Man reading

Organizations often rely on digital methods—like apps, online videos and e-blasts—to communicate with employees. Like a fireworks display, digital techniques are flashy, but they’re also noisy and bright. Employees may be dazzled for a moment, but the meaning quickly fades into the darkness.

That’s why you need to balance digital with low-tech communication employees can touch. By encouraging people to step away from the screen, you not only create engagement, you build understanding that lasts.

Try these five ways to capture employees’ attention:

icon 1   Pose a question on a whiteboard or bulletin board and have markers or slips of paper handy. Encourage employees to add to the collage by answering the question, sharing what they are working on, giving a shout-out to a colleague or adding their own question.

  Hire a graphic artist to sketch your next town hall. He or she listens to the speaker and makes the topic come to life through imagery. Hang the finished drawing in a common area to remind employees of the key takeaways.

  Ditch the tools and have a simple conversation. Informal coffee chats can be a great way for leaders to engage with employees to hear their opinions and concerns.

  Hang posters, put out table cards or even provide coffee sleeves to ensure employees learn about your latest initiatives.

  Hand out brochures, fliers, print newsletters and fact sheets to give employees tools to reference. For really important topics, you can also try mailing materials home for employees to share with their families.