ReThink Productivity Podcast

Driving Digital Transformation with WorkJam

September 03, 2023 Season 14 Episode 1
ReThink Productivity Podcast
Driving Digital Transformation with WorkJam
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ready to revolutionize your frontline operations? Strap in as we journey with
Mark Williams
, Managing Director of WorkJam EMEA, exploring the challenges businesses face in effectively conveying crucial information to their frontline workers, and how WorkJam can bridge this communication gap. This enlightening episode is a deep-dive into how WorkJam can be the catalyst for your organization's digital transformation, enhancing competitiveness, boosting productivity, and ensuring the successful management of ongoing change.


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Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Productivity podcast. This is the first in a series of three episodes with our friends at Work Jam, and today I'm delighted to be joined by Mark Williams, managing Director for Work Jam, and Mia. Hi, mark, how are you doing?

Speaker 2:

I'm good. Thank you very much, Simon.

Speaker 1:

Coming to the end of the summer holidays, as we record, so everybody's getting back on off holiday. I think you've just got back, I'm just about to go, so that's good, that's good. But today is all about Work Jam. We're going to talk about transformation, we're going to talk about value, we're going to talk about change and then all the ways that potentially, work Jam and your team there can help support. But before we dive in, mark, do you want to tell us a bit about yourself, your kind of career background, and then we'll find out a little bit more about Work Jam.

Speaker 2:

Sure, thank you. Yeah, so I've spent the last couple of years leading and setting up the Work Jam IMEA business here in London, but probably a little bit more relevant is my past 16 years leading frontline digital transformation for Shell globally across their retail business.

Speaker 1:

And in terms of Work Jam, do you want to give the listeners for those that maybe aren't familiar with a bit of a flavour about some of the areas where you support organisations?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, indeed. So Work Jam is, and remains, the leading frontline orchestration platform, and when I say that, I listen back to myself and I think frontline orchestration, I like to think of us as the glue. We stick a lot of things together and deliver them in a really targeted, clean way to a large enterprise frontline workers, whether that be in any industry segment, whether that be in retail, whether that be in hospitality and when you look at our portfolio of fantastic customers, you can see how we are really transforming and connecting their businesses right the way down from head office to those frontline workers, and doing that in a way that really drives value and productivity. And I'm sure we'll come on to that, simon, as we go through this podcast.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely so. Just to be clear, this is kind of aimed at all those employees and organisations that I've got a laptop, don't particularly reside in an office, that are on the floor of the warehouse, the store, the restaurant, face to face with customers and organisations find it incredibly difficult to reach those people directly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, indeed exactly that, and they tend to fire information down to a centralized point in a restaurant or in a hotel or in a retail outlet. But where does that information go once it's been sent down? How do managers on site then disseminate that information and make it really relevant and meaningful for that frontline worker to help them with their day to day tasks and roles and responsibilities?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm putting my store manager back on from many years ago in DIY and others Incredibly difficult because you get bombarded with information and I'll show my age, this was kind of when we used to get lots of things in a blue bag, so lots of paper communications weekly and then ad hoc stuff by email. So there's a big has been a big reliance on, I suppose, single points of failure or a couple of individuals that could be the points of failure to disseminate that information and I mean some of it is significantly important, whether it be health and safety, whether it be personal information about appraisals coming up, bonuses, pay rises. There's the day to day stuff that happens. You know products on the shelf, products off, but there's there's also some really important stuff for individuals that historically and I'm guilty of it myself has probably not been communicated particularly well. Certainly again, when I think back to my days of, there'd be people I might not see for two or three weeks if I didn't work a Sunday, because they only work to Sunday. So I can understand the kind of pain points that you're trying to help solve.

Speaker 2:

I think there are two sides to it as well. There's all of the operational kind of corporate stuff, but then there's all of the stuff around kind of employee well-being, employee benefits, employee culture, connecting employees from different outlets, sharing best practice All of that great stuff comes out as well and we kind of are the catalyst and enable all of that and a really unique way, exciting stuff.

