We finally have a way to reach dispersed employees and measure those interactions.”
Employees of this Fortune 100 logistics company are a familiar sight. They’re clad in recognizable uniforms as they hustle up driveways and through office buildings each day while delivering packages with a smile.
About 60 percent of the company’s North American workforce of more than 100,000 employees never sit at desks. They’re always on-the-go driving trucks, sorting parcels in distribution hubs, and interacting with customers. This constant movement presented a monumental challenge to communicate with employees effectively – especially when many aren’t issued company email addresses and lack an easy ability to interact with the Intranet.
The solution to bridging that gap and connecting with the workforce in a way never before possible was implementing the Dynamic Signal platform. Today, employees receive structured, relevant, and real-time messages wherever they are, on the channels and devices they prefer – usually their smartphones. This provides measurable business value for a supply-chain company where time really is money. The company says that one minute, per driver, per day, adds up to $14.5 million in terms of company productivity. Also, one minute per driver, per day, of idle time equals $500,000 of fuel annually.
Dynamic Signal ensures that precious time isn’t wasted due to poor communication. Eighteen months after introducing the platform, more than one-third of the workforce depends on it for company news, work schedules, access to pay stubs, and everything else employees need to help them do their jobs and keep them informed.
That’s why this company turned to Dynamic Signal.
Now, here’s the story of how Dynamic Signal solved technical challenges, helped execute a successful company-wide launch and continues to produce ongoing benefits for the company.
Oh, and the time it took to get the SaaS platform launched?
In September of 2017, the company faced two looming deadlines that created a sense of urgency to roll out the platform as quickly as possible
- Employees needed access to time-saving information during the upcoming holiday season. The platform also would be used to raise the visibility of the company’s referral program, where employees recommend friends and family as seasonal workers during that peak time.
- Labor negotiations with the unionized portion of the workforce were about to begin. It needed the ability to create a conversation with those employees to ensure they had access to accurate, transparent information about management’s proposals and ensure there was no possibility of miscommunication during the bargaining process.
This company understands the importance of speed. So does Dynamic Signal. Once the partnership was finalized, members of the company’s corporate communications, HR, digital marketing, and IT teams met with Dynamic Signal’s implementation specialists to create a project plan.
“We spent a day in a room together to lay the groundwork for what was required, what the system integrations would look like, and their level of involvement in providing us access to their systems,” said Emily Murphy, Engagement Manager. “We were able to build an immediate level of trust by showing that we were invested in their success. That was the foundation for a partnership with their IT team.”
The launch date was set.
Eight weeks away.
The key technical challenge was integrating the Dynamic Signal platform with elements of the company’s existing systems to enable the delivery of targeted, relevant information to each employee as well as give everyone more direct access to data like their pay stubs and time cards.
The integrations fell into three main buckets:
- Access and Authentication: Single Sign-On
- Employee Information: User Data Syncing
- Content: Syncing with IBM-built Intranet
This allows employees to have one method to access numerous systems. With this integration, employees use the same username and password ID to log into Dynamic Signal that allows them access to other company systems. Once employees had logged into the Dynamic Signal platform, they would have access to their pay stub information, work schedules, and other resources. This would create a seamless user experience without having to continually log in and out of multiple systems. It also would provide a higher level of security and control for IT.
User Data Syncing
Because of this company’s size, employee data lives in four different systems – including the HRIS. The beauty of Dynamic Signal is that data from many places could now reside in a single location. By automating the aggregation of this dispersed user data within the Dynamic Signal platform, the company could effectively target relevant content to employees based on their identity, role, location, department, and so on. The company could finally personalize information for each employee.
The company traditionally had created and stored content on its Intranet – even though it was extremely difficult for large portions of the workforce to access. By integrating it with the Dynamic Signal platform, all employees would finally have access to that information. This integration also would eliminate duplicative work. Content could be created in the Intranet and then, with the click of a button, make it available on the platform. This meant the same title, images, graphics, text, links, videos would appear exactly the same way in both places.
This company has an experienced, well-regarded communications team that understands the information needs of employees – and the value of a good partner. The team relied heavily on the Dynamic Signal experts for best practices and to learn how other customers take full advantage of platform functionality – incorporating those ideas into their own unique strategy.
For instance, the platform’s powerful segmentation capabilities required Dynamic Signal’s assistance to think through a targeting strategy that ensured they would be delivering the right information to the right employees at the right time throughout a complex ecosystem of business units, sites, teams, and roles.
Because of the integration work, all employees were pre-registered to the platform. So, when they signed on for the first time, they had immediate access to content targeted specifically for them.
