The Solution for Frustration in the Workplace

We’ve all been there. The problems aren’t big, but they’re frequent and persistent. Each day, you head home feeling irritable, exhausted, and drained. When the road is bumpy with you team, frustration is an emotion that can overtake not just you, but your entire culture.

Frustration in the workplace is a symptom of a bigger problem, and if not dealt with, it can be a breeding ground for new problems like burnout, broken relationships, and high turnover.

How do you know if frustration is pervasive in your business? Why do some periods of time in your workplace cause higher frustration than others? Why does it matter? How do you nip it in the bud?

If your company has a problem with workplace frustration, you may begin to notice your team exhibiting the following behaviors:

  • Decreased motivation
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Decreased productivity
  • Cynicism

If you’re a leader at your company in Human Resources, management, or a small business owner, you may be tempted to blame the employee for their bad attitude. But, you hired them for a reason and something has soured; as their leader, it’s on you to figure out how what’s the root cause of their frustration.

Many things can contribute to frustration among your employees: stressful seasons with higher than usual output expectations; upside-down work/life balance; lack of financial incentives; unfair treatment; bad processes; lacking opportunities for professional growth… but the number one contributing factor to employee frustration is poor communication.

Communication is a two-way street. Your employees need to hear from you and gain understanding about systems, processes, intentionality behind decisions (especially when it comes to changes), your appreciation of them, and of the successes your company is experiencing. And, your employees need to feel heard and that their input matters to those leading them.

When businesses aren’t communicating effectively, frustration is a guarantee. When communication is open, frequent and clear, even when small conflicts arise, they can quickly be resolved.

Effective communication requires intentionality, strategy, and persistence – but that doesn’t mean it needs to be time consuming or difficult.

If you’d like to learn more about how to communicate more effectively with your employees, check out our free downloadable Human Resources Guide to Effective Communication, in which you’ll find dozens of great tools and strategies for upgrading your internal communications. Click here to get the eBook free in your inbox.

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5 Ways to Encourage Your Employees

We’ve all been there. The workload is heavy, the work feels monotonous, and going to work just feels like a slog. When you’re in a funk, you need something to disrupt the daily grind, something that helps you remember why you’re there in the first place.

Disheartened, tired employees need their leaders to step into their doldrums and remind them why they’re there. But, for managers, it can be really challenging to step out of the day-to-day to remember how much their employee’s emotions about their work matters to them… until it becomes a problem.

The reality is, employee engagement makes a dramatic difference in not only your employee’s performance, but your whole business’s. According to a 2018 Gallup study:

“Organizations that are the best in engaging their employees achieve earnings-per-share growth that is more than four times that of their competitors. Compared with business units in the bottom quartile, those in the top quartile of engagement realize substantially better customer engagement, higher productivity, better retention, fewer accidents, and 21% higher profitability. Engaged workers also report better health outcomes.”

Taking small steps towards employee engagement is a worthy pursuit, not only for the good of your employees, but for the good of your business.

One really simple way to plant seeds of change with your employees is to simply focus on encouraging them. Here are a few ideas that take nothing but a little bit of effort:

Intentionally tell people what they’re doing well, when they’re doing it.

The “no news is good news” adage is simply unhelpful when it comes to managing a business. Even when the worst employees start a new job, they feel hopeful that this will be a fresh start in which they will achieve and perform well and become the person they’ve always wanted to be. The vast majority of people are trying their best, so when you see them doing well, take the time to tell them specifically what they’re doing well and celebrate that. A little bit of praise will go a long way to motivating them to do more and be better every day, in hopes of maybe earning a little more praise.

Place encouraging messages in unexpected places.

If your team is hustling underneath a heavy workload, motivation is key! Finding ways to place encouraging and uplifting messages that let them know their hard work is appreciated and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel of the heavier workload can go a long way to shifting attitudes and increasing overall contentment in the workplace.

Demonstrate empathy.

