Leveraging Digital Signage in Assisted Living Facilities

Assisted living facilities have a unique challenge: maintain a high quality of life for your residents while keeping an institution of people on the same page. Outstanding communication is key to making it all work.

When you’re trying to reach seniors as well as staff and family, finding opportunities to communicate with them passively and repeatedly is key to retention of important messages. Digital signage can be much more than just a TV in your lobby in retirement communities.

For example, your digital signage can showcase photos and videos of special moments – who doesn’t love to see themselves “on TV?” Your digital screens can also show the menu for your dining facilities, announcements, weather updates, upcoming events, important announcements, as well as local news updates.

Many assisted living facilities are large, some with multiple buildings, and getting a message quickly across is sometimes of the essence. With your digital signage, you are able to update your playlist or post an urgent announcement visible on all screens in a matter of seconds.

The nature of digital signage is that it repeats relevant information in a passive way. As we age, sometimes our ability to retain information from a conversation fades. The repetition of a message allows for all of your seniors to be reminded of an important message numerous times, as much as they may need. The highly visible nature of digital signage also allows for those even with reduced vision to read and engage.

We created Retriever Digital Signage as an optimal solution for those working in senior residential living, and we’d love to help you see how it might be of use to you. Schedule a free consult by clicking here, and together we can help you see where and how digital signage might be of use to you in communicating with your residents, family and staff.

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As the world works together to fight COVID-19, many workplaces have gone remote. But, for the companies that are still in their workplace, working hard to keep their businesses afloat, hygienic practices are key.

That’s why we created some slides to help you promote hand washing and healthful practices within your business.

You can load those slides up right away to your Retriever Digital Signage playlists by going to either the “What’s New” category in your Retriever playlist or to the “Health and Wellness” section of your Retriever slide deck.

The hand washing slide can be edited, but the Coronavirus slide cannot.

If we can help your business in any way through this difficult time, reach out – we’re here for you.

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Synchronizing Communication with Your Team

When your team is working across numerous locations, it can be hard to keep everyone on the same page. A strong communications strategy is vital so that, if an urgent change is needed, your team is able to pivot quickly and accurately.

In multi-location businesses, time spent transporting or shipping signage and keeping communications in sync can be a huge waste. An automated strategy that allows your business to instantly sync information across numerous locations and delivery methods is vital for a modern business.

Digital Signage

Digital signage is one way to quickly and visibly update information for your large company. It allows for instantaneous updates across numerous locations with minimal effort from your team.

Our digital signage solution, Retriever Digital Signage, was made with this in mind. Retriever can be updated from any internet-connected computer across numerous locations in a matter of moments.

Mass Texts

For urgent updates, enroll your team in a text update messaging service. This will ensure that they receive the information individually, though there are some drawbacks to this. For example, some team members may not have cell phones or not feel comfortable enrolling their phone number. Also, dropping past employees from the system can be cumbersome. Finally, if you don’t allow cell phone usage during their work hours, the message may be missed.

Email Updates

Email is pretty standard for most companies, but not every role has an employee at their computer throughout the day. Additionally, most email accounts get hundreds of emails each day, so it’s easy to get lost in the mix.

Daily Standup Meetings

Daily meetings can be helpful for keeping your team informed day to day. It allows for regular information delivery and can really help to keep everyone on the same page. That said, when something urgent pops up, it may be the next day until the information can be distributed.

We’d love to help your business be at the ready with live, up to the minute updates with our digital signage solution. Schedule a time for a free consult with one of our experts here.

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Great Communication for Human Resources Leaders

People spend most of their life at work. When you’re leading a team of employees in human resources, you have dozens or hundreds of people looking to you to make that life great.

Employees rely on their leaders to set the direction and lead the way. That’s why great communication is paramount for businesses, and in particular for leaders in human resources… and poor communication can lead to a lot of waste and frustration.

When you as an owner think about what your employees need in terms of communication, you probably think once is enough. As long as you say it clearly, the message ought to come across, however often it doesn’t. That can be frustrating for you, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Your time is valuable and you shouldn’t have to spend it repeating yourself, even if that’s what the people around you need. The keys to getting your team on the same page are repetition and diversified modes of communication.

