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Data-Driven Decisions Help Increase Engagement at Blue Ridge Companies

June 30, 2021 Case Study

Blue Ridge Companies, a full-service real estate firm in North Carolina, has employees spread across several locations which makes consistent communication challenging. Many of these employees do not use a computer during their daily work which adds even more complexity.

“Getting in touch with our property managers, leasing agents, groundskeepers, and other on-the-go roles has been challenging in the past, and the pandemic only added to that difficulty,” according to Blue Ridge Companies VP of HR, Susan Watts. This challenge provided an opportunity for Susan and her team to double down on communication and engagement tools through Paylocity.

“With Paylocity, our people get alerts on their mobile devices when we post important announcements, and peer-to-peer recognition has more than doubled - we’ve kept everyone informed and connected through a difficult time.”

Making data-driven decisions has become more important than ever in HR – especially during a time when communication and engagement is critical. Susan and her team understand this and have adopted Paylocity’s Modern Workforce Index as a go-to tool to dig into metrics like utilization, organizational, health, ROI and more.

 

“Getting in touch with our property managers, leasing agents, groundskeepers, and other on the- go roles has been challenging in the past, and the pandemic only added to that difficulty. With Paylocity, our people get alerts on their mobile devices when we post important announcements, and peer-to-peer recognition has more than doubled—we've kept everyone informed and connected through a difficult time.”

Susan Watts, VP of HR, Blue Ridge Companies

 

“Modern Workforce Index helps us measure a number of things which we never really looked at before,” Susan said. “For example, we went remote last year due to COVID, so having engagement tools like Impressions has been invaluable. We look at the data and it shows in 2019 we had 361 impressions with 123 recipients. In 2020, we had 1,483 with 251 recipients. That's an incredible jump with nearly every employee receiving an impression. It also shows how our employees embraced the technology, recognized each other, and increased engagement across our company using Paylocity.”

 

“The utilization section [of Modern Workforce Index] is our favorite— we want people using Paylocity because there are so many great things they can do beyond simply clocking in, requesting time off, or downloading a W2.”

Susan Watts, VP of HR, Blue Ridge Companies

 

Just months after Blue Ridge rolled out Community, the Coronavirus pandemic swept the nation. As an essential business, keeping employees informed and safe while keeping their doors open and lights on became the priority. Susan and Benefits Manager Laura Harrold explain that they used this time to post videos from their executive vice president, daily updates, and even spotlight employees as Hero of the Day on the platform. During this time, employees felt more connected to each other than ever.

 

“Modern Workforce Index has opened our eyes to all these new data points that we can drill into.”

Susan Watts, VP of HR, Blue Ridge Companies

 

“Paylocity has shined over the last year for us because when the pandemic really took hold, our HR team was able to step forward with solutions,” Susan said. “We started using the survey tool to have a daily COVID survey, which is still going. That has been a huge help. Community, Impressions, and video have all been huge over the last year. People have embraced them all across our company.”

Making sure we keep our employees connected and informed became extremely important. “Not everyone has a company email address, and not everyone had access to our portal. So, you can see there was a disconnect,” explains Susan. “Community became a way to reach everyone.”

Susan and her team use the Modern Workforce Index to make decisions about how to deepen engagement. They’ve launched wellness challenges or games to increase engagement or interactions on Community. They’ve also looked at utilization data overall for Community and know that they can still improve.

“I'm also taking a deeper dive into Community usage - we can see 85% of our employees use it monthly but only 21% are actively engaged by posting or commenting,” Susan said. “That's an area we'll focus on going forward. I report this data up to our company leaders during weekly meetings. MWI has opened our eyes to all these new data points that we can drill into. The utilization section is our favorite - we want people using Paylocity because there are so many great things they can do beyond simply clocking in, requesting time off, or downloading a W2.”

 

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