How Ireland’s postal service enhanced communications with their remote workforce.

Communicating business critical safety information with over 6,000 remote employees with an employee communications app.

An Post is the state-owned provider of postal services in Ireland and is one of the country’s largest employers with around 10,000 employees. The organisation provides a universal postal service to all parts of the country. On a daily basis they handle more than 120,000 parcels and serve 250,000 businesses and 2.2 million delivery points. 

Reaching a primarily remote workforce

Some 60% of An Post’s workforce are “out on the road”. The average demographic is somewhat “old school” in that the majority of the field-based workforce are male, mature (over 50 years of age), and not overly IT confident.   

Based on previous employee satisfaction surveys, the company recognised that “lack of communication” was perceived as an issue and that it required some attention. 

At that time communication of key messages was via the management channel with the inherent risk of filtering and interpretation and therefore lack of consistency.  

Printed matter such as newsletters are circulated but often important news stories miss print deadlines. So an additional channel of communication was needed to deliver up-to-the-minute news to this demanding workforce. Initially, the Company investigated “extranet” or whether it would make sense to extend email access beyond the current 3,300 employees who already had email access, but this was deemed cost prohibitive. 

The Turning Point

A severe adverse weather event in 2018 accelerated the need to find a solution to the problem. The company needed to inform all staff of the nationwide ‘Orange Alert’ weather warning but had to rely on management to pass on this message. A solution needed to be found so that staff could receive instant urgent messages and one that could be implemented quickly and easily. 

A Simple, Effective Solution 

It was decided to invest in a mobile app for all of the workforce, but especially those “hard to reach” employees. It had to be something that would be fast to get information out there and be exceptionally easy to download and use. As Marian Joyce, Internal Communications Manager, put it “we needed something that was easy to access and use!”   

An Post approached Thrive through recommendation and a small joint project team was formed. After only a few short weeks the app was launched in April 2018. 

The app is simplicity itself – with a clear focus on news: whether that be group news, company news or individual employee achievements. Internal vacancies are published and announced with a push notification so that everybody has the chance to be informed. 

According to Marian, their “Post People” App has become “the number one channel of choice”. The Company has just introduced a renewed brand and purpose and the App has been instrumental in getting the message across. Google Analytics has shown that any content posted by the CEO whether this be message, article or video is broadly read and always well received. This allows the CEO to deliver messages straight to the work force in an immediate and unfiltered manner. 

“We needed something that was easy to access and use! The app has become the number one channel of choice."

Marion Joyce, Internal Communications Manager, An Post

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