Summary

Alcoa is the world’s sixth largest producer of aluminum. Like most companies during the pandemic, Alcoa had to pivot and find new ways to maintain production while keeping workers safe. Alcoa was able to pivot by leveraging Poka’s factory communication capability from the start of the pandemic.

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

Marie Eve Bédard
Alcoa, Administrative Assistant

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Deschambault, The Alcoa Plant in Quebec using Poka. Poka was the best tool to communicate information during the COVID 19 crisis

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. In Marie-Eve’s words, given the remote nature of business, “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 in many ways to communicate 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.

Alcoa went even further and created a dedicated channel for these 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.” Patrick Marcotte, Team Leader Alcoa added, “Poka was especially effective to inject some humor into a tough situation through image and video communications on the Poka news feed. These small details let employees know they are part of a bigger culture at Alcoa and that they’re not alone.”

Alcoa went even further and created a dedicated channel for these Pandemic updates - providing documentation, tutorials, and activity suggestions for those at home.

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Alcoa’s module on what to do on getting sick - ensuring employees viewed protocols and completed an exam, enabled by Poka’s Skills Management

In the end, these initiatives were done to benefit the operator who ensures production continues uninterrupted. Pierre-Luc Bourgeois, a Casthouse Operator at Alcoa, provided a unique and valuable perspective. Through these updates, he felt aware of the changing measures, understood what to expect for upcoming shifts and appreciated the care & effort Alcoa took for his and his colleague’s safety. Poka helped Alcoa maintain efficient communication across the smelter throughout the pandemic and ensured team members stayed connected through these challenging times.