Life-saving internal communications are a game-changer in health & safety
Saturday, 2 November 2019 / Vaughan Reed
Saturday, 2 November 2019 / Vaughan Reed
Updated October 2022
“Destructive and devastating” is how Skycity executives referred to the fire at Skycity Convention Centre in Auckland.
If working in the health and safety space sometimes feel like ‘ticking boxes’ to inform employees about things that might put them in danger, it’s time to take a long hard look at what your organisation is doing to protect employees and its assets, especially if you are a health and safety manager or have responsibilities in this area.
SkyCity Convention Centre Fire - Photo by Vaughan Scott IMAGES
In October of 2019, a fire broke out on the roof of the New Zealand international Convention Centre, part of the SkyCity complex. The fire burned for over 48 hours, disrupting many businesses in the area. This costly incident not only involved millions of dollars in repairs, but it also impacted at least 24 major conferences that were booked for 2021.
This cautionary tale highlights the importance of health and safety procedures on site. It’s a reminder for businesses how easily a massive crisis can take place.
We retain 80% of what we see and process visuals 60,000 times faster than text! Millennials have an attention span of only 12 seconds, Generation Z only 8 seconds – realistically you can’t absorb much text during that time. The case for more visual communications is even stronger when you consider 65% of the population are visual learners and our attention span is waning.
As society has evolved, so has our communication. This has a direct bearing on how you need to communicate in your workplace. Under the influence of social media and other online platforms, we now have an appetite for highly visual, snackable and dynamic communications.
Internal communications is going digital - don't get left behind. Use digital screens around your office or make use of screensavers and browser home pages to share your messages. This is a passive way of getting your internal communication messages in front of people without distracting them from their tasks.
The big issue organisations are facing is around retention of health and safety information and getting it through to front line staff. Most organisations are communicating health and safety messages during employee inductions and staff training programs and it’s difficult to change a lifetime of habits through a one-off program.
To ingrain methods and messages they need to be reinforced continuously, in a way where workers feel comfortable and can relate. The current methods of emails, posters and noticeboards, are simply not getting through, nor are they being retained by employees.
If you are a person responsible for health and safety in your organisation, the quality of your communications can literally mean the difference between life and death or avoiding the catastrophic events which unfolded at SkyCity Convention Centre. If you want your business to live and breathe a health and safety culture, your messaging needs to be reinforced daily, from top management down to people on the ground and at the coal face, where it really counts. It is not acceptable to rely on one method of dissemination, such as middle management passing on information in an inconsistent and haphazard manner – it needs to be more considered, well planned and co-ordinated.
Condense your health and safety messages into bite-sized portions, and make sure to repeat those messages over a period of time – just
rephrase the messages to keep them fresh and
When lives are at stake, health and safety is not something you want people to learn through mistakes and experience. No organisation wants the spotlight on them for the wrong reasons, and certainly you don’t want to be one of the health and safety people having to account for the part you played in ensuring employees were adequately briefed and protected.
With uncertain times, we have another communication channel to ensure our business key messages are been seen.
Specifically for those that communicate with our customers.
I'm not an IT person at all, but the Vibe system is super easy to use, requiring minimal input.
The screens are fabulous and have been a great tool for improving the accuracy of information, removing a lot of frustration around the village.
Vibe helps us drive engagement. Definitely a very positive tool!
It has enabled us to display life-saving rules, incentive tracking and information that hasn't been available to non-wired staff previously.
Vibe is a great internal communications tool that is user-friendly and customised to our business.
Their customer service team is friendly and quick to get in touch if you have a query or issue.
It's transformed our communications for our non-wired staff.
The comm's tools we used previously for our non-wired employees weren’t up to the same level as those for wired.
Vibe helps us get internal messaging to staff in a fun, graphic format.
As well as the serious stuff, slideshows of staff events are very popular. Plus, promote our outward-facing social media content inwardly to staff and visitors.
One of our favourite features is the ability to show social media feeds - with Yammer.
Our people can keep their finger on the pulse of what's happening and they don't have to be stuck behind their desks all day.
If we took it away now, there would be a riot!
Being able to set all the screens up differently is fantastic. It provides a real 'feel-good' factor for residents.
Great way to engage with our team. Different to standard notice boards where the team don't look at it.
Keeps areas noise-free and are able to just have a tv screen with rolling information.
I like having the ability to control what content is displayed on each screen with playlists.
We have screens across two different locations with a different audience requirement for each one.
Their customer service is exceptional.
