Business type : Animal Surgical & Rehabilitation Clinic
Staff size: 45+
Founded in 1986, by Dr. Kenneth Sinibaldi, the Animal Surgical and Orthopedic Center (ASOC) in Shoreline Washington, is known as a pioneering clinic. One of the first exclusively surgical practices in greater Seattle, the center features five state-of-the-art surgical suites, is housed in two buildings, and has a staff of 46. The clinic’s advanced, specialized expertise and business model has positioned it as the leading veterinarian practice in orthopedics, sports medicine, and rehabilitation practice in the Pacific Northwest.
Practice Manager, Noelle Norrie, needed a better way to share information with her team. Noelle wanted to replace using emails and enable quick, messages to be sent out, without overwhelming staff; and with the ability to track who has read them and when. Finding a consistent communication solution and enabling a differential between non-important and important messages, was crucial for Norrie, to ensure continued impact for both.
Leading the way for animal clinics, in February 2020 ASOC launched the OurPeople App, a team communication solution built specifically for busy teams that don’t work from a desk and, in today’s varied work environment, a tool to keep companies connected.
Norrie explains: “ASOC has always been forward-thinking and the App was an instant success. The younger team adopted it quickly. We often use the Chat feature to send messages and new employees pick it up in no time at all. In fact, each member of staff has used it at some point, whether to receive a message, read and sign a new policy, look at a funny photograph, or just to interact with a colleague. We have an astounding average broadcast engagement of 99.2%, indicating the App has already made a huge impact within the company in just a few short months.”
With the onset of Covid-19, just a month after the OurPeople App was installed, it became a lifeline, boosting morale and keeping everyone up to date on new procedures and policies, which were constantly being updated.
Norrie comments: “During the first week of virus lockdown we were down thirteen staff members and everyone was extremely busy. The surgeons/owners used the OurPeople app to let the staff know that their hard work and dedication was appreciated.”
Norrie also uses the App to send out Fun Friday photos, providing light entertainment to the front desk staff, and it has also been used as an organizational tool for the company’s summer picnic.
”We arranged for a wood-fired pizza truck to cater to our picnic. The OurPeople app made it possible to take everyone’s order ahead of time, therefore limiting the amount of time in line while supporting social distancing,” says Norrie
Norrie readily admits the OurPeople app is an extremely useful tool. As well as now being able to send quick broadcasts, chats, policy changes, etc., she has used it to remind staff to input the weight of animals into the computer (something that is always important, but vital during the current climate) and the 700 character limit makes her break up the message and really focus on what she is communicating.
Norrie expands: “The OurPeople App has made a big cultural impact within the company. The rehabilitation staff is located in a building next door and they sometimes feel segregated. The App allows me to reach out to them and has helped them feel more of an integral part of the overall team.
“Also, I really wanted to get all our staff members involved, especially as some of them are not huge communicators. The OurPeople App is so quick and easy to use, and it takes away the risk of a message being sent to the wrong people or missing someone on the list who should see a message. It has enabled me to encourage people to send out positive notes when they otherwise wouldn’t have bothered, and I truly believe this is the start of a more communicative process.”
Norrie also says the ability to use GIF’s has been fun, and the first card she issued was a welcome message from her dog, Wallice, using the MyTalkingPet App from her phone. “It was just a fun quick hello, but it certainly got everyone’s attention and now they are all using the App for many reasons,” she states.
Norrie concludes: ”Communicating and working with the OurPeople team has been extremely easy. They are very responsive, offering continued help and support. When I needed to use a GIF they immediately sent over a quick training video explaining how to do it and were available to talk it over if I needed further support. At ASOC, the OurPeople App is an important tool for requesting signatures on new policy acceptances, and knowing information has been received and read. But it’s far more than just that, it’s also a casual, lighthearted, morale-boosting part of everyday life in the clinic.”
Noelle Norrie - Practice Manager