Gone are the days of dad’s “internal com” with videos, Intranet and publications that almost no one reads. After Leroy Merlin two years ago, Carrefour converted to the professional version of Facebook called “Workplace” by Meta. “The idea is to provide employees with an application accessible from their mobile that works like the social networks they are used to,” summarizes the distributor’s communications director, Charles Hufnagel.
Carrefour opened this service on Wednesday to its 85,000 French employees, which makes the brand the biggest user of Workplace in France. Thursday, 15,000 employees were already registered. The international subsidiaries will follow, i.e. more than 200,000 people.
The initiative is the fourth part of the digital transformation plan wanted by CEO Alexandre Bompard and implemented by the digital boss, Elodie Perthuisot. Online sales represent the first pillar of the program, the use of new technologies for warehouse and store operations the second, and data processing the third.
“It’s a collaborative tool that can accelerate cross-functional projects,” observes the communications director of Leroy Merlin France, Marc Renaud. At Carrefour, the initiators of the project evoke simplicity, the exchange of best practices, horizontality. A cashier can post a video message to Alexandre Bompard, who himself was the first to speak.
Workplace is used alongside Workplace Chat, the pro version of Whatsapp and Messenger. Each function can create its loop, the Comex as well as the financial department, but also the butchers and other section managers. Alexandre Bompard rocked the hundred Whatsapp loops of which he was a member. Everything is done on a voluntary basis with varying scopes. The idea is not only to receive internal communication messages – a tab gives access to documents and forms that employees may need – but also to generate exchanges. A section manager will publish the photo of the superb gondola head he has mounted.
Carrefour’s internal social network is reserved for employees who lose access to it once they leave the company. Not everyone can see everything. Only Comex members read the Comex loop. But everyone can address others. “The network crushes bureaucracy and silos,” assures Charles Hufnagel. Despite several social plans in the group’s headquarters, Carrefour retains the reputation of a company rich in management layers.
“The chat is widely used by the trades, it abounds”, confirms Marc Renaud. Some 28,000 employees of the DIY specialist are connected. They are 150,000 in the world. “We regularly host live videos to allow employees to follow the stages of the company’s transformation,” he adds. At Carrefour, Elodie Perthuisot broadcasts an update on the group’s digital transformation every Monday. We imagine that next Monday she will draw up an initial assessment of Workplace.