Maybe what’s dragging your team down has nothing to do with the workplace, but has to do with their lives outside of the workplace. Maybe they’re struggling with their health, addiction, finances, relationships, etc. The reality is, whether or not it’s ideal, they bring all of that with them when they come to work and their energy will be spent on the thing that is the highest priority to them. Being empathetic when an employee is struggling and finding ways to meet them where they are puts them on the same team with you, not at odds and will foster not only a deeper level of engagement during both tough and great seasons, but a deep sense of loyalty.

Show them the why.

If your employees are behind the scenes, it can be easy to forget the purpose behind the work they’re doing. Telling the stories of end users, the people whose lives are better because of the work they’re doing right now, is critical to employee engagement. Otherwise, you’re just cranking out widgets, not creating the parts that become the vehicle that will transport a family for years of their life.

Track your goals… and celebrate the victories.

Visualizing progress and feeling a sense of accomplishment go a long way to promote buy-in from your team. If you’re performing the same tasks day after day, it can be hard to motivate yourself to do more and be better than you were the day before. But, when you see the team pulling together in the same direction towards a goal, it can change the game and give you something to work towards.


If you’re looking for more ideas and strategies for promoting engagement in your workplace, we’d love to help. Click here to download an eBook full of ideas for creating a culture of engagement in your business, our gift to you!

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Four Ways to Optimize Your Digital Signage

Whether you’re new to digital signage or you’ve had it for awhile, there may be opportunity for simple improvements that will dramatically increase your success in getting your message across to the people who need it most.

After all, you installed digital signage because you wanted to improve the impact of your message in your business. But, the realities of running a business can sometimes mean that your digital signage is not at the forefront of your mind as long as it isn’t causing a problem.

Finding small, simple ways to optimize your digital signage is a worthwhile endeavor, and will save you time and money when your people receive and understand the message you’re trying to get across!

Keep it fresh!

One of the worst things you can do when you have digital signage is to allow it to get stale – but it happens to the best of us! Finding ways to keep content current, relevant and interesting is the biggest factor in keeping your audience focused.

Our digital signage solution, Retriever, comes with trivia, weather, social feeds, and news updates for this very reason! When you pull in fresh and interesting content all the time, your signage will never be stale.

Utilize video and animation

If you’re using your digital signage like a static sign, you’re not tapping into the power of these tools! Your screen has the power to be eye-catching simply through the utilization of video and animation as your message is delivered.

Take advantage of templates

Not everyone is a graphic designer, nor do they need to be. When you’re setting up your digital signage playlist, try mixing in a variety of templates. Keeping a mix of colors and layouts will keep your viewers’ eyes engaged and ensures that you’re not over-filling your slides with too much text.

Location, location, location

Consider the placement of your screens. If it seems like people are still not catching the message, you might need more or you might need to think about where they’re placed throughout your business. If the viewer has to put forth any effort to engage with the screen because it’s too hard to see for any reason, you need either another sign or a new placement.


We love to help people communicate more effectively using digital signage, and we’d love to help you! Click here to set up a free call and let’s get started.

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Retriever Digital Signage

Your business needs to do a better job communicating with your employees and customers, there’s no question. Communication is one of the biggest struggles many businesses face, and one great way to combat poor communication is with great digital signage.

If you’re already using digital signage or you’ve made the decision to get digital signage, you know how effective it is at drawing the eye and keeping people engaged – far outpacing static signage in your business. Simply put, people love to look at screens!

But, not all digital signage is created equally. If you’re considering purchasing digital signage for the first time, or replacing the system you currently use, there are several features that you will want to be familiar with before making a decision.

Auto-Sync Across Unlimited Locations

One of the key benefits of using digital signage is the fact that you can update your signage across numerous locations at once. However, if you’re using an in-house solution like a thumb drive or PowerPoint, you’ll face the challenge of having to update each screen individually. Being able to update from anywhere with web-based digital signage software is key!

Automated Content

When it comes to digital signage, there’s one important trick that will make or break your success in communicating with your employees & customers: automated content. When content is fresh every single time they look at the screen, they’re more likely to engage. The moment it becomes outdated, though, you’re training people to disengage. Look for signage with the ability to pull in your social posts, trivia, local news, and weather for automated, relevant content.

