Goodwill stores in Georgia and Alabama have become the latest converts from static to digital signage that we have to celebrate. These locations have replaced their traditional paper signage with digital screens inside the store and in employee rooms to coincide with re-opening. These screens now share “color of the week” details and more information about donations with customers, but perhaps this story’s real takeaway comes from the on-site employee experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that point of view, which is arguably overlooked in many industries with a few major exceptions, can be enhanced and uplifted through the implementation of digital signage and other AV technology.
Apparently, Goodwill Southern Rivers was struggling with keeping their employees adequately informed even before the coronavirus lockdowns. In a survey, they discovered that many employees didn’t fully understand Goodwill’s mission and felt disconnected to the organization and other stores. Employees don’t have work computers or work phones, so corporate was fully dependent on store managers sharing CEO pass-downs and information about benefits verbally, which was not always effective.
The solution came with the deployment of Goodwill TV, a system that uses digital signage and 60 minutes of relevant video content to communicate, inform, and entertain employees during break times.
“Because our in-store team members don’t have company email, digital signage is the primary way we communicate with them from the corporate office,” said Julie Bennett, Director, Marketing & Communications, Goodwill Southern Rivers. “Our retail employee base is very diverse, including people who didn’t graduate high school and those with developmental disabilities, all the way to those with doctorates in our training centers. Digital signage provides the absolute best way to communicate across a large geographic footprint and to an audience with such a wide range of learning aptitudes. We air tons of video. In fact, we trained our retail associates regarding the enhanced sanitation protocols via Goodwill TV, shared welcome-back videos and encouraging video content throughout the pandemic.”
This digital update is powered Industry Weapon, which runs on Intel NUCs and iCore3/5, and the content is remotely refreshed twice a week to keep things interesting. That messaging covers a wide range of announcements and information, from success stories to CEO updates to briefs on employee benefits and more. Signs were also instrumental as the pandemic began to share alerts and other info quickly and efficiently when questions about store safety and closings were flooding in.
“We’ve seen significant growth in the digital signage market, primarily customer-facing, but using digital signage to better the employee experience can be just as beneficial to a company,” said Jose Avalos, VP IoT Group & GM Vertical Markets RBHE, Intel. “Goodwill Southern Rivers is a great example of how digital signage can help retailers communicate effectively with their employees to create a more connected and efficient workplace. Even more so during COVID-19, Goodwill is using digital signs with video content to keep employees informed of company communications.”
As expected, the response from customers, but perhaps more importantly, the staff, has been incredibly positive, and everyone seems to agree that they feel more connected to each other, as well as the company mission, during trying times because of the installations.
See Industry Weapon’s installation video here.