Wyzetalk’s flagship workforce client is a global mining and exploration company with 20 gold mining operations across 10 countries. The Company operates in a dynamic and complex environment that needs to be considerate of cultural diversity, environmental impact, community stakeholders, global market forces and political determinations.
A changing landscape
Sectors responsible for mass scale employment of a diversified, multicultural, distributed workforce are largely unionised and complex to manage. In recent years they’ve experienced major unrest, dramatically impacting worker relations, productivity results and economic stability. The need for these companies to transform is imperative as they grapple with how to remain competitive in a tough economic and employment environment. These and other contributing factors like a younger and less skilled and literate workforce has highlighted the importance of new strategies to engage and communicate with the workforce.
Although traditional methods of circulating information and communications channels are still prevalent, it’s clearly evident from the outdated information on notice boards, overflowing suggestion boxes, torn posters and reliance on tier-down communications process just how ineffective this way of communicating has become. A radical shift in approach is required and the companies that embrace this change are the ones that will succeed in the long term.
Recognising the need to change, AngloGold Ashanti chose to implement the Wyzetalk workforce engagement solution, and thereby introduce a new channel of communication, that would reach the worker directly using mobile technology, in their preferred language, with a message that was relevant to their role and their direct working environment and at no cost to the employee. But more importantly they wanted to get feedback directly from their employees – in real time, to enable them to improve responsiveness and take better decisions based on accurate and timely information.
How it works
Wyzetalk enables companies to send informational messages, a SMS to any mobile device including feature phones; they are able to send messages that ask the employee to dial a USSD number or go to an App or Mobi site to provide feedback, answer questions or update their details; and thirdly we have developed a mobile content channel that their employees can dial into at any time to view content relevant to their jobs, see updated info like production targets and safety messages, job postings, health information, enter competitions and participate in surveys.
The role of communications specialists
Wyzetalk has a managed services team of communication specialists that work on the strategy and monthly plan; we compile messages, arrange translations and manage the approval, distribution and tracking of each messaging campaign. This we do on a 24/7 basis to facilitate emergency messages that are time critical. All this information, dynamic in nature, is captured and analysed in a back office system and presented back to the leadership team in their live enterprise-web dashboard. The user-friendly system makes it easy to consolidate data for management reports and weekly status updates.
At the outset the platform and campaign strategy encouraged employees to opt-in to the workforce engagement platform and once they had registered and provided their personal information, which was authenticated against employee and industry numbers, the employee was incentivised with an airtime voucher.
We also embarked on a substantial research program to better understand the environment that we were about to communicate into including gaining insight into worker sentiment, issues facing the employees and information that the employees were interested in receiving from the company. The results of this research assisted us greatly in compiling a strategy and communications plan that continues to inform our monthly activities and other communications initiatives that the Client is undertaking.
We started off our campaign with the mobile numbers of 400 employees. Within 3 days of launching the campaign, 5030 employees had registered on the platform and within the first month 8900 employees were receiving messages. The first multi-language campaign we ran where we asked for feedback from employees we received 7294 responses within 3 days and in total within the first 4 months 237 208 messages were sent out.
Survey responses show us that employees are responding favourably to this new platform and our client has already used the feedback that has been provided to them to cut down costs and introduce process efficiencies. Moreover worker sentiment is improving as they now feel that the company is communicating more effectively with them and responding to their feedback.
Working alongside the health and safety teams at AngloGold Ashanti and digitising those programs resulted in the best safety record in their history. In April 2017 Wyzetalk recognised for helping achieve this historic milestone.