How do you strenghten cohesion among employees who are far from their production facilities, scattered across several sites in France and overseas? Food Emotion, Ariane Group’s gastronomy division, has chosen to meet this challenge by adopting Talkspirit in the spring of 2020. Jérémy Dagot, Trade Marketing Manager, looks back at the steps and benefits of deploying the platform.
The gastronomy division of Food Emotion brings together two companies that supply professional pastry chefs—from local stores to the biggest French and international brands—including Pierre Hermé or Disneyworld. Since 1992, PCB Création has been designing food decorations, mainly chocolate-based, and Ponthier, having come on board in 2018, manufactures ready-to-use purees from ripe fruit, providing pastry chefs with quality fruit all year round. The Manufactura division brings together the sales teams of the two entities, located in France and abroad.
- 300 employees in 9 countries
- 2 head offices and 2 production sites, in Alsace and Corrèze
- 20 sales representatives in France and abroad
Deploying an enterprise social network, a need identified during the first lockdown
“We launched Talkspirit during the first confinement,” explains Jérémy Dagot, “because our employees on the shut-down production lines no longer had any connection with the company. As they’re highly operational teams, they have no professional email or access to the communication tools deployed. We had to find a way to keep them informed and maintain contact. We studied several enterprise social network (ESN) platforms, and the responsiveness, support and accessibility of the Talkspirit teams appealed to us. Within three weeks, the tool was up and running!“
In addition to these decisive advantages, the fact that Talkspirit is a French platform was an important advantage for Food Emotion, which favors local partners.
An implementation accompanied by training support
Talkspirit was deployed from the outset throughout the company, with segmentation by entity to facilitate exchanges within each of the structures. “I used the advice given in the Talkspirit FAQs for this purpose, and it was very useful for the first phase.” The management supported the implementation of a training program on best practices and the right to disconnect.
“We sent the connection information to Talkspirit along with a charter for the use of the tool and the best practices to apply,” says Jérémy Dagot. We ask employees not to send any important information outside working hours. But those who wish to pursue informal exchanges can of course do so.” The training material also explained how to set up notifications to guarantee the right to disconnect.
A rapid and massive adoption of the tool
“Out of the group’s 300 employees, more than 80% began using Talkspirit in the spring, including employees who weren’t necessarily comfortable with the platform. There was a lot of discussion, and it was perceived in a very positive way. After returning to the office, we began using Talkspirit more to promote internal intra-departmental communication: we reached nearly 100% of subscribers.”
In the early stages, Talkspirit helped maintain relationships among and with employees. Now, Food Emotion wants to move towards more team collaboration, making the platform the central tool for intra-service exchanges. “There’s still some pedagogical work to be done to lose certain well-established habits, such as communicating via Whatsapp groups, but we’re working on it! says Jérémy Dagot, grinning. The tool is very intuitive, gives quick access to information, and allows it to circulate: the teams really appreciate this improvement.”
New features well appreciated
Since the summer of 2020, Talkspirit has provided its users with a Drive feature. It allows documents to be stored, made accessible to employees, and modified with the OfficeNow collaborative office suite.
“The Drive is useful for business groups at Food Emotion,” explains Jérémy Dagot. For example, every week, the department heads in our plants have an information meeting. Before, they didn’t have access to the support material presented after the meeting. Now they can find it on Talkspirit, along with the information discussed. This is very much appreciated by employees and managers, who integrate this additional communication channel into their preparation.”
Jérémy Dagot is currently testing the OfficeNow suite on a cross-functional project group involving people based at different sites. “It works well with shared calendars, assigned tasks, etc. It’s very easy to use. If everyone is enthusiastic, we’ll generalize these project groups.”
A very positive initial assessment
Six months after the deployment of Talkspirit, Jérémy Dagot notes that the platform has become part of employees’ habits: almost 90% use it regularly. “They’re now waiting for information on Talkspirit. It’s even become a reflex in meetings to ask questions about how to communicate with this tool.” Team cohesion has improved—as has the spirit of community within the company. Benefits that nourish the company culture and the sense of belonging.
Talkspirit’s opinion on Food Emotion
Like many companies in 2020, Food Emotion has had to adapt to a new work organization and find ways to preserve ties internally. Thanks to the adoption of an enterprise social network, the company has been able to counter the sense of isolation that some people feel when they telework, and to provide ongoing information on the company’s situation to reassure employees. After having strengthened cohesion, this new communication channel is now being used as a central tool for intra-departmental collaboration—invaluable with teams dispersed over many sites.
Talkspirit is a human-scale platform, with teams based in France and highly responsive, Talkspirit supports companies in changing their work methods, providing them with a versatile tool capable of meeting their various operational needs.
Want to know more about the Talkspirit solution? Contact our team or schedule a demo to discuss your collaborative project.
Author: Clémentine Garnier