In just a few years, Built Brands has become one of the top protein bar manufacturers. But when COVID-19 hit, the company had to navigate unfamiliar territory and find a way to reach several hundred workers to keep everyone safe and stay in compliance with federal mandates.
Founded in 2018, Built Brands is a food manufacturing company that manufactures the world’s best tasting protein bar. . After being in business for just a few years, Built Brands was named the official protein bar of NASCAR, and has partnerships with the US Ski and Snowboard Team, and the US Track and Field Team. Every day, the manufacturing facility in American Fork, Utah, produces hundreds of thousands of protein bars. This vertical trajectory to success is due in no small part to Built Brands’ frontline workers and the company’s commitment to creating a sense of community in the workplace.
Beekeeper manager, RJ Bisaha hosted an in-depth webinar with Built Brands’ VP of HR, Shannon McQuarrie, and Director of HR, Shane Fisher to learn how the company has navigated the challenges of staying compliant amidst ever-changing health and safety regulations during the pandemic.
RJ kicked things off with a few stats to help us get a lay of the land on frontline worker tech:
- Frontlines workers are 80% of the global workforce
- Less than 10% of frontline workers have access to digital tools
- The cost of not providing frontline digital tools is $8,000 per worker
When the pandemic hit, Built Brands relied on text messages and word of mouth to reach their frontline team members. “We struggled to communicate with our teams,” according to Shannon. After looking at other options, Shannon was impressed with Beekeeper, which aligned with the company’s goals.
Here are the top takeaways from our webinar with Built Brands.
1. Tracking Employee Health and Vaccination Status
Like most companies, Built Brands has had many different federal and state mandates to comply with throughout the pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act required companies to regulate paid sick leave for employees related to COVID-19. OSHA’s ETS, or Emergency Temporary Standard, regulated company policies on vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. With mandates constantly changing, Built Brand’s HR team had their work cut out for them.
To be compliant, it was essential for Built Brands to track and document who got sick and who had received the vaccine since quarantine and leave rules varied depending on vaccination status.
“Tracking and documentation is what matters to OSHA. Have you notified everybody? Has everybody responded? Do you have 100% compliance?” said Shannon. “Beekeeper is the one way we use the program in order to keep track of all of that information,” said Shannon. “Our employees know exactly where to go and how to put that information in themselves. It gets emailed to everyone on my team. And it allows us to download those results and be able to have that information right at our fingertips.”
2. Boosting Frontline Engagement
While Beekeeper’s customers see an 85% average activation rate, Shannon set her sights all the way at the top. “This isn’t going to work unless everybody uses it,” she said. “It was very very important to me that everybody bought in.” Thanks to the gritty determination and all-hands-on-deck rollout strategy, Built Brands reached an activation rate of 100%. (Yes, literally every single person in the company!)
The company’s strategy included:
- Cultivating engagement with their managers. Shannon asked every manager to post about their teams to get their employees excited.
- Creating a grassroots campaign. “Shane and my entire team were out on the floor having people download the app, showing them what it looks like and how to use it, and the cool features about it.” The HR team tracked exactly who was engaging with the app and followed up with workers who hadn’t logged in.
- Free SWAG!. “If you downloaded Beekeeper onto your phone and uploaded a photo you got a t-shirt,” said Shannon. “Everybody wears them around our facility with pride.” To recognize employees who engage regularly with the app, Shannon gives away surprise gift cards.
“It’s so cool now to go out and we see the people on the frontlines posting,” said Shane.
3. Creating a Dedicated Stream for COVID-19 Information
To manage and share critical information, Built Brands created a communication stream dedicated to COVID-related updates so workers could find it all in one place. HR shares links to policies, COVID resources, and three different forms—one for employees to report vaccination status, another to track if somebody takes time off to get vaccinated in order to comply with ETS laws, and a third to report positive COVID cases.
Automating the collection of the team’s vaccination status and COVID exposure with Beekeeper forms has dramatically streamlined the process and made it more efficient. Workers can report a positive COVID test and upload their vaccination cards from their mobile devices instead of going into the HR office.
“Our employees know exactly where to go and how to put that information in themselves,” said Shannon. “It emails to everyone on my team and it allows us to download those results and be able to have that information right at our fingertips.”
4. Making Information Accessible with Inline Translation
“Working in manufacturing, the majority of my team members don’t sit behind a desk. They’re not reading their email constantly. Being able to have something that can be easily accessible was really important,” said Shannon. With Beekeeper, Shannon has a single source of truth for employees to access all company policies directly on their mobile devices.
With Built Brand’s diverse workforce, the company also needed a way that every team member could understand these complex policies and terminology around COVID-19. Beekeeper’s inline translation enables workers to select their preferred language, ensuring everyone can understand critical communication. It also helps employees feel valued and supported.
“The majority of employees don’t speak the same language as everyone else,” Shannon said. “So it was extremely important that I find a platform to communicate in the language that is most familiar to them.”
5. Creating Training and Development Programs
Shannon introduces Beekeeper to Built Brands team members on their first day at work.
“When I onboard somebody for the first time, I show them what Beekeeper looks like and explain to them how we use it. I get their buy-in from day one.” And it works. Their newest employee logged into Beekeeper after only 10 minutes on the job to say, “I’m so excited to be a part of this team!”
With Beekeeper integrated into daily operations, Built Brands is also leveraging the platform to boost retention by creating growth opportunities for workers. “Now that we have people all in, we’re able to really use Beekeeper in our training and development programs,” said Shane.
Shane uploads training videos and is able to track who watches them. These analytics allow him to see which workers are eager to learn and can grow within the company.
“The more they see the investment the longer they’re going to stick around,” said Shannon. “The engagement side of this tool is going to help shape the future of our workforce.”
6. Make it Fun
Both Shane and Shannon shared their top takeaway tips for companies partnering with Beekeeper.
“Don’t be afraid to make Beekeeper your own. Make it fun!” Shannon said. “We make Beekeeper fun. But it also allows us to accomplish the jobs that we need to do.”
“Be united. That’s probably the number one thing that I’ve witnessed Beekeeper bring to us. The unity for our team is just incredible. It’s never been like this,” added Shane.