How TransPennine Express Transformed Their Communications and Streamlined Internal Processes

Read how TransPennine Express deployed an employee app by Thrive.App to help to further increase their already high employee engagement score.


TransPennine Express (TPE) is a British train operating company owned by FirstGroup running intercity train services linking key cities and major towns in the North and Scotland. TPE run around 238 services daily, serve 83 stations (of which 19 are directly managed by them) and carry an average of 61,000 customers every day.  

The Challenge - Dispersed Employees Working Across Various Departments

TPE directly employs 1100 employees. The company also has a number of key contractors such as cleaning and catering services who play an important role in driving an excellent experience for TPE's customers. 

TPE’s vision was to take the North further by bringing people, businesses and cities closer together and helping the economy grow. 

At the time when they deployed their employee app by Thrive.App, TPE had embarked on an ambitious transformation programme, including an investment of more than £500 million. 

There were five key areas of the transformation plan, namely customer experience, transformation and growth, people and sustainability, health and safety and business management.

"TPE had the objective of increasing an already high employee engagement score and ‘The Loop’ app by Thrive.App was one of the key initiatives deployed to achieve this."

Catherine Unsworth, Internal Communications Manager, TPE

TPE recognised that during periods of significant change it was vital to communicate with all staff on a frequent basis. TPE had relied heavily on email as their primary communication channel which wasn't getting the right information to the right people at the right time. 

Not all colleagues had company email addresses, for example, the 300 train drivers, and some station employees shared email addresses. Train conductors, who are one of the key target audiences for retail information such as ticket special offers etc, were inundated with operational emails from central control and as a result, important promotional and safety messages didn't always get seen or read. 

TPE were looking for a channel that was easily accessible and an easy-to-use option for all employees. They also needed a solution that was quick and easy to deploy and update with content. 

"I wanted the app to be really simple to use, which is what 'The Loop' app from Thrive.App is."

Catherine Unsworth, Internal Communications Manager, TPE

Finding the Best Solution

‘The Loop’ app from Thrive.App was launched in April 2016 coincident with the start of the new franchise. Front line employees were given smart phones pre-loaded with the app although a lot of TPE colleagues had already downloaded the app on to their own personal phones as well.  

‘The Loop’ app content included a blend of news items and some useful resources to help colleagues carryout their duties as best as they could. 

How TPE use ‘The Loop’ app to Provide Better Customer Service

TPE run services to and from Manchester Airport but many passengers don’t know which terminal they should go to on arrival. 

‘The Loop’ app includes a link to a website so that TPE employees can direct passengers to the right terminal based on their flight number. All employees have access to this real time information on their app, should they need to assist their customers at anytime. 

There are also links to a journey planner, so that if there is some disruption passengers can be given the appropriate advice.  

The Results

TPE have been a Thrive.App customer since 2016. The use of the app has grown organically. TPE are using their app to share latest news updates, they add video content to engage employees in their plans for the organisation and use push notifications regularly to alert colleagues of new updates and important safety information.

‘The Loop’ app from Thrive.App is helping TPE to connect and engage with their dispersed and diverse workforce. All colleagues are informed and empowered with the right information they need to carryout their roles as well as providing an excellent customer service at all times. 

Illustrated Use Case Example

This is an Illustrated example of how an employee app by Thrive.App is used.

If your organisation is similar to TransPennine Express and you're looking for ways to connect and engage with your dispersed teams, talk with a member of our team today. 

Not ready to talk and want to learn more? Download our helpful eGuide - How to Connect with Deskless Teams below.  

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