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Q&A: How Flagger Force Got 78% of Their Workforce to Adopt Beekeeper and Unite Their Distributed Teams

Q&A: How Flagger Force Got 78% of Their Workforce to Adopt Beekeeper and Unite Their Distributed Teams
Tamara Palmer
Tamara Palmer, Internal Communications Specialist at Flagger Force
6 min read

At Beekeeper, we believe in celebrating our customers. That’s why our Customer Success team is so famous for always going above and beyond to ensure that every Beekeeper user gets something out of their experience.

While we love providing our customers with the guidance, tools, and resources they need to be successful, we get really pumped when they embrace the process and transform the way their organization communicates.

That’s why our latest customer Q&A is highlighting Tamara Palmer, Internal Communications Specialist for Flagger Force, a leading traffic control company providing flaggers and short-term traffic control services covering most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

If the name Flagger Force sounds familiar, it may be because we’ve featured them on the Beekeeper blog before! We highlighted their innovative use of Beekeeper in our latest Fireside Chat. But we wanted to dive even deeper into the inner workings of Flagger Force’s internal communications.

So, we sat down with Tamara to learn their secret behind a 78% adoption rate and 90% user stickiness rate (meaning that 90% of Flagger Force employees who use Beekeeper are actively engaging with the platform frequently).

Here’s what Tamara had to say about Flagger Force’s success with the Beekeeper platform.

1) You have an impressive background in Communications. What made you want to pursue this field as a profession?

Early in my career, my profession took me to the frontlines. I was acutely aware of when we received clear and timely communications and the consequences of when we did not. I care about the end user and work hard to optimize their experience for all the communication we distribute and to listen to their feedback.

2) How does Flagger Force use Beekeeper to connect its distributed workforces?

Flagger Force leverages Beekeeper’s mobile app to provide our employees with direct access to our resources, such as the standards for work zone flagging operations, and phone numbers to the corporate and regional offices.

The fearless Flagger Force marketing team! Starting from the back row going left to right: Mary Walsh, Kelsey Deemer, Alyssa Martelli, Chris Byerly, Lindsay Wanner, Tamara Palmer

The Safety and Quality team managers use Chats and direct employees to participate in the Safety & Operations discussions. Our Operations managers use Surveys to collect volunteers for weekend work. We also have a variety of topically focused content Streams. Our Water Break Stream is pivotal in helping us get to know one another. We’ve personalized much of Flagger Force in ways not possible with our other communication channels.

3) How does management collaborate with other departments and encourage field leadership to leverage Beekeeper to communicate with their teams?

Marketing provides management and field leadership with the structure and support necessary for communicating to employees. Managers and departments are subject matter experts and generate great topic ideas. We empower them by training the staff in the procedures for posting. Marketing coordinates all departments according to our editorial calendar and frequently provide graphic assets and copy review of content.

4) Did your team have any reservations or objections around adopting an internal communication platform? If so, what outcomes alleviated these concerns?

Flagger Force conducted a series of focus groups the year prior to launching the Beekeeper app. We knew we needed to improve field employee communications and leadership was optimistic about the idea of a mobile app. Some within the company expressed concern about how field employees might conduct themselves. Others wondered how widely accepted it would be.

The first fears were assuaged when we hit our end-of-year adoption target of 60% within the first month of rollout. We’ve since achieved more than 80%. Confidence grew in the channel as employees engaged by helping each other, peer checking when necessary, and using the app to service operational needs.

5) Flagger Force produces an annual report on Beekeeper usage stats among its employees. What are some trends you’ve noticed in this data?

Company announcements and important policy updates are always among the most-read posts.

People are eager to know what’s happening in the world of Flagger Force. We also run a “Just For Fun” series where we ask employees to share a little about themselves. Topics like “Favorite Food to Grill” or “Favorite Music When Driving to Work” generate significant comments and allow us to interact.

A recent post announcing Employee Appreciation Month was the most robust ever with 560+ reads and 130+ comments. We also track the most popular Streams by volume. Our “Jobs” Stream tops the list.

6) In this annual report, posts by Mike Doner, Flagger Force’s President and CEO are among the top performing content on the platform. Why do you think it’s important for leadership to actively participate in their company’s internal communications?

I would say that to generate successful change management, you need the support of leadership.

Mike Doner embraced the app because he understands the necessity of connecting with employees. Earlier this year, Flagger Force changed the procedure for how jobs are dispatched to employees. Mike informed the workforce about the change through a series of videos that marketing shot in our new video studio, all of which were posted in the app.

He gave the ‘why’ and explained the technical aspects. Operations managers monitored comments and answered questions. Flagger Force successfully implemented this critical shift in a short period of time, and we credit Beekeeper with assisting in the smooth transition.

7) Based on the internal data you’ve collected on employee app usage within your organization, what would you say is the most effective way to increase employee engagement on an internal communication platform?

Gamification. We maintain a balance of practical and recreational content to keep employees interested. We work hard to produce consistent messaging and leverage our analytics reporting to make data-driven decisions.

Lastly, we actively monitor and have strong procedures in place to manage our app. From providing customer service, to keeping the More tab well-organized, to our use of professional graphic assets, we’re committed to keeping the channel healthy.

Fun fact: In 2018, Flagger Force logged a staggering 33,000 posts by their users. That’s a lot of engagement!

Are you ready to scale your company’s internal communication? Download our complete guide on how to build an internal communication strategy for your business!