Connecting the Disconnected: Manufacturer Leverages Tech to Engage Employees

April 13, 2022

In today’s modern workforce, communication can often be disjointed. This was true for automotive parts manufacturer CRP Industries where not all employees have computers. They turned to Paylocity to help connect their 200 employees and streamline and simplify their HR and Payroll processes.

Case Study


Family-owned and operated CRP Industries was becoming more and more troubled by how complicated and challenging it was to communicate with its 200 employees across multiple locations. CRP Industries manufactures automotive parts and industrial products. The company has been doing this for more than 50 years and prides itself on quality, service and trust. Employees play a big role in this long-term success. And just as it’s true in any relationship, communication is key. The “family feel” has held up through CRP’s growth, but company leaders felt employee engagement was deteriorating, especially with employees whose work wasn’t computer-based. They wanted to keep production line employees in the loop with company news, updates and other important communication. These workers relied on the breakroom bulletin board or word of mouth to learn about different topics. That wasn’t enough for CRP leadership.

"We have a family feel here, and that's what makes it a great company," says HR Director Rachael Sobon. “They feel like their efforts make a difference, and when they do something it impacts company performance.”

A few things made connecting with employees particularly challenging. The lean two-person HR team had to navigate a growing workforce that included seasonal employees, multiple locations, and various time zones. With many team members working on production lines and only checking email sparingly, messages were often received third-hand. This created a disconnect with a crucial and (sizable) portion of CRP’s employees, a problem many companies face today due to the growing diversity in worker types.

“We're a manufacturing company and had trouble connecting and communicating with our employees. Community helps us reduce the amount of email we send since we know our employees will get the notifications on their cell phone. We’re able to ensure new employees learn about their colleagues and hear from leadership.”

Rachael Sobon, HR Director


The Approach

For more than 12 years, CRP has relied on Paylocity for payroll and HR solutions to help them deliver that family environment. “We felt nickel and dimed without much support from our previous payroll provider,” Rachael explains. The partnership between CRP and Paylocity has grown over time. Originally starting with just payroll, CRP has worked closely with Paylocity over the last decade to expand and tailor the solutions to fit their needs. “As time has gone on, the benefits and features have improved. I love the ability to provide feedback,” Rachael declares. Through an active role in co-creation, CRP has added more tools and modules that enhance their ability to address daily business struggles in engagement, performance management, and communications.

Rachael was tasked with solving the communication challenges the company faced. “You know what, we can do better than this,” Rachael stated. She turned to Community, Paylocity’s integrated, mobile-friendly social collaboration tool. Community centralizes accurate and timely information and boosts engagement using the platform employees already know and love. Community gives employees more of the connected experience they are used to outside the office, where they get instant gratification from information at their fingertips.  

“Before Community, we would send an email and alert managers. Managers would then have to hold a meeting or post a physical note by the time clock,” Rachael says. “And if it were urgent, we would have to call them directly. It is nice to have an alternative.” Community gave CRP the ability to notify employees with a unified message via notifications, reaching employees at their computers and on their smartphones.

CRP was experiencing a common problem for businesses today, where communication is disjointed and one-size-fits-all (or one-size-fits-none, if we’re honest). Emails get lost in the shuffle. Word of mouth brings the risk of misinformation. And the real problem with poor communication is disengaged employees.

Having a centralized social platform helped CRP more timely and effectively pass along important news and updates, but it also helped them increase employee connection, engagement, and productivity across the entire company. Part of driving great culture and communication is paving the way for relationships that go beyond just the work.

The Payoff

Diverse but not disconnected

Rachael and her HR team saw a positive impact across the company from creating a central place for company updates and for people to collaborate. CRP employees embraced the tool. New groups emerged and bonds formed. Anniversaries and birthdays were celebrated on the platform. 

“We have some fun groups established within Community,” explains Rachael. “We have a crafting group that gets together at lunch and posts pictures. We have exercise groups that share five-minute exercises you can do from your desk so people can take a quick break. That group also coordinates meeting twice a day in the gym to connect. And, we also have business groups. We even put all our product videos up on the site so people can access them without having to visit our YouTube channel.”


“We have some fun groups established within Community. We have a crafting group that gets together at lunch and posts pictures. And, we have exercise groups that share five-minute exercises you can do from your desk so people can take a quick break.”

Rachael Sobon, HR Director


CRP used Community to break down many of the barriers that kept employees from engaging with the company and with each other, like location, time zone, and position. Executive leadership even jumped on board to connect, making it the go-to place for employees to find the latest information. “Our CEO has committed to posting his monthly blogs. We realized that we were missing a whole fleet of people before,” Rachael says. “It has been especially helpful for our production staff, who aren’t computer based. We can send off a message and know they will get a notification. They feel like they’re in the know.”

Being in the know is important in today's work environment. “We're a manufacturing company and had trouble connecting and communicating with our employees," Rachael said. "Community helps us reduce the amount of email we send since we know our employees will get the notifications on their cell phone. We’re able to ensure new employees learn about their colleagues and hear from leadership."​ That communication helps CRP keep that family feel across the different plants. Rachael and her leadership value culture, connection, and collaboration as fundamental parts of the business. 

A smooth, engaging onboarding

Rachael also uses Community to optimize and improve the onboarding process for new employees. She can now help new hires learn CRP’s culture, teammates (no matter their location), and the latest information from day one.

Traditionally, the onboarding process was very manual and paper-based, involving physical folders for each new hire. Paylocity’s Onboarding solution streamlined the experience even more, taking it digital and simplifying data entry.

Before implementing Paylocity Onboarding, Rachael and her team would copy and print hundreds of documents and mail these folders to new hires prior to their start date. Not only did this task take hours to complete, there was also the added cost of printing, copying, and shipping. New hires who forgot their folders on the first day would end up wasting valuable time filling out the required forms again by hand. Many employees spent their first day stuck in the corner filling out paperwork. 

Studies show that the onboarding process directly impacts how engaged an employee feels before they even start. With Paylocity’s Employee Self-Service workspace, CRP enabled employees to complete all their new hire paperwork prior to their first day, allowing their first day to be spent meeting their teams and getting to know about the company and their new job. It has been a game changer.

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