Marlin's Workplace Communications Blog. Current human resources topics like safety, quality and health. Digital signage and communications technology. The Marlin Company offers turnkey Workplace Digital Signage Systems, Electronic Bulletin Boards and Digital Signage Content Management Software.
With the recent increase in OSHA fines and with fatal work injuries surpassing 5,000 for the first time in almost a decade, developing a robust workplace safety culture has never been more critical.
Building safety culture was front and center last month when EHS thought leaders and safety professionals gathered in Houston for the 2018 NSC Congress and EXPO. They zeroed in on the need to make safety a personal issue, and they addressed several key themes that today’s companies need to recognize to meet the demand for a safe and compliant workplace: visual literacy, employee involvement, bridging the generational divide, and confronting the opioid epidemic. As a leader in workplace safety communications, Marlin has been at the forefront of helping employers tackle these tough issues. Here are the 5 lessons from the 2018 NSC Congress and Expo to enhance your safety culture:
Do your employees remember yesterday’s Tool Box Talk? Will they recognize a hazard when they see it? Providing consistent, easy-to-understand visual messaging to employees will not only help increase visual literacy but will also give a fresh spin on workplace safety training.
What fuels the passion for safety in your facility? Healthy safety culture depends on employees understanding risks on the emotional level. Getting employees to feel passionate about safety through regular communication will lead to a more engaged, safe, and healthy workplace.
Does your workforce span generations? A “new language” that both Millennials and Baby Boomers understand can help you bridge the generational divide. Communicating through bite-sized messaging that resonates with all employees is vital in a safe and compliant workplace.
Effective communication of difficult topics is crucial, especially when it comes to critical issues in the workplace, such as fatigue and the opioid crisis. This “whole person” approach will also help your employees carry the same safety awareness beyond work, into the off hours.
New Technologies in Workplace Safety
No matter the size and reach of your company, new technologies are making an immediate impact on the workplace. Companies are now adopting new technology ranging from mobile safety apps to virtual reality as old bulletin boards are making way for digital signage as a core tool for employee communications.
Start Your Journey to a Safe & Engaging Workplace
As a leader in workplace communication Marlin delivers content that is current, issue-aware, visually compelling and easy to understand. In your daily journey toward a safe and engaging workplace, we are a partner that walks in-step with both the unique demands of your company and the overall industry trends. Find out how workplace digital signage can help keep your workplace safe and compliant.
According to data just released by the State of Obesity website, obesity rates among teens aged 12 to 19 have quadrupled, from 5% to 20.6% since 1980. These kids are your future employees.
Of course, that really shouldn’t be any surprise, given that the obesity rate among adults is 40% according to the CDC. Obesity dramatically increases preventable health problems like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and many cancers. The medical costs for these are $147 billion a year or about $1,400 per person higher than those of normal weight.
Stopping the Trend
How can this be prevented? The two core pillars of obesity prevention that first come to mind are healthy eating and active living, i.e., diet and exercise. We’ve known that for years, so why does the problem continue to get worse? I think it’s because we live in an age of prosperity. We have machines and appliances to do most of the physical work our ancestors used to do. Food is everywhere. Whether in giant supermarkets, vending machines, and $1 menus at fast food joints, it’s too easy to consume way more calories than anyone needs.
This current trend of easily accessible food also applies to the workplace. With the average American working 44 hours per week, I think employees are more inclined to pick something up for lunch based on convenience and limited free time during the day. With a busy schedule and plethora of options, what can you do as a company to influence a healthy workplace?
Companies can do a lot. Here at Marlin we promote healthy living through advice we publish on our digital signage. Here are 3 main strategies we use to influence a healthy lifestyle at work:
Take a Walk
Taking walks periodically throughout the day not only helps you get some exercise, it can also be a nice mental break from a hectic workday.
Get a Yearly Physical
Everyone might think that they’re relatively healthy, but no one actually knows until they visit their doctor. Offering incentives for employees to take a yearly physical through health insurance will erase any doubt of their current health condition and give them extra guidance for living a healthy lifestyle. Not only will this create a healthy and happier workplace, it also helps keep health insurance costs down for everyone.