Speaker 1:

So I think there's lots of talk about coming out of lockdown and that kind of stuff still exists, but we're going to move on from that. So moving on, post lockdown, I think we've seen lots of organizations that have acknowledged the fact that transformation is almost a constant now. So ongoing change if your business isn't going through ongoing change and transforming, evolving, that's probably a warning sign in itself. So for those organizations that embrace that, accepted the fact we're always going to be changing, how do they get something in place through Work Jam that really helps support and facilitate that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So absolutely, I'll just touch on that and I'll mention that word sort of lockdown and pandemic kind of just briefly. I think businesses kind of really panicked a little bit because it highlighted the need to be able to communicate and kind of push this information down in a really clever, targeted way. And so we saw enterprise go out there and try and find stop gaps or try and very quickly create something themselves, and whilst that worked to a certain extent, I think what it did was cause quite a little bit of noise and confusion. And what we've been sort of discussing with enterprises is how now do you kind of peel that back a little bit, take that back? We know there's a need, but how do we put something in place that is kind of meaningful and sustainable going forward? Because what we don't want to do is straight away bombard frontline workers with new products, new platforms, new places that they need to go to kind of get all of this relevant information and then help them map out what that future looks like over time. What do we need to do to continually digitally transform and give ourselves an edge in the employer market as well, which is something that is really top of mind at this moment in time Work Jam. We really adopt a consultative approach around all of this. Our expertise are deep and rich. A lot of us come from large enterprise where we have actually done this in those businesses, realised the value and seen the upturn in things like net promoter score, employee sentiment and customer sentiment metrics and really sort of kind of put a foundation in place that is going to continue to keep those businesses at the fore. And that's what we're doing kind of day in, day out now across Europe with our great customer base across Europe.

Speaker 1:

And from a colleague point of view, what does it look like? Is it a new app they get on a device? Is it something different?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So Workjam is completely agnostic of device or channel or how they consume us. So you know we have a web version, so back off his PC it can easily be accessed through there. But natively our app is where most of our customers tend to go. The great thing about it is the app can sit within the current sort of corporate ecosystem on a shared corporate device, or it can be downloaded from an app store and available on personal devices as well. And I think that's quite nice because it gives the employees and those frontline workers the ability to kind of quickly reference our product wherever they are, whatever part of day they might be in. And of course we also have the ability and capability to kind of cut all of the noise that comes down when they're not at work as well, to make sure that we're fully compliant of labour laws and regulations around that too.

Speaker 1:

So I've got this repository that I can go to on a device my device back office, like you say and then the content that you present to me. I know there's some kind of clever ways that you've got of making sure that's tailored to my location, job, role, wherever I sit in the hierarchy. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

Correct. We have a unique and proprietary targeting engine which allows us to kind of get that information to an individual, no matter what role they have, no matter what skill set they have, what training they've done, what experience and expertise they have, and even looking forward, you know where they may want to go. Do they want to become a supervisor? Do they want to get on the Fast Track Managerial program? We can identify all of that and be very targeted in the information that we send down to an individual.

Speaker 1:

So significant value in being able to cut out the noise. I think you said before in terms of that unique targeting. You mentioned kind of some of the other side benefits. So colleague retention, colleague satisfaction, potentially kind of net promoter customer scores. What kind of things are your customers telling you about when they get this in as kind of a foundational piece? Are they seeing around those areas?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So there are a number of things I think kind of retention is absolutely key for them, you know, managing that employee churn, reducing all of those kind of onboarding costs and retraining costs which ultimately, kind of you know, they do see a dip in customer satisfaction whilst you know new members of staff are kind of going through that onboarding. Increased productivity is another metric that we look at, and time liberation as well, and it's about kind of, with that time liberation, it's about kind of redeploying that for value add. So it's about kind of you know, I now have a manager who is freed up because they've disseminated this information. They're seeing increased productivity, they're seeing their front line and the flow of work manage their tasks, managing their learning, kind of, you know, communicating around kind of customer sentiment and therefore they can kind of redeploy that to, you know, to other growth areas of the business or other operational kind of value drivers. There are a number of more. We support all our enterprises with kind of this value engineering right the way through the piece. And I think you know, whenever you're out there buying software today, you, you know you really need to think about the return you're going to get as a business. So you know, we really get into that with our customers and prospects.

