Workplace Communication Solutions in the Digital Age

Written by Karen Hawthorne

When you need to get important information to your employees on the factory floor or warehouse, a paper flyer or poster just can’t cut it. But prominent digital signage with eye-catching words and images demands attention and takes communications to the next level.

Imagine you have a workforce that doesn’t have computers or laptops, and is only in the office a few minutes out of the day. How do you get your company’s news and messages out to your team?

Does this sound like a far-fetched scenario? Not if you’re in manufacturing, transportation, sanitation or healthcare, for example, where most employees don’t sit at a desk or in front of a screen. Emails and online alerts won’t work. Marlin, a workplace digital signage company based in Wallingford, Connecticut is bridging the gap with creative messages on display screens that capture employees’ attention and influence their behavior.

Connecting with hard to reach workers
“We focus on helping companies communicate with hard to reach workers,” said Frank Kenna, CEO of Marlin. “When employees don’t have a device or access to a computer, you can’t communicate one on one, so it’s important to have a way to communicate one-to-many. Digital signage is a great way to accomplish that.”

Smart digital signage can accomplish a range of important goals – from avoiding accidents to improving productivity and boosting morale. And today we are conditioned to getting our information from screens. We respond to “infotainment” in changing, bite-size messages that cut through distractions. A 2014 study from Intel suggests that dynamic digital signs can capture 400 percent more views than static displays, which is why we are seeing advertising billboards shifting to an electronic format.

What separates Marlin from other digital signage companies is that it is solely focused on the workplace. Marlin has been in the business of visual communication in the workplace for over 100 years. For many years, Marlin delivered a print-based poster program. Displayed in a wall fixture, it offered a way to visually communicate multiple messages, largely around safety. It was sold by subscription and each month customers received enough posters to refresh them weekly.

Innovative software makes communicating easy
The print-based wall display evolved into a fully digital, cloud-based digital signage solution with software, screens and media players for delivering dynamic messages. Marlin is the only company to offer digital signage specifically for the workplace, and the company currently holds nine patents for its digital technology, with several others pending. It’s also the only company to provide everything needed to reach workplace employees, including flexible, easy-to-use software, industry-specific content, support, hardware and installation.

Customers from many industries including manufacturing, distribution, sanitation and healthcare have raved about how easy the system is to use. With a few mouse clicks they can easily upload PowerPoints, videos, charts and more. They particularly like the content provided by Marlin. It helps them reinforce important health and wellness messages and speak to their diverse workforce from millennials to baby boomers alike.

“If you want a simple turnkey solution, this is it,” Kenna said, proud of the company’s track record of helping more than 8,000 companies around the globe implement effective workplace communication programs. “Customers like that it professionalizes their communication and shows employees that they are committed to keeping everyone informed.”

The company’s recent awards speak to its continued successful approach. Marlin is a 2018 Recipient of the Marcum Tech Top 40 that recognizes Connecticut technology leaders in six industry sectors. Marlin was named in the software category for strong revenue growth of at least $3 million in annual revenue, as well as growth in each of the preceding four years. Marlin also received Platinum Honors from AVA Digital for outstanding achievement by creative professionals in digital communication. The team was recognized for its excellence in motion graphics, and for its industrial safety series for excellence in internal employee communications.

The power of visual communication
“Our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter and everyone gets really distracted and it takes creativity to engage employees. Keeping it visual is essential,” said Kenna.

The advertising industry has proven that repeated visual exposure works. By combining words and images and repeating them four to five times, ads capture our attention and influence our behavior. Digital signage is a very effective channel for reinforcing messages in this way.

For example, if you are running a factory with three shifts, you have a list of important issues such as eye protection, machine guarding and safe lifting that you need to reinforce continuously. Marlin’s digital signage solution makes it easy to schedule messages to reach all three shifts and the content that Marlin provides offers a creative way to reinforce safety.

“Developing ongoing fresh content can be a burden,” said Kenna. “Our customers appreciate that we provide a way to ensure that their content is always fresh.”

Marlin’s proven content formula
Delivering fresh and engaging content is top priority for Marlin’s team of writers, content strategists, digital media specialists and videographers. They’ve developed a content formula that resonates with employees on compliance issues, performance, company culture, and morale.

“The team spends a lot of time keeping up with industry trends and tapping into advisors and associations such as MSHA, OSHA and NSC. We have to be really conscious of the accuracy of the information we are communicating and the way we make it come to life visually,” said Kenna.

Marlin’s patented content library also provides customers with access to a database of video content that is searchable by keyword and easily displayed on digital signage screens.

“The workplace is in a state of high change and communication is always changing,” Kenna emphasized. “What worked before to engage workers may not work now. As millennials make up more of the workforce, video and gamification are critical for engagement. As this transition takes place, companies will need to adapt with innovative ways to communicate.”

Marlin has always been at the forefront of communication and we are excited to continue to do so.



To Make a Northwest Passage

Read Our Current Issue


From Here to There

April 2024

Peace of Mind

March 2024

Making the Smart Grid Smarter

February 2024

More Past Editions

Featured Articles