Bring the fun to the office to see who has the craziest wardrobe. Employees appreciate the chance to dress down and show off their playful side. Staff votes for their co-worker with the wildest ensemble and he or she is awarded a little gift.

Employees with desk jobs spend 40 hours (or more) at their desks each week. At least for a little while, make them festive. A cubicle and office decorating contest lets workers’ creativity shine. From twinkly lights to paper snowflakes, see who has the most style. People can tour the building and anonymously pick their favorite decorations. Consider a gift card to a craft store to honor the winner.

3. Not-too-Perfect Presents

Secret gift exchanges are a fun way to encourage interaction. Each employee gets the name of a colleague and anonymously drops off small treats throughout the month. At the end, workers reveal their identities and give a closing present, within a set budget. Pair employees from different departments to let them get to know people from outside their immediate team.

A white elephant party is another way to create camaraderie. Anyone who wants to participate brings a wrapped present of a set value. Workers draw numbers and number one unwraps a gift. Number two can unwrap their own gift or steal from number one. This continues everyone has a present. With large organizations, consider department-specific white elephants to make the event manageable.

When adding December festivities to the calendar, it’s important to respect all workers’ traditions. These events should always be optional and low-stakes, so employees who wish to opt-out feel no pressure. When decorating, consider a ban on overtly religious symbols. General winter themes are an inclusive way to create a little magic.

Holiday season can be time for team-building and bonding. Special events foster a sense of community among staff. Among the hustle and bustle of December, spreading smiles and goodwill ends the year on a positive note.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Danielle Love

Danielle is a benefits communications specialist, working on behalf of clients to write, edit and design dynamic print and virtual communications. She also manages the Trion Communications blog, which highlights the practice’s diverse areas of expertise.

Trion Communications Danielle.Love@trion-mma.com