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Secrets Exposed: How Top Clients Use Mobile for Efficiency & Productivity

HubSpot Video

September 23, 2020

There are countless ways mobile technology can help your HR department run more efficiently — our next webinar will show you what you may be missing out on! 

Engage by Cell’s CEO David Asheim and Senior Mobile Solutions Consultant Patty Ruland will share the best use cases of how our 2,000 clients use how mobile technology to optimize processes for: 

  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Safely Returning to the Workplace
  • Employee Communication
  • Benefits 
  • Open Enrollment
  • Recruiting
  • And more!

View Slides



Dave Asheim  0:00  :  My name is Dave Asheim. And we'll go to the next slide where you see pictures. Patty has been working with Engage by Cell for five years or so and is one of our most senior consultants. So thanks, Patty, for joining us today.

Patty Ruland  0:16    :  Glad to be here.

Dave Asheim  0:17    :   We are going to go through a very fast-paced list of the kinds of ways you can all use a phone to better engage with your employees. And I think we've got maybe six or seven different ways to do that. And we're gonna go through examples of each one. We'll send you the file, the PowerPoint, and the webinar tomorrow. And if you have anybody else in your organization that you think we should send it to just put it in the chat window. Also, we would love to have questions nonstop. So we don't want this just to be Patty and Dave talking. So every single question you've got, whether it's legal, or can I do this, or what would employees you say, put that in the chat window. And here we go. I started the company called Engage by Cell about 14 years or so ago. Our first division was focused on museums to help museum visitors use their phones to learn and engage. And then so many of our museum clients started using it internally. So we formed a company called Engage by Cell. And that's what fast forward brings us to you folks today. We have thousands of clients that use us for texting and mobile sites and all kinds of really cool interactions. It's all cloud-based, no downloads, everything we have you folks can access through a dashboard. And I think you'll hopefully be inspired to find one or two of these services that might solve a couple problems for you. All right. If you see your organization name on the big blue board here, I see AJC there. Go ahead, everybody. And if you see your organization and you're a client, chat to the panelists and all attendees, let everybody know that you're here. And we've worked with giant, worldwide organizations like Bloomberg and Michelin, all the way down to some CASAs, child advocacy organizations, that might only have four or five employees. But in their case, they might want to use these services for training and an extension of training and some drip learning. Okay. Two platforms, I'll describe the first one on the left. Patty will take the second one. If we boil down everything that our company has been working on, it has to do with these two services. The first one is a two-way text messaging service. Most of the companies that you would Google, but their words, text messaging, and there are thousands of them, only do a push text messaging where you upload a list and then kind of spam it out. That is not our style. We like to get people's permission, we like to give you the opportunity to engage at different times with different kinds of lists. So it's a fantastic two-way texting, and we'll talk about it in just a second. And Patty, you can talk about the mobile platform.

Patty Ruland  3:40    :  So we also offer a mobile web platform. You might have a website that's mobile friendly, but this is a little different. This is where you take specifically curated content, resources, all types of company information that somebody might need, and place it all in one nice, neat little package that people can access on their smartphone. Content can be accessed 24/7, there's no downloading required. So this isn't an app which makes it super simple and easy. And you can also create different types of engagement quizzes, surveys, polls. What's been going on lately is this has been a really effective tool for communication.

Dave Asheim  4:27    :  I'm adjusting my camera, okay, so we're gonna hit each one of these in like, two minutes, three minutes each and give you examples. It would be fun to see in the chat window, which of these departments and responsibilities you folks work in, or if there's some different area, put that in the chat window so that we have an idea of where you folks are coming from. We will talk about these in these next slides. Okay, so for communication. When Patty and I first started talking to organizations about using text messaging for communication, this was what maybe five, six years ago, Patty? It was a little iffy. I think organizations were nervous that maybe sending a text would violate some kind of a rule, they thought that maybe employees would feel uncomfortable getting a text message. But we know that and we had known at the time that email open rates were going down, and I've read that they're around 25% now. Well that means that 75% of the emails that you send to your volunteers, your staff, your employees, your vendors, whoever it happens to be, they're not reading your email. That is a major, major problem. And I think the feeling about using text messaging has totally shifted. Patty, when you think about the conversations you've had with some of these large clients, what are they telling you regarding getting employees to opt-in to receive texting?

