“We have been able to completely replace our intranet with the Socie app, which saves us time and money and also ensures more engaged employees.”
Iris Baars (Project Manager Cérélia Netherlands) introduced the Socie app at the plant in October 2021, the Belgian plant joined in December and the UK plant also switched to the Socie app for internal communication in May.
Hi Iris, can you tell a little more about the factory?
We are the biggest factory in the EU where they produce pancakes and poffertjes. We have around 450 employees spread across administration, production, shipping, marketing, HR, product development, TD and IT, among others. We also work with flex employees. Every day, work schedules are created based on shifts and available people. Every day, work schedules are created based on shifts and available people. Within the factory, there are many different production departments. Our products are exported to 50 countries. And you might know us from our brand “Jan”.
Why did you decide to deploy an app?
We were about to make a big investment in our Intranet system or look for another solution. Someone close to me was already using the Socie app for another community. He was very enthusiastic. After an internal test here with 10 people in the office department and production, everyone was actually immediately converted. Partly because of the simplicity and flexibility of the app and the fact that every employee now has all the information in his pocket was the deciding factor. We then phased out our Intranet and switched to the app as of 1 January.
How did the roll-out of the App go?
Yes very well. We informed all permanent staff that from now on we were going to communicate via the App, including daily schedules. We also introduced question hours in the beginning when there were questions about the App. That also helped a lot.
How were the first reactions?
The change from a website to an App took some getting used to, but soon it was a great success. The daily schedules we post daily are especially well viewed, but our employee face book is also popular. People were also happy to see relevant news made easier to access. In addition, we noticed that the birthdays module caught on very well in the factory and people started congratulating each other. By the way, we also think subscribing to events is a great addition of Socie compared to our old intranet.
Who manages the app?
I was the intranet administrator and now do the App management together with my HR Director.
Colleagues also regularly come up with an idea or a photo that I can then I publish. In the UK, all kinds of employees post messages on the Socie App.
How do you like the App?
Pretty good. Information is easier to find and staff also know what the Socie App is and look for all kinds of information there that they used to have to look for behind logins and at a computer. We also make great use of the option to show certain information only to certain groups.
How do you deploy the App? We mainly do top-down communication to our colleagues and have activated a number of interactive modules for the mutual connection of staff. In the UK, the ‘message board’ in particular is very well used which allows staff to share fun or important things with the whole factory. We also have links in our app to other applications such as pay slips, leave requests, etc.
What is the name of the app?
We simply call the App the Socie App. Everyone also knows the App as Socie App.
Is the App used by the whole company or only by a specific group?
All people and departments use the App. From sales to bakery and shipping to finance. Only the temps don’t, there is too much fluctuation there.
What do you do to keep the App relevant among staff?
There is always relevant information in the App and we use the App to share documents such as house rules. We also use another planning app for scheduling but through the Socie app we share the daily schedules where people can see who they are working a shift with. Everyone knows that the Socie App is the way to reach out to departments or colleagues. Every new staff member gets a login as soon as you come to work here through the automatic invitation email.
What has the app given you? or what does the App provide you?
The App provides a much better and faster connection with employees. The App is easily accessible and offers many ways of communication. We also find that the App connects employees with, for example, the birthdays module that allows them to congratulate each other. And the App management and the App itself are user-friendly which also makes working with it more fun.
What do you think is the most useful feature of the App?
Being able to schedule the push notifications is really used a lot. This way I can prepare notifications that will be sent later.
Could you recommend the app to other organisations?
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