Following an employee communications audit, The Volkswagen Group identified a significant gap in many staff members’ knowledge of the company and what the different parts of the business did, due to its scale and complexity.
The Group wanted to use digital signage for internal communication to share news and knowledge from within organisation and across the various car brands more effectively. It decided to create an internal news channel that would be visible on screens in the company’s offices.
Volkswagen Group wanted to use News Forum to communicate company updates, market news, competitor information, product launches, people news and inspiring stories for all of the companies car brands. However, the sheer volume of information they wanted to convey was likely to be overfacing to staff, especially if the individual had limited personal connection to the majority of the news items appearing on screen.
We recommended splitting the displays and integrating other information feeds that all staff would be interested in, such as news, traffic, and weather updates. This combination of information made the News Forum screens a more valued information source, which encouraged staff to check them regularly.
The screens were to be positioned in large open-plan offices and had to inform staff but without causing a distraction. As such, positioning in them in the correct place was vital. We identified that dwell times (when staff would be most likely to be in a receptive state of mind) were highest around the coffee hub areas, as staff had to wait at least a few minutes to use the facilities and there were no other distractions in the area.
We used the SaturnVision software to create a customised user interface subdivided into distinct areas, Volkswagen Group news, product news, people news and industry news. Different departments within the company were given their own tailored feeds and internal communications messages.
Initially, Volkswagen Group was planning to use presentation slide-style content to communicate information on the screens. We suggested using video instead so that the visuals on screen would be more attention-grabbing. It would also mean that when less dynamic visuals were used, they would stand out because there was a variety and contrast between the different types of content.
“As a management team we are committed to improving the Volkswagen brand internal communications, as a dynamic medium ‘News Forum’ has a vital role in enhancing our internal communication on a daily basis.”Paul Willis, Managing Director, Volkswagen (UK)
Staff engaged with the News Forum and it has developed the status of a valued news source.
The News Forum’s content and scheduling continues to be managed by Volkswagen’s internal communications team. The flexibility of the SaturnVision software, which uses a wide-range of media formats (digital video, PowerPoint Files, and HTML Web Pages), makes it easy for different departments to submit news to be uploaded on the News Forum system. As a result, staff are keen that their own departmental news should appear, which has driven an ongoing successful engagement with the initiative.
Sally Mawson, National Communications Manager for Volkswagen commented:
“We needed a way of sharing information that was unobtrusive but nonetheless sufficiently impactful to inform and engage people and be easy and quick to update. The other task was to motivate people to share information about their part of the business. Clearly the way in which we shared information would have a significant bearing on how employees felt about getting involved.
“The flexibility of SaturnVision has been very helpful in encouraging employees to contribute to ‘News Forum’. It allows us to fine tune the screen content so that we have different information on each of the screens. In the customer services call centre area, for example, we’re using News Forum to flag up the top 10 issues of concern to our customers.”
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