KR Wolfe - theEMPLOYEEapp

KR Wolfe

surgeons operating in a hospital operation room

KR Wolfe

The Situation: Uniting a Fully Remote Team Using Mobile Comms

90% of KR Wolfe’s staff are remote technicians who travel around the country to complete installations. These techs can spend upwards of 300 days on the road and have no easy access to an Intranet or in-person meetings. Important emails got buried in the sea of email overload.

“We were looking for a solution to be able to stay in communication with everybody. We needed a centralized platform that everyone could be on.”

Dave Plekkenpol, Director of Internal Operations, KR Wolfe

KR Wolfe’s mobile journey started several years ago with an app called TribeSocial, which did not get the traction that they had hoped for. They then went through a few other solutions that did not gain enough adoption. And then they launched theEMPLOYEEapp in February 2021.

The App

KR Wolfe uses the app for a mix of need-to-know and nice-to-know content. Need to know information lives front and center on the app. They leverage app Carousel Banners to spotlight important information like their pre-trip inspection forms that need to be filled out daily. With a single click they can fill out the survey and get on the road. They also have their injury and incident report on the carousel as well to make it easier to fill out reports and faster for HR to have the information they need.

Over the next year, they hope to continue to grow their safety program through the app.

“The app is the greatest vehicle we have for safety. People are engaging with safety content on a weekly basis. It’s always in front of them.”

Dave Plekkenpol, Director of Internal Operations, KR Wolfe

But for KR Wolfe, culture and community are always top of mind. They encourage employees to post on theEMPLOYEEapp, to share more of the great things that are going on both in their personal lives and at work. Because their field teams work all over the country, they seldom get to meet each of their colleagues in person. To aid in the interaction between co-workers, the team members are encouraged to post their favorite restaurant or activity in the area that they’re working.

“Other people will be coming to work in that area in the future,” explains Plekkenpol. “They need to know where to go to get a good meal. What in the area can they go do? This helps bring people together and makes it easier to be on the road so often.”

Plekkenpol is a big believer in losing the polish. Communication is about building community. And it’s obvious in the content they post. Safety is a top priority, but they don’t just communicate about safety using dense policy documents. They recently launched a fun contest in their app where they shared a screenshot of an operating room in a popular TV medical drama and asked employees to spot the errors in the equipment installation.

“Anybody who’s worth their salt will see it immediately!” jokes Plekkenpol.

Living The Values: QUEST

“Our core values are inextricably bound in the DNA of the founders of the company and our people. It isn’t something that we just went to a book and pulled out and said, ‘oh, that looks cool.’ Right? We sat down in meetings and really thought about what was important to us. What do we believe in? What do we really live and die and breathe by on a day-to-day basis?”

Dave Plekkenpol, Director of Internal Operations, KR Wolfe

At KR Wolfe, the core values are not just platitudes and posters on the wall. The acronym QUEST represents their values:

  • Quality
  • Understanding and caring
  • Exceptional Service
  • SPIRIT: Spreading positivity, initiating relationships, and inspiring teamwork)
  • Trust and integrity

And they have been able to use the app to continue to improve how they communicate these values consistently through everything they do and say.

The team uses theEMPLOYEEapp for various announcements, like highlighting recent projects, new customers, work anniversaries, birthdays, special events, etc. And then employees in the field post pictures of their boats, their grandkids and children, and all that kind of stuff. They really encourage people to share on a personal level, not just on a company level. And with the app, other employees can like and comment and engage. So without ever meeting each other, they can get to know one another.

KR Wolfe & theEMPLOYEEapp Successes

KR Wolfe has:

  • Achieved 98% adoption within the first 90 days of using theEMPLOYEEapp.
  • Created a hub for all safety information that employees can use as part of their daily responsibilities.
  • Fostered culture and community by providing a secure yet accessible channel for field technicians and support staff to engage with and share content.
  • Provided virtual trainings to employees during a slowdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, making effective use of any employee down-time.

About KR Wolfe

KR WOLFE, INC. is a certified women-owned enterprise specializing in installation and integration of proprietary systems and capital equipment, with an emphasis in medical construction.

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