How to Engage Employees With Visuals

Wait! Before hitting send on another (potentially) boring email to employees, consider this: people receive about 121 work emails a day. That’s on top of the 40 work emails they send every day.

Yikes. So. Much. Email.

And yet email is rarely the most effective employee communication tool. That’s because our brains are wired to prefer pictures over words on a screen. In fact, we remember 80% of what we see and only 20% of what we read. (Sorry, email.)

For the last decade, the artists at Ink Factory have harnessed this very insight to help organizations communicate more effectively with employees through the use of visuals. From meeting rooms to virtual training classrooms, visuals are quick to make ideas stick no matter your audience.

So, skip hitting send (for now) and let us show you how visuals can improve your employee communication, engagement, learning, and development efforts.



1. Want to know how to engage employees? Think visual-first with virtual training

Companies provided more than 55 hours of training per employee last year—that’s up nearly 32% from 2019. And with mobile and virtual training classrooms also on the rise, it’s likely employees are experiencing e-learning burnout. Give everyone a reason to tune in with a curriculum built on visuals.

A great starting point is an animated video. No matter if you have a script or not, our writing and creative teams can help you identify the most important content to feature. From there, we sketch the ideas, add animation, a voiceover, and a beat to create an on-brand, animated experience. (Think: A fresh alternative to the traditional whiteboard video.)

If your curriculum includes expert-led training videos, consider swapping any PowerPoint slides for building illustrations. This “slide alternative” helps visualize a speaker’s presentation, making the content more accessible and memorable. (More on how to ditch the slides here.)


Engage employees with customized visuals


2. Celebrate employee achievements

Amidst work-from-home, we’ve heard from many employers seeking new, more personalized ways to thank and recognize employees. Illustrations are a great way to do this. You can customize an illustration to showcase both the achievement and the individual (traits, strengths or wins, for example). Like in the image above, which celebrates a retiring employee’s many accomplishments. It’s way better than a traditional certificate and the personalization makes employees feel appreciated and seen (even when we can’t be together in person).

Don’t be afraid to think beyond PDF and paper illustrations, too. We’ve seen employers print on everything from plexiglass and buttons to enamel pins.


Engage your employees by having visuals in a virtual meeting


3. Engage employees by nurturing visual learning at all levels

More than half of your workforce learns better when visuals are involved, so it makes sense to nurture and develop their visual communication skills. Visual learning workshops can help you do this. At Ink Factory, our Think Like Ink workshops can complement your existing professional development offerings and are ideal for creatives and non-drawers alike. Favorite topics include visualizing goals, to-do lists, and meeting agendas.

Or, host a custom artist-led workshop on a topic of your choice. For example, virtual teams can participate in a team-building workshop that fosters collaboration as they work together to visualize goals for the year ahead. No matter the topic, these sessions offer a creative break in the workday. And, attendees walk away with easy-to-use visual templates so they can keep honing their new skills.



4. Forge a deeper connection with new hires during virtual onboarding

One of the many cool things about visuals is that they are processed in the same area of the brain as emotions. So, when you tell stories about your company with visuals (rather than words alone), you’re more likely to foster an emotional connection, even in a virtual onboarding setting.

A few of our favorite applications include using animated video to highlight a company’s culture and people, or to explain benefits and perks. Building illustrations, on the other hand, pair well with a welcome message from the CEO, or an introduction to the company’s vision and values.



5. Graphic record important meetings and events

A graphic recording (also called visual notes) is a drawing created in real-time using simple words or pictures. Ink Factory artists are trained graphic recorders, meaning we translate conversations as they happen into drawings. Utilizing visual notes at important internal events like town halls and annual meetings provides you with an immediate visual you can share with attendees to reinforce key learnings and action items.

Of course, you don’t need to limit visual notes to once-a-year events. Meetings of all kinds can benefit from real-time visuals, such as brainstorms, strategy sessions, and sales planning meetings (to name a few). Even better, they offer a welcome dose of visual interest during virtual meetings, as participants can follow along as the visual notes are drawn on-screen.

Hopefully, we’ve sparked fresh ideas you can put into practice today. If you need a visual communication partner to bring these to life, the Ink Factory team is here to help. Schedule a call today and let’s create something awesome together.


Want more ideas for using visuals to create an awesome event experience?

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