In my last blog, I looked at ways to reach our non-wired colleagues, which apparently account for around 80% of our workforce. As promised within that piece, in this entry, I want to break from the norm and offer up a case study on a remote meeting platform that we created for a pharmaceutical giant, and that could just work for you.
We have worked with a handful of these pharma’ manufacturing sites for a few years now and have forged some great relationships with some wonderful people, all of whom understand the critical importance of meaningful two-way communication with their people, regardless of role, responsibility, operational level, shift pattern or location.
Like many complex manufacturing sites, the locations in question operate multiple production shifts, often on a 24 hours-a-day basis, and have a complex network of engineering, quality assurance, R&D, and the more commonplace office-based support functions. One site has the added barrier of operating sterile and controlled manufacturing environments. Even with the best intentions, ensuring important comms reach all these crucial frontline workers precisely as they should poses a considerable challenge. We know that relying on cascaded comms is a risky business, as crucial messages can be diluted, altered or repurposed according to the views and biases of each messenger in the chain. Maintaining leadership visibility and gathering feedback on an ongoing basis are also much harder in this kind of environment.
Our solution was Touchpoint: a securely hosted web-based platform for video and slide-based content that ensures the delivery of key messages intact and in an engaging way every time, every month.
After consultation with the staff at each site, we divided content into three categories:
Core - for content that is applicable to all staff and should, therefore, be delivered to all,
Optional - for additional content that is less business-critical but could be of interest to certain departments, and
Local - an area where individual business units can develop their own content to be accessed on demand.
Core content is spearheaded each month by a short video from the site director, offering the most crucial business and site updates, and requests and recognitions, with authenticity, authority and eye contact. The vast majority of content is delivered via short videos (we impose a three-minute limit wherever possible!) to ensure messages are delivered exactly as intended and without edit or repurpose. Hosts are from every level of the business, depending on the content, and subject matter experts from every department are encouraged to contribute or star on screen if they are comfortable to do so. This helps with trust, relatability and employee empowerment and engagement. Videos can be simple “selfie” face-to-camera clips, factory-floor-footage-with-voiceovers, or more elaborate visual pieces (with our help) when required. There is also an option to upload slides with presenter notes when video is not possible or necessary, though this is usually reserved for the local content, as one of the main strengths of Touchpoint is its engaging, personal touch content.
Touchpoint is presented each month via a simple but eye-catching home screen with a tile for each piece of content that displays its title, format (video or slide deck) and video runtime.
All videos end with a question or discussion topic relating to the preceding content. This is designed to spark conversations within teams, check for understanding, embedding and contextualisation, and collect thoughts and feedback. It also empowers meeting hosts to do more than “just press play”. Touchpoint is designed, after all, to enable team leaders to run their meetings their way whilst still delivering the key messages as intended. Whilst core content is mandatory for all, they decide what optional, local, or other content to include in the rest of their meetings.
The final part of the Touchpoint process is for team leaders to confirm they have delivered the session, to rate its content, and feedback the thoughts and views of their teams. (Additional and bespoke questions or confirmation or feedback requests can also be added as and when required.) This enables us to produce a report at the end of each month’s delivery window to track delivery, identify gaps in permeation, and display aggregated content rating and employee feedback.
The sites ensure that all departments and teams have access to a large touchscreen TV on which to deliver their sessions each month, but content can also be accessed via any smart device with internet access, provided all access security requirements are met. This was particularly useful during Covid lockdowns, as the videos were shared within virtual meetings over MS Teams. (Other virtual meeting platforms are available!)
After introducing Touchpoint, the main site recorded a 12-point increase in their engagement score via their annual employee survey. There was also a 55% increase in team meetings taking place. The average of the ratings for the content over the past six months is 4.1 out of 5. This has never dipped below 4 out of 5.
Here is a selection of feedback comments from the past few months:
“The safety video was great and has already prompted some of our Engineering colleagues to suggest improvements.”
“I really enjoy receiving updates on what is going on around the site and especially the personal touch with videos - this really helps bring it to life for me.”
“Really good, interesting videos explaining our current position and monthly update of site priorities. Useful also for upfront key messages being shared by senior members for all teams to hear.”
“Great video to bring our priorities to life, making them relevant to our daily operation.”
“Good, short, punchy and thought-provoking messages - they get the point across in a good manner and asks us to relate it to our own areas.”