Instant Updates

When it’s time to make a change, you shouldn’t have to wait! Updates shouldn’t have to be scheduled out – though, the ability to schedule when you want to is another key feature worth looking for. When you click publish, you should see it on your digital signs without wasting your time waiting.

Emergency Alert Capabilities

We live in a time where every business needs to think about what they would do in the case of an emergency. Being able to override your playlist on your digital signage with an emergency alert that instantly syncs to all of your screens, no matter where they are, could  save lives when it counts the most.

Easy-to-Use Templates

Chances are, you’re not a graphic designer. And, if you have a graphic designer, odds are good they have a full workload. Your digital signage needs to be usable by anyone at any time, and that’s why customizable templates are such an important feature.


We created Retriever Digital Signage with all of these features, and many more, because it’s important to us to see our customers succeed at communicating more effectively. If you’re thinking about digital signage for your business, we created this Digital Signage Comparison Chart to help you make an informed decision. Click here to download!

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Trouble Communicating with Your Students?

We live in a digital age. No one is more aware of that truth than educators, who face the challenge of communicating with students who would rather be looking at their devices than their history lecture.

The reality is, times have changed, but it can be hard for schools to keep up with limited budgets and outdated solutions. One of the biggest frustrations educators face is keeping students clued in about the awesome opportunities available to their students in an ever-cluttered landscape of information.

The most effective schools have figured out how to overcome their communications crisis with strategy that fits the needs of a 21st century student. Those schools meet the student where they are, grab their attention, and keep it.

Meet Students Where They Are

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Stop fighting against the screens and engage with your students on screen. The reality is, your students are more likely to look at things that are well-lit, colorful, and visually appealing. So, wherever you find screens – whether it’s your website or your TV screens – take advantage of the space and get the word out about the things that really matter.

Grab Their Attention

The research is consistent: video is 9 times more effective than text when it comes to communication. That’s why you see video everywhere – it works. So, if you want to grab the attention of your students, leverage the power of video any way you can!

Keep Their Attention

It’s human nature to ignore irrelevant information. We don’t feel compelled to read a book we’ve already read, and we walk past posters we’ve already read. Which means that, if there’s something really important that you want to get across, you have to keep your content fresh and give people a reason to pay attention, every day.

We created a digital signage solution that’s ideal for communicating with your students and affordable for schools. Built on a web-based system, Retriever Digital Signage can be updated from anywhere at anytime and syncs automatically wherever it’s installed.

Whether or not Retriever is the ideal solution for your business, we’d love to help you solve some of your communications challenges in your school – click here to schedule a free communications consultation with Jay Miller, one of our owners.

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Is your workspace sparking joy? Retriever Digital Signage

On average, people spend 1/3 of their entire lives at work – that’s about 90,000 hours!  The aesthetic of your space and the health of your workplace culture directly impact the quality of life of your employees. Is your workplace sparking joy… or despair?

The health of a workplace and its employees can be impacted by big and small decisions. The reality is, we often spend a lot of time and energy on the big things that can be difficult to change, when small changes can go a long way to improve the overall enjoyment your employees will get from being in your workplace.

For example, a big change like changing the lighting of your building can be costly and difficult to implement. But, allowing employees to utilize lamps in their office is a small and effective way to create a more inviting space where your employees enjoy spending time.

With your team, answer these questions with a rating from 1-5, (1 being Not At All and 5 being Always):

  • Do we have artwork in our employee spaces?
  • Do we have visually appealing signage?
  • Is our seating comfortable?
  • Do we have ample seating?
  • Is our lighting soft?
  • Do people know about upcoming events?
  • Is the temperature comfortable?
  • Can people personalize their spaces with photos/artwork?
  • Can we make procedural changes quickly/easily?
  • Is our space safe?
  • Are reminders easily visible throughout the workplace?
  • Are there pleasant smells in our workplace?
  • Are there appealing sounds in our workplace?
  • Is there a simple, easy way to make announcements to the team?
  • Are our employees engaged at their workstations?
  • Do our employees feel a sense of belonging at work?

For any question you answered 3 or below, spend some time brainstorming ways you can improve that aspect of your workplace in small, accessible ways. Often, we’re blinded to the problems until we spend some time reflecting on the various elements, when change may be well within our power.

