- Difficulty reaching a workforce that is dispersed around the globe
- Struggle to raise the visibility of the leadership team
- Unable to measure who read messages and the impact of communication
“For us, it’s all about building our brand equity internally and helping to drive engagement with our employees. One of our core values at Anadarko is open communication, and other than email, we didn’t have a consistent channel for two-way communication between our employees and our leadership. We were looking to solve that problem, and Dynamic Signal is invested in our long-term success.”
Stephanie Moreland, Supervisor for Employee and Digital Communications
Stephanie Moreland participates in several communications committees in the oil and natural gas industry. And lately, there has been a constant theme to discuss.
“We’re having a lot of conversations about employee engagement because it’s a common struggle in business,” said Moreland, Supervisor for Employee and Digital Communications at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
It was no different at Anadarko, a Houston-based company that is one of the world’s largest exploration and production companies with more than 4,700 employees and about 4,000 contractors. Employees are dispersed throughout the U.S., working on platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, and in global locations like Algeria and Mozambique.
Anadarko relied on email and an intranet as the primary sources of employee communication. Only there was a problem. The company was relying on employees to visit the intranet and consume the content without prompting.
“We often had people asking, ‘Why aren’t we hearing about this? Why aren’t you telling me about this?’” Moreland recalled. “We were, but the messages were getting lost.”
Adding a company newsletter in 2017 was a step in the right direction. But half of the employees were using their mobile devices to open it – and they couldn’t access the content because it was behind the intranet firewall. So, consistency and reach continued to be a challenge.
That’s when Anadarko implemented the Dynamic Signal platform, to connect employees with information to help them do their jobs better and create closer connections throughout the company. APC Go, which features a mobile app, puts content in the palms of all employees – wherever they are.
“The demographics of employees in the oil and natural gas industry are very different than they were ten years ago,” Moreland explained. “With the recent ‘great crew change,’ our workforce is younger than before. We recognized that this demographic was changing our culture, and we needed our communication methods and style to evolve with it.”
Today, there are more than 6,000 active users on APC Go. Anadarko knows this because of robust metrics on the platform that show what content is being accessed and by how many employees. It also measures the reach of content that Anadarko allows employees to share with their personal social media networks.
While distributing important news and information is the primary focus, APC Go also embodies Anadarko’s belief in creating a sense of community among employees, highlighting the great work around the company, and capturing a spirit of excitement and fun.
For instance, a popular series of videos featuring Anadarko leaders answering a mix of serious and humorous questions not only serves to raise the profile of leaders throughout the globally dispersed company but also show them as real human beings. That helps to build trust in leadership.
APC Go also has become the place for the employees to see – and celebrate – the accomplishments of their colleagues.
“APC Go enables our teams to promote themselves across the company,” Moreland said. “Departments can share their success stories that previously would have been isolated to their department. So, one great thing is that visibility from office-to-office about what’s going on, without it having to come through corporate communications.”
One example was a post from the accounting team after it filed the company’s mammoth, complicated tax return.
“Confetti was in the air, and there were looks of joy on their faces,” Moreland said. “People loved it. That was kind of a post that changed the mindset for some of our other teams. Now they’re thinking, ‘My team has a great story. We did something cool, and we want to tell it.’”
Today, posts on APC Go are a mix of corporate news, leadership updates, important safety bulletins, and information about special interest groups like “Petrotech Women Resource Group” and “LEEDR – A group for young professionals” There’s even a channel called “The Water Cooler” where employees can submit more general content.
It’s also a way for the CEO to communicate directly with every employee, see their comments and respond in real time.
“When our CEO posts something about OPEC and that has 1,000 views, that’s a success,” Moreland added.
While the focus on APC Go has been to provide mobile access to news and information, there also has been an unexpectedly high desktop adoption, too. For Anadarko, this has reinforced the importance of meeting employees on their terms – and in the manner that they prefer.
That’s why Anadarko is one of the leaders in overcoming the struggle of employee engagement.