Six years ago, sparkling water brand SodaStream was struggling with knowledge management and communication across its business units and employee roles.
The company needed a platform where employees could easily locate SodaStream policies, codes of conduct, holiday schedules, work schedules, embedded task lists and reporting requirements.
SodaStream also wanted to be able to highlight activities outside of work, such as happy hours or volunteer opportunities across communities.
“Something like 50% of my employees are frontline employees or manufacturing employees, who in most cases do not have access to a computer or don’t have their own private email,” said Nir Rehav, SodaStream's head of global IT. “And this is where we started the journey to understand that we needed a different approach.”
The company worked with software provider Connecteam to help build an app that employees could access via their mobile devices. The goal was to boost employee engagement by functioning similarly to the social media apps that employees used outside of work.
When implementing a new platform that will impact how employees interact with the business, it’s important to keep the end user in mind. Even six years ago, employees expected workplace tools to be easy to use and operate — that's even more true today.
A CIO’s audience is greater than just employees in an office, especially at SodaStream where many employees work on factory floors, Rehav said. For instance, even those without access to a computer during the workday need to be successfully onboarded and offboarded virtually, a process enabled by IT.
“As CIOs, our focus is mainly on our users, the ones that are logging into the network, have a corporate email and computer,” Rehav said. But if Rehav had implemented a system that required employees to be at a computer to access it, he would have effectively excluded around half of the company’s workforce.
Currently, the company’s SodaApp includes content feeds optimized by location, department and function, surveys, two-way messaging capabilities, simple incident reporting systems and scheduling systems.
The app also provides employees with bus and van schedules that provide subsidized transportation for manufacturing workers.
The app has boosted employee engagement throughout the company.
Nearly all — 93% — of SodaStream employees log into the app at least twice a week and engage with company news feeds or access a training module assigned by a supervisor.
More than 1,000 deskless employees use the app daily. And, because the app makes it easier for employees to report safety risks, the number of actual safety-related incidents has dropped to nearly zero, according to Rehav.