As an international humanitarian organization, The Red Cross provides worldwide crisis management, global health, and well-being assistance before, during, and after disasters. Part of the German Red Cross, the DRK Säckingen County Association has roughly 80 full-time employees working across several German Red Cross departments.
Real time internal communication is imperative given the time-sensitivity of the emergency and crisis management services the DRK Säckingen County Association provides. From communicating emergency operations and route information to instructions for deliveries of aid supplies and up-to-the-minute updates on volatile safety situations, the DRK needed more reliable and efficient internal communication between paramedics, employees, and other relevant departments.
Internal Communication Goals for Connecting Departments
The DRK Säckingen County Association management identified the following functionalities as essential when selecting a unified communications solution that would best meet their interdepartmental connectivity and crisis management needs:
- Data security in all employee messaging and communications
- The ability to sort and share information, and ensure it reaches relevant teams in a timely manner
- An intuitive user interface similar to WhatsApp, but with more control over who receives content and messaging
Overcoming Crisis Management Barriers Across Dispersed Teams
Prior to adopting Beekeeper’s team app, the DRK Säckingen County Association used WhatsApp as their chosen internal communication platform. Though easy to use, employees felt the communication app was too intertwined with their personal communications so using the app for work-related communications was a challenge.
WhatsApp also lacked the ability to manage what employees were seeing, as users could selectively sign out of chats and would thus miss crucial crisis management updates. Successfully reaching all employees and making company crisis communications and other valuable information accessible at a moment’s notice was inconsistent and difficult to measure. This was particularly challenging given the highly mobile nature of the work, with employees spread out across offices, sites, and locations.
Unified Communications with Beekeeper’s Team App
Many factors set Beekeeper apart when it came to selecting an internal communication tool for the DRK Säckingen County Association’s widely dispersed crisis management workforce:
- A professional interface that is clearly and visibly differentiated from consumer messaging tools like WhatsApp.
- Dedicated streams on the Beekeeper team app specifically for the German Red Cross’ Rescue Services and Mobile Social Services departments.
- Centralized internal communications for both office and in-the-field employees, such as paramedics and other first responders.
From the management perspective, stream administrators can tailor and organize information for individual departments so employees see only the urgent information that is relevant to them. On the employee side, all content on the Beekeeper team app can be labeled with tags for easy searching and sorting so employees can quickly find the latest updates, protocols, and need-to-know information on-the-go.
Digital Communication Leads to More Efficient Operations
One of the most significant changes the DRK Säckingen County Association made by implementing Beekeeper’s team app was transitioning from manually created, printed, and distributed paper announcements to digital internal communication and operations information. Communication streams and group chats are now the channels for distributing meeting notes. Using their Beekeeper team app’s analytics dashboard, senders can track employee open rates by requesting confirmation, which recipients confirm with one click. After implementing Beekeeper, the read rate has increased substantially from 80% to 98%.
Beekeeper’s team app has improved the efficiency of the DRK Säckingen County Association’s internal communications in the following ways:
- Vast reduction in emails
- Less printed notices and updates with the ability to upload PDFs and other files directly to messages and posts in the Beekeeper team app’s streams
- A mobile, less complicated, and transparent digital internal communication platform
Today, the German Red Cross has nearly 160 employees in multiple departments across the organization who are active users of their Beekeeper team app. Adoption is also high, with 76% of 99% of activated users engaged and contributing to the Beekeeper team app daily.