Repetition is all based on the principle that we need to hear things approximately seven times before we’re able to make a decision based on that information. So, finding ways to automate that repetition is paramount.

However, simply repeating something the same way seven times isn’t going to do the trick. We need to experience a message in different ways for it to really sink in – think about how you can engage the senses and make sure that people are hearing, seeing and experiencing the message in different environments and places.

One way you can automate your communications is with good processes that build in repetition in multiple places. For example, you say it in a meeting, you recap it in an email, you save it in a document, and someone can reference back. The drawback there is that the burden is on the audience to seek it out.

We created a digital signage solution that automates repetition for you, repeating important announcements and messages on a playlist that you customize to your needs. By positioning your screens in key areas, your employees and customers are passively reminded of the important information, and you can move onto the next thing.

We actually created a guide to help you streamline your communications, and we’d love to share it with you for free. In it, you’ll learn skills and tools that will dramatically improve your communications internally –  Click here to download it free!

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The Biggest Red Flags of Poor Internal Communication

Most businesses struggle with communication at some point. In an age where strong communication skills are prized and we have numerous options for modes of communication, one would think we’d all be better at communicating.

In fact, most people think they’re doing a great job of communicating, when in fact their message isn’t really getting across effectively. There are some major red flags for any business that signal that communication internally is missing the mark.

Red Flag #1: Increased Conflict

When tension is in the air, communication issues are often the culprit. Conflict frequently arises in the workplace when expectations aren’t clearly outlined, and aren’t well met. So, if your company is experiencing a higher than normal level of conflict, re-examine how you’re communicating expectations and how you’re communicating disappointment with unmet expectations. Do your employees understand and remember what’s being asked of them? Are they able to pose questions? What sorts of questions do they have, and were they answered initially, or not? How could your process protect from misunderstandings or oversights in the future?

Red Flag #2: Changes are a Challenge

One of the simplest way to tell if you have a problem with communication is by evaluating your business’s ability to implement change. When you roll out a new procedure or initiative, how nimble is your team? Teams that communicate well are able to have productive meetings that result in actionable steps towards change. However, when a team doesn’t communicate well, change can be doubly hard.

If you’ve held staff meetings and sent memos about process changes and you’re still not seeing a shift, the problem is likely not your employees’ willingness to change (though, as we all know, change can be hard for some!), it’s the frequency of reminders about the change. Businesses that communicate exceptionally are finding ways to place passive reminders in the line of sight of their employees as they’re completing the tasks involved in the new process.

Red Flag #3: Errors Everywhere

If your team is making a lot of mistakes, either they don’t understand the process or they are being lazy about executing it. Communication is at the center of both possible realities. For example, if they’re feeling lazy, why have they become complacent? Are they burnt out? Do they enjoy the work? Do they like the culture of your workplace?

If they’re not understanding the process, then perhaps the mode of communicating it and the ability to check their work has some gaps. Or, perhaps, the process is a broken one that needs reimagined. Giving your employees a voice and a mode of communicating that is key.

Whatever your communication problem, we’d love to help. We wrote a book filled with strategies to dramatically improve your communication, and we’d love to give it to you, free. Just click here to download the communication guide.

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Training for Success

Onboarding new employees well can be key to their success at your company longterm. But, more often than not we follow the same tired process we’ve always used, with diminishing returns.

Odds are, your company isn’t doing a great job onboarding your employees. In fact, a recent Gallup study found that only 12% of employees say that their company do a great job of onboarding new employees… meaning 88% of companies have room to grow!

Yet, great employee onboarding can improve employee retention by 82%. If something made you 82% more likely to retain your employees, what wouldn’t you be willing to do?

So, what do you do?

First, it’s important to realize that when a new employee starts in your company, they’re not only learning their role, they’re learning your company. The quantity of new information they receive within their first few weeks is extreme, and it can feel intense to process through it all. Trying to remember facts and details, processes and procedures, as well as names and navigation can be overwhelming and exhausting for a new employee.

We can all take a page from educators when we approach our employee onboarding. Educators know that two things help students to learn more than any other: differentiation and repetition.