Engage and Inform Employees
Just as your doctor gives you an actionable plan for a healthy lifestyle, you can extend similar messages and information to all employees in your company. Informing employees of events like daily group walks or giving quick health tips throughout the day will help your employees create a healthy daily routine that can be used for years to come.
Start Thinking About Your Future Employees Today
These are long-term goals-ones I think every company should be doing. Much of the healthy-living content that we display is the same stuff our customers see when they subscribe to our digital signage product. Marlin can definitely help you with your health & wellness communications. Contact us to find out how.
As the unemployment rate goes down, employers are facing a new challenge: an increase in employee complaints about perceived safety and health issues. In best-case scenarios, employees are taking their concerns to managers and supervisors, but, in many cases, employees are going directly to their union representatives or OSHA.
Travis Vance, partner at the employment law firm Fisher Phillips, reports that his firm is seeing a rise in hazard and whistleblower complaints. During a recent EHSToday webinar, Vance explained that employees are emboldened to complain because they know they’re a valuable commodity; other workers aren’t lining up to take their place and there are plenty of other jobs available.
On the one hand, increased employee advocacy is a great thing for building a strong safety culture. On the other hand, a rise in investigations and inspections can have costly implications for employers.
In this era of increased complaints, here are just two of the many ways that Marlin can help employers mitigate their risk:
1. Encourage proper employee feedback
Why wait until you’ve got a disgruntled, or worse—injured—employee? Use Marlin’s digital signage solution to reach employees across all properties and shifts, remind them that their voice matters, and point them to the right person to share their feedback. Then, easily share any changes resulting from the feedback with all employees, creating a feedback loop that continually strengthens your safety culture.
2. Reinforce proper safety behavior
You’ve got the standard training programs set up, but who’s taking on the daunting task of reinforcing the training on a daily basis? Marlin’s industry-specific content is created by OSHA-certified professionals, and our daily, bite-sized messages reinforce best practices and proper employee behavior for your industry. In fact, in a recent survey, 90% of Marlin customers reported that Marlin covers important workplace issues, and 84% reported that Marlin’s content increases employee awareness of safety issues.
Let Marlin help you get out in front of employee complaints. Protect yourself and your employees by contacting us today.
Whether you manage an office of 20 employees or you oversee a corporation with thousands of workers, communicating is always one of the biggest challenges. It is effective communication that makes the exceptional leaders rise above the good ones, and it is a technique that can make your entire workplace run smoother.
However, communicating in a way that gets your message across while making sure that message is retained is easier said than done. It takes clear messaging and some creativity. Here are 10 effective workplace communication tips you can start using today to see a more productive, peaceful, and healthy work environment tomorrow:
While there is certainly a place for one-on-one meetings, when all of your employees feel like they are privy to the important details, it will help them feel like their opinion matters.
Open Up the Conversation
In order to truly be communicating, the conversation needs to be two-ways. Make sure you are creating a welcoming environment where people feel like it’s okay to respond.
When you are relaying a message to a group, you need to make sure you use language that everybody understands. When you use large words that not everybody knows, you can easily be misunderstood.
Integrate Visual Aids
When someone sees something, they are much more likely to remember it, which is why you should try to use visual aids and/or presentations as a creative workplace communication technique.
Demonstrate What You Mean
Whether you are teaching a new sales technique or relaying a safety message, you will see much better results if you lead by example. Act out your message so your employees can see exactly what you mean instead of just trying to interpret your words for themselves.
Get to the Point
Nobody wants to sit there and listen to you say the same thing over and over. Make sure you are getting your message across in a succinct way, so you can hold their attention.
Tie in Humor
Just because you are at work doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to laugh. If you can find a professional way to bring some humor into your communication, you will make your message much more memorable.
It seems simple enough, but you would be surprised how many managers simply cannot articulate what they are trying to say in a clear way. Make sure you are not one of them.
Ask for Questions
After you are done relaying your message, give the people listening a chance to ask questions. This will give you immediate feedback and let you know if your message was understood as intended.
