International innovator Riwal uses Happeo to forge a bond among their 75 offices

International innovator Riwal uses Happeo to forge a bond among their 75 offices

“Our company had to deal with an international global crisis. Happeo played a central role in enabling business continuity by sharing knowledge and success stories – both locally and globally.”

- Kris Desmedt, Group Manager Marketing and Communication at Riwal 

Empowering flexibility for one of the world's most innovative workforces

Riwal has 2600 people, 75 offices and a presence in 16 countries spread throughout India, Europe and the Middle East. Riwal is much more than an industrial-revolution aftershock. Next to supplying machinery to work at height, they innovate in safety compliance by training customers in Virtual Reality. That drive to innovate isn't just visible to their clients – it lives internally too. They call it “The Riwal Way”, a process of continuous innovation. After moving to Google’s Google Workspace, Riwal understood one thing clearly: to support continuous innovation, international presence and local flavor, they needed to innovate in the way they communicate internally. They needed a new platform. Kris Desmedt, Riwal’s Group Manager for Marketing and Communications, took the time to run us through their use case.

Riwal's figures since Happeo launch

  • Global usage increased by 25% among active users

  • Mobile usage increased 50%

  • Overall engagement continues to increase significantly. The amount of posts increased, likes and comments too

  • Hard-to-reach employees are now more present on the platform. Drivers are engaging through the mobile app more than ever before

Balancing the global and local

“We have a couple of challenges in our Internal Communications. In Europe we’re Riwal, but in the Middle East and India we operate under another name. We have to communicate across 16 different countries, so the language barrier is at play too. Lastly, we also have a lot of non-office employees. People that are out there on the road. Truck drivers that deliver machines to the customers. Service technicians that go on location to do repairs. They have an email address, but they don't necessarily always have a computer at hand. It’s more difficult to keep them up-to-date and make them feel a part of the larger whole that is Riwal. In other words: to create a true global organization, you have to put in effort.” 

Prior to Happeo, Riwal used a combination of Google Sites and Google+ to communicate internally. Unfortunately, these platforms showed low engagement and low adoption because they’re separate environments. To make their new platform a success, Riwal set four requirements:

  • One central, scalable platform that allows us to send top-down news

  • A place that enables collaboration and bottom-up communication – the only way to overcome
    communication silos

  • A way to balance global vs. local communications 

  • A mobile app is key, as a lot of our people are always on-the-go
“From the moment we chose Happeo, it only took four months to launch the platform with all the content prepared. A good project management approach here is really important – setting together a decision making unit of people in IT, Digital, HR and Marketing really helped.
Happeo’s Customer Success acted as a sounding board, giving us objective outside views on the best steps to go further. The combination of the two made our launch a success.”

The Corona conundrum

“Shortly after our launch, COVID-19 hit the world. We assembled a crisis team, consisting of various departments from within the company, spread throughout the world. One of the first decisions we made is that we needed a central point of communication, and Happeo was the obvious choice. We created a COVID-19 Channel and Page. The first weeks and months saw an explosion of knowledge-sharing in those places – which helped us defeat a lingering issue. Sharing knowledge was always a big challenge for us, due to the locality of our international business. The business now understood the urgency and importance of being interconnected in times of this pandemic. Though it was an uncertain period, it showed that our people really want to learn from each other and figure out how to deal with this situation, together. 

The commercial side of our business was collaborating across Happeo, but we also saw a lot of creative things. Posts that were never done before – gamification elements that increased interaction and impact. Drivers were now posting pictures of Riwal trucks in front of landmark locations. One of the things I’m most proud of is that we made machines available to healthcare facilities during the first lockdown. Since families could not visit their grandparents, they could now get on an access-platform machine and at least see them up close! We shared this throughout our Happeo platform – something that greatly boosted our sense of company pride.” 

Speaking of pride: we're very happy with our Middle-Eastern offices. They became incredibly active on the platform. With some stimulation they started to share success stories, and you could see that one great post would quickly lead to another.”

Overcoming local barriers with a global platform

“Every office operates in their local market – and with 75 offices throughout 16 countries, you can imagine that the language barrier is a challenge for us. Happeo has seamless integration with Google Translate, so content can be translated with just the click of a button – something that really helps. That’s one side of the solution. The other side comes from our local Channels. They’re digital comfort-zones – a way for people to interact with each other in the language they’re most comfortable with. At the same time they’re present on the global platform, so the step to interact across the business is also less intimidating. One of those examples is a Channel called the Riwal Way, which is dedicated to continuous improvement – a place where people share how they activate each other in working the Riwal Way. It's proven to be one of our most cultural-barrier breaking channels.” 

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The feature that changed the name for Riwal 

  • Google Workspace integration to get the commercial side of the business to collaborate

  • Mobile app to reach their on-the-go workers

  • Google Translate integration
  • Easy-to-design Pages; a COVID-19 Page was designed in a matter of hours 

  • User-friendly Channels that offer a variety of post-types and rich media 

  • Analytics to continuously improve – it is, after all, The Riwal Way

“The new normal means that working from home is here to stay for our office employees. Happeo will continue to play an important role in team bonding and sharing of knowledge and success stories – both globally and locally.”

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