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RAGT customer testimonial: the right ingredients for a successful challenge

The “Sowing The Future” RAGT Semences Challenge

The RAGT Group specializes in the production and distribution of field seeds, as well as in agricultural consulting and sales. These activities give rise to two different business lines: seeds, managed by RAGT Semences, and distribution, managed by RAGT Plateau Central.

The essential mission of RAGT Semences, operating in an international context, is to select, produce and market seeds. But the organization offers much more, positioning itself as a trusted partner for farmers. This vision revolves around providing complete solutions, offering a variety of species adapted to farmers’ specific needs. These solutions integrate decision-support tools and agronomic advice, adding significant expertise to their offerings to support successful farming.

Through the testimonies of Mickaël Bourcier, Marketing and Communication Manager, and Chloé Le Vergé, Communication Officer, discover how RAGT Semences managed to set up a successful international innovation challenge.

This exceptional initiative was made possible by first-rate communication, supported using IDhall software, and by the expertise and collaboration of the Humanperf Software teams. Thanks to this approach, RAGT Semences has succeeded in stimulating a unique dynamic, gathering ideas from its employees all over the world.

The RAGT Semences challenge

The RAGT Semences Innovation Challenge was initiated by the Coordination Committee, with the full support of RAGT Semences management.

Two major objectives motivated this initiative: to support short and medium-term strategy by collecting innovative initiatives, and to promote a culture of innovation from a new angle.

RAGT Semences, a company deeply rooted in scientific culture and faced with the complexities of working with no fewer than thirty-two seed species, enjoys a reputation for expertise and commitment to innovation.

Thus, the aim of this challenge was to further strengthen its commitment to innovation by introducing an innovative approach aimed at transcending functional boundaries.

This approach was designed to encourage all players in the seed value chain, from research and development to marketing, to participate in the initiative.

Furthermore, as the organization has an extensive international presence – with subsidiaries in Europe and constant expansion into new markets, notably in Oceania, South America, and Africa – a major challenge arose. This challenge consisted in simultaneously coordinating and running the innovation challenge in numerous countries, involving almost a thousand employees. The aim was to encourage inclusive participation, so that no employee felt excluded, and everyone could contribute fully.

Choosing the IDhall platform and its support services

Initially, the communication team, which was responsible for organizing the challenge, initiated an internal consultation to gather advice from employees who had already accumulated experience in organizing challenges. Although this was the first step, it soon became clear that the team would need outside assistance, given the complexity of the task. IDhall was the first solution identified that seemed to fit their needs perfectly.

Organizing a challenge is not one of our core competencies. As a result, we felt the need to seek out the expertise of professionals in this field. We undertook some research, and the first exchange with Humanperf Software proved so productive that we decided not to consider any other option.
Chloé Le Vergé – Communication Officer – RAGT Semences

From there, the process of preparing the innovation challenge unfolded in three key stages. First, it was necessary to determine how to organize the challenge, by choosing its strategic axes.

In the run-up to the challenge, we were a little at a loss as to how to proceed. Fortunately, the Humanperf Software team played an essential role in guiding us through the weekly exchanges. For example, how to properly define the rules of the game, and align the challenge objectives with the company’s strategic axes, which not only anchored the challenge but also reaffirmed RAGT’s strategy.
Mickaël Bourcier – Marketing and Communication Manager – RAGT Semences

Then, the team focused on integrating middle managers, by introducing the concept of the challenge and its objectives. At the same time, a communication strategy was developed to energize the challenge throughout its duration.

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The “Sowing The Future” challenge punctuated by assiduous communication

In the run-up to the launch in March 2023, the communications team left nothing to chance to strengthen the commitment of participants worldwide.

Indeed, as the innovation challenge was deployed in several countries, it was essential to devote as much effort to the design of the challenge as to its communication to mobilize all employees.

First, marketing managers and branch managers were involved in choosing the name of the challenge, “Sowing The Future”, because of its link with the company’s business.

With the same aim of involving as many employees as possible, the IDhall platform was customized in the organization’s colors. In addition, specially designed badges were created for managers, encouraging them to display them at team meetings to promote the challenge.

The communication plan took place in 3 main stages. At the end of February 2023, a teaser email was sent out, accompanied by a video from the CEO announcing the objectives and the forthcoming launch. On the day of the launch, another email announced the launch and clarified the process of the approach: imagine, deposit, enrich, deploy; in line with the company’s activity. Finally, throughout the challenge, inspirational quotes were sent to employees, motivating them to submit their initiatives.

These communications were mainly digital, but not exclusively. Indeed, the communication team took the initiative of creating posters promoting the innovation challenge in several languages, to be displayed in all RAGT Semences subsidiaries: an approach designed to further intensify the involvement and motivation of participants.

Thanks to this assiduous communication, the “Sowing The future” challenge was a resounding success, encouraging the active participation of nearly 160 employees over a 3-week period dedicated to the submission of ideas, resulting in the creation of 110 initiatives spread across the company’s 4 strategic areas.

The success of the “Sowing The future” challenge, supported by IDhall

After the initiative submission phase, the coordinating committee and the company’s senior management spent time carefully evaluating all the initiatives submitted, using IDhall’s integrated scoring grid. This was one of the initial promises of the challenge: each proposal would be studied by the coordinating committee and the steering committee. The latter’s involvement was faultless, and every initiative was analyzed. They then selected fifteen finalists from the proposals covering the four areas of the challenge.

To encourage everyone’s participation, these finalist initiatives were open to comments from all employees, allowing them to be improved. This gave the authors of the initiatives the opportunity to enrich their ideas by adding missing information. This step once again highlighted the effectiveness of the collaboration facilitated by the platform.

Once the enrichment phase was complete, experts from within the organization reviewed the initiatives, providing feedback and evaluating the proposals in their respective areas of expertise.

The final stage involved the selection of the winners. The fifteen finalists, having benefited from the experts’ advice, were subjected to a final evaluation, thus consolidating the decisions and ensuring an informed decision as to the winners of the challenge.

Finally, four winners were celebrated, each representing one of the strategic axes, and a special prize was awarded. Management invested resources to facilitate the implementation of the winning projects, reinforcing recognition of the creativity and commitment of RAGT Semences’ employees, while stimulating innovation within the company.

IDhall has played an essential role in our success. It’s much more than just a tool because it comes with valuable support, and that’s a real asset. The expertise of the Humanperf Software team was a key element in our approach, providing solutions to every challenge we presented. The platform is a flexible, scalable, and highly customizable tool, which was much appreciated.
Mickaël Bourcier – Marketing and Communication Manager – RAGT Semences

The challenge highlighted the ability of RAGT teams to work better together. The winning projects as well as the relevant initiatives identified will now be implemented, and IDhall will also be used to monitor these implementations with the project teams. The RAGT team is thus perpetuating its participative innovation approach.

Innovation culture: the long-awaited guide to success!