Young, dynamic, and tech-savvy—that‘s BASELABS, a software manufacturer from Chemnitz, Germany. The company is forging innovative paths with its products and is growing very rapidly in just a short time. To meet the demands of informing an expanding workforce, the company has launched its own app, enabling them to publish news daily and directly—mobile-first, easy, and on the smartphone.
It was with good reason that the company was recognized as one of Germany's best employers at the 2016 CEBIT digital business festival in Hanover.
Laura Herrmann, Human Resources Manager at BASELABS, talks about her experience with the app and what opportunities she sees for its future.
Hi Laura, can you explain to us what your company does?
BASELABS provides software for automated vehicles—through us, vehicles learn to see. We provide the basis for assistance systems, such as motorway pilots, to fully automated vehicles that can drive autonomously in inner-city traffic. Our customers around the world are leading manufacturers and suppliers, as well as engineering service providers and academic institutions.
Why did you choose an employee app?
At BASELABS, communication plays a very important role—for us, good communication is the core of an appreciative and functioning cooperation. The robust growth in the company over the past few years has led to colleagues not always being able to know what’s going on in other teams. In order to share information and to enrich personal communication through background knowledge, we decided to use an employee app.
How did the employees react?
A dose of skepticism is normal with new methods and tools. Fortunately, we at BASELABS are accustomed to change and we like to try new things. In addition, there’s a certain technical affinity in our young team of developers, which made the introduction of Staffbase easier. That said, the app didn’t have its big breakthrough until it became our official communication channel. Since then, we’ve seen a steady increase in users and interactions.
What do you use the app for?
We use the app primarily as a news channel for topics that are relevant and interesting to all of our colleagues in the team: sponsoring activities, lectures at conferences, project reports, birthdays and the births of children (yes this is very common with us), information about office organization, polls, new job listings, etc. We also provide the weekly menu of the cafeteria and link to various other BASELABS pages such as our website, Facebook, and our internal staff homepage.
How many users do you have?
All of our employees are registered users. And nearly all of these thirty-nine people are active—last week, for example, we had thirty-four active users.
What possibilities do you see for the app in the future?
We want to try to test more plugins—for example, holiday requests or surveys.
How would you summarize the advantages of the app in a sentence?
Staffbase enables us to communicate cross-team issues in an uncomplicated way, in addition to being being a great discussion platform.
You first saw the app as an employee, not an administrator. Can you remember your first impression?
Despite my previous professional career, the agile and open corporate culture at BASELABS was a new experience for me. The use of an employee app fits perfectly into the picture here and it confirmed to me once again that the company thinks a lot about how to treat their employees and create the best possible team experience. The use of the app was very uncomplicated and intuitive, which makes it possible for every new colleague to begin participating after just a few minutes.
What HR possibilities do you see for the app?
I see the app as a very valuable tool for HR—at many different levels. On the one hand, few departments want to distribute even more information in a non-bureaucratic way to each and every team. On the other hand, the use of the app greatly improves the understanding of what colleagues in other teams are doing and it illuminates the issues they’re currently facing.
Thanks for the interview, Laura!
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