Why Connecting with Your Workforce is Critical During Covid-19

City Logistics partners with one of South Africa’s largest retailers, Pick ‘n Pay, to provide digital vouchers in their new Workforce Engagement Communication App.

People are social beings. We need to connect and engage with one another. Any great organization is a group of committed people serving a customer’s need. The more connected the group, the better they serve. Under lockdown conditions, when communication with staff may be difficult, it is critical to find a way to stay in touch, for the success of the organisation.

How have City Logistics connected with their staff?

The Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown in South Africa has resulted in many people being unable to work and thus earn a living. Many feel disconnected from their companies and their teams as well as stressed about how they will survive, especially with UIF payment delays. Caring companies are trying to help their staff by sending food parcels. Unfortunately, the cost of distribution of these parcels is often prohibitive and support limited.

City Logistics wanted to reach out to our large staff contingent most of whom have been unable to work during the lockdown. We needed them to know that we are a strong organization, that management support them and that we are working towards coming out of this crisis better than before. Updates on remuneration and changes in the operation needed to be communicated on a regular basis, especially to staff with no access to email.

A bulk SMS system was used to begin with, but the messages came across business-like and impersonal due to the limiting length of SMS communications. We knew we needed to find a way to share information meaningfully, to educate and to inspire our workforce.

What is the Workforce Engagement Communication Application?

City Technology Solutions, a division of City Logistics, set to work to develop a way of sharing information meaningfully.  The communication application (app) was to be of low cost to the company and of no data cost to the employees. It needed to allow broadcast communication to all our staff or a specific group and staff needed to have the ability to give feedback and ask questions through the app.

We wanted to be able to distribute digital vouchers to support staff and their families; this would be an innovative way of distributing food parcels. Employees would have the ability to choose what they needed most from leading retailers of essential goods using this digital voucher.

We partnered with one of South Africa’s largest retailers, [highlight]Pick ‘n Pay[/highlight], to provide digital vouchers in the app for staff to use at any Pick ‘n Pay store countrywide. The investment in distribution was very low, which meant more benefits could be passed onto employees.

City Technology Solutions’ incredible team of developers built the application in just two weeks. Special mention must go to Software Engineer, [highlight]Frans Elstadt[/highlight], for his dedicated effort to get the new Workforce Engagement Communication App up and running effectively and efficiently. The application integrates with VIP (Human Resources software) to ensure that each employee is authenticated every time they login.

The app was officially launched on Saturday 2nd May and has so far reached over 1,500 staff members. HR can update staff on company news and send messages to specific groups or individuals on operational requirements. Messages of inspiration are sent out to uplift our staff during this challenging time, making sure they know that City Logistics continues to care.

Can my company use this app?

In this time, when we feel disconnected, strong leaders are pulling their teams together, clearly explaining the status quo, the action plan and creating unbreakable connections.

In an effort to support other companies and their employees over this time, City Technology Solutions would like to share the Work Engagement Communication App as an easy and effective communications tool to your organization’s leaders.

Please [highlight]contact us[/highlight] to find out more.