Migrating a 20-year-old internal newsletter onto a mobile app

Can you defeat geographic challenges and shorten the time it takes to share information? How can a company’s director address 1,600 employees in an authentic and immediate way? Our case study with Praktiker Kft.

About the company

Praktiker Kft has 20 different home improvement locations across the country and 1Budapest headquarters. 1,600 employees work at the company, 1,450 in the warehouses and 150 in the headquarters. A majority of the employee demographic are made up of blue-collar workers, totaling 1,350 people. The average age is 42 years old, with a sizable population of young people participating in their internship program, and over 60 retired teammates.

The biggest internal communications challenges

  • Maintaining team unity in 20+1 locations.
  • Ensuring the fast and authentic sharing of information.
  • Creating a direct line of contact between managers and teammates.
  • Reaching colleagues without business email addresses.
Not all of our 1,600 employees have a business email address, so in manyi nstances, information reaches colleagues through warehouse managers. And secondhand information is easily distorted. We felt unsure that warehouse managers need to be the ones responsible for sharing information, and were always looking for solutions to this problem.

- said Katalin Márton, Head of HR & CSR  Praktiker kft.

The solution

The Blue Colibri App’s dedicated internal communications platform provided a solution for Praktiker Kft.’s internal communications challenges, which they deployed under the name PrakTEAM.

PrakTEAM was the name of our earlier, offline internal newsletter, through which we shared strategic and informative content with our teams. However, we often found the dusty, leftovers of various edition sand had to ask ourselves, is the information really getting to our employees?

- mentioned Katalin.

The platform’s deployment was originally planned for May 2020, but the pandemic rapidly overwrote those plans. In under 2-3 days, the system was deployed and most of the 1,600 employees registered on the platform in 3 days. The pandemic dictated direct and immediate information sharing, and the platform was first used to shareCOVID-19 related information and to let colleagues directly access video check-ins from their managers.

About the Blue Colibri App

Praktiker Kft.’s directing manager can directly communicate with 1,600 employees through Blue Colibri App’s internal communications platform. The most popular pieces of content are the director’s videos, with a significantly higher view count.

The managing director is a very charismatic person, he’s popular in our employees’ circles, his presence is essential in the warehouse as well as online. For years, we celebrated May 1st with a traditional picnic and hike, but this year we had to cancel it. Using the app, the director promised each and every single colleague that it would be made up for. Tons of replies poured in, expressing that they couldn’t wait and no matter what happens, come rain or shine they would take part in the event. Thanks to the app, everybody got the same information, firsthand. This way we can circumvent hallway and locker room gossip, because we’re able to authentically and directly engage with everyone.

- Katalin told us.

The Blue Colibri App works equally on computers and smartphones, regardless whether it’s a company or personal device. Employee feedback is positive, and there haven’t been issues even for those who don’t have a smartphone.

The community is very strong in our warehouses. Teammates help each other where they can. If we send out news on our platform, teammates proactively help those who don’t have smartphones. This way the news reaches everyone.

- Katalin mentioned us.

Internal communications is measurable thanks to the Blue Colibri App platform’s analytics. Praktiker Kft.’s employees can always follow what news is worth sharing, with what frequency and when. Firsthand analytics help organizations develop their internal communications practices, and continuously develop their company culture.

Important milestones and achievements

  • Digitization of a 20-year-old newsletter, its migration to the app and exceptionally positive reception.
  • Decrease in email communications.
  • The path for information exchange, geographic distances have been “shortened.”
  • The burden of information is no longer on the shoulders of middle management.
  • Information directly reaches 1,600 employees.
If you’re thinking about integrating the Blue Colibri App, I encourage you to. The platform isn’t just the communication foundation for future businesses-- it’s already an indispensable communication tool for managers and employees.

Katalin Márton, Head of HR & CSR  Praktiker kft.

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