December 21, 2021
The Toyota name has long been synonymous with innovation and excellence and is known around the world for pushing boundaries and pioneering new ways of thinking. As the company moves into a new market and redefines itself as a mobility company, it is also optimising its internal way of working. The hybrid workplace has become a reality and Toyota Motor Europe is leveraging the Microsoft 365 suite of tools to introduce not only new ways of working, but a new way of thinking.
All this contributes to the overall goal of the company: to produce happiness for all. In the case below, from our partner Microsoft, you can read, among other things, how Rapid Circle has helped Toyota move forward with better adoption and improved collaboration. Click on the button at the bottom of this page to read the full case study.
ACCELERATED ADOPTION DURING COVID-19
Tine Slabbinck, Manager of the Business Productivity team at Toyota Motor Europe, talks about the seismic transition her company is experiencing as it moves from a traditional car manufacturer to an innovative mobility company.
Using digital tools to improve productivity and collaboration is not a new endeavour for Toyota. The company was an early adopter of cloud-based tools and was already planning to move to something akin to a hybrid workplace in 2019.
“The company had just announced that we would be working remotely two days a week,” recalls Slabbinck.
“So, we were busy preparing for that when COVID-19 happened. What had previously been a strategic decision to start working remotely suddenly became a necessity. We had daily crisis meetings because we weren’t sure what was going to happen,” she recalls. “We had never seen so many people working from home.”
“And while the first days focused on making sure the firewalls could support the new setup and the basics were in place, the team quickly turned their attention to the well-being of the TME employees. Together with HR, we conducted regular surveys about how people felt about using Microsoft Forms,” says Slabbinck.
“And the surveys were about more than just IT. We used smiley faces that let people tell us how they felt, how happy they were. It was really important for us to understand that in the beginning.” The team also realised that there was a lot more openness to some of the tools. “Before the pandemic, there was some resistance to SharePoint and even Teams. But suddenly people changed their mindset and realised how useful they are. It gave us a lot of momentum to drive user adoption.”
“That’s when we started doing some very interesting things with our partner Rapid Circle,” she adds. “For example, in our factories during the pandemic, staying on the shop floor was critical. Through Teams video conferencing on a mobile phone with a stabiliser, the meeting platforms felt like they were on the shop floor, even though they weren’t. like this.”
“And we found that the live Teams meetings with video allowed for a faster exchange of best practices with a larger audience, so it was even an improvement over before.”
IMPROVEMENT IN COLLABORATION
TME’s team had already set up a strategy to encourage user adoption of Microsoft 365 tools before the pandemic happened.
“The strategy had a few important pillars,” explains Slabbinck. “One was ‘digital influencers’. Those influencers already existed before COVID, but they weren’t particularly active,” said Michiel Dröge, Business Consultant at Microsoft partner Rapid Circle. “So that was one of the areas we wanted to improve.”
To do this, they used Microsoft SharePoint to build a wider community:
“We created the Know It community, a portal on Teams and SharePoint where people can find important information about the Microsoft 365 tools with FAQs and videos” , says Slabbinck. “It’s a space for employees to ask questions and for our digital influencers to contribute and mentor people.”
“We used Microsoft reporting tools to look at data from users and the influencers and come up with ways to increase engagement,” Dröge says. “That’s how we came to the webinar program, and we got the insights to improve a number of sites where we publish information.”
“One webinar series focused on My Analytics, which we launched during the pandemic,” said Katarzyna Slomka, Business Productivity Specialist at TME, who led the webinar series. “There was a need to support people in organising their time and learning to understand their own work style.
“We made everything clearer for people, more streamlined,” adds Dröge. “And that helps people to use new tools going to use. For example, many employees have started using Teams along with Planner. And they find that Planner really helps them visualise their tasks and work in a new, more agile way.”
“Our mission at Toyota is to ‘produce happiness for all’. What we’re doing now is part of that mission.”— Tine Slabbinck