Con Ed powers up its internal communications

East Side, West Side, utility’s workers are all around the town, yet are kept well informed.

Challenges abound for an internal communicator when more than 50 percent of the staff works in the field.

“As many as 5,000 to 7,000 of our [15,000 total] employees do not log on to on our intranet on a given day, so we can’t guarantee that they will see something on our site, even though we post to our intranet every day,” said Fred Leich, director of employee communications for Consolidated Edison, greater New York’s supplier of gas and electricity.

To facilitate accessibility, Con Ed has created a “tunnel” from its Internet site into the HomeNet intranet; it allows employees to log on from home or on any other outside computer.

The challenge of reaching field workers is coupled with that of communicating to an influx of Gen X and Gen Y staffers. As a result, Leich said, the organization must continually “adapt and change how we communicate to employees.” Some 57 percent of those employees are Baby Boomers, and a few have 50-plus years on the job.

A quick, handy read

In spite of the challenges, Leich and his team make it all work.

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