As a digital signage company, we’ve created one solution for businesses to help with the visual appeal, communication, and employee engagement. It’s a tool called Retriever, and it’s a simple-to-use, visually engaging digital signage solution ideal for both internal and external communication.

If you’re experiencing frustrations with some of the things on this list, we’d love to help you come up with some fresh ideas for sparking joy in your business, as well as help you figure out if Retriever is a good option for your team. Click here to schedule a free consult with an expert.

You can learn a little more about Retriever by watching this video:

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Retriever Digital Signage Happy Employees Don't Leave

As the creators of Retriever Digital Signage, we work with an array of businesses who are using digital signage to get their message across to a number of audiences, in a number of ways. But, when we look at our customer base, we see a major trend of people for whom Retriever has been a lifesaver: Human Resources Managers.

For people in the human resources field, Retriever has been an ideal solution for quickly and easily keeping their team informed and engaged with live, up-to-the minute information across numerous locations with very little effort from the Human Resources team.

Here are just nine ways that we have seen our digital signage solution help the human resources professionals we’re working with:

Welcome Guests and Visitors

When you have guests in your workplace, make them feel important from the moment they enter the door! We’ve had clients tell us that people ask to take a picture with the screen showing their name – how awesome is that?

Introduce Your Team

When you’re starting a new position, it can be challenging to learn all the names of the key people you need to know. Introduce your team in a way that’s passive for your employees to absorb as they learn their new job, without the embarrassment of having to ask people to remind them of their names.

Promote Wellness and Safety Information

When it comes to safety and wellness for your employees, you can’t be too communicative. But, new procedures and policies can be challenging to enact, especially if your team is large. Rather than frustrating memos and meetings, keep your team reminded using your digital signage and save yourself the time of repeating things over and over!

Engage People with News, Trivia & Weather

The biggest error people make with both static and digital signage is not keeping their content fresh. When the same content repeats endlessly, everyone tunes it out. But, when there’s always something current and relevant on your signage, it keeps people engaged. Retriever comes with auto-updating trivia, weather, and local news built in! All you have to do is add the slide to your playlist – then your content will stay fresh every day!

Celebrate Company Goals

Working towards a goal together? Track your progress and celebrate it with your Retriever screens throughout your space!

Celebrate Birthdays

When your team is large, it can be a challenge to show your team that you value them individually. A quick win is to celebrate their birthdays – but the larger your team, the more of a challenge that becomes! With Retriever, you can easily celebrate employee birthdays and schedule them out for the entire year!

Celebrate Wins

Speaking of celebration, celebrate EVERYTHING! Celebration breaks up the monotony and reminds people that what they’re doing matters. Small and big wins are celebrated easily using digital signage – just add a slide to your playlist to spark a smile!

Showcase Customer Feedback

When you’re not customer-facing, it can be hard to keep your end-user at the top of mind. Regularly showcasing customer feedback is an effective strategy to keep your team pulling in the same direction and feeling a sense of purpose in their work.

Keep Your Team Informed, Up to Date, and Happy

There are limitless ways to utilize digital signage to communicate with your team, with your own creativity your only boundary. Whatever you do with your Retriever screens, it will immediately improve your ability to keep your team informed, up to date, and happy – and that’s the way to create a culture of engagement on your team.

Whether or not you’re ready for digital signage in your workplace, we’d love to give you a helpful resource for communicating more effectively with your team. We have created this white paper as a manifesto of the importance of effective communication for human resources managers. Click here to download it for free, and we’ll follow up with you to see how we can help you brainstorm some great solutions for your workplace.

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Communications Gaps: Why They're Happening

Every business faces issues with communication at some point. As technology changes, and time passes, it’s easy to think we’re communicating better than ever, when in fact we’re barely getting the message across in an environment constantly cluttering peoples’ attention with notifications and messaging.

HR professionals, business owners, operations managers – you see it every day. You are dealing with problems, preventable errors, frustrations, conflict… and it’s wasting a ton of time.

