Zwack Has Made a Big Move for Its Employees

Tradition in manufacturing, modernization in HR

Zwack has migrated much of its administration and internal communication to its company application. Employees can simply download the app to their mobile phones and have access to all the essential work information and materials. In addition, they can keep up to date with the news, participate in games, or work together for a charitable cause. This is the new momentum of a world-renowned Hungarian company representing long-standing traditions, from digitalization to workplace community building and shared value creation.

Zwack has done what more and more companies in Hungary are considering but is still in its infancy: it has moved its internal communication to its own company app. Employees can download the Zwapp app on their mobile phones simply and can find and fill in all important company information and documents. They can access materials, ask questions, and give their opinions. They can get more actively involved in community programmes for workers, get to know each other better, or join forces for a charitable cause. The "Zwapp era" has been going on for almost a year and a half now, bringing many exciting advantages. Dorottya Gulyás, the HR assistant of Zwack Unicum Nyrt. shared her experiences.

The change was needed – blue-collar workers mustn’t be left out!

Even in a small company, getting all the vital information to colleagues can be challenging. In companies with multiple sites, factories, and office departments, you can only hope that company e-mails reach the employees. This is likely efficient for office workers, but it is a different story for non-desk staff.

In addition to its Budapest site, Zwack also has two other factories – in Dunaharaszti and Kecskemét – with many more blue-collar workers. HR assistant Dorottya Gulyás said that as a result, keeping the staff up to date and maintaining information and internal news flowing was not always entirely smooth. "Our blue-collar workers were harder to reach, and we could involve them in company activities less effectively. In order to bring white-collar and blue-collar colleagues together and help blue-collar workers stay up to date on company-related news and events, it became unavoidable to emphasize our internal communication’s improvement."

From centuries-old traditions to a branded company app

 The centuries-old Zwack empire has continuously been renewed, constantly modernizing its operations according to the current zeitgeist. This traditionalist, and at the same time modernist approach has led to the idea that it might be worthwhile to introduce a platform where they can bring all these dimensions together. "Even though our company is a tradition-preserving company that prefers to represent old traditions, we also consider it a particularly important value to operate as a modern company that is innovative, youthful in its approach and takes into account new points of view” – added Dorottya Gulyás. So, the circumstances and the inspiration were all given for a change.

The "Zwapp era" has arrived

 We cannot ignore that developing, testing, and introducing a completely new system in a company can take an incredibly long time and be extremely expensive. So instead, Zwack found a much faster, more cost-effective solution and partnered with the Hungarian Blue Colibri. The self-developed software of the company, founded in 2019, was created specifically for the purposes that Zwack needed: to reach non-desk employees as well, to communicate much more effectively, to bring administration to a new level, to share important company news  and data from anywhere, and to provide a platform for this new kind of workplace social life.

A little parallelism made the change even more accessible

Initially, the app was used as a supplement, while information was still being published in other channels (e-mail, bulletin board, posters). Today all company events are announced in the system, and they are creating new ones as well. "In many cases, the app was the first source of information about events. After that, people from different departments started to talk more, either in comments or in person (using what they saw on the app)” – said Gulyás. User activity and enthusiasm is constantly growing. This year, for the first time, the employee satisfaction survey was also carried out with much less paper and easier administration (statistics, downloadable Excel data). "We made it possible for employees to fill out the questionnaire on paper, but we tried to encourage them to use Zwapp in every possible way. For example, at many locations of the building, we put up posters with QR codes that led to the questionnaires. As a result, many employees have downloaded and started using the application, and a large percentage of them opted to fill it in online instead of on paper” – added Dorottya Gulyás. 

Not only useful – colleagues love it too!

According to Dorottya Gulyás, the most popular contents are anniversary greetings, the introduction of new colleagues, and games to win small prizes. "At first, it was difficult to get it started, especially with the older age group, but the more interesting and diverse content we added to the platform, the more colleagues started to use it. Of course, not all of our white-collar and blue-collar workers are using it yet, but slowly and surely, interest and activity seem to be increasing."

In addition, Zwapp also plays a positive role in helping new colleagues to settle, as they can re-read most of the content, see what events have been held at the company, what to expect in the future, and what comments were made on specific posts. They can easily pick up the pace of the company – the company app seems to facilitate and enhance the experience of belonging to a community.

Creating common values, charitable teamwork

Zwack's new digital platform has also positively changed many areas of community life. A year-end event was, for example, the Advent Calendar, where for 24 days, they shared Christmas recipes, ideas, film recommendations and DIY projects on the app every weekday. But the truly amazing team effort was the Christmas cookie sale. "We support a good cause and raise money for those in need by organising a cookie sale. You can sign up as a cookie baker, and we will organize a sale for our colleagues to sell the sweets. Everyone bakes cookies at home and brings them to the office in the morning of the designated day, and at HR, we label them with the name of the person who made it and the name of the cookie, and then we also "price it". We then place all the sweets around our reception area, providing takeaway boxes and utensils. Everybody can buy any cookies in any quantity, even as takeaway, and then puts the price into our honesty box" – said Dorottya Gulyás, listing the details of the unique community event. This programme was a tradition at Zwack even before the new platform, but the app helped promote it, run the event, and share photos and results.

And the possibilities are endless, as the app continues to conquer new areas in the company even almost a year later. In the future, for example, they plan to upload various online courses (e-learning) and add similar exciting content according to individual interests to the company app. These materials and contents can be done at individual pace.

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