Already ingrained in people’s minds, the vital nature of digitalization has truly come to the fore in the context of the Covid crisis. But to help create, promote and maintain links between employees, this must not take place at the expense of the personal aspect. The “Digifriends” network approach introduced by LACROIX Group responds to this issue by deploying digital transformation in relation to each employee, so that everyone can benefit from it while maintaining connections within the Group.
Our Digifriends community comprises more than 80 employees who act as contacts for digital matters. These volunteers play a relay role with their respective teams in order to promote and facilitate new digital tools.
Beyond simple tools, digitalization is a pillar of the LACROIX Group strategy:
“The idea of creating a community of Digifriends emerged as part of the Ambition 2020 strategic plan, which included digitalization as one of its key imperatives. The challenge was to get everyone on board, to ensure that all employees could gain from it, reaping the benefits offered by digitalization by enhancing their skills, agility and responsiveness, both internally and in relation to our customers”
Starting from a case-based webinar project, the Digifriends network gradually became more organised: “We regularly exchange information between Digifriends on specific topics. ‘Office Cafés’ are organised on a quarterly basis, where we can discuss and develop new ideas, bring up potential problems, and try to find solutions to them. We then provide employees with various informative and educational materials, accessible to everyone: posters, videos, guides, manuals, etc. Workshops are also organised at local level on lots of different subjects, such as improving your efficiency in meetings, optimising your internal exchanges, or how best to manage remote working”, continues Laure Le Saux who has been leading Digifriends since the launch of the community.
The community of “digital contacts” within the teams brings a human element to work processes and creates a closer connection. This informal approach allows everyone to train according to their needs. “Reaching out to Digifriends has become instinctive for many of us. We know exactly who they are – they even have a sticker on their PC – and we know we can ask them any questions we might have,” notes Andy Rabarijaona, North Region Sales Assistant for the LACROIX City Traffic Signs Business Unit.
The creation of this community of ambassadors has accelerated the Group’s digitalization process, simplifying the introduction of new collaborative working methods:
“One of the areas we have sought to develop is the use of Teams within the Group. Gradually, the use of this tool has become part of our routine, and it has really proven its worth, particularly during lockdown.”
The initiative has also made it possible to integrate Artificial Intelligence into the organisation of certain teams:
“At the end of 2019, with the support of Digifriends, we deployed a Chatbot for sales administration, which is gradually enriched by a weekly data feed, and it provides us with a whole range of answers to our sales, marketing or production-related questions.”
Far from alienating employees, these new digital tools and processes, such as the Chatbot, complement exchanges between teams, and are proving to be particularly useful in a context of increased remote working. Digifriends play a central role in the appropriation of this new collaboration model, which undeniably remains closely dependant on the corporate culture and the teams behind it.