Alcoa Prioritizes Communication to Minimize Disruptions During Pandemic

Foster a Safety Culture Factory Feed

In this video, Alcoa shares how Poka helped keep production running smoothly during the COVID pandemic. Learn how they managed to share health and safety updates, raise morale, and remain close to the factory floor.

About Alcoa

Alcoa is the world’s sixth-largest aluminum producer. Like most companies during the pandemic, Alcoa had to pivot and find new ways to maintain production while keeping workers safe. It was able to leverage Poka’s factory communication capability from the start, to adapt quickly to navigate disruptions.

Poka was the best platform for instant communication. It’s interactive, provides real-time, accurate metrics, as well as engagement levels.


Marie Eve Bédard

Administrative Assistant

By The Numbers

Pandemic Response Usage


Users, Mix of corporate and personal devices


Crisis management teams


Of staff shifted to remote work

During the first lockdown, a good portion of the plant’s employees started working from home for the first time, which meant information sharing and access to updates became pivotal overnight. Said Marie-Eve, given the remote nature of the business at the time, “Poka was the best platform for instant communication. It’s interactive, provides real-time, accurate metrics as well as engagement levels such as views, likes, and comments - which allows supervisors to track information permeating through the employees and react accordingly.”

Alcoa used the platform to communicate in many ways with workers during the lockdown. This included:

  • daily update posts on special measures;

  • rules and best practices between departments;

  • safety measures (sanitizers and temperature checks);

  • mental health reviews;

  • and updates on the situation in the plants.

Best Practices

Communication Methods During COVID-19

Daily posts from plant manager

Instructions from Health and Safety Team

Sharing best practices

Humourous and informative videos

Resources center

Training on self-isolation rules

Alcoa Slide Pandemic skill

Alcoa went even further and created a dedicated channel for pandemic updates - providing documentation, tutorials, and activity suggestions for those at home. “We utilized Poka’s Skills & Exams feature to mandate and provide an exam on isolation rules so employees would know what to do if they fell ill,” said Patrick Marcotte, Team Leader at Alcoa.

“Poka was especially effective at injecting some humor into a tough situation through image and video communications on the news feed. These small details let employees know they are part of a bigger culture at Alcoa and that they’re not alone.”

Alcoa Slide Pandemic news post

Ultimately, these initiatives were done to benefit the operator, who ensures production continues uninterrupted. Pierre-Luc Bourgeois, a Casthouse Operator at Alcoa, provided a valuable perspective; because of these communication updates, he felt aware of the changing measures and understood what to expect for upcoming shifts. He said he appreciated Alcoa’s care and effort for everyone’s safety.

Throughout the crisis, Poka helped Alcoa maintain efficient communication across the smelter and ensured team members stayed connected despite frequent daily changes to the team or working environment.

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