Patty Ruland  6:13    :  Yeah, absolutely, if it's gonna make their job easier, they want to get that quick, easy text communication. Especially now when some are working from home, some are doing home schooling for their kids. They have distractions going on. A quick text is so much easier than running to your computer and checking your email and so forth. I think on the next slide we have a really interesting statistic. Personally, I think the number is a little higher than that. The best way, you know, employees are saying, send me the best way to reach me.

Dave Asheim  6:49    :  Yep. And we are never advocating that you send people text messages that they don't want to receive. Because A) it's against the carrier rules. And B) it's not the way to manage your employees. But Patty and I can give you plenty of cases and can give you people to talk to, many of which are on this webinar today, that will say, because we give you some tools to allow people to voluntarily opt into these text messages that over time, your list is going to be populated by people that really want to hear what you're doing. Patty, give us some of these examples on the communication side that you found really helpful.

Patty Ruland  7:34    :  Most recently, company alerts, information about closing, reopening, certifications that need to be done. God forbid, an outbreak, and so forth. So constant alerts. Alerts have always been popular, especially on the East Coast. Severe weather alerts, emergencies, things like that. But now it's all company information. Also, keeping that connection with employees. Again, we offer that to a text message. So if you were to push out a text message and someone was unsure about it, they could reply right there on their phone. It would go into our platform, and then you could reply to them or have a discussion with them. And Dave had mentioned earlier, list management. People can get messages they want to receive, I can sign up for a specific type of information I want. Again, maybe it's openings and closings, maybe it's additional job opportunity availabilities, media information about company events. So you can really pick and choose or the employee can pick and choose what they want their text messaging to be about.

Dave Asheim  8:50    :  On the employee retention, something that was such a surprise to us, but it's not going to be a surprise to you folks is an awful lot of organizations do not have an email address that's provided for everybody in the organization. And so if you want to communicate with people that work in a factory, or that are nurses or on the outside of the normal company, the only way to really do that is through something like texting. And so that has been just a godsend for an awful lot of these organizations.

Patty Ruland  9:27    :  Absolutely. Hospitality is also another industry where you know, you have your housekeeping staff and your waitstaff and your bartenders and so forth, that aren't sitting at a computer waiting for an email or even have a company email address.

Dave Asheim  9:41    :  Okay. Let's keep it going, Patty.

Patty Ruland  9:51    :  Sure. So, Molly, do you want to go back one slide. So what you can do with your text messaging is basically putting information right into the hands of everybody who needs it. We have open enrollment coming up for lots of organizations. There can be a link to your open enrollment form or important documents. Again, workforce and workplace safety. Everybody's coming out with new safety manuals and procedures and so forth, that can be sent directly to an employee. Something interesting -- it allows people to, or an organization, to push out that they might have an open shift available. And say, "I have two open shifts for Saturday from 8 -4. Reply back if you're interested." The system captures them in order, lets the first people know that they could have the shift and the others that they weren't able to get it in in time. So lots of different ways to deliver these types of messages.

Dave Asheim  11:01    :  And I think that's kind of our why we're so passionate about is, if you were to send out any one of these workplace safety or delivering links via email, maybe a percent of your employees don't have an email account, or they're just not going to bother reading them, because they're getting so many emails during the day. So if you use text messaging, we all know that when your phone buzzes, it's very hard not to look at that text. And if you make kind of appealing, and conversational, people will click it, they'll look at what you want them to do. So we are very strong advocates of starting with text messaging. Onboarding is a very popular service for us. It's really a combination of the texting, going out with links to articles what to expect how to prepare, because as all of you know that our happened to be an HR onboarding is an incredibly time consuming activity. And if you don't make your new hires feel welcome and comfortable, then it's just not a great experience. So we have many organizations around the world that use us for onboarding. And Patty, what are some of your favorites on the onboarding side?

