Deploying a tool that creates internal cohesion, centralizes exchanges and facilitates collaboration for more than 500 employees has been the project carried out in… just three weeks by Amicio (ex-Relaytion), a company with an international presence. This is a feat achieved in record time to meet an urgent need—initiating a deep and lasting transformation of work methods at Amicio. Franck Girardot, Project Director, looks back at the human and economic stakes of Amicio, as well as the answers Talkspirit offered.
Created in 2004, Amicio specializes in customer relations, in the fields of consulting and outsourcing.
Established in France and in Pacific Asia, and after 10 years in consulting, Amicio has adopted an external growth strategy by successively acquiring two companies with expertise in customer relations and remote customer service in 2014 and 2019. In a sector where the notion of cost reduction is often the dominant factor, the company has developed a differentiating approach to customer relations, focusing on human-added value and operational excellence to generate very significant financial gains. Amicio operates on-shore customer relations—with native operators for local companies—in a desire for proximity between contact centers, clients and end customers with whom employees interact.
- More than 500 employees throughout France and Asia
- Five sites throughout France and abroad
- Two company buy-outs in just five years
Amicio Project Director Franck Girardot witnessed the deployment of Talkspirit within the company. He related Amicio’s initial needs, the stages of deployment, and the benefits the management and teams reaped.
After the integration of two companies, business culture needs to be consolidated
After experiencing gradual internal growth over the first 10 years, Amicio added 500 employees in five years. That’s a significant figure that requires support for the integration of teams and the appropriation of the company’s culture, starting with its approach to management.
Indeed, under the impetus of its founder Benoît Bourla, Amicio has implemented the LARGE management model within its teams: a managerial model very much inspired by rugby which insists on commitment, intelligence and responsibility, all integrated into a team spirit mobilized to take up all challenges together.
In terms of management, this implies implementing a subsidiarity approach that consists in giving maximum responsibility as closely as possible to the area of action so decisions can be taken where problems arise.
“Amicio values the human bond to create economic, financial and commercial value,” explains Franck Girardot. It’s not me, as a consultant, nor Benoît Bourla, as a manager, who hears the client’s voice all day long; it’s our teams. Therefore, we have to give them the means to make the most of that by fully exercising their responsibilities as operational experts. This is key in our business, as we have few layers of management, and 90% of our employees are call-center operators.” This approach means that employees do not always follow pre-written scripts in order to retain the human element that is essential to the quality of the relationship.
A variety of working methods and communication tools
The integration of several companies in geographically distant locations—all with their own histories and management approaches and all in a relatively short time—made it difficult to adhere to this corporate culture. Indeed, immediately after a merger, employees are still accustomed to the working methods of their former entity.
“For internal communication, each team was still using the tools it had inherited from its own past practices. Without unity and often without connectivity between the different solutions. To simplify things, employees even set up their own networks, via social networks or messaging associated with work software. It worked, but it was still a do-it-yourself process, with no visibility for managers on the various discussion topics.” As a result, there was no tool to connect all employees to facilitate communication between them.
“So we looked for a tool that integrated other tools (such as document sharing) to centralize exchanges and foster internal collaboration.” The deployment of an internal communication tool was already under consideration when the Covid-19 lockdown struck. “This particular situation accelerated our need and led us to make quick decisions; this was the context in which we chose Talkspirit,” the project director explained.
An accelerated deployment of Talkspirit to ensure business continuity
Faced with the continued need for confinement, the deployment of Talkspirit generated “general mobilization, taken to the highest level and supported by numerous intermediaries – starting with our IT experts, who were fully mobilized to support the project.”
In just three days, along with the successful deployment of 250 teleworkers, the tool was up and running. “Not only was everyone connected in record time,” emphasizes Franck Girardot, “but everyone was connected and put into operational action immediately. In just a few days, Talkspirit had advantageously replaced most previously-used tools.”
Amicio had already tested other collaborative digital tools without success with teams that had never adopted them. “If a tool doesn’t live up to its promises or poses problems in terms of handling, the momentum is lost. Here, we found the opposite: easy to use, it was immediately adopted by (nearly) everyone.”
A privileged channel for internal communication
In the very specific context of containment, Talkspirit was used to transmit messages to all employees to give them visibility on the evolution of the situation. “From day one, we opened four channels for distributing information in a top-down fashion to keep our employees informed of the evolution of a potentially anxiety-provoking situation: Group life, HR information, Site life for Abbeville, Libourne and Redon. This has enabled us to establish direct, reassuring communication with our teams working on the sites, who are teleworking, or on sick leave (childcare or short-time working). This communication was very much appreciated, and it generated a lot of participation and very interesting feedback.”
An asset used to propel the reorganization of the company
“Despite the constraints associated with the global lockdown, we chose not to stop, but rather to pursue and intensify an ambitious project to rename the entire company with the aim of giving a common identity to the different entities that made it up,” explains Franck Girardot.
“With our consulting agency, we organized a gamified system to get the 500 employees involved in this project, with challenges proposed via Talkspirit with the aim of bringing out the values important to them.” The enterprise social network was used as a tool to build a common culture, generating strong support for this approach.
A valuable tool for operational coordination
“From the outset, we created a structure of groups/communities on Talkspirit that corresponds to the different teams and services that exist. At the same time, we have seen an explosion of chat rooms and sub-groups, proof of the various operational teams’ acceptance of the platform.”
This organization has developed spontaneously with the needs of connecting each other to ensure the smooth running of their operations but also communication between them, both formal and informal.
Frankly, this replaced the break room and the discussions around the coffee machine,” explained a smiling Franck Girardot. “It allowed us to measure the company’s level of adherence to this new tool in real time.”
The benefits of using Talkspirit
“The main added value,” explains the Project Director, “is to replace a multitude of tools with a single business tool, made available by the company, which covers all the exchange and communication needs of the teams, whether operational or not.”
The ease of use was appreciated by all, as shown by the rapid appropriation of the tool.
Another element that has a positive impact on internal communication is Talkspirit’s social network spirit, which encourages interaction, reactions, sharing, etc.—all of which enriches relationships and creates links between employees. “It’s a great success, and we’re delighted,” concludes Franck Girardot.
What’s the next step for Amicio? Consolidate the use of Talkspirit over time and promote the tool’s potential with users to ensure they take full advantage of it!
Talkspirit’s eye on Amicio
When it comes to consolidating a corporate culture and spreading a DNA, the implementation of an enterprise social network encourages varied communication and interaction with employees at all hierarchical levels.
Also read: Top 12 Best Enterprise Social Networks
Faithful to its managerial values, Amicio encourages its employees’ autonomy and their ability to speak out while remaining attentive to their needs. Despite the constraints of confinement and distance, Talkspirit’s ergonomics has demonstrated its formidable efficiency with an extremely simple handling that has allowed for the platform’s accelerated adoption. In the long term, having an internal social network will enable Amicio to cement relations between teams and encourage the exchange of best practices—essential to the consolidation of an entrepreneurial spirit.
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Author: Clémentine Garnier