EXECUTIVE INSIGHT: Breaking Down Silos
How did Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (MOHG) communicate with its 13,000 employees before implementing Beekeeper’s employee communication app?
ANJA LUTHJE: We didn’t have a central communications platform. We used the Intranet and email for sharing some information. The issue is that 70% of non-management staff don’t have email. They work on the floor and relied on information to be shared in a daily meeting. We knew that managers were not always able to share all the information. Through this trickle-down approach, information was being lost. Our young workforce is accustomed to having everything at their fingertips thanks to smartphones. We recognized our methods were outdated. We were operating in silos, and we knew there was room for improvement.
Tell us about the solution.
LUTHJE: Each of the 30 hotels has its own “stream” for sharing what is going on at that location with its employees through the Beekeeper employee communication app. There’s also the global stream that features information about the company, direct messages from the CEO, as well as best practices and notable happenings from across the company. There’s also a global stream on sustainability where locations share best practices.
What have been some of the key benefits?
LUTHJE: We have been able to break through the silo hierarchy to be more collectively connected. Now employees can choose what information is relevant to them. That’s a game changer -- our employees are much more engaged and teamwork has improved.
What are some innovative ways MOHG is using Beekeeper to communicate across the company?
LUTHJE: Working with Beekeeper, we created an Innovation Stream for each location. This is where employees can post the ideas they have to fix a problem. The minute an employee posts an idea, an alert is created. There is a gamification component, and each month the GM and executive committee members vote on the best ideas submitted from each location. Each hotel decides what the winning entry will receive – it could be a gift card, dinner or an overnight stay.
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How is MOHG using Chatbots?
LUTHJE: In the future U.S. employees will be able to use the chatbot to communicate with HR for common requests such as pay stubs. These requests are important, but they do take time to fulfill. Automating these types of requests will help employees receive timely responses and will free up HR and finance personnel to focus on other tasks.
What percentage of the staff uses the Beekeeper app?LUTHJE: 83%. The majority of our employees access Beekeeper through the smartphone app. In our colleague dining area, we have TV screens playing the highlights from the streams. We also offer PC screens for colleagues without smartphones.
What are your next plans for the app?
LUTHJE: We want to encourage and empower employees to post information that’s important to them. When we implemented the inline translation feature, non-managers became more active in posting. Many of our colleagues were afraid of not being able to write in perfect English. Thanks to Beekeeper’s ability to translate 30 languages into English, that fear has been taken away. Beekeeper is designed to give all MOHG colleagues a voice.