Differentiation means that you teach the same principle through a number of learning modalities and experiences, meeting the student where they are. So, for example, if you were teaching someone how to conjugate a verb in French, you might speak it, write it, use a jingle to remember the conjugations, post visual reminders and utilize a game to teach the same concept.

Repetition simply means that most people take more than one review of something to remember it. Think about that couple you met a few weeks ago – what was his wife’s name again? She told you… but you didn’t retain it, because you only heard it once. But, if they become your friend on social media and you see their name a couple of times, you’ll remember it the next time you run into them.

As you onboard, consider ways you can differentiate your training and incorporate repetition into the process. We think that leveraging your company’s digital signage is one perfect way to accomplish both of these things approaches. By utilizing highly visual reminders, your employees can benefit from a visually engaging learning modality. Perhaps you upload a video to your digital signage and entertain while you educate, or perhaps you detail basic procedure instructions as a reminder for all.

Repetition is inherent in digital signage playlists, which allows your employees to passively be reminded without the embarrassment of having to ask the obvious questions. Find ways to bring visual reminders of training you’ve already completed and you’ll differentiate as you repeat!

The faster your employees onboard with success, the stronger they’ll begin to feel in their roles. We’d love to help you better communicate with all your employees – download our Human Resources Guide to Communication today to get started.

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Your Bulletin Board is Broken

Here’s the deal: the bulletin board is an outdated solution to a very real, very current problem. You need to get the word out to your team about important, detailed information. But, we all know that it’s not working – people walk right past it without ever stopping to read the critical info hanging on it.

If you’re thinking, “We’ve always done it this way. Why do we need to change?” The short answer is: the world changed and we all have to change with it, or be left behind.

Doing what you’ve always done will only get diminishing results in a digital age. Paper and static signage have their place, but they’re most effective for things that don’t need to capture attention. Long-standing employment policies, employment posters, resources that don’t change – these are the things that belong on your bulletin board.

Finding a way to get your message across in a highly visible way is key. A great solution for this is digital signage. People can visually engage with a TV screen passively, not even realizing they’re paying attention. We’ve all done it, and it works. And, beyond that, it’s the most effective way to get your message across because people are more likely to remember things they see over things they hear.

Moreover, digital signage is replicable – meaning, you can have ten or a hundred identical (or varying!) screens strategically placed throughout multiple locations, all updated from one computer, anywhere with an internet connection. So, your message can get across to numerous locations at once with a click of a button, and be repeated for people to latch onto most easily.

Your bulletin board can’t hold a candle to that, not on its best day.

If you’d like to chat about how digital signage might be an effective solution for your business, we’d love to help. We created Retriever Digital Signage as the premiere, user-friendly, no nonsense solution for any business’s signage needs, whether they’re trying to communicate to their employees, customers, or both!

Click here to set up a free consult and we’ll help you, at the very least, discover how digital signage might be a useful tool for your company.

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Reaching Your Customers Where They Are

There may be nothing worse you can say to a marketer than, “Oh, I had no idea!” Marketing and communications is all about getting your internal message out externally to the right people in the right way.

While there are more communication platforms than ever, it’s harder than ever to get your message across effectively. When you’re in the pit of frustration because your customers just aren’t getting it, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy:

Are you assuming your customers know something you haven’t told them?

It’s easy to assume people know what you know. In fact it can be hard to check your blind spots and look at your internal assumptions objectively. Market research can be tremendously helpful in identifying these blindspots, and once they’re identified, course correction is a breeze.

Have you told your customers enough?

Repetition is the mother of all studies… and it’s also the key to effective communication. Most people need to hear something seven times before they’re ready to take action. But, as marketers, that can be easy to forget when we feel like the message has been communicated effectively.

Are you putting your message out where they’re most likely to interact with it?

Visibility is essential to great communication. If you can’t see the stop sign at the intersection, you’re just going to keep going (at your own peril). Finding ways to make sure your signage is in a clear and natural line of sight is key!

Are you delivering your message in a way that they’re receptive to?

The best communication in the world doesn’t mean a thing if it’s not delivered in the format the audience naturally engages with naturally. Finding places to come alongside our customers and deliver a message where it will add to their experience, not interrupt, is key.

