Derry Group Ireland Win Innovation Excellence Award with their Thrive Employee App

Derry Group Ireland were big winners at the 2022 annual Export & Freight Transport & Logistics Awards, picking up no less than four awards, including the Innovation Excellence Award for their employee app by Thrive.App.

Derry Group Ireland, recognised for its innovative approach to business, was also named National & International Haulier of the Year, voted Top Training & Development Operator of the Year and also won the Top Team of the Year award.

Company representatives were presented with the awards at a glittering ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in South Belfast, an event attended by almost 600 guests from all sectors of the transport and logistics industry and compered by BBC NI News presenter Sarah Travers and actor and comedian Tim McGarry.

Organised by the publishers of Export & Freight magazine, 4SM (NI) Ltd, the event, returning after a two year absence because of the Covid-19 pandemic, is Ireland’s premier platform of recognition for those operating in the industry; it celebrates all the hard work, determination, and ongoing investment that make the industry what it is today.

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The ‘Innovation Excellence Award,’ sponsored by DAF Trucks & TBF Thompson, was awarded to Derry Group Ireland for its creation of a Staff App, in association with Thrive.App, to keep hundreds of employees working across multiple locations in Ireland, informed, connected and in touch with the business and each other during the Covid-19 pandemic, subsequent lockdowns and beyond.

Derry Group Ireland Awards (1)

The Innovation Excellence Award was open to all companies operating in the transport and logistics sector who have invested in innovative solutions to make their operations more efficient, portable and successful. The type of innovation could be from the latest equipment and facilities to cutting edge technology or environmental solutions. 

Implementing the Employee App

With the implications of the Coronavirus outbreak and the introduction of the first initial lockdown in March 2020, Derry Group Ireland, like other businesses had to ensure that all measures were implemented for the safety and wellbeing of their employees. 

Measures such as social distancing, driver paperwork placed at the back of the trailers to limit contact with office staff, and personnel working from home meant that communication was limited. 

Although this was for the best interest for Derry Group Ireland's employees, being a family-run business with such a tight knit workforce meant that this new environment was strange and unfamiliar to everyone. 

With the limited amount of communication across all four sites, Senior Management, HR and Derry Group Ireland team began to brainstorm ideas to determine how to keep this strong tight knit workforce together during this uncertain period.  

With 82% of the population having access to a smartphone, the team concluded that creating an employee app would be the perfect solution. 

Derry Group Ireland Employee Engagement App by Thrive.App

Keeping Employees Connected

To keep hundreds of employees, working across multiple locations in Ireland connected, Derry Group Ireland partnered up with Thrive.App to create their employee engagement and communications app. 

This innovative approach meant that all communication, organisational engagement, and information sharing would be accessible to every employee through the touch of a button. Instant connection and communication was essential for the continuation of growth within the company and the happiness of its workforce.


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Accessing Info Anywhere at Any Time

During the global pandemic, it had been particularly challenging time for Derry Group Ireland's drivers, where the personal touch had been eliminated and instead, a drop and go as quick as you can had been implemented, making it difficult and challenging for the drivers.

As a result of the implementation of the employee app, Derry Group Ireland are able to give drivers necessary information in a platform that also connects them with other staff members across the group. 


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Engaging Employees

Not only has all compliance and regularity information been posted on the app, but the company have implemented ways to engage all members of staff. As the company operate on a 24/7 basis, Senior Management had identified that it was difficult for all members of staff to get to know each other.

For example night shift staff may never be in contact with day shift staff and vice versa. Therefore, Derry Group Ireland introduced a dedicated section in their employee app that focuses on the 'Newest Team Members'. This involves new employees completing a range of light-hearted questions alongside uploading a selfie so that other Office, Driving, Warehouse, and Garage/Wash staff could identify the individual.


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Derry Group Ireland wanted to ensure that they continue to keep the same fun and light-heartedness within the employee app that they do in person. Therefore, they introduced “12 Wheels of Christmas”, a weekly competition that involved all employees taking part and weekly winners being announced.

Another popular section of the app is the ‘Selfie Wall’ where employees have the opportunity to post any photos. Whether this is a birthday wish for a member of staff, a picture of a trailer from a driver during their run, ultimately the goal is to connect all employees with their personal stories and day to day routines.

Staff recognition is also very important for Derry Group Ireland, providing a positive acknowledgement to those who are going the extra mile for the company. The ability to recognise staff within the app and showcase their achievements in front of all team members is proving really successful for Derry Group Ireland. This is not only improving employee satisfaction and general enjoyment of work but it continues to improve the team's culture as Derry Group Ireland continue to grow and strive for excellence.

“We are delighted to help Derry Group Ireland with their employee communications and engagement and it's a huge pleasure to see them not only succeed and grow as a company but to be recognised for their success in the awards. 

Our goal is to help organisations in shifting their communications from traditional methods such as printed newsletters, notice boards and team briefings to instant, modern apps and it's a delight to see Derry Group Ireland do this, and more with their enhanced communications, recognition processes and their streamlined operations." - James Scott, CEO and Co-Founder of Thrive.App

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“We have worked hard to build and transform our business to what it is today, and our employees are key to our success. It is important to us that we give them everything they need to carry out their roles successfully as well as feeling supported and recognised for what they do. With the Thrive.App our employees can now easily access the information they need to support them in their role, they see important updates as they occur, and they know what is happening across all areas of the business.

The launch of Thrive.App has brought everyone closer together, which was, and still is particularly important due to the challenges of Covid19. It's a pleasure to see the Derry Group Ireland team recognised for all of their hard work and innovative ideas in the 2022 Annual Export & Freight Transport & Logistics Awards.”  Patrick Derry, Managing Director of Derry Group Ireland. 


Watch The Full Employee App Success Story Below


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If your organisation is similar to Derry Group Ireland and you're looking for ways to improve your communication and engagement with dispersed, deskless teams, contact us today to speak with a member of our team.