Case study

How to keep teams engaged and effective in a hybrid work environment

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Published on
1/9/2023
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Peter Quiguer
Digital Coordinator at Lesaffre

Peter Quiguer works as a Digital Coordinator at the Lesaffre Group, a key global player in fermentation (yeast and bacteria) for the food biotechnology market. His role is to support the group’s initiatives where digital technology can be used to optimize the user and employee experience. Here, discover 4 work situations where teams at Lesaffre became more effective, and even multiplied by 5 the time saved on certain projects.

The challenge: facilitate seamless collaboration in an international group

As it is spread across numerous countries and represented by 85 different nationalities, the Lesaffre teams have historically been used to working remotely. Until 2020, email was the most used channel by employees to exchange information across several time zones asynchronously. When it came to synchronous work, i.e. on site meetings, this meant the teams had to fly and spend a significant amount of time traveling.

In March 2020, health restrictions changed all this and remote working became widespread for all the teams. At this point, Peter identified a need to find collaborative methods to keep working effectively, both synchronously and asynchronously. All while meeting the needs of a market that also had to deal with these constraints.

The objective was that it had to fit naturally into our ways of working, without the need to learn or train for anything.

Several interconnected digital tools enabled Peter to respond to this problem. With his teams, he turned to Klaxoon’s Workshop Platform, mainly because it can be directly integrated with Microsoft Teams, which they also use. But also because Klaxoon tools gave them access to methods that significantly simplified their collaboration for several types of projects, both internally and with their clients.

The solution: a comprehensive visual workspace, where everyone is more effective and able to express themselves

Peter highlights 4 key situations where the Workshop Platform helped the teams at Lesaffre make a leap forward in terms of effectiveness:

  • Ensure an SAP deployment in Mexico for 300 people, remotely.
  • Facilitate a product launch with clients located in Croatia, remotely once again.
  • Plan team work schedules on site autonomously.
  • Organize a meeting spontaneously in 10 minutes, using a template.

SAP deployment in Mexico for 300 people, remotely

During this SAP (business management software package) deployment, which was high risk for Lesaffre, nearly 300 people were mobilized to carry out the technical installation and provide change support services for the teams in Mexico. Deployment management could be done 100% remotely, bringing together the project stakeholders directly on the Workshop Platform, without anyone having to travel.

Thanks to Board, Klaxoon’s collaborative virtual whiteboard with built-in videoconferencing, the Lesaffre teams were able to prepare a global SAP deployment mapping synchronously. Because it can be shared by everyone and accessed at any time, the Board centralizes all the discussions and actions without losing any information.

Someone working remotely with their team connected by video on a Mind Map Board to launch a project with many participants. | Klaxoon
For any type of project, the team can meet via Live using a visual roadmap that centralizes information (the image above does not represent Peter’s Board in that case).

Peter also notes that this project was an opportunity to make different departments in the group work cross-functionally, including IT and HR teams. To organize their support during the deployment, HR managers took the initiative to use templates - ready-to-use Board models all based on proven methodologies. This way, the on-site teams were able to share their ideas, and any obstacles they might encounter too, in a specific workspace.

Peter Quiguer: "Klaxoon templates helped them to lead the way and embrace change, so that they were drivers of change and of their own transformation." | Klaxoon

Organize a client information exchange initiative abroad without travelling

In addition to internal projects, Klaxoon’s Workshop Platform enabled Peter and the Lesaffre teams to effectively manage a situation involving clients, once again on an international level.

During lockdown, the Lesaffre Group planned the launch of a new product in Croatia. Sales representatives, who used to go there in person to spread the word about it to local customers, had to acknowledge that this time, it would be impossible to promote it directly on site. That’s when the local marketing team came up with the idea of launching full-scale new product testing, organized using Klaxoon tools.

In this context, Peter notes that, “with very few resources, they managed to set up a real program”. Product samples were shipped to clients in Croatia, then the team held a webinar on a Klaxoon Board to explain to them how to use the product.

After that, they sent a Survey to collect consolidated client feedback, and the first findings when using the product. And finally, a second webinar on Board brought together Lesaffre clients and marketing and sales representatives, to discuss their uses “very transparently and openly”.

The Survey is an effective and consolidated way to collect feedback (the image above does not represent Peter’s Survey).

Manage team work schedules on site

On a more operational level, Peter also talks about the role that the Workshop Platform played in managing team work schedules on site at the Lesaffre head office (in northern France) during lockdowns.

In this context, the teams had to follow a shift work schedule, so that people who needed to work in the laboratories could access them, while respecting health restrictions.

Spontaneously, Peter and his teams set up a Board to create this process autonomously. Depending on needs, everyone could anticipate what days they would be in the laboratory, and share the information with the rest of the team. Peter adds that “all the employees found it easy to use”, and if they needed to update their days in the laboratory, they could do so at any time and from any connected device (smartphone, home computer etc.).

Organize a meeting which diffuses tensions

This fourth example described by Peter shows how using the Workshop Platform made it possible to organize a meeting spontaneously and naturally.

In this meeting, the lack of leadership at the outset caused some tension, because the participants didn’t know where they were going.

To remedy this, Peter found the right Board template for this situation, and shared it with the entire team.

“In only 10 minutes, everyone took the reins,” he stresses. Once they had familiarized themselves with Board, the team was able to work in a structured, safe environment where everyone could express themselves seamlessly.

The result: 5 times more time saved, faster and more effective progression in topics

Through these different experiences of collaboration at Lesaffre, Peter found that Klaxoon enabled them to save 5 times more time with respect to project management and team rituals.

He also adds that this encouraged internal autonomy, as it was the case with the SAP deployment, where the teams took the lead without running every step past the head office:

We were blown away, they took the initiative to do that themselves.

This significantly accelerated action planning and ensured effective deployment.

With their clients in Croatia, Peter also got very good feedback following the remote product testing. He stresses that the format of an information exchange webinar on Board has helped to increase client loyalty, because they felt involved in discussions and were able to share information with their peers. This has led to the emergence of a small local community, which is now helping Lesaffre develop its products with its feedback.

On an international level, in addition to a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to when they traveled physically, communication has also become more effective between teams in different countries. Previously, during face-to-face meetings, few participants expressed themselves for fear of the language barrier. Now, Peter finds that they’re not afraid to ask more questions, because the tool encourages “the ability to express themselves in writing much more easily”.

Finally, using Klaxoon in different meeting formats and team rituals has become widespread. This is mainly thanks to the use of MeetingBoard, available directly in the laboratories for face-to-face meetings. This giant mobile touch screen features all the Workshop Platform activities, in the Cloud and locally. This way, Peter and the Lesaffre teams can easily transform any space into a meeting room, that other participants can obviously join remotely.

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