Good Design is Good Communication – So Why are Employees Often Left Out?
In the mad scramble to build a meaningful employee experience, we’ve noticed that there’s an incredible missed opportunity. Sadly, this omission ends up making employees feel like second-class citizens.
We are talking about the absence of graphic design.
Most internal communications teams don’t have a dedicated graphic design resource and as a result, they are left to their own devices. Even if you have some design talent and can pair it with the free resources out there, it can be a time-consuming, soul-sucking experience to make your words come to life visually. While some may see graphic design as a pointless time-waster or an added perk, nothing could be further from the truth. The look and feel of your communication are just as important as the words on the page or the screen. For those of us who are writers, I know this is a humbling statement, but let me explain.
Why Design Matters
Graphic design transforms communication material into something that is easier to understand and more memorable. In a busy world with hundreds of messages bombarding your employees every day, producing visually compelling material can make communication stand out. A further challenge is that people have increasingly short attention spans, and the right visuals can make a better and more lasting impression faster. In fact, studies show that you only have 8 seconds to make an impression, otherwise people will tune out or turn away. This is even further justification for professional design production.
One of the most important functions of internal communications is to build your organization’s brand from the inside. This is achieved not only by reflecting your brand attributes in the stories you tell, but the narrative also you build, and the tone that’s used. However, the hard work to align your internal communications with the culture and brand you are building is weakened if it is not reinforced with internal communications that don’t follow your design guidelines. We’re not just talking colour and font here – the look and feel of your brand include the right imagery, as well.
Finally, what is the unwritten message you are conveying to your employees if hundreds of thousands of dollars are invested in external communications material but nothing is spent on internal communications? Is that any way to show the one group that is critical to your organization’s success that they matter? Employees deserve professional communications material – communication that delights the senses, that is easy to read and memorable.
Design is part of the human experience
Design is so much more than to assemble, to order, or even to edit; it is to add value and meaning, to illuminate, to simplify, to clarify, to modify, to dignify, to dramatize, to persuade, and perhaps even to amuse.
Paul Rand, Graphic Designer and Author
Design is an important part of our world, it is a form of creative expression, and it impacts our experience when we interact with it. Think of how you feel in a home that is sleek and modern compared to one with historical charm and character. Think of how you react to a clever commercial or a compelling video. Ask yourself, how does the aesthetic of our communication material impact the employee experience? How can we use design to create communications that delight employees and build an emotional connection with them?
If building a better employee experience is one of your goals for 2022, consider taking the time to convey ideas and information in a more beautiful and powerful way. If you don’t have the resources, we can help. As a full-service internal communications agency, we produce beautifully designed materials including infographics and presentations (we’ll change your mind about PowerPoint!). Plus, we will save you from fiddling with design programs, looking for the right image and those design and formatting tasks that take time from doing strategic work. Contact us today to find out more.