The Midas Group is one of the UK’s leading construction and property services companies. They have built a reputation for service and delivery excellence across a range of construction and refurbishment schemes as well as numerous property developments over the last 40 years.
The company’s 500 employees operate from a number of office locations across the South of England and South Wales as well as over 60 different construction project site locations.
As IT Infrastructure and Support Manager, Scott Bovey is responsible for maintaining and enhancing Midas Group’s technology platforms. When staff ever have a technical issue or query, it’s Scott’s job to ensure a successful resolution.
The spread of locations across which provides Midas such strong geographic coverage also influences one of its biggest challenges.
Communication is critical in any dispersed workforce. Scott explains what makes this even more complicated for Midas. “Connectivity on the construction sites can differ greatly because of the practicalities of getting good connectivity there in the short time scale while we build.”
Employees busy working on sites around the country rely on the robustness of technical systems. Any outages directly impact on their ability to work effectively, causing costly downtime.In these situations, staff need accurate, up-to-the-minute communication on issues, status updates and anticipated time frames for resolution. Corporate emails, which are easy to miss and can often be affected by the outage themselves, are too unreliable in this environment.
Midas had an ongoing need to convey important IT information that email alone wouldn’t sustain. Email or general systems could be down, plus staff were busy using multiple different applications and referred to emails only sporadically.
Scott chose to introduce the scrolling desktop ticker and desktop alerts as core internal communication channels. He felt these tools best aligned with their needs because they “allow everyone at their screens to view the message immediately.”
The ticker functions similarly to a newsfeed, where text scrolls across the bottom of each users’ computer screen. Messages can include hyperlinks to direct staff elsewhere online for more detail.
Alerts are designed for fast delivery and high impact to get employee attention immediately. Pop-up notifications are visually-arresting and equally effective for all device types (whether desktop, mobile or digital signage).
Tickers were employed by Midas for both planned and unplanned IT outages. In the case of planned outages, they were used to ensure staff were made aware in advance and could plan appropriately, minimizing lost productivity. For unplanned outages, they alerted staff immediately to prevent the flood of inbound calls to the IT helpdesk.
Like a news bulletin, tickers have been used to keep employees instantly updated. Messages were delivered to keep teams informed, either when outages occur or to provide support for temporary workarounds to maintain productivity.
Pop-ups alerts have been used for more general communications, such as business or process changes, and for guidance around best practice use of their systems and tools. They elected to restrict use of this channel to the CEO alone, to enhance its perception of authority and credibility.