Engaging Remote Employees at Pacific Western Transportation



The Challenge

Over 60 years of operations, Pacific Western Transportation (PWT) has grown to become 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. However, this scale and diversity of operations posed a communication challenge for the company: drivers and other front line staff, who make up the majority of PWT’s 5,000+ employees, work remotely and had limited opportunity to interact with the parent organization.

“PWT is a large company with many subsidiaries, and in the past, our employees may not have been completely aware of its reach and involvement in a multitude of communities across Canada,” explains Amaira Hansen, Interim Communications Director at PWT.

The Solution: 

Suspecting that the traditional communication channels were not effective at keeping everyone well-informed, Amaira’s team set out to reimagine its internal communication strategy to better reach ALL employees, regardless of where they were located.

Establishing a Communications Centre of Excellence at PWT was the first step to standardizing internal and external communications across the entire organization. But to be successful, PWT needed the right channel to get the message across to its front-line staff. “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.

To increase the overall awareness of the PWT brand amongst staff, the team focused their efforts on integrated communication. “We wanted to maintain consistent branding, so white-labelling the application was a must,” says Amaira. “Sparrow Connected was the only platform that gave us this ability,” she adds.

Sparrow Connected - Customer Stories-39
Sparrow is flying

Sparrow Connected, renamed as “PWT InTouch”, was launched in April 2018. The platform 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 at 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.

PWT’s reimagined communication strategy has garnered the attention of the bus transit industry. Six months after rolling out the application to its frontline staff, PWT was recognized nationally by the Canadian Urban Transit Association for excellence in marketing and communications.

PWT’s favourite Sparrow Connected features

Advanced Analytics

Thanks to built-in analytics, PWT gains insights into how employees engage with the company.

Tailored Newsfeed

By selecting and subscribing to channels, PWT employees receive the news that matters most to them.

Mobile-First Design

Employees can access Sparrow Connected from anywhere on iOS and Android devices.

Sparrow Connected - PWT Logo

The Outcomes

Sparrow Connected analytics provide a wealth of valuable information to Amaira and her team, empowering PWT to make strategic and informed decisions when it comes to their internal communication:

1600 Active Users

Since launching in April of 2018, PWT has added over 1600 active users to their Sparrow Connected platform.

10 Reads a month

The average active user reads 10 Sparrow Connected articles each month.

60% Complete Reads

Each PWT post is fully read by approximately 60% of viewers.

20% Engagement Rate

A typical PWT article inspires at least 20% of readers to engage with content by using reactions or comments.

640 Articles

In a year, PWT has posted 640 articles on Sparrow Connected. Some of the most popular topics include safety information, career opportunities and leadership news.

4 reactions

PWT currently uses four reactions (Like, Curious, Great Idea and Hurray!) to drive engagement with their content and add personality to their app experience.

“Sparrow Connected provides us with an avenue to inform, empower and engage our employees and foster connections across the entire organization.”
Amaira Hansen
Interim Communications Director, Pacific Western Transportation

Learn more about PWT.

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