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Case Study: Bridging The Frontline Communication Gap At Cargill

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96%
adoption rate at some locations
12,000
previously non-wired workers now connected
30+
different languages spoken

Cargill is a global food corporation on a mission to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. To do that, the company employs over 155,000 workers across 70 countries worldwide. Cargill Protein – North America, which staffs more than 28,000 team members, is responsible for the production and distribution of high-quality products to customers in retail, foodservice, and food manufacturers.

Within Cargill Protein – North America, there are more than 30 different languages spoken in the workforce. A diverse employee base undoubtedly creates a more positive and inclusive workplace — but without the right tools, navigating language barriers that exist between employees and supervisors can be a challenge.

Other business challenges Cargill faced included:

  • Reliance on paper-based processes
  • Limited access to a two-way communication channel
  • Connecting a geographically dispersed workforce across 40+ locations

So, the Cargill Protein team came together to find a solution that would not only boost employee engagement, but help their business run smoother at the same time.

Before
  • Communication Challenges language barriers across a multilingual workforce
  • Paper-Based Scheduling delays in operational efficiency
  • Siloed Work limited opportunity for two-way communication
After
  • Connect a Diverse Workforce in-line translation bridges language barriers
  • Digitize Paperwork and Processes workers have on-demand mobile access
  • Better Communication Between Employees and Managers ability to share best practices across plant locations
Cargill Screenshot
Beekeeper's internal communication tools in action

From Non-Wired to Wired with Beekeeper

In early 2020, Cargill partnered with Beekeeper to implement a mobile collaboration tool that would bridge their frontline communication gap. By February, the team was ready to pilot the app in its first location. Then, the global pandemic hit, and the ability to quickly reach every employee soon became a mission-critical business objective.

With Beekeeper, Cargill wanted to:

  1. Bridge the frontline communication gap between wired and non-wired and multilingual teams
  2. Safely reach and communicate with employees during the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Enhance employee engagement and inspire alignment with the company’s customer-driven culture
  4. Establish operational (and cost-efficient) processes by eliminating unnecessary paper-based practices
“More than 12,000 non-wired Cargill employees have opted into using this tool and are now easily connected to information, resources, and communication they didn’t have before.” Jay Knoll, Sr. Communications Specialist, Cargill

The company launched its pilot program in February, but it quickly adapted as the pandemic led to stay-at-home orders and ever-evolving health and safety protocols for the workplace. In less than one year, Cargill deployed its new communication tool to all 40+ Cargill Protein locations. At a time when they needed it most, employees were better connected, more informed, and recognized for their hard work.

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Sky-High Activation Rate
52% overall with some locations as high as 96%
Leadership Engagement
Local deployment leaders drove participation
Customer-Driven Culture
Excellent customer service through an engaged workforce

Since implementing Beekeeper, Cargill has seen employee adoption of the technology take off.

In less than one year of full implementation, they have achieved a 52% activation rate with some locations reaching as high as 96%. The company is also operating more efficiently with a significant reduction in costly paper-based processes. Now, employees have access to shift schedules, forms, and resources right at their fingertips.

What are the keys to their quick success? It starts with establishing solid local deployment leaders to oversee the roll-out. Cargill empowered teams within each facility to have ownership over their location’s program, content, and adoption tactics. Why? Because they know what matters most to those frontline workers.

Additionally, leadership engagement through the app’s dynamic capabilities made a significant difference. For example, plant managers recorded videos and shared them on local Streams. Also, environmental, health, and safety (EHS) leaders communicated workplace and food and safety best practices across locations to ensure operational practices were consistent.

As the Cargill team looks ahead, their priority is to continue aligning their frontline workforce with their customer-driven culture. Using Beekeeper as their collaboration and productivity platform, Cargill’s essential employees are more engaged and better equipped to drive efficiencies for the benefit of their customers.

Cargill's journey to adopting mobile communication tool Beekeeper

For Cargill, Beekeeper unlocked additional benefits, including:

  • Stronger frontline employee alignment with the company’s customer-driven culture
  • Safer workplace processes that no longer required physical gatherings or document sharing
  • More open team communication supported with inline translations 
  • Elevated employee engagement and empowerment

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