From our very first introductory meeting, they have always been on hand to offer information and support. They proactively step-in to find ways to make things work. Friendly, knowledgeable and very responsive!
Vibe has worked during COVID-19; and beyond.
As an essential service, needed Vibe in all Distribution Centres during the first lockdown to provide H&S information. It's been the solution we needed to reach all of our staff in a timely manner.
We're saving time and increasing team efficiency!
Vibe.fyi has had a positive impact on team meetings – the duration of meetings has reduced by approximately 30% because of not needing to cover the tracking of core services.
The Vibe team are great to work with - super proactive, super helpful.
Infact we haven't needed them too much because it's really easy to use and very simple and effective.
People love Vibe. I would say using Vibe.fyi has been 100% effective!
Employees stop and look at the screens. Our deskless workforce say they feel more informed, as they saw something before their team leader told them.
We’ve experienced a 20% reduction in volume of emails.
With an obviously more positive, interactive, connected and engaged workforce, who appear a lot happier!
This software has helped stop geographical office separation and team silos.
Meetings are shorter. We get immediate reporting to the whole business on performance without having to send more emails to get the data required.
Really great for providing snackable and understandable content, it’s visually a great way to communicate.
The impact when people see our big digital wall at reception is great.
I haven't seen a solution this powerful before!
Our people absolutely love it and it's helped us transform how we communicate.
You can just have it all on Vibe.
Even when you’re at home, you can have these snackable bits of content you can retain, instead of having to check an email, look at an announcement, go from one platform to another.
The flexibility of the Vibe.fyi solution impressed our project team
Some screens show events; others display news, weather and quizzes; and others a ‘personal touch’, with birthdays and anniversaries.
This software is amazing!
There are some real cool features on Vibe and it's easy to use.
We started with COVID messages, but by mid-Nov we were communicating other business events on site.
We're using Vibe for EVERYTHING. Facebook groups, café menus, surveys (with a QR code), internal videos, welcoming our summer interns, Christmas messaging from our CEO + more!
Being a construction project we also use Vibe to show our office-bound staff what’s happening out on site.
This helps promote a greater understanding of progress and gives a feel of inclusion.
It saves us time, plus it's a very modern solution and it helps engage and inspire our people.
Our people love the wellbeing program content!
Our people are impressed that we are providing them with communication that is timely and will help improve their safety, health and wellbeing.
When choosing a product, Vibe.fyi ticked all the boxes.
Vibe was head and shoulders above the rest, because it offered the best and simplest application.
Vibe gets cut-through
Vibe is now officially part of our channel mix and is becoming one of our main channels of communication (and has the potential to become the main channel).
We have found Vibe very effective as an implementation model for dashboard content.
It helps us visualise data. It’s a great system and I would definitely recommend it.
There was a lot of printing of flyers and posters which is both costly and environmentally unfriendly.
With Vibe's on-screen format it’s easy to make changes instantly on the fly without the need for a reprint. No more excuses from staff not reading internal emails. Messaging is right there, on the screen.
It's very cool and a great way to communicate with and engage my non-wired employees.
The digital templates are extensive and the Vibe team support is outstanding. The feedback I get from my team tells me we're on the right track.
We can easily share information to staff across New Zealand that isn't always available to them.
The different templates are a bonus - there's always a layout that works with what you want to share.
Vibe provides a way of supporting the key messages around safety, wellbeing, operational updates and employee recognition.
We originally needed a mechanism to push out health and safety information to all of our people.
After a few years, we now use the screens for Health & Safety, general notices, reporting dashboards, news, financial and wellness programs.
It has helped raise awareness around services we offer.
The screens have not only been a great visual aid for residents, they have also been an excellent marketing and sales tool.
Vibe is a great tool for bringing staff together and sharing news and event footage internally.
It's a really simple and effective way to help communicate key messages to all workers on our construction sites.
Rather than settling for basic posters that don't get updated often, Vibe's moving imagery and fun colors catches the eye.
Vibe.fyi has helped the team improve resident engagement
The MATV feed is hugely popular with residents who don't have to leave the comfort of their own room to access information about what's going on in the village.
We are now able to share general company information and specific site information to large groups of people.
It suits our teams and contractors in different locations, which in the past has been difficult to communicate with.
The results have surpassed our own expectations.
Our key stakeholders have wanted to know how we implemented such a stunning platform. Our CEO has been raving about it!
Vibe has been a hit from the beginning! Better collaboration, visibility, sharing and accountability.
We’ve also experienced a 60% increase in awareness of upcoming events in the business calendar and were able to celebrate at least five times more staff achievements than we could have using email.