As NBA legend Magic Johnson was wrapping up his career on the court, he was already thinking about his next career move. He knew he wanted to help urban communities, as he had already done so much throughout his lifetime. This time though, he teamed up with the global leader of Quality of Life services, Sodexo, and SodexoMAGIC was born.
What does SodexoMAGIC do? They provide Facilities Management (housekeeping, laundry and linen management, grounds keeping, infrastructure renewal and asset management, plant operations and maintenance) and Food Services. Today, SodexoMAGIC has been around for 10 years, has nearly 5,000 employees, serves 49 happy clients, and has 1,649 sites worldwide.
Like most facilities management companies, SodexoMAGIC faced challenges in managing a large deskless workforce:
The challenge of day-to-day communication:
- Only 30% of employees had access to company email.
- Slow information flow: bulletin boards and alike didn’t reach every relevant employee, and managers never knew who ‘got the message’.
- Employees did not have the ability to engage with content or updates, and managers couldn’t measure engagement or reach.
The challenge of a traditional operational environment:
- Ongoing submissions of data is required: forms, checklists, reports… all filled using pen & paper and submitted with fax machines.
- Shift planning is routine, is done manually, and it’s hard to keep track of updates and changes.
- Energy and effort is dedicated to making sure actions happen how they should to keep the high standard of commitment to customers.
The challenge behind training and skill building:
- From design to print and distribution, generating the required training materials consumed too much time and resources.
- Where training and skill building is a continuous effort, face-to-face meetings and gathering everyone in the same place is hard because finding an easy time that works for everyone poses a real challenge.
- Ability to keep track of training progress and knowledge level proved difficult.
Recognizing the need, Sodexo’s Innovation department teamed up with Connecteam, a technology company that provides an all-in-one employee mobile app. With the Connecteam app, they were able to turn their day-to-day digital, address the challenges of communication, operations, and training:
Using Connecteam’s mobile app, communicating became swift and easy:
- Every employee became reachable in real-time from anywhere, whether by sending a dedicated push-notification update or via the chat group.
- Information flow and content distribution turned simple, allowing for targeting of specific interest groups or the entire workforce. Surveys as a way of example, yielded as much as 85% response rate in record time of under a day.
- Employees started engaging with content, providing managers with full clarity and measurements on engagement levels. And not just on the formal level, the most ‘liked’ topics were the informal publications, such as ‘employee of the month’ announcements or welcome notes for new team members.
With digital features and forms, productivity got a serious boost:
- Day-to-day activities such as ticketing of malfunctions, making a new stock order or just submitting the post-shift-checklist became easier and less time consuming with digital workflows available on the employees’ mobile.
- Shift management was now available for all employees at all times, making it easy to update or change according to need, and keep track of everything that happened during the shift.
- Keeping high standards for customers became easier with reports flowing from the field, images and quick updates.
Building a digital knowledge center and e-learning, training and onboarding new employees evolved dramatically:
All of the procedures are accessible all the time, especially when an employee needs it and as a side bonus, all is documented and reachable on the cloud.
- Creating and distributing training materials was never easier. You just update it one time and in a snap, it is updated for all employees, this way you are certain that everyone has the most up to date materials.
- Training is now flexible, scalable, and one-to-many (one training professional can train hundreds of employees).
- Online training offers not only analysis but displays data with actionable insights.
The results came shortly after, and they were all measurable: from the number of likes and comments made by employees, to overall app usage:
In less than two months, usage grew to over a 1,000 mobile sessions per week for the 350 users participating in the program, sometimes getting as high as 2,000 sessions.
Two year later, the digital transformation left its mark and engagement sky-rocked, and the numbers prove it:
- 98.6% adoption by company employees.
- 215 push-notification-updates yielded 3,328 comments and likes from employees.
- Chat was used 8,056 times.
- 72 workflows (e.g reports\checklists) were submitted over 4,292 times.
- The digital knowledge center saw over 8,256 entries.
So, what made this a success?
When Amir Nehemia, Conneteam’s CEO, was faced with the question of what drove the process to success, he didn’t think twice before responding, “Like everything else in the field services domain, it all starts with the people. SodexoMAGIC’s leadership team made a decision to drive a change and they came in full force. Their dedication and spirit funneled down all the way to the rest of the team making the change possible, efficient and quick. The results of their hard work came shortly after, making a difference in both their employees and clients lives, offering the very best in-class food and facilities management solutions. If you’d ask me to name one other factor, it would be our own team. From the first steps of drafting the app and its content, to sharing of best practices of accumulated experience, our expert-team’s guidance on implementation strategy played a key role. Like I said, it all starts with the people.”
One year later, Oded Gruber, from Sodexo’s innovation team summaries, “In a corporation environment, innovation faces many challenges. Our real success is that we managed to structure a process where innovation doesn’t have to come from the top. Every district manager can directly engage with Connecteam to start making the change in their own district, and we already see the impact – the change starts from the field, from the people that really need it and it’s all happening very quickly. We are happy to see how the digital transformation is now expanding to more and more Sodexo companies, making a real impact.”