How to Engage Employees with AnimationClaude Harrington 10.05.2015
In our increasingly globalized world, employees no longer just come from all walks of life but can very much be coming from all different states and countries. With such a diverse group of backgrounds, not to mention the influx of potential distractions in this Digital Age, finding ways to engage your employees is more difficult than ever. Animation, however, can provide a unique solution to bridging that gap. There’s something uniquely familiar and inherently universal about animation, which makes the format a good fit to engage a diverse spectrum of individuals. But utilizing the medium alone isn’t enough to successfully grab and hold the attention of your employees, so let’s take a look at a few tips that will help:
Animation = Common Denominator: As mentioned above, the benefit of using animation is its universality. Not only in the sense that most people in the world are intimately familiar with the format, but also because the abstract aesthetic makes it easier for varied individuals to relate with the characters. With animated figures, rarely is there that subconscious moment where a viewer may think: hey, he/she doesn’t look like me! Or more importantly, because there’s a built-in lack of realism, they won’t be likely to tune out upon seeing differences (i.e. look, sound, personality, etc.) In this respect, animation offers a common denominator for your audience, which functions as a great starting point for finding common ground.
Know Your Audience: Although your employees may come from different places and harbor all sorts of different interests, that doesn’t mean that together they add up to an incoherent jumble of randomness. Based on what your company does, your unique corporate culture and the kind of customers you work with, some patterns start to emerge. Isolate those commonalities and use that as a filter.
Seriously, Know Your Audience: In addition to identifying similarities, it’s also important to who, exactly, is the who that I’m trying to engage? Are you addressing the entire company? A specific region? A single division? Whatever the answer to this is, keep that in mind every step of the way and make sure that your message is tailored as specifically as possible to this subset of the whole. Because while certain things may seem interesting are important, if they’re not integral to this specific set of employees then trying to touch on those points may actually do more harm than help.
Clarity and Sincerity Go a Long Way: Despite varying job titles, functions and potentially office locations, employees are all ultimately part of the same team. As such, they are likely to respond more favorably when they’re treated that way. So don’t talk down to employees—that’s a no brainer, of course—but perhaps just as important don’t “talk up” to them either. These people are a part of the companies, they’ve seen the business from the inside out, so they know better than anyone what the company is really like and what rings true and false. So when engaging them with animation—or any type of engagement for that matter—put yourself in their shoes and don’t waste their time: be clear, be sincere and (when it seems authentic) show them that you appreciate that they’re here.