Harris Farm 

Connecting the frontline to support the Australian community

Harris Farm is a family-owned and run leading fresh produce and grocery retailer. Established in 1971, the company was formed as a single shop in Villawood and has grown to 26 stores and counting. The founder, David Harris is still in the Sydney Markets buying to this day.

Critical communications for essential store workers

Before launching Workplace, Harris Farm had limited channels to communicate with their frontline employees. Instead, staff would use personal tools like Facebook and WhatsApp to communicate and connect. Harris Farm wanted to bring everyone together and create one space for all employees to connect, communicate and collaborate. This became even more important during the recent bushfires followed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Harris Farm was deemed under the Government decision to be an ‘essential service’ meaning employees had to keep working during the pandemic in order to serve the community and keep shelves stocked. Having an effective method to communicate with everyone was critical to their health, safety and wellbeing, as well as a way to solidify their internal family culture to support each other through a difficult period.

As the pandemic escalated and COVID-19 social distancing best practices and requirements constantly changed, Harris Farm Markets needed to share business-critical updates and advice from the Leadership team HQ to the frontline stores. With multiple languages spoken across their workforce, they also needed a way to translate news and process announcements.

The urgent need to ensure all staff were kept updated on business-critical communications prompted Harris Farm to make an executive and prompt decision to roll out Workplace.

Feedback from frontline teams and support teams indicate that Workplace has enabled direct contact and rapid communication between teams and individuals, which has been critical in a fast-paced environment.

It has also enabled us to rapidly update our teams on COVID-19 critical information through a variety of means including posts, chat messages and live Q&A sessions with our CEOs.

– Nichol Trueman
Head of People and Culture, Harris Farm Markets.

Why Workplace?

Harris Farm needed a platform that was:

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Incredibly simple and quick to deploy

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Accessible without a corporate email address

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Mobile-first for store team members

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Capable of company-wide communication

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Able to amplify culture and create a sense of connection

Harris Farm specifically liked the ability to video call and stream live video for their store workers to consume.

Enablo supported Harris Farm to deploy Workplace in only 5 days, from project kick-off right through to launch. Every employee at Harris Farm was invited to begin communicating on Workplace, with 57% of the organization creating an account in just two business days and with 80% adoption within the first week.

“Our store workers were top of mind for the Harris Farm implementation of Workplace. Employees were dealing with customers all day, every day, under increased pressure from the community to provide essential items and remain open.”

Nichol Trueman
Head of People and Culture, Harris Farm Markets.

Connecting Harris Farmers

Since then, Harris Farm have used Workplace to take a proactive approach on educating, informing, supporting and engaging employees with campaigns around mental health, wellbeing, exercise and home office set-up.

Workplace has even connected Harris Farm Markets organization in unimaginable ways. One such example was when they ran out of flowers on Mother’s Day. An employee put out a note on Workplace, and the team at Manly quickly picked it up and put together beautiful bouquets made out of vegetables.

As their workforce continued to be separated by the pandemic, Workplace gave them the ability to connect their people through weekly comms campaigns, authentic storytelling, and fun store-based competitions.

“Workplace has enabled all our employees to connect and communicate easily with each other. We have used the tool to strengthen our culture through recognition of our people, their character, hard work and amazing ideas,” says Nichol Trueman, Head of People and Culture, Harris Farm Markets.

“We also have used the launch of Workplace to review our values and refresh them. Personally, I’ve loved the articles and interviews with our team members that have been shared to celebrate diversity, as well as the creativity that has been displayed by the team for campaigns such as Mothers’ Day!”

“The team at Enablo rose to the challenge and worked with us day and night to implement the platform in a very very short timeframe. Dave, Jonathan, Zarese, Alex and Lotte were patient, flexible, adaptable and supportive. They acted as a great implementation partner, helping us to implement Workplace rapidly. Thank you!”

– Nichol Trueman
Head of People and Culture, Harris Farm Markets.

Deskless not voiceless 2020 

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