Patty Ruland  12:30    :  Yeah, I work with Michelin tires. They use us to enhance their onboarding for all their locations. So prior to somebody starting the day before they get a text with a welcome video from the CEO, they then get directed to a mobile website to see all the information about the facility that they'll be working at. They're able to upload a photo of themselves. So everybody gets to see who the new employees are. It's a great way to include people. Everybody wants to deal especially now with things being so strange. They want to feel included, they want to feel a part of something. Sending them reminders that they need to complete their W2, and all the different processes that are involved in onboarding. A new employee can all be handled much more efficiently through text messaging and a mobile site.

Dave Asheim  13:25    :  And just to interrupt Patty, it's like this example we have on this page, you get this "Hello, team, follow this link to learn about our company." You click the link, and then you land on this mobile page of content where you've created some video, some form some documents, and it's right there on their phone.

Patty Ruland  13:44    :  Absolutely, you can put things like dress code requirements and codes and conduct of standard and all that kind of information right there. They always have their phone with them anyway, so they can access it any time.

Dave Asheim  14:01    :  With the checklist, we talked a little bit about for benefits, we have quite a few organizations as well, that decided, especially during open enrollment right about now, the benefit process is so confusing for most employees and really confusing for spouses. Um, you get all these new, you know, you've got your Kaiser plan, your Blue Cross plan, you've got your Delta Dental, you've got all this stuff, and people have to make a change, or consider making a change in the fall and they've got pieces of paper and emails. So what so many of our clients have done is figured out a way to basically create a little portal kind of like what we have here on the screen. Have organizations like yours, pick the topics like vision and dental and 401k that get the most questions load your plan documents there if you want, maybe some questionnaires, maybe some explanatory videos. And then in lunch rooms, you can post signs where people can text in or scan a QR code to to get access to that benefit portal that now sits on your phone. Patty, I know that make updates on the fly has been important for so many of your clients.

Patty Ruland  15:26    :  Absolutely. And what I hear from my clients is they are getting the same question over and over and over and over again. So having that answer readily available, and having everything consolidated in one easy to access place, really frees up their time to do other parts of their job duties instead of answering. I don't want to say silly questions but questions that can easily be answered by posing the information.

Dave Asheim  15:53    :  Yeah, yeah, I think you're exactly right. And any time anything changes, it's live, because it's not an app. Every single page that's created has a distinct URL that you could email to people, or you can text it out to people. So having open enrollment benefit information available on a phone, where you can communicate changes to folks, and they could store it on their phone with a little icon that they can access throughout the year. It is just so handy.

Patty Ruland  16:27    :  Again, those reminder texts. You know, I can't tell you how many times our clients have told us no matter how many emails they've sent, somebody still comes three days later and said, I forgot to fill out my open enrollment form. Reminders are so important.

Dave Asheim  16:47    :  Great, Patty handle this one.

Patty Ruland  16:50    :  Yeah, so we talked about it earlier. Some organizations or some job seekers would text in a keyword to a shortcode, they would then get information about specific job openings or opportunities that are available. You can also again, if you don't have a company email for employees, you can post it in a break room where they can opt in or sign up to receive alerts and updates and notifications and so forth.

Dave Asheim  17:28    :  All right, Patty, keep it going.

Patty Ruland  17:30    :  Yeah, so like I mentioned earlier, as far as recruiting, we've worked with organizations where they texted a keyword "ABC company". They get a link back with a list of all the positions available, requirements for each of the positions. You know, there could be a qualification or a screening process. And, you know, I mean, hiring a new employee takes a lot of effort and time and work. So being able to automate some of it through text messaging is really helpful and efficient.

Dave Asheim  18:08    :  And I was talking with one of our clients, Patty, that does a lot of job fairs. And they were saying the majority of people are on the younger side for their company that are looking for employment. And when they ask people to fill out a piece of paper, take that back on a clipboard, these potential employees are looking at them. So the idea that I could be at a job fair, I could be reading a Craigslist ad or a Monster ad. And I can just send a text, get a link to one of these pages, fill out information and that's dumped right into your software. It is just so handy. Kind of like what we've got here, on the circle on the left hand side, it's just, it's just really the way to go. I think that this was cutting edge four or five years ago, but it's just not cutting edge anymore.

