Workplace Pioneers: How using Workplace is connecting frontline and casual workers at Elkjop

by Nicola Brassington

In part two of our interview with Elkjop's Nordics Communications Manager, we hear how Workplace is connecting frontline and casual workers and why she thinks other retailers should deploy Workplace.

Line Oddekalv led the team behind the Workplace deployment at Elkjop and was the driving force for the transformation that Workplace is helping create.

But what does she think is the most noticeable impact from using Workplace?

"It's hard to pick just one", she says, before deciding that revolutionising how they communicate as an organisation has to be pretty high on the list.

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Immediate impact

"Being able to connect everyone – especially when you didn't have a way to communicate with other people in the same company. Then suddenly, we're there. It's visual. We even see our faces with profile pictures. We can do live conversations."

The power of these immediate and transparent reactions during company conversations became clear early on when Line's manager posted his first message to a Workplace group.

"When he saw the speed people saw it and the number of reactions and the thumbs up – he was like, WOAAAHHHH! I could tell that he had a light-bulb moment. And when your manager has one of those moments, you know it's going to work."

Why retailers should deploy Workplace

Connecting your frontline and casual workers is critical. And Workplace enables you to do that quickly and effectively.

Because Workplace is mobile-first and familiar, people can immediately engage with the rest of the business wherever they are. They use News Feed to keep up to date with company news. They use Workplace Chat to stay in touch with other shops or send back suggestions and feedback directly from the shop floor.

And this has multiple benefits to people and the business. "Once you are able to hook them and engage those frontline workers, you get the insight you need to be more relevant. You'll also be able to be more customer-friendly because these are the people who know exactly what the customer needs."

Using Workplace to engage frontline workers gives you the insight you need to be more relevant.

The same applies to part-time and shift workers. "This is another great use case", Line says. "You don't always have people in at the same time to make sure that everyone has the same information. With Workplace, you're able to do that."

How retailers should deploy Workplace

Intelligence gathering is key to getting the launch right. "First, you'd need to gather intel from the broad company. From everyone", Line says. "You need to know what processes they have and what they will need Workplace for."

It's also really important to get managers on board from day one as part of this process. To explore the use cases for each department, so that they're clear on the benefits that using Workplace will deliver. This way, they'll help you deliver project and will be the 'drivers of engagement'.

Solving problems from the frontline

Line shares a great example of how Workplace can help with specific retail challenges. And it's all about providing and taking action on in-store feedback.

"Sometimes, things go wrong", she says. "The wrong price on an item or inaccurate product information. Our people out there know this. They can see it and our customers tell them."

"We have Workplace groups for feedback. You simply report it back to the group and it gets fixed instantly. That's had a huge impact."

– Line Oddekalv, Elkjop

Historically, retailers struggled with how to report this back to the head office. But not with Workplace. "So, now we have Workplace groups for feedback. The moment you see something, you simply report it back to the group and it gets fixed instantly. That's had a huge impact."

Better onboarding, bots and training

It's exciting to hear that Line and her team are just getting started and have big plans to further utilise Workplace.

"There's so much we can do. We're going to introduce some bots, including an inventory bot." A development they intend to use to automate stock and inventory processes even further.

"We also want a bot that reminds people that there are some classes or online training programmes they haven't tried."

They're also investigating how bots in Workplace can help HR teams onboard new starters into the business. Things such as automated chats with newcomers to give them immediate access to the information they need to get started quickly.

"We also want to look at a bot that reminds people that there are some classes or online training programmes they haven't tried."

Which is great way to use Workplace to enable people to develop their careers. "We want people to do that", says Line, "so that we can build even more competent workers."

With huge thanks to Line Oddekalv at Elkjop.

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