“We were hands-on about providing our insights because this was such a partnership and they valued our opinions,” said Sheena Clarke, Senior Director of Solutions Consulting. “They provided a historical background about the kind of content that performs well, and then we made suggestions based on those. We also challenged them to focus their content strategy in a way that was more feedback-oriented.”
Among the recommendations implemented:
- Post three to four pieces of content daily
- Send broadcasts to employees two to three times a week
- Use gamification (leaderboards) to inject a sense of fun
- Solicit continuous feedback through surveys
- Encourage employee-generated content
That last suggestion proved so successful that the company soon after implementation created a separate platform category called “Share Your Moment” for employees to post about what’s happening on the job – such as uploading photos and giving shout-outs to colleagues.
“It feels very much like their social channels,” explained the program manager. “It’s a great way for our people to relate to one another. We can get hundreds in a day of people posting what’s happening in their lives.”
Other best practices that the company put in place were content exclusive to the platform to drive adoption, third-party content about the industry, and a weekly recap called “Five Things You Need to Know” with a funny meme that’s sent to employees through a push notification.
The company also utilizes the platform’s “Quick Links” functionality to give employees access to popular resources that previously were difficult to reach.
- Pay Stubs
- Time Cards
- Time Off Scheduler
“When we first conceptualized this, we decided that employees definitely needed to be able to see their paycheck,” the program manager added. “But what we didn’t understand until later is that they also wanted to see their time card. So, we added that ability, too.”
This company’s launch strategy can be described like this: Go Big.
“We rolled out to every U.S.-based employee,” the program manager said. “We wanted to get as many people as possible on the platform as fast as we could. The faster we could get people on, the more momentum we could build, and the more people would talk about the app and want to be on the app.”
In less than one year, more than one-quarter of employees were on the platform. That figure had increased to 36 percent after 18 months. Employees clearly were hungering for information at their fingertips on their mobile devices. But that success also has been a result of a detailed adoption plan – which included Dynamic Signal’s assistance.
By going directly to the employees.
A traveling tour of roadshows was organized to visit regional hubs. Members of the Dynamic Signal implementation team joined company representatives to meet with supervisors to explain the business value and help employees sign up. Water bottles, pop sockets, and portable chargers were given away to those who downloaded the app.
Those face-to-face interactions were crucial.
“We had five different teams going to locations the first week, and we kept plugging away from there,” the program manager said. “There’s something about that grassroots approach because as soon as we hit a location, adoption would spike. By the time we were done with our roadshows, we had hit about 40 different locations around the country. We found that trinkets and food helped. I had a colleague who said, ‘Lead with the burrito.’ It seems like if you give them the breakfast burrito first, they will come and listen to whatever you have to say.”
After just a few days, something extraordinary began happening. The company’s new branded app – which Dynamic Signal had been able to get listed on the App Store and the Google Play Store in just a matter of weeks – had generated enough buzz to crack the iPhone’s Top 10 most-downloaded list. (It temporarily displaced Buzzfeed.) Not bad for an app less than a week old and available only to company employees.
It was a validation of the time and effort that went into the launch strategy.
One critical measure of success was the successful conclusion of the labor negotiations with a long-term contract. The high level of employee adoption is another.
But the company is also eager to keep employees returning. That’s why close attention is paid to monthly active users. Currently, between 30 and 33 percent of registered employees use the platform each month. That translates to between 150,000 and 200,000 unique logins. Quick Links have been especially popular with employees– driving 65 percent of the monthly activity.
This engagement is having a direct impact on the business. Company supervisors attribute app usage to increased punctuality and decreased absenteeism.
Meanwhile, Dynamic Signal continues to work closely as a strategic advisor and partner. One current initiative is expanding access to all of the different systems – content, resources, HR content – that on-the-go employees find useful in their daily jobs and to have better work experiences.
Added the program manager: “Our marketing philosophy has become: ‘It’s not about us. This app is for you, and your feedback is making it better.’ So, we’re definitely making it feel like it’s all about the employees.”
Getting the program up and running in just two months was a remarkable accomplishment, Murphy concluded. But it’s just as rewarding working with the company each day to help their team build a greater sense of trust and community within the organization.
“When you don’t have one place to go, it’s hard to know what’s happening around the company,” she explained. “Previously, there was never a way for a package loader in San Diego to interact with a counterpart in North Carolina and share ideas. This app provides that and the ability to get the information everyone needs on their mobile devices. So, it really is a success story.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of our program.”