Category Archives for Employee Video

Video Communications and The Public Sector

188069384The use of video communications has long been a mainstay for internal communication in private sector companies – but its use has, perhaps, an even greater value in the public sector.

Communicators within the public sector face a very difficult job, having to convey a wide variety of information to a large group of people, accurately and consistently. Accountability and transparency are important, the political atmosphere may change from one election to the next and no matter who’s in charge, costs are always a concern. Facing these kinds of challenges, its no wonder that sometimes, communicators may be tempted to choose a familiar path when it comes to communicating with employees – but that path may not be serving your employees, or your message as well as it could be.

And this is particularly important when it comes to employee engagement. According to a recent study commissioned by ADP and the International Public Management Association for Human Resources (IPMA-HR), just 58% of the public sector employees polled were fully engaged in their jobs. 38% of all respondents said they were very, or somewhat likely, to leave their job if working conditions didn’t improve, and that figure rose to 47% of respondents among those under 35 years of age.

So, clearly, it’s critical that public sector employers do everything they can to increase engagement among their workforce – and while there are many ways to improve employee engagement, one of the simplest ways is to improve your internal communication. Employees need to feel “in on” what’s happening in their company, they need to understand how changes effect them, and, most importantly, they need to understand how their work fits in with the greater goals.

Good communications – that is, well-crafted, relevant content – is the key, but how you deliver that content can be just as important. Video is an ideal method for communications delivery to public sector workforces, for a few simple reasons:

 

Video Extends Management’s Presence

Public Sector employers have a tremendous amount of employees, often located across multiple offices, cities or regions. Employees often have limited interaction with senior management, and impersonal print memos, e-mails and even website postings don’t help foster those relationships.

Video, on the other hand, brings management into employee workspaces, on their desktops, even their mobile phones, allowing the employees to see and hear management while at the same time, receiving their message.

Video Encourages Interaction

Upload your video communication and it can be shared, liked and commented upon by your employees, creating dialogue and discussion and community among your workforce. By tapping into social media, your communication will reach a wider audience and impact engagement on a larger scale.

Video Engages Younger Employees

As the ADP/IPMA-HR study showed, younger workers in the public sector are at risk when their engagement dips, so it’s important to reach out to them with your communications. Today’s younger workforce was practically raised on YouTube and Skype – video-engagement is their norm, so why not allow them to communicate and access your content the same way they access content when they’re at home? You might just find that the employee who doesn’t have the time or inclination to pour through pages and pages of text on a page might be more inclined to watch a quick video that condenses the content and targets its meaning to the employee.

Video Can Be Tracked

Every year, you spend a lot of time and money compiling a print handout about benefits and give them to your employees, without ever knowing if they read it, or if it even made it home with them.

Deliver that same message using video instead of print media and it becomes immediately measureable, allowing you to track video views, and in some cases, even track which specific workstations or devices accessed it.

Video Can Be Cost-Effective

Good news for budget-conscious public sector communicators: video communications have the flexibility to be as inexpensive or as lavish as you need them to be, meaning that if the budget is an issue, you can still get out your message effectively — and often cheaper than you could by printing and mailing mountains of handouts!

 

So, if you’re in the public sector, consider reaching out to your audience with video, for more impactful, interactive communications that will engage your workforce in ways you may never have considered. Projections can help you understand the many ways that video can improve your communications plan, whether you work in the private or public sector, so contact us today!

Positive Downsizing – It Can be Done

Communication LayoffsDownsizing – the very word makes many fearful, especially in today’s economy and with so many people out of work. But for many companies, it’s the only way to survive, and it’s necessary to continue employing even a percentage of their workforce. The question is, can it be done well? Is it being done for the right reasons, the reasons that make sense even to those who are being let go?

“10 years ago, people didn’t really know this information,” says Human Resources Consultant Jim Gray. “When people approach methodologies on downsizing, there is a temptation for leaders to say, ‘just do it and get it over with,’ but giving in to those temptations just don’t work. There is a business transitioning process involved with positive downsizing, that should be managed as a project.”

The following checklist, based on Jim’s advice, will assist any company facing a layoff or similar situation. If you are Human Resources representative, this list may even help you come to terms with the right thing to do and the right ways to do it.

Questions to ask for a successful business phase-down:

  • Are key business drivers such as safety, productivity, quality, and delivery going to be maintained?
  • What are you doing to comfort the survivors? (The employees who you hold on to)
  • Are you communicating with customer, suppliers and the community about what is going on?
  • How are you going to be perceived in the human decency quotient?

Questions to ask on rationale for proceeding with layoffs:

  • Are you being 100% truthful in making the business case for downsizing? Do you have a true business rational?
  • Are you trying to ‘soften’ the reasoning? (If so, do not)
  • Are there other alternatives you can opt-for? (Such as asking for volunteers before making the terminations, seeing if there is placement available at other company locations, looking into flex schedules or a reduced workweek)

Questions to ask when preparing the management team:

  • Have you assigned project planning exercises?
  • Are you prepared to deal with anticipated reactions and responses? (Most likely emotional, negative, and angry). This applies to both survivors and the victims (Those who are laid-off).
  • Is a worst case scenario reaction plan developed?
  • Do you have security/ business interruption contingencies?

Questions to ask regarding payout options:

  • How will the severance package be structured? What will the payout be?
  • Should we offer stay-on bonuses to survivors?
  • Have you handled all responsibilities regarding employee benefits?

