Finding the Right Fit: Using a Collaboration Platform That Reflects an Informal and Open Company Culture


People crave connection at work. They want to be part of a team that shares their values and strives to achieve worthy goals. Creating a sense of belonging motivates people to do their best every day and seek creative solutions to business and customer issues.

At Econt, we strive to create the strong foundations of a cohesive workplace: trust, respect, and communication. With these building blocks in place, we’ve found that our colleagues embrace and engage with the company vision and mission. They are open to collaboration and contribute personally to the company’s success.

A Streamlined Structure and Casual Culture

Econt believes in bringing out the best in people. We are a logistics company that operates a national courier network in Bulgaria and serves customers in Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece. Our community includes 4,500 frontline couriers, office administrators, and distribution center workers at 550 locations in Bulgaria, but we focus on more than just our business. 

Our mission is to share knowledge and support education in Bulgaria, which is why we created  Econt Foundation. We have partnered with Teach for Bulgaria to launch the Couriers of the Future campaign to raise funds for educational initiatives in schools around the country. We are also working with the Free Spirit City Foundation on a Knowledge and Development program covering game coding and new digital technologies for cities. Through these initiatives and our everyday activities, we are doing our part to make Bulgaria a country rich in opportunities for knowledge gathering and development.

Econt has streamlined our organization by eliminating middle managers—and women hold all four of our senior management roles. Our remaining administrators are team leaders at our regional offices who work directly with our frontline colleagues, like couriers and drivers. 

Our horizontal structure means everyone has a voice and can freely share their thoughts and opinions. We firmly believe that communication equals transformation, and this openness informs our corporate culture and drives our desire to innovate. We also make a conscious effort to be direct and frank with our communication, which means we avoid corporate jargon and try to speak to each other using informal language. 

A Digital Platform that Didn’t Suit Our Style

Because of the distributed nature of our work, it makes sense to have a digital platform for our communication. A few years ago, there were only 2,500 of us, and we created a private Facebook group to facilitate communication. We hired a person to manage the group, but doing so was tricky. 

The group manager had to find the Facebook profile of every new colleague and invite them to the group. If someone left the company, the manager manually removed that person from the group. People posted frequently, but there was no way to organize conversations, and it was hard to tell who said what and when. Many people didn’t have profile photos or job titles attached to their names, either. We would sometimes use email to communicate with each other, but emails aren’t really our style. It’s a great way to relay static information, but it feels corporate, and the medium isn’t social. Engaging in an ongoing dialogue through email is a nightmare, and messages get lost.

Despite our efforts to foster a strong community, we felt separated. We are rarely all together in one place, and the frontline workers often said that “Headquarters wants us to do XYZ.” Rather than feeling like a single team, they felt as if someone was handing them orders. We needed a collaboration platform that connected our people in the field and at locations across the country. We wanted something that reflected our culture. It had to be structured enough to organize the content we needed to share and casual enough to spark honest conversations between our workers. We found it in Workplace

A New Look for a Familiar Platform 

When we first encountered Workplace, we saw an opportunity to stop using Facebook for business purposes, but at the same time:

  • To leverage new features to help us diffuse the separation between headquarters and the frontline workers
  • To communicate more effectively and stop using so many emails
  • To get to know each other as people, not just co-workers

Some of us were very excited when we adopted Workplace, while others saw it as another software that we had to learn. But any hesitation faded once people started to use it for themselves. 

Workplace was instantly familiar because it feels just like Facebook, and the interface is almost identical. —Ivona Boneva, Junior Expert, Knowledge Management and E-learning at Econt

We use Workplace in several ways. The Knowledge Management team uses Workplace’s Knowledge Library to create, organize, and share official informational assets like HR policies and various guides. They also schedule posts within Workplace Groups to roll out eLearning material, including the themed weekly training pieces. 

Every team in Econt has its own group and chat, and we use them daily. People Managers like Ventsislava Nikolova use the chat function to share knowledge and gauge the morale of their team. In addition to getting information, team members use the groups to ask questions. These groups offer the opportunity for managers to set standards, clarify our company voice and image, and demonstrate who we are through our speech and behavior.


