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The women’s fashion brand Norah has grown exponentially in the past ten years to an organization with 95 stores in the Netherlands and Belgium. Norah has a loyal target group that values visiting their boutique stores for personal style advice. Offering excellent and personal service is, therefore, their top priority.
We spoke to Esmay Schipanski (People & Culture Manager) and Maaike Mosch (HR advisor) to hear how Oneteam helps them to make their employees more productive and engaged.
Summary of results
- 96.5% of employees actively use Oneteam;
- A score of 4.3 out of 5 when asked to non-desk employees whether they feel more engaged since using Oneteam;
- One platform for internal communication, onboarding, surveys, events, and document management;
- Significantly improved productivity throughout the organization.
Which employee experience challenges did you face before using Oneteam?
Maaike: We used multiple platforms for internal communication, such as email, telephone, and our intranet. Only 8% of employees used the intranet, and our other communication channels were also ineffective. We then decided that it would be best to use a social intranet to post both informal and informational messages and encourage engagement.
Esmay: We find it important that employees feel engaged with the organization. As our shops are spread out over the Netherlands and Belgium, it’s difficult to stay in touch and keep each other updated. That’s why we felt the urge to look for a solution to build a bridge between the head office and the stores, and stimulate employee engagement throughout Norah.
What impact did this have on your business?
Esmay: Norah has grown rapidly, and we noticed that employee engagement has become increasingly complex with many new colleagues. Also, people were not always up-to-date on important topics. We communicated a lot via email, and the employees in the stores were flooded with emails from operations, HR, marketing, etc. As a result, a lot of information did not reach employees on time or not at all. This made it difficult to guarantee our brand guidelines.
Maaike: All emails were sent to one account at the location. For example, employees who work two days a week would have to read all emails of that week in search of relevant information. That took way too much time, so they didn’t always do that, resulting in important information not reaching all employees.
Which solutions did you investigate, and why did you choose Oneteam?
Esmay: We tested the different systems on three criteria: usability, the look and feel of the platform, and the available features. Oneteam excelled in all three areas, where we particularly liked the academy, survey, and document management functionalities. In addition, one of our employees has worked with Oneteam before and was very enthusiastic about the platform.
How was the implementation process?
Maaike: In February (2022) we launched a pilot with one shop district. During this process, we had a lot of contact with the key users to hear about their experience with the platform. We received a lot of positive feedback and implemented it at all our stores in April. We make sure to collect feedback so that we can monitor and optimize the processes continuously. In the past, we did everything via email, and now almost all communication at head office and in the stores is done via Oneteam.
Who uses Oneteam within the organization?
Esmay: All employees at our 95 stores and the entire team at our headquarters use Oneteam. From sales associates and warehouse staff to our district managers and marketing team. 96.5% of our employees are actively using Oneteam. We ensure that all critical information is easy to find in Oneteam via our document management, which we update weekly. For example, we have a folder for route schedules for deliveries, making it essential for everyone to use the platform. Besides formal communication, there is plenty of room for sharing fun messages, like in our channel coffee talk, where we share entertaining customer stories or other informal updates.
What impact does Oneteam have on your organization?
Maaike: To measure the impact of Oneteam, we sent out a survey to all our employees. When asked, “On a scale of 1 to 5, how much more engaged do you feel with Norah since using Oneteam?” Oneteam scored 4.3 out of 5, which reflects the positive impact Oneteam has on our organization. In addition, we also receive a lot of positive feedback from the stores that people are better informed about what is expected from them and feel more connected to their peers at the headquarters and all the other branches.
Esmay: Thanks to Oneteam, productivity in the stores has greatly improved. Where our employees previously weren’t sure where to find information, they can now find all information relevant to their job in Oneteam. We also made good progress in brand perception; everyone is continuously updated and understands why we make certain business decisions.
What kind of other reactions did you get from your deskless employees?
Maaike: On the statement, “The app adds value to the current ways of communication that we use within Norah.” Oneteam scored 4.1 out of 5.
We also received lovely comments such as:
- “I strongly believe Oneteam brings the company together and promotes employee engagement. It now feels like one company instead of having a distance between the branches and the head office.”
- “With Oneteam, you are always up-to-date on the latest information. It also encourages colleagues’ engagement and ensures everyone has access to the same information.”
- “I only work a couple of hours a week, but thanks to the platform, I’m always informed on the latest news.”
What are the advantages of the all-in-one aspect of Oneteam?
Esmay: By offering everything in one platform, we have structured our internal communication in an accessible way. This creates togetherness, boosts employee engagement, and significantly improves productivity throughout the organization, as everyone always knows what is expected of them and where to find important information.
Do you have any exciting employee experience activities planned?
Esmay: A lot! To start with, we want to improve onboarding and offboarding through the Oneteam academy. In addition, we want to conduct continuous research into employee engagement and continue to improve this. It would be fun to set up competitions within the organization to stimulate engagement. In this way, we aim to remain attractive as an employer, attract new employees, and realize our ambition to become the largest women’s fashion brand in the Netherlands.