Citi, a global bank, present in over 100 countries, was founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York.
Citi has two major business divisions operating in Australia: Global Consumer Bank and Institutional Clients Group. In other words a business or institutional division and a retail or consumer division.
Citi has over 1,500 employees based in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.
The Challenge and the Opportunity
Citi understands the critical role internal communication plays in terms of staff engagement and effectiveness and building a ‘small business culture’ within a large global enterprise.
However, they had three main problems to solve:
- A plethora of content flowing down from global and the region
- Making content relevant for Australian staff and even individual sites
- Competing for the mindshare of staff who are juggling email, collaboration tools, social media and multiple devices
Citi, through its Corporate Communications and Digital Marketing team, created an integrated internal communications plan with different channels: The Citi Intranet, face to face briefings, town halls, social media and digital signage.
Digital signage was deployed because it gets staff attention by using video, animation and imagery.
Screens were placed in areas where there is ‘staff dwell time’, for example, in staff kitchens, lift wells and work areas. In a world where it’s hard to get people’s attention for a few seconds, a 20 second wait for a lift represents a significant communication opportunity.
Digital signage is used to deliver a range of content to staff: staff promotions, upcoming events, the latest TV ads, new policies, new products, Citi in the news, etc. It is also used to drive traffic to the Intranet, for example, for more detailed information.
Staff recognition and awards help to build the culture at Citi. The digital signage helps build relationships and break down silos as featured people are more likely to be approached by others in the business.
When people are informed, they feel like they are part of the business. Sometimes the messages are people focused while other messages are more functional, e.g., safety information or new policies and procedures.
Advice from Citi to Organisations wanting to improve their Internal Communications
Digital signage should be a key component of an internal communications strategy for organisations that are located across multiple floors, sites, cities or countries.
An internal communication plan should have strategic objectives, a portfolio of media or ‘channels’ and a range of metrics of success.
Typical communication metrics include intranet views, clicks on eDM’s and the number of attendees at physical briefings. But these communication measures drive other metrics like staff engagement scores and staff attrition rates. From an overall business perspective, staff productivity is a key measure.
Digital signage should be seen as a ‘portal’, meaning it is effective at getting attention, delivering brief messages and driving staff to other channels such as the Intranet, or attendance at a staff briefing.
For digital signage, bite-sized information works best and there should always be a call to action or ‘next step’ in the communication process. For example, “for more detailed information please go to the Intranet”.
Messaging needs to be fresh and the recommendation is to rotate five messages across any given screen and not to have any piece of content up for more than two weeks.
Design is important for getting attention and the clarity of the message. Content should be visually rich, eg, imagery, video clips or animation. Images of people work well, people really like seeing their teammates on screens.
The message length and complexity needs to match the particular location of a screen. For example, a screen near a lift may capture somebody’s attention for, say, 20 seconds, but a screen near a microwave in a staff kitchen might hold somebody’s attention for up to 2 minutes.
As far as possible, content should be tailored to the people in a particular location, whether that be a particular floor, office block, a particular site or a particular city.
The role of Corporate Communications is important in curating, creating and customising content. Cloud based software tools can help distribute different content to different screens, schedule content according to a timetable and empower a number of people to create content by updating pre-formatted templates.
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