- Pressing need to improve internal communication
- 40 percent of employees work in the field and lack access to laptops
- Employees had little connection with colleagues at other locations
The fundamental reason we looked for help from Dynamic Signal is that we were having problems with internal communication. We were relying on other people, like direct managers, to deliver information to our employees. We needed a solution where information was pushed directly to each employee, so it was in the palm of their hand when they were ready to digest it. Dynamic Signal was a pretty easy sell internally as the way to solve this problem.”
Kim Ruddock, General Manager of Marketing
Living in a land Down Under, it’s not easy communicating with men and women at work who are dispersed across multiple business units and a vast geographical area. This was the challenge facing Penske Australia and New Zealand, which is part of the U.S.-based company that’s known for its yellow rental trucks.
Headquartered in Brisbane, Australia, Penske has 1,000 employees working throughout the two countries. Penske has three divisions: rental and leasing, heavy-duty trucks, and large-scale engine systems that power everything from off-highway vehicles to mine excavators to naval frigates.
Adding to the communication complexity at Penske is a 60-40 split between employees in the field and in the office. Workers who typically sit at desks could be overwhelmed by ceaseless dings, pings, and emails interrupting their day. But workers in the field often were left in the dark because they lack access to laptops in workshops or at worksites. That’s why employee survey feedback indicated that workers didn’t feel engaged enough with the company or have clear visibility across the company.
“Our workforce is spread very far and wide,” said Kim Ruddock, General Manager of Marketing. “Our employees are constantly on the road and even out at sea. We have a lot of field technicians who work at great distances away. We were really struggling to communicate with employees in a timely fashion. They wouldn’t find out something we shared for weeks and even months. It was a real challenge to overcome. We needed a good way to stay in touch with everyone.”
Penske was looking for a platform that would deliver information to employees in the manner they prefer – either on their mobile devices, laptops, or both. It also needed to be the central place where the entire company could celebrate the organization’s work-hard, play-hard culture as a way to build closer relationships.
We wanted to gather those ‘barbecue moments’ where employees could talk about the pretty cool things they’re doing in the business,” Ruddock added. “We wanted them to be able to give a snapshot of our company and be able to share in all the good stuff that’s happening on a regular basis. We didn’t want to create something that seemed like more work.”
Finally, the company wanted employees to be able to share approved content with their social media networks – helping share the spread the Penske story to a broader audience.
Inside Penske, powered by Dynamic Signal, has accomplished those goals.
After conducting a pilot program with 100 users across the company, Penske unveiled the platform throughout the organization. It was an immediate hit. After just one year, 75 percent of employees were enrolled.
A key reason for the success: Penske has been selective about what’s posted on the platform. The focus is on Penske staff and products – not business announcements. Inside Penske also embodies the company’s belief that playfulness and fun should be part of the employee experience.
“Our employees work in such diverse, remote locations, and we wanted them to be able to show the rest of the company a little about their jobs and see the jovial side of Penske,” she said. “It means a lot when somebody snaps a pic and writes, ‘Hey, I’m out at sea trials with the Navy today and take a look at this sunset in the middle of the ocean.’ Or somebody is deep in a mine somewhere and showing a Penske engine doing its job. We really want to use this platform to show that we have a sense of humor while also working really hard.”
Inside Penske also contributes to making the company more appealing to Millennials as a potential employer.
“Like every organization today, we’re trying to attract the new Millennial workers,” said Pamela Talevska, Marketing Manager of Communications. “We want to use innovative and modern solutions and be an organization that embraces change. That’s what catches the eye of the Millennial workforce.”
Platform metrics also ensure that the content being posted captures the attention of employees. Insights are gathered about which employees are using the platform, how often they’re accessing information, and what types of content they prefer. This way, the Inside Penske platform can continuously deliver what employees want to see.
Over the past year, Ruddock said they’ve been pleased to see the amount of “banter” increase among employees and managers on the platform. Colleagues whose paths might have only crossed on rare occasions now have built real relationships. Those connections can help them work more collaboratively. That’s why Talevska said she has no doubt that Inside Penske has improved communication throughout the company.
“It’s been a really smooth process, which is fantastic, Ruddock added. “We’re really proud of what the platform has become. It’s now a real part of our business.”
We had received feedback when we were exploring options that Dynamic Signal was a good partner. Then when we began working with Dynamic Signal, it became clear that we would have great support. Even after we rolled out the program, we kept constantly talking with Dynamic Signal. That kind of support was super-impressive and really stood out.”
Pamela Talevska Marketing Manager of Communications