Employee Communications ~ 8 min

Edenred reinvents its internal communications for its 10 000 employees

How to break down the barriers between 10 000 employees in four months?

Edenred is the world leader in cashless solutions. The group offers payment options dedicated to food, employee motivation, mobility and business payments. It serves more than 50 million users at more than 900,000 companies in 46 countries. In 2020, during the health crisis, public authorities and companies called on Edenred to create targeted money programs to help stimulate the economy. Thanks to its unique digital platform, the Group was able to respond to these requests by developing ever more innovative programs in ever shorter timeframes.

This crisis has thus confirmed the validity of Edenred’s programs and its contribution to making the world of work a better place for everyone, thanks to access to healthier food, more environmentally friendly products and smoother mobility. True to its raison d’être: “Enrich Connections. For Good,” the Group’s success story is driven by the daily commitment of its teams to making the world of work simpler, safer and more efficient. Since its creation, many employees have joined Edenred, which now has more than 10,000 “Edenreders” in 46 countries. In this context, communicating the company’s values and knowledge to all employees has become a major challenge.

Edenred in figures

  • 50 million users of Edenred services
  • 10,000 employees
  • 2 million merchants
  • 900,000 customers
  • 46 countries

How to replace a limited intranet with the state of the art in “social” communication for employees

For several years, only Edenred employees connected to the Active Directory could access the group’s intranet because it did not offer any mobile access. The administration of the intranet also represented a considerable amount of work for the communication teams: manual translation of content into several languages, management of rights between countries, recovery and interpretation of consultation data. For Virginie Poulin, Head of Internal Communications and Events, the time had come to change and find an internal communications platform in line with the group’s transformation. “We needed a small revolution, it was no longer possible to adapt our existing platform and we knew exactly what we needed. We wanted a tool that would break down the company’s silos, both between regions and between departments, a digital tool that would be accessible to all of the group’s 10,000 employees, and that would be simple for them as well as for Edenred’s communication managers around the world.”

And while several subsidiaries were starting their Employee Advocacy projects, it seemed coherent to streamline the tools and choose an innovative and efficient platform to communicate and share the company’s announcements effectively. Edenred and Sociabble were already partners before starting an internal communication project together. Indeed, for its Employee Advocacy and Social Selling initiatives in France, Edenred was already using the dedicated features of the Sociabble platform: centralization, organization and personalization of content to be shared, planning, analysis of sharing data, etc.

We wanted a tool that would break down the company’s silos, both between regions and between departments, a digital tool that would be accessible to all of the group’s 10,000 employees

Virginie Poulin Head of Internal Communications and Events Edenred

An internal communication solution for all employees.

From the outset, Edenred demonstrated its desire to develop an ambitious and sustainable project: to develop a group identity around a unified and dynamic corporate culture throughout the world. This project, called “RED”, is about much more than the rationalization of a tool. It is about engaging employees in CSR, recognizing people and listening to them, creating a sense of belonging and enhancing Edenred’s image. The objective is to inform and engage Edenred’s 10,000 employees, and transform them into enlightened ambassadors of the brand. For Virginie Poulin, Sociabble was the ideal partner for a global communication platform. Sociabble offered a tool and project support that matched their ambitions.

The Sociabble platform was chosen because it met 3 fundamental requirements for employees

A quick and easy-to-use interface

Sociabble is designed primarily for mobile devices, and offers a familiar user interface, inspired by the application features of the main social networks. It is easy to learn and interact with the content (creation, likes, comments, shares).

A single application for a wide variety of content

All of Edenred’s important information is gathered in RED: content issued by the “group” communication teams, of course, but also that of local teams, publications proposed by subsidiary employees, and finally posts from social networks. This centralization is beneficial for the user, who no longer has to search for information on different tools, but also for communication managers, who now have only one tool to “operate” and who find in RED all the consultation data useful for improving the performance of their communication.

Greater accessibility

With RED, the group’s communication is readily at hand, for everyone. Employees connected to the Edenred directory log in with their Office 365 login, others with a login and password. No one is forgotten. In all segments, the Sociabble application provides notifications for important (even mandatory) content, interaction capabilities with comments and likes, and content creation possibilities (photos/videos, web links) for the users themselves.

Channels and content designed for relevance and commitment

Prior to the launch, the communications team spent a lot of time structuring RED, a tool intended for 10,000 employees. They encountered questions like: How to propose a relevant, coherent and simple editorial architecture? How best to avoid reproducing a siloed structure? Quickly, in consultation with the network of communicators around the world, the decision was made to limit the number of channels per Business Unit to three: “What’s Up” for external content, for example from social networks, “My Life” for internal announcements (a channel open to contributions from employees) and “My Tools” to give access to cold content and tools, which are now accessible from a single point, using a single authentication in RED.

This way, each user, anywhere in the world, can find clear and valuable information for their daily life, in their environment. And to promote knowledge of the group and its news, several global channels have been designed. Editorialized channels offering rich, qualitative content.

Get informed, engage and promote the brand, all from one mobile app.

Thus, the “We are RED” channel was created, which showcases all employees, their profiles and their successes. This was accomplished through meetings of the executive committee members – their roles, their passions – for example, but also with immersions in the subsidiaries when, each month, the channel is dressed in the colors of the country concerned and a series of exclusive posts allows employees to get to know the subsidiary: its local offers, its results, its successes, as well as portraits of the employees who lead it. Concluding with a quiz, this elaborate editorial calendar is based on strong coordination between headquarters, which designs the formats, and the subsidiaries, which are responsible for implementing the model.

A real success on RED, the “We are RED” channel contributes to the development of an esprit de corps and the group identity of the subsidiaries, through the promotion of employees, their profiles and their achievements. Finally, every week, the head office as well as the subsidiaries take advantage of the newsletter engine included in Sociabble to send a digest of the most important communications for the company.

A planned launch, a rigorous organization

Beyond the mere structuring of the channels, the launch of the RED platform – global, multilingual and open to social networks – also required rigorous preparation and communication work. Virginie Poulin remembers: “In collaboration with the local communication relays in the subsidiaries, we had planned everything for a simultaneous launch around the world. Kakemonos, stickers, tutorials, etc.

All content and devices had to be made available in the languages concerned for presentation at the same time. And for the administrators, numerous training sessions were scheduled. Prepared in collaboration with Sociabble’s support teams, these sessions and tools can indeed accelerate adoption considerably.

Edenred’s advice for successful internal communication

Although recently launched and relatively new to employees, the RED integrated communication platform is already a success at Edenred. Deployed in less than 4 months, it has achieved rapid adoption on a global scale, replacing an aging intranet. For Virginie Poulin, several factors are key to this success:

Phase the project

Breakdown of the project into stages, in order to better address each topic (launch, discovery, engagement, user contributions, social networks, Employee Advocacy, etc.).

Include local teams

Collaboration with local communication teams and relays, in order to perfectly meet the expectations of the field.

Distribute the efforts between headquarters and the subsidiaries

The head office provides guidelines, tools, content models and channel structuring. The Business Units adapt the content and administration of the platform locally.

Plan and prepare your content

An internal communication platform for 10,000 employees must be designed like a media outlet. Not only must publications and events be scheduled, but also their creation and validation must be organized, and contributions and user comments must be moderated. This is a lot of work and coordination for the communication teams, whose resources must be adjusted to the project.

Create quality content to bring value

Employees need content that will provide them with quality information and allow them to make a difference in their field. Long articles, expert insights, interviews, and analysis populate the RED platform, so that all employees can make rapid progress on strategic topics for the company.