For hotel management and development company Concord Hospitality frontline hotel workers are the heartbeat of the organization. From the front desk and sales offices to housekeeping and maintenance, these associates make up an intricate guest service and support network that is making Concord Hospitality hotels great. The key to employee engagement is Beekeeper, a communication and collaboration app that keeps this enterprise “hive” buzzing with information that is easily accessible by everyone.
“In the past we had trouble reaching frontline workers,” said Debra Punke, Chief Human Resource Officer at Concord Hospitality. “We tried posting memos next to timeclocks and using Microsoft’s Yammer associate engagement app, but it only enabled us to reach people with Concord email addresses. We had no way to connect in real time with frontline employees across different shifts, departments, and languages. Then we heard of Beekeeper. The digital workplace app claimed to digitalize hotel employees by connecting operational systems and communication channels within the single, secure, intuitive platform. So, we gave it a try at a few select hotels, and it caught on like wildfire.
“Just 30 days into the trial, everyone was talking about it,” she said. “People were posting on social media about it; talking about it at team meetings; discussing it in breakrooms; and chatting about it as they passed by their associates in the hallways. Beekeeper was connecting colleagues everywhere, and the intelligent dashboard was streaming relevant information from a central hub. The digital workflow proved to be so effective, that we launched Beekeeper system wide. In just a few months, 75% of our 5,600 employees were actively using Beekeeper. The app far exceeded our expectations for engagement.”
Today, Punke said Beekeeper is an active part of the recruitment and hiring process; from the first meeting with prospective new hires, people are introduced to the app as a one-stop-shop towards employment. The biggest advantage to having a digitalized workforce is the ability to see everyone in a transparent and authentic way, she said.
“Beekeeper creates relationships and builds success,” Punke said. “This high level of camaraderie is driven by our frontline employees. Engagement has real value to an enterprise organization like Concord Hospitality. It brings everyone together as a family no matter their location, and it helps drive success.”
At Concord Hospitality, Beekeeper is used to announce happenings – from celebrating big sales wins and positive customer comments, to commemorating a birthday/anniversary, or memorializing an associate who passed away. It is also used as a central repository and information portal for shift scheduling, document sharing, new employee training, veteran employee retraining, and a source of local-area information in case a guest needs a recommendation.
“One of our main goals when selecting Beekeeper was to make sure that all associates were getting the same messaging from the home office to permeate throughout the organization,” Punke said. “It’s critical that every employee understands our culture, practices, philosophies and that those fundamentals are consistent at every hotel. This is what makes us better owners and exceptional partners in hospitality. When you can reach every associate at every level and share with them what we do and how we can help them achieve greatness in our business – and outside of our business – they will not want to leave.
“I cannot overstate the importance of employee engagement,” she said. “Whether we are promoting our community service efforts or posting pictures of employees in social or work settings, it brings our organization of almost 6,000 people together across North America. Beekeeper has enabled us to build a family environment that is helping us grow. No matter who you ask in our company, they will say they feel connected to the purpose of Concord Hospitality through Beekeeper.”
Bridging the Language Gap
When you have a diverse multi-cultural organization, removing communication barriers is essential. Beekeeper’s “Inline Translations” is enabling Concord Hospitality to translate content in employees’ preferred language with a simple click. Inline Translation supports more than 100 languages, and it empowers every single employee to communicate with one another. It minimizes the overhead for management to make content accessible for employees of all backgrounds and raises productivity and engagement. Inline Translation also promotes workplace diversity and a strong corporate culture rooted in connectedness.
“Beekeeper allows us to communicate to everyone without any barrier,” Punke said. “This translation piece makes this tool powerful. We developed ‘Concord (C) Groups’ to share diverse cultures. Groups include C-Pride, C-Pets, C-Vets, C-Fit, C-Kids and more. Here people can share stories, discuss best practices, and ask for advice on what matters to them most. C-Groups on Beekeeper help us connect to our associates and create a more compassionate workplace environment.”
Andrada Paraschiv, Beekeeper VP Hospitality, said that from the very first introduction, it was evident that Concord Hospitality is a company dedicated to serving others, and they put serving their associates at the forefront of everything they do. The company’s desire to communicate with employees is admirable, and it is this type of devotion that will help get hospitality back on its feet and reposition itself as an industry where people want to go to work every day.
“We are thrilled that such a powerhouse organization as Concord Hospitality is seeing such value and success from Beekeeper,” Paraschiv said. “Consistently we are hearing from team members that our app is helping them save time and money through more efficient operations and collaboration. Sharing feedback through our app is helping Concord run effectively and it is having a positive impact on their customers and the bottom line.”
To learn more about the Beekeeper employee communication and collaboration platform, visit them at HITEC Orlando in Booth 2718 June 28 to 30 at the Orange County Convention Center. To pre-schedule an appointment at HITEC, book some time with Brian Hennington here.