Even though your team may be required to listen to you, you should still take a moment to thank them for their time. This small gesture can go a long way.
At Marlin, our digital workplace communication helps you get your message across in a proven way. You can bring all of these workplace communication examples to life in a format that will be noticed by your employees. To learn more, contact us today.
With the truck driver shortage showing no signs of letting up, trucking companies are getting creative about how to attract drivers. But in an industry with a 96% turnover rate, getting drivers through the door is only part of the problem. Retaining those drivers is a whole other issue.
The Driver Retention Problem
A recent article in Transport Topics shed some light on why it’s so hard to keep drivers. Examining Sources of Driver Stress points to three key challenges for trucking companies: drivers suffer from poor well-being, they feel disrespected, and they’re frustrated by governmental regulations. This creates a workforce with low morale and little staying power.
For the average transportation manager – who needs to fill routes, manage fuel costs, implement new regulations – the idea of addressing an industry-wide problem can be overwhelming.
The Driver Retention Solution
But, there is a simple way to address drivers’ concerns at a very local level, and it doesn’t involve changes to health insurance, compensation or regulation. It’s a basic but powerful solution: increased communication.
In a national survey conducted by Marlin earlier this year, we found that the majority of employees (75%) trust what their employers tell them, and they feel more valued when their companies communicate with them regularly.
So, as the owner or manager of a trucking company, you’re actually in a unique position to affect your drivers’ morale just by increasing your level of communication. And, since they trust what you tell them, you have the ability to cover your agenda items and to target your drivers’ main areas of concern, namely well-being, respect and regulations.
Sounds pretty easy? It can be, but with so much already on your plate, the easiest way to get started is to find a partner who can do the heavy lifting for you.
Your Partner in Workplace Communication
At Marlin, we’re helping trucking companies throughout the North American supply chain communicate with their drivers. We provide transportation managers with a simple visual communication strategy that helps them share company information and also addresses the issues facing today’s drivers. Our easy-to-use workplace digital signage solution makes it simple to reach drivers across shifts and locations, and our award-winning content covers important compliance, safety and health issues specific to life on the road.
So, let FMCSA collect feedback on potential changes to HOS, and let politicians debate changes to FAA’s meal-and-rest-break rules. Those changes may impact driver retention – in time.
You can make a difference today, and Marlin would like to help. To find out more, contact us today!
Healthcare is growing at a record pace. Our aging population is fueling a greater demand for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Healthcare job growth outpaces almost all other industries and accounts for 22% of overall job creation. Despite this, healthcare companies struggle to attract, retain, and motivate workers. This directly impacts the quality of care and hits the bottom line. The financial impact of 1% turnover among nurses equals $300,000 per year.
Effective communication is at the heart of keeping employees informed, engaged, and wanting to stay in their jobs. Countless options are available for reaching employees including intranets, emails, digital signage, collaboration tools, mobile apps, face-to-face meetings, posters, notice boards and more. Healthcare employers are often baffled by which combination of tools best fits the unique challenges in their environment.
Workforce challenges that healthcare providers face
The environment is chaotic, unpredictable, and stressful, which in turn impacts quality of work.
Distraction levels are high with many urgent matters competing for workers’ attention.
The nursing shortage contributes to more high-pressure conditions.
Many workers such as doctors, nurses, orderlies and operations staff are not at their desks.
Communication needs to be efficient and time-sensitive.
It is a highly regulated, compliance-driven environment where proper procedures must be continually reinforced.
Turnover is high and getting higher (20.6% in 2017 vs. 15% in 2010).
Many shifts compound the need for keeping everyone informed 24/7.
12 Ways Digital Signage Helps Reach and Engage Healthcare Workers
When it comes to employee communication, there is no such thing as a magic bullet. Success is about combining different tools to maximize reach and effectiveness. Digital signage is a popular choice because it offers a dynamic and flexible solution for reaching workers in a healthcare setting.
