With a rich history of over 90 years, and more than 660 stores across the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Spain, and United Kingdom, HEMA is truly a household name. To stay connected with employees, HEMA uses a quarterly employee magazine. More recently, it became clear that a dynamic and user-friendly portal would considerably improve employee communication. It was conceived as a digital platform to house information about HEMA that current, retired, and temporary employees could read on any device. The portal would also provide access to personal HR information such as employee addresses, pay slips, and even leave summaries.
HEMA was looking for a service provider with proven expertise in user experience and mobile development to deliver a secure, easily accessible, and user-friendly portal. Being the existing IT partner for HEMA, Capgemini was also invited to submit a proposal for the design and implementation of the portal. Capgemini worked with HEMA to build a solid business case that proved an online portal would not only enable the company to reach its employees better, but would also save on printing, distribution, and administration costs.
Capgemini and HEMA organised a number of workshops, with a goal to identify employee groups, define needs, and find out which features would stimulate the use of the portal. The insights from the workshop were combined to work toward the best solution for HEMA. Meetings were simultaneously held with the Corporate Communications department to determine the best way of presenting the HEMA brand to employees. The HR department was also closely involved since a lot of information was also to be made available through this portal. User-friendliness and security were two very important elements of the project. An iterative approach was chosen that consisted of continuous and fast development, visualisation, and feedback from the end users.
‘HEMA for me’ (https://forme.hema.nl) has a unique layering, comprising three levels, based on coloured zones. In the green zone, everyone can access general company information from the main office, the bakery, the store, and HEMA’s distribution centre without logging in. Messages include special store promotions, internal activities, CSR projects, and other relevant facts. These messages are designed to improve the bonding between employees and instill a sense of pride among them. The orange zone, which employees access by logging in, contains HR related documents, for example, about HEMA’s collective bargaining agreement (Collectieve Arbeids Overeenkomst), the employment terms, and messages from managers. Another layer down, in the red zone, which also requires the user to log in, employees can find their personal details such as timesheets, pay slips, and vacation days. This highly secure layering and very user-friendly interface makes the portal suitable for large groups of users, including retired employees and temporary staff.
This new portal enables employees to access HEMA anywhere, at any time, and on any conceivable device. The combination of user-friendliness, the unique HEMA look and feel, and the three-layer structure makes this a robust and unique portal for anyone who is in anyway involved with HEMA. The use of the system has gradually increased since it went live in the spring of 2014.
Capgemini is currently in discussions regarding the expansion of the system which will include, among other things, the rosters of the store employees. The portal can also be used in other countries where HEMA has stores. Such scalability was taken into account when the product was designed. After the successful rollout of the portal, HEMA now has a clear roadmap to integrate other internal communications tools with its employee portal.
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