 

If you’re in need of more effective communication in your business, we can help. Click here to sign up for a 15-minute call, on which we’ll help you inventory your communications methods and strategies, help you to better understand your target audience, and pinpoint some strategies for addressing the problems.

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Holistic Human Resources: Creating an Employee-Centric Culture

In any size company, those leading the team are playing a dual game: build the best customer experience you possibly can in order to be highly profitable AND create a culture that employees deeply love their jobs. Great leaders know that those two tasks are actually intertwined, but it can be easy to place a greater focus on your customers than your employees.

Teams that are able to retain and highly engage their employees are able to deliver incredible customer experiences and higher quality products and services – the company becomes a well-oiled machine.

One of the best ways to do this is to approach your human resources holistically. Thinking about your processes and your people all at once. Is the process effective AND is it enjoyable for the employee? What stresses the team out and how can we make changes that are in our employees best interest, even if it means we produce slightly fewer widgets per hour?

Your employees are human beings in your care as a company leader. In your role, y0u desire to feel effective, a sense of purpose, a sense of community, safe, and appreciated. If you’re leading in your company, you have the power to create an environment in which you would also thrive as an employee.

Effectivity

When you’re doing a job, you want to know you’re doing it well. In addition to employee reviews, what other ways can you help someone to know they’re doing the job correctly and thoroughly? Can you deploy opportunities for self-reflection, process checklists, or debriefs to simply give your employees opportunities to answer the question: “Am I doing the job well?”

Purpose

Some jobs feel menial compared to the bigger mission of the company, but it takes an entire team to do the work. How are you communicating the impact of your work on the end user to the front lines of your team? Are you telling the story of your mission in action well? Are you sharing customer testimonials and the deeper impact of your work with your team on a regular, repeated basis? Cranking out widgets feels meaningless, but creating a safe vehicle in which families bond, create memories, and propel their life forward feels purposeful.

Community

We spend the majority of our lives at work, so it is critical that people have space to form relationship and feel a part of a tribe at work. Carving out space for social and relational opportunities injects a quality of life into your business and gives your people a better life.

Safety

Your team should feel safe both physically and emotionally. Physical safety is often our focus, but finding ways to define safety not only as a place where one “avoids injury” but as a place where one is able to be themselves without fear. The only way to do this is to be intentional about embracing the individuals on your team and allowing them to fail, and learn from their mistakes.

Appreciation

Your employees earn their paycheck. They give their time and skill in exchange for money. That’s all you owe them. So, what happens when you go beyond that to tell them how valuable they are, regularly? What happens when that relationship moves beyond its transactional nature into a relational one? We encourage you to find out.

We would love to advise your HR team on ways they can better create an employee-centric culture. Book some time with us (free of charge!) and throw your toughest questions at us.

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Keep Your Eye on the Prize

One of the greatest challenges you have as you lead your team is to keep the entire team pulling together in the same direction. Team leaders – business owners, human resources professionals, managers – address this challenge in a myriad of ways.

Many teams have adopted the principal of setting SMART goals at intentional planning sessions – perhaps a retreat, annual meeting, or maybe as part of a rhythm of team meetings. SMART goals are goals that are “Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.”

Once your team determines a goal, however, your next challenge as a team leader is to keep your team focused on the goal as you resume your regular rhythms and routines. It can be hard to prioritize bigger picture goals over daily workload, after all, so finding the right mix of keeping the team focused without becoming pesky is key.

The key, in our opinion, is to build in active and passive reminders to your team to keep them focused on the goal. You can do this a number of ways:

Regular Check In

Build a goal check in on a periodic basis to your regular staff meetings. It will bring that goal front and center and feel non-confrontational.

Build in Visual Reminders

Track your progress to your goal visually, and put it in the line of vision of your team. If you have Retriever Digital Signage in your workplace, the thermometer tool is a perfect way to visually show your progress week to week. Here’s how to set that up:

Celebrate When You Succeed

A team that celebrates success is more motivated to continue to achieve success on future goals. Finding a way to celebrate achieving your goals – even if it’s just with an “atta’ boy” – will secure future buy in on your next goals.

We’d love to help you troubleshoot your company’s goals and help your team achieve new successes – set up a free consult, and we’d love to give you some free guidance.

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