Massmart is a South African-based globally competitive regional management group and the second-largest distributor of consumer goods in Africa, the leading retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies. 2017 total sales reported at R93.7 billion. The group has around 30,000 employees, housed under brands such as Builders Warehouse, Game, Makro etc, located in multiple locations and regions across Africa.
As a company, Massmart had to rely on internal memos, top down communication and, in many cases, roadshows. This is very costly and difficult to ensure that a quality consistency of internal culture building, employee engagement and compliance training is maintained and propagated. The traditional mechanisms were not seen as effective and required significant budget allocations each year.
Walmart Massmart group employee benefits general manager as well as the ethics and compliance department engaged with team to find an optimum and sustainable financial model. The aim was to explore and set up a innovative digitized model to allow a meaningful two way communication channel that would allow for dialogue and feedback with all staff members. The focus was to communicate all employee benefits, ethic and compliance amendments and policies. Equally important to the management team for the future organisational success was intended on gathering feedback on exactly what was happening in the workforce to enable it to deliver the right solution fit.
Smartphones were supplied to employees as an employee benefit. An application was developed as a mobi first community engagement platform. The platform utilised various animated characters representing the personality and culture of the company. They were created to be the voice of Employee Benefits as well as Ethics and Compliance. The creative and development teams brought the characters to life via short animated video communications, infographics and text elements that would edutain employees through their various benefits and compliance training.
The online communication tool was fondly called MyMassmart and became a standard operating process within the employee benefits department. This allowed the company full access and control to be able to engage and communicate with the employees. With the convenience of this platform being accessible on any mobile device, including smartphones, tablets and or desktop devices, this meant the company was also able to provide other enhanced services such as staff development through trainings, surveys and other timeous business communication.
Some of the features of the personalized platform meant that valuable data could be gathered, whilst making the employee feel heard and treated as an individual. The features included: My Profile, My Surveys, My Chats, My Videos, My Documents, My Buzz, My Rewards and My Basket.
It included gamified rewards and recognition which became key drivers of culture and engagement. Putting a smartphone in every employee's hand also enables head office to stay in touch with employees on a real time basis. It has a push notification approach that provides SMS and email notifications to staff to logon. Leadership could effectively profile it's employee base as well as provide a real time dashboard to management. The user friendly backend system with analytics and monitoring, empowered HR to overseeing KPIs and skills deficits.
10,689 staff voluntarily signed up within the first year with 65% active users. The 55% male and 45% female users constantly interact with the mascot character we created who we have fondly come to name Zanelli the Zebra. The majority of demographics are blue collar workers who are also mobile users, have uploaded incredible stories of how the app has and mobile communication has improved their employee experience.