Have you reached out to external sources for support services? This includes:

  • Outplacement firms
  • Employee Assistances Program (EAP)
  • Government or not-for-profit agencies
  • Financial advisors
  • Professional associations and volunteer groups

How are you planning on communicating with employees?

  • Communication announcement should consist of 3 to 5 main bullet points
  • Explain that it is not the employee’s fault; they are not to blame
  • Let employee’s know the situation behind the decision (i.e., the economy)
  • Be empathetic
  • Consider an alternative medium such as video production
  • Continue to update employees with on-going communications (if they are maintaining their job for a set period of time)

What do you do after communicating with employees?

  • Offer victims advice (or a script) on how to explain the situation friends and family
  • Help spouse and children cope with situation (i.e., remember the EAP)
  • Post generic resumes in places like town newspaper
  • Contact government officials notifying them of the layoffs and the victims
  • Consider an on-site job fair
  • Encourage celebrations of milestones (have the victims found new jobs?)

For over 30 years, Projections has helped employers communicate with their workforce. When John Deere’s Commercial and Consumer products division was faced with a layoff, Projections assisted their Human Resources team with a powerful video presentation. Deere’s HR Representative had this to say about the results of that communication:

“The video that you developed for John Deere Consumer Products to announce and explain the movement of our assembly operations to Mexico was magnificent. Not only did it achieve the employee understanding we were looking for, I feel it was responsible for the following:

  • Deere Corporate Office did not receive one phone call from anyone on the subject, press or employee.
  • Both the state of North Carolina and South Carolina agencies that work with companies on this type situation said we should be used as a model for other companies.
  • Employees whose jobs were being phased out volunteered to help with the Mexico start-up.
  • To date, we have not lost many of our employees since the announcement, which was the other objective that we had. We appreciate the immediate response and excellent cooperation we received from you on this project.”

To learn more about communicating with employees during a layoff, visit Projections online.

Communicate With Employees In Their Language

When developing a robust communication program for your organization, you have most likely observed the following considerations: methods to keep all organization members informed, opportunities for feedback and conversations between management and employees, and ways that communication can strengthen the brand to ensure the company’s continued success. You have thought of everything – or have you?

As the population of the United States continues to diversify and American companies play an even more significant role in global economies, it’s become paramount for your communication programs to be available in multiple languages, to ensure that you are reaching all of your audience and effectively capitalizing on the skills of all employees.

Expanding your communications to include multiple languages, languages that best serve your working population, allows you to:

  • Increase inclusion and cultural sensitivity throughout the organization;
  • Communicate more effectively with global employees and partners; and
  • Help non-English speakers perform their jobs better and contribute more to your organization’s success

At Projections, communications is our business, and language is the most fundamental part of messaging. Here, we make sure your messages get across, in ANY language, including:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese)
  • Arabic
  • Polish
  • Japanese
  • Tibetan
  • Haitian-Creole
  • Burmese
  • Vietnamese
  • Somali
  • Russian
  • Bosnian

We’d love to add to this list, so don’t hesitate to contact Projections today and let us help you reach out to EVERY member of your team!

Your Onboarding Program: Follow-Through Is Vital

A strong onboarding program can have great results across the board, including reduced new employee anxiety, reduced employee turnover, time saved for the supervisor and HR, development of positive attitudes, and increased productivity. However, after spending all the time and money to get your onboarding program up and running,  you need to make sure that your program is effective — and that means collecting employee feedback.

As with any training, follow-through is vital to making sure an orientation meets the company’s progressing needs. For example: a website could offer a brief, five question survey focused on the Day One orientation.

Ten days later, the new hire could receive a link to a follow up survey that focuses on the depth, breadth, and content of the orientation process. As a part of this measured feedback, the survey should allow ample space for the new hire to provide information on what he or she would have liked to receive during the new employee orientation program.

Employee feedback can help you to discover what information was overlooked in your onboarding program, but it can also help you identify what information wasn’t needed. This feedback must then be incorporated into program improvements, and the process would continue from there, to keep your program fresh, relevant and effective

For details on how you can develop an orientation program that will meet your company’s needs, download our whitepaper, “Onboarding: Employee Orientation Beyond Sink or Swim.”

Updating Employee Training: Don’t Get Boxed In

While out-of-the-box solutions are appropriate for some instruction, such as software introductions, they are often so generic as to fail to engage the participant. Employees can come into your training situation with a wide range of previous experiences, knowledge, self-motivation, interests, and abilities, which can lead to frustration and boredom when the training seems irrelevant. So, improve your training by making sure it is need-specific. At a minimum, customize your training to show your company name and logo, and make sure the language is appropriate for your industry.

Remember that relevancy is king. If you provide generic ‘boxed’ training on how to be a good supervisor, but what your supervisors really need is specific knowledge about dealing with in-house union organizers, those supervisors will regard the training as a pointless waste of their time. Cut to the heart of what employees need with fully customized training. If your company isn’t sure what training is needed, survey employees to find out what gaps they have in their knowledge.

Custom video training resources that reflect your company’s unique attributes and needs can provide meaningful, entertaining and consistent instruction. Seeing their own company, their daily job functions and other relevant reminders on screen will encourage employees to take notice. It becomes clear that the company values them enough to make sure training has meaning beyond a checklist of employees who must complete it. Adult learning theory reminds us that employees need to agree that the training is related and relevant to their day-to-day activities, and video training can meet that need consistently.

Find out all the ways your company can benefit from custom training solutions by contacting Projections today!