Humberside Airport ditches email as primary internal comms channel

Humberside Airport ditches email as primary IC channel

October 1, 2014

Richard Branson has been revealing his thoughts behind the art of successful employee engagement.

The billionaire entrepreneur’s message is blunt: “Employees are a company’s ‘biggest competitive advantage’ regardless of the industry they are involved in.”

In this blog post, he wrote: “Success in business is all about people, people, people.

“Whatever industry a company is in, its employees are its biggest competitive advantage.

“As Virgin Pulse CEO Chris Boyce said recently: ‘They’re the ones making the magic happen – so long as their needs are being met’.”

The thoughts of the iconic Virgin chief provide a fascinating insight into just how colleague-centric his business is – and couldn’t be more timely as we see more organisations adapting their comms approach to meet evolving expectations of their audience.

Following on from the recent debate over the merits of email as a communication channel, it was interesting to read about Humberside Airport’s decision to stop using email as its primary communication channel.

Humberside Airport Read&Sign
Humberside Airport Read&Sign

The airport, which hosts around 250,000 passengers every year, has switched to a specialist document tracking system this summer amid concerns that important notices and key messaging were being missed by a workforce simply overloaded with email.

These fears led to a complete change of approach.

Senior leaders at the airport opted to integrate a new messaging system – named Read&Sign – aimed at cutting wasted resources and time.

Under the new approach, notices and important documents are written and distributed through Read&Sign. Crucially it provides up-to-the-minute statistics to show exactly who has read – and acknowledged – the required information.

In addition, external partners like Eastern Airways, Bristows Helicopters, emergency services, catering companies, retailers and local councils all have access to the system too.

Humberside Airport Read&Sign
Humberside Airport Read&Sign

Chris Wild, the airport’s Operations Manager, said: “Read&Sign has gone a long way towards improving our SMS & GMS system by allowing us to quantify the success of our communications.

“We recently ran an online safety survey and the response was excellent regarding our safety communications.

“I am convinced before the Read and Sign system our employees would have seen our communication as poor.”