Patty Ruland  19:02    :  Absolutely. And I'm just gonna interject, this is for general enterprise or a company type recruitment. Just a little cross shout out. We are hosting a webinar tomorrow for workforce development professionals. And we'll talk about that in more detail about offering information to your program participants and so forth. It's a it's a simpler parallel.

Dave Asheim  19:26    :  And Molly before you move off of this slide, as you can see in the bottom right, the print text ABC, what Patty and I are promoting whether you use us or you're using another mobile company, start thinking about letting people use their phone to immediately get access and sign up for content or for a list. So every social media post you could say text in every email, you send out, text in to get this information. So it used to be something that was considered wow, very, very new. But as I said, that's not what our clients are telling us now. It's just kind of expected. Right?

Patty Ruland  20:17    :  This illustrates what we were talking about. Candidates can text in to join the list. There could be a questionnaire that they complete to evaluate whether they're, you know, qualified for the position, or if it's a specific program, whether they meet the requirements and so forth.

Dave Asheim  20:41    :  I think the nurturing, like we talked about is so important. And when you're using email as the nurturing tool, if they're not going to read your email, and you would think that they would, since they're going to be a potential employee, but many don't, using these mobile tools, especially texting to deliver encouragement, and how are you doing and your decision is just really powerful.

Patty Ruland  21:09    :  And, you know, we use our phones to text our friends and family every single day, it's kind of a natural transition that will start to go to the workplace. There's a bullet point there that I want to point out, which is probably one of the most important things. The third one, you never have to use your own phone. So you're not sending a text from your personal phone number. It's coming from our shortcode in the platform, and everything is stored there. You know, I've talked to people in the past who have manually done it through their own phone and replying to people, and it's just hours and hours and so time consuming. Plus, now they're from you know, their personal cell phone numbers floating out there. So doing it from our platform is super simple and easy.

Dave Asheim  22:06    :  Recently, with the whole COVID issues that we're all dealing with, we were asked by many of our clients to come up with a safety suite of services that includes texting, and then landing these text messages with links on pages of content. And so we created four or five different services. And we thought we would just share these with you. These are brand new services that we've just released in the last really week or two. And let's handle them one by one, Patty and kind of explain how these might be able to help all of you with dealing with COVID.

Patty Ruland  22:46    :  Yeah, to start, kind of do this little out of order. But the basic audio hotline, employees can call in and receive a recorded message for updates, any information about possible contamination or outbreaks and so forth. The COVID Responder is great to do evaluations. So it's kind of a catch up check, and so forth. It will give you information about appropriate cleaning facilities and social distancing and mapping things out and so forth. The Company APB again, this texting out, you know, all points bulletin, again, special alerts, reminders, notification, and so forth. The Water Cooler is great, it's literally taking the place, it's similar to like a message board. So coworkers can still catch up and chat with each other. It's adding that work and social component, since they're not able to physically gather at this time.

Dave Asheim  24:00    :  This service we we call, we've got two here we have the Keep Safe. And the Cleaning Check. The Cleaning Check allows you to take our system, and basically on your phone, create the structure and the process for different departments of what the procedure is. So maybe for this area in the morning, someone is responsible for disinfecting these kinds of things. And it's literally a checklist on your phone. Your employees that are in charge of this would just go down and check check, check, check and tap it and and then there's a record of who did the cleaning at what time of day. And if you needed to take pictures. You could also take pictures. Patty, you can explain the Keep Safe Mobile website.

Patty Ruland  24:49    :  So what we have is the Monday Morning Threat Assessment. This will allow an employee to record their weekend activities to see if there's any potential danger in them returning to the workplace. We also have what's called a Mental Health Check In survey. And this is just kind of providing a little peace of mind, making sure employees are coping well. They're not struggling with any issues, again, related to the whole COVID situation. And then additionally, we have the Morning Checklist or Morning Health Check In and Self Assessment that allows an employee through a series of questions to see if they are potentially at risk. Right.

