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Posts Tagged 'Employee Communications'

A Mobile Connection in the Arctic

Ever been to or heard of the Prudhoe Bay Oil Field on the North Slope of Alaska? To be honest, I hadn’t until a few months ago. But recently, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to make the 4,481 mile trek from NYC to the North Slope.

As the largest oil field in North America, Prudhoe Bay lies approximately 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is “home” to several thousand workers at any given time. Other than oil rigs, ice roads and a few polar bears, very little else exists except for endless vistas of snow covered tundra.

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You might ask why anyone would consider visiting this cold, dark and remote place in January. The answer is simple–to deploy an app of course! As a recent subscriber to theEMPLOYEEapp, ASRC Energy Services asked for a little help introducing its new, native mobile app to their many employees who service the BP and ConocoPhillips oil facilities.

As one might suspect, there are no telephone poles installed in the tundra–most people are dependent on wireless carriers and satellite systems to communicate. What I learned is that when new oil facilities are built on the North Slope, one of the first things to be installed on a site is a cellular tower. This allows the crews to keep in touch with each other and the rest of the world. It also lends itself quite nicely to the use of a mobile, communications solution like theEMPLOYEEapp.

Given the rapid proliferation of mobile technology and increased connectivity, almost every ASRC employee has their own smart device. Having an app on these devices now allows the company’s employees to remain connected, not only when they are working in these remote locations, but also when they have time off (the typical ASRC employee spends two weeks working on the Slope and then has two weeks off). From ASRC’s perspective, being able to communicate during the “off period” is especially critical in maintaining a high level of employee engagement.

Both ASRC and its employees were excited to learn of the capabilities that their new app offered them. theEMPLOYEEapp allows them to have immediate access to benefit and payroll information so they don’t have to wait until they go home to access this information from a desktop computer. Since the app can play the role of a mobile intranet, they now have the ability to access large and heavy manuals for emergencies and training purposes that they otherwise would have to lug around with them. And, since the CEO is based in Anchorage, it provides him with the ability to shoot videos and audio recordings that can then be “pushed” directly to his employees, allowing him to maintain a personal connection with the individuals who work so hard, day-in and day-out, for the benefit of the company that he runs.

This is the beauty of theEMPLOYEEapp solution.

My trip to the North Slope of Alaska was an experience of a lifetime. After traveling almost 10,000 miles round-trip and speaking with a few hundred front line employees, I have a brand new respect for the challenges of communicating with a workforce that is truly remote. I also have a totally different perspective on the value of having a mobile, internal communications solution that allows an organization to connect, share and engage with its employees on their personal mobile devices. And while I am looking forward to making a return trip, I have to admit that I hope my next visit is during the Summer.

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Twitter Chat Recap: Is Internal Comms Going Mobile?

Last week, APPrise Mobile teamed up with PRSA for a twitter party to discuss how companies can engage with their dispersed workforce. Nearly 100 communications professionals from all over the country took part in sharing their thoughts, questions and strategies around the ways their companies are communicating with their most important audience – their employees.

By the end of the chat, it was clear that those participating understood the opportunity that mobile technology presents and the ability it affords so that organizations large and small can communicate instantaneously with a workforce that is not all under one roof. Although everyone is on board with mobile, not all companies are embracing a mobile communications strategy. Email still seems to be the most common channel employers are using to communicate.  However, as it was discussed during the chat, the issue with email is that employees tend to receive hundreds on a daily basis making it likely that they’ll miss something important. This affords mobile technology, and the software that supports them, such as apps, the ability to be a game changer for communicators.

The opportunity for a company to have its own mobile app means they now have the ability to push important information directly to their employee’s devices, and have notifications appear on the home screens of those devices. Push notifications represent the ability to cut through the clutter of the emails received and target our employees in a direct and personal manner.

Below are some highlights from the chat.  If you want to see more, search #PRSAchat on twitter.  Make sure to stay up to date with us on Twitter for future social events!

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You’re invited! Twitter Chat with PRSA on Employee Engagement

Keeping employees engaged is one of the biggest challenges internal communicators face today. Combine this with the fact that employees are becoming increasingly dispersed and not beholden to a desk and it becomes very difficult for organizations to stay connected to their workforce.

We’ve joined forces with PRSA to co-host a twitter chat next Wednesday, October 29th at 3PM ET to discuss ways to effectively communicate with a disappeared workforce. Over the course of the hour we will talk about various ways to boost employee engagement and share tips on creating an effective communications strategy. Join the conversation by using the hashtag #PRSAchat and you will be entered for a chance to win an iPad at the end of the chat. We look forward to talking with you next week!

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