Laura op 12 July 2021

Connect and engage your employees with the Plek app

In the wide range of modern communication tools, it has become indispensable: the employee app. At Plek we understand that online communication and collaboration only succeeds when the technology is intuitive. In this case you will see how three different clients use our employee app in their day to day business.

  • Reach all your employees
  • Reinforces mutual engagement
  • Accessible thanks to our (platform) onboarding
  • Employees quickly find information through our powerful built-in search engine

It often starts with the request: "We want to reach all our employees, wherever they are." In the wide range of modern communication tools, it has become essential: the employee app. At Plek, we know that a good app should really add value to the work of the employees themselves. Employees install the app on their own phone and check it in their spare time: on their way to work, at lunchtime or in the evening on the couch. We therefore believe in apps that fit in with how people collaborate and share information with each other.

We work for a lot of organizations with employees who do not spend all day behind a screen. Organizations in healthcare, childcare, catering, construction or industry. For these "non-desk employees" the app is often the only way to stay informed about what is going on within the organization. Especially during this pandemic, when physical meetings or spontaneous encounters at the coffee machine are often not possible.

Clear need

At Ambulance Amsterdam, Plek replaced a traditional intranet and a newsletter. The app was new, but was almost immediately adopted by all employees. Five weeks after its introduction, 60% of the staff had actually downloaded it. The app proved to be a hit, both for the communications department and especially for the employees themselves.

"On a normal day, we have 500 colleagues on the road. They don't sit behind a desk, at least not during working hours. We were looking for a way to provide them with information. With the app, everyone gets the right information on their own cell phones. You no longer have to log into a computer at the ambulance station. With this solution, everyone has everywhere, access to all our information."

Communication advisor Inge Meijer, Ambulance Amsterdam

There was also a clear need at Sinne, a childcare organization in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, with 425 employees spread over 31 locations. Annemarie Wiersma, Marketing & Communication Advisor: "Our intranet "Sintraal" already exists four years this summer. We've been using the app since the beginning. Before, we had a classic newsletter. That was sent to private email addresses. It was very much a one-way communication tool and we wanted to get rid of that. We wanted more involvement and more connection with the employees and between the employees."

At Appèl Catering, "Greet" - the social intranet with its accompanying mobile app - had already found it's way in the daily routine of many employees at the various catering locations and headquarters. Mainly to share fun news and inspiring things with each other. That changed with the Corona crisis.

"Corona obviously had a huge impact on our organization and our people. From one day to the next, a large part of our employees was suddenly sitting at home due to the closure of the company restaurants and school canteens. Greet became the necessary platform for our people to retrieve information. It enabled us to respond very well to that information need, with video messages and a corona information page, for example."

Hr advisor Tedje Koesen, Appèl

Relevant and social

In addition to make sure that central, top-down information easily reaches employees, the Plek app also enables information to be more personalized. Groups form the core of the app. This allows people within a team or project to work together or share information in a theme group. Inge Meijer: "Ambulance Amsterdam works in three different regions, which all have their own topics in addition to the common themes. On our old intranet everything was mixed up in one timeline. Plek works with groups and channels that people can sign up for so everyone gets the information that is relevant for them."

This social aspect was also very important for Ambulance Amsterdam. The fact that people can post messages themselves and can respond to messages, but also that they can easily find each other. Inge: "Our locations in Amsterdam-Amstelland, Kennemerland and Zaanstreek-Waterland are relatively far apart, but we are each other's colleagues. We are one organisation. With the Plek app there is more interaction and we know what's going on. The profile page is very good for that. Now we can get in touch with every colleague, wherever they are. We didn't have that overview before."

What has it done for the organisation? We got more interaction and engagement. "This week there was a colleague who retired. We posted a message in the "About Us" channel and received many responses from the organization. A big difference with before, when a colleague would have just left. Certainly in times when you can't have a physical farewell, those kinds of online comments are very nice".

That you can create a real sense of connection through a mobile app is also the experience of Appèl, especially in times of tension and crisis. HR employee Madelon Vos: "We have 600 locations throughout the country. After many locations were forced to temporarily close because of Corona, people sat at home and felt fairly isolated. Through Greet people could reach out to each other and encourage each other. You could see that in the messages people posted and the reactions to them. There was room for expressing stress and worries, but above all for emtoizing with each other. With our communication platform Greet we offered a platform for this and it felt very good."

Medewerkerapp

Knowledge sharing

"Through the Group "Ask but no questions" we bring together supply and demand. It is a kind of mini marketplace where locations can find things that other locations have left over. Previously, we did it by e-mail, which was pretty inefficient."

Marketing & Communication advisor Annemarie Wiersma, Sinne

User-friendly

Ambulance Amsterdam prepared well for the introduction of the new social intranet and the employee app. Inge: "We drew up a wish list and involved colleagues from all departments of the organization: ICT, security, team managers but also nurses and drivers. In the end, almost every team had someone who knew something about it. Those colleagues could tell more on the day of introduction and also stimulate the use of the app." Asked about why they choose Plek, Inge didn't have to think hard. "The user-friendliness was the decisive factor. The app had to be as simple to use as Facebook or Instagram. We'd rather have our colleagues take a CPR training instead of an intranet training."

User-friendliness was also a decisive factor at Sinne. "What we liked about Plek was that it's very approachable. It is so easy, anyone can use it. We also wanted our app to be versatile with many options for personalising it. This combination was very important to us and we found it in Plek."

When introducing the app, Sinne chose a phased approach. First we concentrated on the channels to get the news right. Later we added all the organizational documents. That's especially important for the locations. If the GGD does an inspection, employees must be able to immediately find the right document."

Medewerkerapp

Central location

At both Ambulance Amsterdam and Sinne and Appèl, the app is now the main communication channel. Ambulance Amsterdam confirms that the app quickly gained a central position. Inge Meijer: "The general messages come from the communication department. But we are also given input by the rest of the organization. We sometimes have to push a bit, but people respond well to questions and messages that are posted. They also create groups and a message is easily shared. Five weeks after the introduction, we already had 30 groups and 600 messages.

At Appèl they are thinking about the next step. Tedje Koesen, "Now that we dare to look a bit more into the future and now that we are allowed to open at multiple locations, our people are focused again on their work and less eager to look for information on Greet. Yet we want to continue to involve and activate our people, so that a visit to Greet becomes part of their daily routine. We already made sure that all important documents are on Greet. Also, more and more necessary information about projects and actions, which used to be distributed by e-mail, is now only posted on Greet. Usage is high and we want to keep it that way."

After four years, the app is no longer absent from the working day of the Sinne employees. Annemarie Wiersma: "We no longer have a newsletter or other communication channels. Email is now only used for 1 on 1 communication and if you want to approach a group you do that through Sintraal. We also know that colleagues often use the app during the break or at other times that suit them. For example, in the evening, sitting on the couch reading a message that was just too long to read during the break!"