We also have larger groups. Our two main groups are EcontNews, where our HQ team shares administrative news, and EcontWorld, a group for our frontline workers. The latter evolved into an organic support system. When colleagues encounter issues with our various logistics platforms, they share their concerns in the group and can crowdsource the wisdom of their peers instead of opening a ticket. 

But we use Workplace for more than just work. One of the reasons we chose the platform is because of its social feel, and we take advantage of that. We have a group called “Забавната страничка на Кака Мара” which means “The fun page of Aunt Mara.” (It is a reference to our Enterprise Resource Planning program, Contessa Maria.) In this group, managers, frontline workers, and people at headquarters tell jokes and share memes, tagging individuals or even entire teams. From these funny posts, conversations and friendships grow. This group has made it easy for us to communicate casually, and we’ve grown closer together because of it.

Brand Ambassadors and Mission Meetings

One of the benefits of a horizontal corporate culture is that change can come from anywhere. A couple years ago, we launched two internal projects to engage our people across our 300 partner offices in Bulgaria. Our Brand Ambassadors and Mission Meetings programs empower our colleagues to shape the company’s future. 

It all started with a series of informal social gatherings where people got together over drinks (some of which included our own coffee brand, Respetto). They discussed the company and how we could improve and foster better collaboration. From here, the idea of the Brand Ambassador was born.

Our Brand Ambassadors are colleagues who champion our brand. Anyone who identifies strongly with Econt’s values and is willing to help their colleagues get closer to the company can volunteer. Most of our Brand Ambassadors manage regional offices. They receive and share knowledge about the brand with other regional office managers. We identify them in Workplace with a special badge that reads, “This badge is given to people who share their brand knowledge, set a good example, and are always available to help and advise their colleagues.”

The informal gatherings of would-be Brand Ambassadors led to the idea of Mission Meetings, which have since evolved into two-day workshops held in a different city every month. On the first day, members from the brand and marketing teams come from headquarters into the field to present on our company values, business model, and client policies. They create a safe space where our frontline colleagues can learn more about the company, discuss their needs and concerns, and share issues raised by customers. 

The second day is full of workshops. Part of our culture is that anyone—regardless of whether they’re a driver or an administrator, a local partner or someone from headquarters—can foster change in the company. These workshops are where many of those ideas for change take shape. We separate attendees into groups and discuss possible improvements for processes and services, along with client feedback. Each group brainstorms with 15–20 ideas for improvement and picks one to implement at the end of the workshop. 

I find this place fantastic. Here you can share experience, you can get immediate support, follow up topics which we discuss, talk loud about ideas and find like-minded people to make these ideas happen. Workplace makes communication easy, it shortens distances in every aspect. —Elitsa Stoyanova, local partner and brand evangelist at Econt

All of the organization around the Missions happens in Workplace. We announce the Missions in Workplace, we chat about the organizations of the Missions in Workplace, and after each Mission is complete, we create group chats where the people from every workshop group chats about the progress of their project. We have a Managing the Change team, which helps the workshop teams establish SMART goals that have Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based outcomes. So even though we have the workshops in person, we use Workplace to continue collaborating long after the Mission is over.

One of our Brand Ambassadors is a local partner who has been part of the Managing the Change team, and he says Workplace helps them move projects forward.

High Engagement Proves Workplace Is a Part of Econt’s Future

We don’t have to ask our colleagues to join Workplace—they gravitate to the platform independently. Engagement within the platform is exceptionally high across the board and our adoption rate is an incredible 98%. This proves that Workplace is a good fit for us. 

Workplace is an extension of our efforts to ensure that our teams are happy, listened to, and connected to our brand. —Ivona Boneva, Junior Expert, Knowledge Management and E-learning at Econt

Like other businesses, we constantly evaluate and upgrade our tools. As part of a company-wide technology shift, Workplace is here to stay. It reflects who we are and offers an intuitive and familiar way for our teams across Bulgaria to communicate ideas and collaborate on projects. 

We established a work environment that encourages our people to speak freely, and Workplace echoes our approach online. The platform blends in with everything Econt does. It’s an extension of our brand, our culture, and our people.