Reaching deskless/frontline employees is one of the main challenges in many industries, especially in environments like transportation, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, hospitality, and so on, where effective communication is not just a nice to have but is crucial for seamless operations.
Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) with over 60 years of operations, is Canada’s largest privately-owned people transportation company. Each day, its 14 regional subsidiaries transport thousands of students, commuters, travelers, and workforce in five Canadian provinces and territories.
Like so many organizations that have a large percentage of deskless, frontline employees, Pacific Western Transportation (PWT), faced communication challenges due to scale and diversity of operations.
Drivers and other frontline staff, who make up the majority of PWT’s 5,000+ employees, had limited opportunity to interact with the parent organization.
Amaira Hansen, Interim Communications Director at PWT, knew there must be a better way to reach their frontline employees. That's what led her to adopt Sparrow Connected.
Here are 4 valuable lessons from Amaira and PWT that are relevant to other industries with a high percentage of frontline employees:
1. Reimagine Your Internal Communication Strategy
An internal communications strategy sets business goals in communicating with employees and plans the tasks required to achieve those goals. Your internal communications strategy is basically the blueprint that guides you to achieve internal communications success.
There is a need to understand that traditional communication channels are not effective in keeping everyone well-informed. Companies with large-scale remote employees must reimagine their internal communication strategy to better reach ALL employees, regardless of where they are located.
2. Establish A Communications Centre Of Excellence“A Communications Centre of Excellence (CCoE) fosters audience awareness and involvement through internal and external communications leadership, best practices, and support that aligns with the Parent Companies’ Brand Identities, Safety Vision, Mission, Core Values, and Strategic Priorities.”
Establishing a Communications Centre of Excellence at PWT was the first step to standardizing internal and external communications across the entire organization.
Sparrow Connected provided the right channels to get the message across to its frontline staff and connect them with their parent company.
3. Embrace Mobile Apps
There are so many factors that affect your ability to communicate critical information to frontline employees mostly because they work away from desks and do not necessarily have a corporate email address to connect them with corporate news.
Embrace mobile and opt for a mobile application that is simple and easy to use for all your employees. This is particularly suited for frontline employees because most have mobile phones, are likely to check in on their breaks or after shifts, and do not require any email address.
To communicate with manufacturing workers via SMS, all you need is their phone number and a modern internal communications platform.
“We looked for a mobile application that is simple and easy to use for all of our employees,” says Amaira. Sparrow Connected’s familiar, newsfeed-style communication platform was a great fit, she added.
4. Brand/White-Label Your Internal Communication Platform
To increase the overall awareness of the PWT brand amongst staff, the team focused their efforts on integrated communication. They maintained consistent branding through while-labeling the application.
“PWT InTouch,” helps keep the entire staff up to date on company-wide news, safety and maintenance programs, and career opportunities. Additionally, it allows the communications team to strengthen the sense of community within the PWT group by shining a spotlight on local initiatives and exemplary leadership at the subsidiary companies.
“Since using Sparrow Connected, we have seen an increase in overall inter-company awareness and engagement,” adds Amaira.
Keeping frontline employees well-informed and aligning their goals with the company’s strategy significantly affects the performance of the company.
Sparrow Connected is a modern internal communication platform that understands what channels are right for its clients to connect and engage employees across the entire company and help them make strategic and informed decisions when it comes to their internal communication.