Freightways Group operates multiple logistics and freight management companies across Australia and New Zealand that provide four core business services – express packaging, business mail, information management and secure destruction. Eight hundred of its 3,500 employees are based in Australia, where three sister companies, TIMG, Shred-X and Med-X, operate under the Freightways brand and provide distinct services, so there was an opportunity to strengthen connections across the three companies to create a unified culture.
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Employee communications, employee reward and recognition, employee benefits, employee wellbeing, employee surveys
The distinct nature of the services provided across TIMG, Shred-X and Med-X meant employees’ work environments, locations and skills differ greatly across the companies. The three companies are led by two different General Managers who have their own individual approaches to employee communication.
When Helene Prat, Head of People and Culture at Freightways Australia, was tasked with developing one of the first shared functions to support all three companies, she saw an opportunity to shift her team’s focus to uniting the disparate companies, strengthening culture, driving employee engagement and using technology to add value to each business.
Helene had a number of different people programs she wanted to introduce, but because each business used different channels and platforms to communicate, there was no consistency about how and when employees would access group-wide or company-specific information.
Without one ‘source of truth,’ it was also difficult to clearly communicate each company’s offering and establish a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP). There was no consistent way to find thorough information about existing employee benefits, and employees didn’t have centralised access to platforms that supported ongoing learning or reward and recognition.
Helene knew that strengthening the communication, recognition and benefits that Freightways Australia provided its employees would help each company’s goal of attracting and retaining existing talent. She partnered with Reward Gateway to design a bespoke hub that would host employee-related communications in one place, as well as information about different people, policies and employee benefits.
A single hub would become an important part in developing and communicating its EVP by providing employees and their families access to exclusive benefits and resources that support their financial, mental and physical wellbeing. To improve cross-company connections, the hub also houses a unified reward and recognition program.
The People and Culture Team reached out to different areas of the business to help come up with a name and logo for the new hub. In the end they chose ‘The Hive’ as it reflected the nature of the business, which involves the majority of employees working ‘on the go’ and leaving to visit work sites, and returning ‘home.’
In order to get things up and running as quickly as possible, the People and Culture Team prioritised launching employee communications and benefits on The Hive first. To get everyone excited about the new platform, the team conducted road shows where they showed employees how to log in and use the different parts of The Hive.
A few months after launching The Hive, the People Team launched its company-wide reward and recognition program on the same platform as a way to show employees appreciation and encourage connection as everyone was working hard during a challenging time. Because they were unable to travel to different offices, the People Team published videos to promote the program and explain how to access and use it. To encourage people to log in, they ran a competition offering a box of donuts to the site in each of the three businesses who sent the most eCards.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting the workload for all three companies, connecting employees while maintaining a high level of motivation and client satisfaction became a critical priority for the People Team.
The team turned to The Hive to:
An impressive 85% of employees logged into The Hive within the first week of launching – a result that exceeded the People and Culture Team’s expectations since most employees were working remotely and some employees were resistant to using new technology. Within two months, TIMG, Shred-X and Med-X employees sent over 1,200 eCards through The Hive. When the volume started to grow, the quality of recognition messages improved as more employees embraced the platform while working remotely.
"Having The Hive has really made a difference — it has been quicker and easier for us to reach our teams, and we could communicate a lot of information without our people feeling overloaded with a lot of corporate emails. Pairing this with reward and recognition, and seeing our people use the Wellbeing Centre means our goals to support our people, keep them informed, and share the love are all well on track," Helene says.
The team has since introduced peer-to-peer and manager awards, giving employees and leaders the ability to attach monetary reward to their recognition moments and really shine the spotlight on employees who are going above and beyond.
Within the first year, employees sent over 2,300 eCards and issued almost $3,000 worth of rewards through The Hive. Employees have also spent over $300,000 in the Honey Pot.
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