Dave Asheim  25:56    :  On the distancing, there's been an awful lot of articles about obviously masks as a preventive tool, but of course, distancing. So we've got three answers here to help you folks. One is a GPS Mapper that can take locations that you can put push pins down on a map that you can upload into our service, where you can make sure that you can have rules on how many people can be in certain areas. So it's a kind of a social distancing tool there. The bottom one, you can see a little picture of what this Personal Space Guardian looks like. It's a device that your employees could wear. And if they get too close to another employee or another person that's got the device, it will vibrate, and it will flash to keep them more distant than six feet. So both of those are popular. And Patty, you could talk about the lobby tech touchless check-in.

Patty Ruland  27:03    :  Yeah, it is exactly what it says that allows people to use their own smartphones to check into various situations, whether it's a medical appointment, is at an office building at a concierge or reception area, and so forth. It allows people to basically say I'm here, I'm healthy. And then they're directed to, you know, when they'll be served and, or, or so forth. So no more writing on a clipboard, sharing a pen with somebody, anything like that it's really taken, or we're trying to take some of the risks out of day to day every day.

Dave Asheim  27:44    :  Yep, great. That's our quick thirty minute summary of six or so different ways you folks can start to use mobile. I'm sure you're thinking, Mmm would my employees welcome this? Well, because it's an opt in service, you will be able to find that out. And we can give you money back guarantees to prove to you that if you try to use these services, we guarantee you, Patty, and I will guarantee you that your employees will love them. As we talked about Patty, it's everything from communication to onboarding, to benefits to even some of these safety suites. Our recommendation is get a bunch of people together that work in communication, or HR or training, contact Patty or myself. We'll put in the chat window again our contact info. Maybe Patty, you could do that while I'm chatting here. And just reach out to us to say hey, I don't know whether this stuff was for me or not. But let's get five of my HR associates on a call. And let's do a little chat. And we'll show you live examples. We will, if you're interested, give you some names of some of our clients that are trying to address some of your problems. And we would just love to have a chance to see if some of these training and HR and safety solutions can improve your communication. If email happened to be read by everybody, then some of these services might not be so important, but because the trend on email is declining pretty fast, and the trend on using texting for corporate type activities is increasing, I suggest that you use strongly consider it. Patty any final thoughts.

Patty Ruland  29:45    :  You know for those who haven't dipped their toe in the mobile pool yet, now's the time. We're finding more and more people signing up for these types of services because they're not necessarily In an office, it's easier to communicate and so forth. Um, so you're looking to kind of dip your toe in now would be the perfect time.

Dave Asheim  30:09    :  We have a question Patty, from Jenny about if you're a member of Engage by Cell is this all free. It kind of depends on what you signed up for. There are certain services here that are just extensions of what we are, you're probably already buying. And in that case, it's free. Then there's some things like the devices that you're wearing and some of the texting that where we have an extra cost. And then there's a minimal the increased cost for that, but not much.

Patty Ruland  30:35    :  I know someone had to leave, but they asked for more information. So I'm just going to put it out there. If you would like some additional information, go ahead and put your name and email address in. And one of our folks will be in touch with you maybe show you a demo of our services and so forth. As I had mentioned earlier tomorrow, I'm hosting a webinar for workforce development agencies. We work with many work with development agencies throughout the country, we work with goodwill organizations for their program participants. We work with a couple of csef organizations. So if you're interested in seeing how mobile is being used by those types of organizations, feel free to go on our website and register tomorrow at the same time as today.

Dave Asheim  31:27    :  Beautiful, and I think that wraps it up, we will send everybody here, copy of the presentation. Like Patty said, go ahead and reach out to her and or just put your email in the chat window and we'll make sure you get info. And we'll hang out for another three or four minutes if anybody wants to ask us a one on one question and we can turn the audio on so you can you can chat with us live. But this concludes the official part of our webinar and thanks so much for joining us.

Secrets Exposed: How Top Clients Use Mobile for Efficiency & Productivity

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