We get it. As communication experts, we help our clients through these challenges and we’ve seen some common reasons why these problems emerge. In fact, there are three things that seem to be contributing to communication gaps in businesses just like yours:

1. You aren’t capturing their attention.
While there are more ways to communicate with your team than ever before, you also have more competition for their attention. People get hundreds of notifications every day from their devices and are often operating on information overload. When that’s the case, it can be hard to figure out which messages are the ones that deserve our attention.

This problem tends to be most glaring in industries that are still using paper bulletin boards and memos to try to get the word out. In the digital age, the data suggests you simply have to be highly visible and digital to grab someone’s eye. [OAAA]

2. You’re only saying something once.
Because the communication landscape is flooded, repetition is critical to getting out a message. A lot of the failure in this process seems to stem primarily from a lack of automation.

3. You’re not communicating in a memorable way.
Our brain responds differently to visually captivating imagery than it does to static text. Study after study reveals this conclusion: in almost every corporate setting, to communicate properly you need to leverage the power of visuals and tell your story with words and images or video.

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t have to be this way!

You don’t have to be spending your time retracing your steps to address communication gaps. You can do better – your business can be better.

We actually have a lot to say on this matter – so much so, in fact, that we wrote an entire manifesto on the matter. This white paper outlines why communication gaps are so prevalent, what’s contributing to them in your business, and – most importantly – what you can do about it.

And, you can access it for free right here, simply because we want to see your business communicate better – no strings attached.

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Make Your Employees Happy

The HR landscape has changed a lot over the last decade. Thanks to modern technology and improvements in communication, the job of the HR representative has transitioned into a role far more concerned with recruitment, retention, and shaping the culture of the business itself.

As a result, the HR representative, more now than ever, is tasked with keeping employees fulfilled. The demands to meet employee satisfaction metrics are at historic highs.

Do a Google search on employee satisfaction metrics, though, and one thing becomes clear. Satisfaction is a HUGE deal. And honestly, employee satisfaction is a major consideration. If employees aren’t satisfied, they will leave.

But that’s not the whole story. Let’s take a step back.

What if employee satisfaction is just the start. What if we could go to the next step. What if we could actually make our employees HAPPY?

Sounds good, right? But, there’s a step in between. One that isn’t surmountable without a clear plan. Plus, sad to say, happiness is the end result, not the goal.

Satisfaction is good. Happiness is great. But to get there there’s only one clear path. To get to “employee happiness” you should be targeting your efforts toward “employee engagement.”

Happiness only occurs when your employees are engaged. Engagement is the goal. Why? Because employees who have thrown their hearts and minds into the mix are unlikely to leave since they’ve bought in at levels far deeper than just showing up and collecting a paycheck.

But, where do you start when it comes to getting your employees engaged—and happy?

We’d like to help. We created this ebook to help HR reps, just like you, to create a culture of engagement among their teams. And, we’d like to give it to you for free! Just click here to download it and take away seven great ideas to foster happiness among your employees – and keep them around longer!

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Your business needs to communicate more effectively. Whether you’re trying to get the message across to your team or to your customers, improving your communication can solve a lot of problems you’re experiencing every day.

Improving your signage is one terrific way to solve a communications crisis. When you add digital signage to your business, you create a more visible, visually appealing message that draws the eye and communicates in a way that builds understanding and comprehension among your audience.

At Retriever, we’re all about helping people communicate more effectively. For 35 years, our business has been in service of helping people and businesses to communicate well, leveraging modern technology in service of great communication.

As the world changes, so does communication. Eyes are simply more drawn to screens than static signage in the digital world. If you want to get your message across, the first thing that you have to do is catch someone’s attention. We created Retriever as a solution that is visually appealing and content-rich, auto-updating with fresh and interesting content so that it is eye-catching and engaging for anyone within view.

The reality is, there are many solutions to the communication problems you might be having, but we’ve done our best to make sure that Retriever is the most feature-rich and user friendly option on the market. That said, as you consider your options you might be asking yourself what the alternatives are.

So, we thought it would be helpful to break down some of the key features of signage solutions on the market for you in this downloadable comparison chart. If you’re weighing your options, click the button below.

Check Out the Signage Comparison Chart

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