Speaker 1:

And you talked there about kind of tasks and I know you can kind of push tasks through Workjam. You can also link to some of the workforce management solutions as well, can't you? So people can view schedules and swap shifts, bid-on shifts and all those other things that kind of coexist in there, the bridge between you and workforce management world.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. And this is where WorkJam becomes absolutely vital for any business. We have a number of pre-built connectors that can get all of that schedule and shift information into WorkJam. And that's when things start to become really, really powerful. When an employee has on their phone or device a shift that they're working, they know who they're working with, they know the tasks that they have to do whilst they're on that shift and they know that the learning is sitting nicely alongside all of that in the same place. So you've now got a really empowered frontline worker who, in one single app, is managing kind of task execution for operational gain, managing customer sentiment. They're managing their learning in the flow of work. They're kind of communicating and collaborating really effectively and efficiently with other team members and they also have that knowledge centre and that repository of information to help them with anything else they need. And that's just the work side of it. And I think at the start of the podcast, simon, I mentioned the softer benefits for that individual as well. So it's managing things like their benefits program, their reward and recognition. There may even be gamification around leaderboards in there as well. I mean, when you put all of this stuff together in a really clear, concise way. For me, that's the sweet spot that every business should be kind of looking to achieve from their digital transformation, and for the frontline worker specifically.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, Absolutely. And if an organisation is listening to this and thinking that's all well and good, that sounds like it's going to be a really big implementation. There's loads of stuff we're going to have to do to get ready. Can you just describe the kind of from somebody saying yes to process. Then you go through to implement the change?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sure. So I'm fortunate in my team across Europe to have a number of experienced project managers that work with me and we can do as much or as little as an enterprise wants us to do. So we completely manage in its entirety kind of the setup, the deployment and the delivery into multiple market units in multiple languages. Or we can work with internal project teams inside those organisations to educate them to do exactly the same thing. But where we really excel, Simon, is kind of with partners like yourselves, where kind of we bring it all together and partners are out there supporting us with the delivery and kind of the wider implementations and benefits and hooks into kind of all of the other frontline systems that may be already implemented or in there to date.

Speaker 1:

We're not talking big wholesale integrations here. Months and months of rollout. We kind of can deploy quickly and then start to understand the benefits.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I think our record for deployment was eight days and that was into one particular shell market right at the start of the pandemic. It was into Shell China very complex joint venture, a lot of legalities and regulations to work through, but I think eight days with a very simple sort of comms and task setup into that marketplace. Typically we would see a 12 to 16 week kind of deployment plan, depending on the speed that the organisation we're working with and the part with can move as well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so a quick speed to deployment and then kind of ROI return.

Speaker 2:

Exactly, and we're seeing that return on investment and we're seeing some very strong numbers in under one year. Which other solutions that I've been involved with? It tends to be a multi-year investment and it's not until kind of year two, year three you start to see that kind of return on the investment.

Speaker 1:

So we've got the solution in how do we keep driving the benefits? What kind of things internally you thinking about to help drive additional benefits, to keep that momentum?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I think when you look at our roadmap and when we kind of move to the future, I think it's making sure that we continue to lead, it's making sure that we continue on a unification journey to remove a lot of the other noise that might be coming down to the frontline workers. And what I mean in that is, if there is a particular element of task, if there is a particular element of audit, if there is a particular element of project, what we want to do is incorporate that into our product in a way that is sort of decluttering and really making it meaningful for that frontline worker to continue to act. And that's where all of this value comes from. It's the ability of that frontline worker to kind of act in a seamless way. We also have some fantastic capability around pre-waged, pre-earned wage access. So with a number of our prospects across Europe at the moment, as we're now looking forward, dare I say, into Christmas, a lot of overtime, a lot of workers are kind of wanting to do additional shifts to help fund their kind of Christmas, and so we have a great product called Express Pay which enables us to look at wages earned at a particular time and an early drawdown for the employer on some of those wages, enabling them to kind of perhaps buy Christmas presents or kind of meet that financial need that they have at that particular time. That might have not been planned for. So lots of really exciting and interesting things kind of happen to keep us at the front.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant, so continuing to push the boundaries, and I think that's been recognised by time, hasn't it? Because you've been included in the 100 most influential companies 2023.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, correct, simon. A fantastic accolade and one that we're very proud of here at WorkJam, and I would steer any of the listeners to kind of take a look at that article from our CEO, steve Kramer. It makes quite interesting reading.

Speaker 1:

And I think there's some other prestigious companies in there as well, as, I think, does it Tesla? Did you say before?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, there are. You know, we are proud to kind of stand up there amongst some of the world's most influential and leading companies. So absolutely, Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Well, good, well done to everyone on the team. So this is episode one. I think we'll pause there, mark, and then I'll be back in episode two with David Rogers getting deeper into the conversation, and then in episode three, david will join me again with a special guest speaker from Aramark, rachel. So two more to come, but I appreciate your time, mark, and thanks for the insight. Thanks very much, Simon Thank you.

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