Visual Communication Works
The advertising industry has long known how to get our attention and influence our behavior. It’s called “repeated visual exposure.” By combining captivating images and brief messages and repeating them 4-5 times, the messages stick. Workplace digital signage makes it easy for managers to promote/advertise their messages to their employees, reinforcing them in engaging ways that will influence behavior and attitude.
Deliver the Right Message
In advertising and marketing, success is all about understanding your target audience and making sure that your message is relevant to them. With digital signage, the number of screens and their location creates the framework for reaching all employees. The content playing in those screens is determined by who will see them and what they need to know. For example, a screen in the pediatric care wing would display content relevant to those workers, whereas screens in the breakroom would display content that affects all workers.
Keep Compliance Top-of-mind
Staying on top of ever-changing regulations is a fact of life in the healthcare field. Nothing can take the place of training, certifications and audits. But digital signage is a very effective tool for ongoing reinforcement of policies such as CMS & DHHS regulatory requirements for continuous improvement of safety & quality standards. Keeping it visual and repeating the message is sure to make your messages visible and memorable.
Get the Word Out
Most digital signage software has the ability to produce emergency notifications that can override any other content in the playlist. This is helpful for urgent messages such as an on-site threat, security breach, weather emergency, etc. By pre-setting such messages, they can be easily activated as needed.
Save Time With Scheduling Tools
Scheduling tools save time and ensure that your messages are being delivered in a timely manner. Whether you need to repeat a message to reach each shift, time a message to reinforce a deadline, or schedule an important piece such as a CEO video on all screens at all location, digital signage can do that.
Make Them Feel Valued
Recognition is a key factor in retaining and motivating workers. Without it, it’s easy for workers to jump ship to another hospital. Digital signage is an ideal tool for recognizing individuals and teams for a job well done, work anniversaries, educational achievements, and other milestones. Colorful templates make it easy to post a picture and add a congratulatory message.
Highlight Critical Deadlines
In a fast-paced environment, it’s easy for employees to forget about an upcoming CMS audit or a 401(k) open enrollment deadline. Countdown widgets and templates make it easy to call attention to upcoming deadlines or events. These set-and-forget reminder messages save time and visually reinforce your message.
With more open jobs than candidates, healthcare workers have a choice. Culture has become a critical factor in what employees look for in a job. Many healthcare facilities use their digital signage as a channel to promote their culture. It’s an ongoing effort that showcases what is unique about your workplace, be it the people, your approach to patient care, charities you support or why it’s such a great place to work.
Promote In-house Initiatives
Think of digital signage as way to spotlight your programs, competitions or initiatives. Whether it’s hand-hygiene, patient care or health & wellness, treat it like a campaign. Use the screens to announce it with eye-catching graphics. It’s easy to promote it with program updates and news on success stories or winners.
Reach Across the Organization
Given the size and complexity of a healthcare facility or campus, typically there are dozens of digital signage screens used for different purposes. Content management software makes it easy to establish an enterprise configuration where message flow is controlled and multiple users can be assigned specific permissions. For example, some messages may be company-wide affecting all workers. Others will be department or facility-specific. This feature creates efficiencies and ensures targeting of relevant messaging.
Welcome New Employees
22% of nurses leave after the first year. With high turnover and competition for hiring, getting employees to start off on the right foot makes a huge difference. Digital signage is a great way to recognize new staff. Show their picture, welcome them and briefly describe what they’ll be doing. Your new employees will feel welcome and others will have the chance to wish them well.
Get Their Feedback
Social media has given everyone a voice to rate, comment on or “like” products and services. Employees expect the same opportunity on the job. Employee survey results are often the catalyst for improving communications. Digital signage is an ideal platform for announcing and promoting an upcoming survey. Let them know what it is, how they can take it and when the deadline is. And that’s just the beginning. Post the results on the screens. Even more important is to tie back any changes or initiatives that come about as a result of the survey. In this way, it will be transparent from start to finish. Employees will know how to provide feedback and they’ll see that you are listening and making changes as a result of it.
It’s no wonder that hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities are turning to digital signage to reach their employees with powerful visual communication.
Start Using Digital Signage to Engage Healthcare Workers Today
Learn more about how to improve employee communication in your facility here.