Boca Raton’s Communication Team Utilizes First Arriving’s Digital Dashboards Keep Their Large Workforce Informed of Internal Information and Updates
Email messages and paper flyers weren’t cutting it for getting critical information out to city staff in Boca Raton (FL) says Ann Marie Connolly, public relations specialist.
Not all staff get email as part of their job, and those who do can be inundated, she said, making it difficult to effectively communicate internal news and information. “A huge chunk of our workforce just wasn’t getting the information they needed,” she says.
Ultimately, as the city’s IT and HR departments looked for options, they settled on dashboards by First Arriving. The police and fire departments were already using them, Connolly says, and the idea struck that dashboards would be a great solution to utilize city-wide.
They are now using dashboards to reach their workforce of about 1,800 people dispersed throughout departments including municipal services, utility services, administration, and recreation.
“It’s beneficial to everyone,” Connolly says. “Communication internally is always a challenge but this is making it a lot easier for all parties involved.”
Boca Raton, located on south Florida’s Atlantic coast, has a major business community, its own airport, and three universities. Its priorities include preparedness and response to tropical storms and hurricanes.
The city’s communication team now utilizes the dashboards to keep all staff informed of internal information and updates. Examples have included details on a newly implemented software program, open enrollment, and their internal newsletter. There is no limit on length, as the communication team can post announcements in part, with a scannable QR code to access the details.
“We provide the QR code on the First Arriving screen with some information on what the newsletter has, and then people can access it directly from their phone through the QR code,” Connolly says. “It makes it really accessible, so we’re very happy.”
The dashboard system had already been in the works for some time, but with the arrival of Covid, Boca Raton’s communications team is especially glad to have it in place, Connolly says. “With everything going on, the last thing we want to do is to be handing out paper to people,” she says. “This gives us a nice hands-free way of communicating.”
Another great benefit, Connolly adds, is that the team has been able to track the use of the QR codes for each announcement. “We can see how many people are engaging with that information,” she says. “It’s beyond what we expected.”
They are now getting a lot of good feedback on the dashboards from city staff, Connolly says, including suggestions for what additional information they would like to see, such as traffic mapping.
Connolly says she would recommend dashboards to other cities “100 percent.”
“It provides us a different way to communicate with employees—especially now, to provide really important information that needs to get out to the masses in a quick and efficient way.”
The system is very user friendly compared to its older and more tedious alternatives, she adds, such as posting flyers all over break rooms.
“Being a communications team, our priority is to communicate with the public but also with city staff so they’re well aware of what’s going on,” Connolly says. “This has helped alleviate a lot of stress.”