Q&A with Mann+Hummel about internal communications for the manufacturing workforce.

Internal Communications for Manufacturing: Q&A with MANN+HUMMEL

A global market leader in the filtration field, MANN + HUMMEL provides innovative filtration solutions for a variety of industries that reflect the latest technical and environmental standards. How does a company with over 20,000 employees communicate when the majority are mobile and do not work at desks?

Since June 2017, Svetlana Becker, Digital Employee Communications Manager at MANN+HUMMEL has led the roll-out of Beekeeper’s team app across the company. Becker describes the experience of implementing Beekeeper, the pivotal role data security plays in the internal communications strategy for such a large, dispersed workforce, and shares how important secure internal communication is to a global enterprise.

Beekeeper team app works across devices to connect manufacturing workforces

1. How important is workplace digitization to the manufacturing sector?

Workplace digitization is a mega-trend in general—both in day-to-day business as well as in private life. As filtration experts working around the globe, MANN+HUMMEL is not only affected by this trend, but also considers itself as a leader in this regard. While digitization found its way into production technology long ago, internal communications can now also profit from its features.

Digital workplace solutions offer the ability to integrate with a multitude of applications that can facilitate better team communication in the workplace. A mobile employee app is the best choice for this. Every employee, whether they work on a laptop, PC, or on the manufacturing floor, can access information when it’s most convenient for them, 24/7. This offers non-desk employees an enormous advantage. Previously we could only share information with them through the bulletin board or the intranet, which they could only access on publicly-available PCs during the workday.

Today, we use Beekeeper’s team app, which gives our non-desk employees the freedom to both be informed with the latest company updates and announcements, and to interact with colleagues independently.

Mann+Hummel uses Beekeeper team app with app integrations.

2. How has internal communication at MANN+HUMMEL changed since introducing Beekeeper?

We presented Beekeeper in June 2017 during an internal management conference and since then have rolled out the tool company-wide at all MANN+HUMMEL locations. Whether in Asia, North America, or Europe—so far, workforce adoption of Beekeeper’s team app has been positive, with many posts, likes, and comments.

Beekeeper notifications

3. What role does data protection play in your internal communication strategy?

In addition to being user-friendly, the safety and protection of our internal employee and corporate data were among the most important criteria when choosing a suitable internal communication solution. Before we implemented Beekeeper, we worked closely with Dr. Amir Ameri, Data Protection Officer at Beekeeper, to review the guidelines for the protection of personal and internal corporate data. A fundamental point here was the fact that our team app data is stored on a server in Germany. Together with Ameri, we developed a valid privacy policy that is also directly accessible to every employee via Beekeeper.

4. What are the advantages of Beekeeper over consumer messaging solutions like WhatsApp for internal communication?

Beekeeper offers better operational functionality for our manufacturing needs when compared to WhatsApp, in that it facilitates communication with a large dispersed workforce. We use Beekeeper to send surveys and campaigns to specific target groups to be able to facilitate workforce interaction and engagement, increase employee feedback, and strengthen workplace culture. With Beekeeper, we offer our employees an internal communication platform that safeguards data privacy, works quickly, and is easy-to-use. We are happy that it has worked out so well!

Looking for more secure internal communication for your manufacturing workforce? Fill out the form below for a free Beekeeper demo.

Domino's Pizza Improves Team Communication with Beekeeper

Domino’s Pizza Improves Team Communication with Beekeeper

As a global company with over 14,000 stores, Domino’s Pizza realized they needed a better, cross-operational workforce management solution to address major team communication hurdles and to streamline operations company-wide. One of the primary goals was to virtually connect locations to reduce considerable time delays when it came to distribution of crucial information to employees, vendors, and couriers.

Another workforce management and team communication priority was to create a dedicated space where all employees within the organization could connect and interact while enjoying quick access to operational workflows and HR tools.

Overcoming Team Communication Challenges

Prior to implementing their customized Beekeeper team app, Domino’s relied on HR to share schedules, delivery information, and other important notifications with store managers through inefficient team communication methods such as bulletin boards and emails.

Unlike store managers who had daily access to a computer, Domino’s Pizza’s frontline employees, chefs, couriers, and other mobile workers spend the majority of a shift on-the-go. Unfortunately, this meant that by the time these mobile workers received important messages, they were no longer relevant. Even worse, the customer experience was on the line. After all, in the service industry, timing is everything: a late pizza delivery due to team miscommunication could cost you customers.

A Workforce Management Solution: Domino’s Talk Team App

Given these team communication challenges, Domino’s Pizza leadership knew that a better workforce management tool was necessary. The solution needed to empower their dispersed teams without impacting the high level of customer service Domino’s Pizza is dedicated to delivering.

After making the commitment to mobilize and support a digital workforce, Domino’s Talk emerged, a custom team app created using Beekeeper. Working with the Beekeeper Customer Success team to implement Domino’s Talk, the team app simplified all aspects of workforce management with real-time, unified communications across store locations. Management even uses Beekeeper HR tools to automatically distribute onboarding materials like training videos.

Beekeeper Transforms the Domino’s Pizza Digital Workforce

The Domino’s Talk team app leverages some of the key Beekeeper product features, including the ability to enable read receipts to confirm that all employees are up to date on important company information. With HR chatbots, Domino’s employees can easily retrieve their payslips via the team app without having to ask HR.

HR chatbot in Beekeeper's team communication app

Before Domino’s Talk, this time-consuming and costly process took two to three hours to complete, manually stuffing payslips into envelopes and sending them by mail. Another Domino’s Talk benefit is security: in contrast to other third-party group messaging services such as WhatsApp, employees can directly message each other securely and stay in better touch regarding sales numbers, which has increased motivation.

Another benefit of the Domino’s Talk team app is that it has empowered corporate office team members and managers to more consistently recognize exemplary frontline employee performance directly and in a more timely manner with photos or congratulatory posts. The team communication benefits of Domino’s Talk have been so successful that future goals for the team app include using chatbots to conduct employee engagement and satisfaction surveys.

Schedule a demo to see how Beekeeper’s customized team app can dramatically improve team communication for your digital workforce.

Replace Walkie-Talkies with a Team Communication App

Replace Walkie-Talkies with a Team Communication App

Whether you started out with walkie-talkies decades ago or have recently integrated them into business operations, you likely have multiple complaints about the one-function devices. You already know mobile communication is essential for frontline employees’ daily activities, but do walkie-talkies really count as a mobile solution?

Technology today has so much more to offer than a bulky, single-function device. Here are 7 reasons to replace walkie-talkies with a team communication app.

1. Cost

For only offering a single mode of communication, walkie-talkies are expensive. A whole-site system can run expenses well into thousands of dollars, and maintenance costs are not cheap, either. Because of the heft of these devices, they often take on a lot of damage, particularly when it comes to models with replaceable batteries.

Team communication apps may present a more significant up-front investment, but their ROI is much higher. As updates emerge and tools expand, teams can continue to use applications in day-to-day functions. There’s no risk of the technology becoming obsolete because the nature of software is continuous evolution.

Further, team communication apps are particularly cost-effective if you allow employees to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) because it eliminates purchasing costs of smart devices for all departments. Even considering the cost of purchasing and maintaining smart devices for an entire company, the difference in initial investment in phones vs. walkie-talkies is significant.

2. Efficiency

The back-and-forth of walkie-talkie communication can drag on, particularly with out-of-range static, interruptions from other users, and the inability to hear clearly in noisy areas. While these devices have their applications in specific emergency situations, or in cases of internet outages, they are not the most efficient choice for routine communication.

Team communication apps optimized for mobile let users collaborate remotely via peer-to-peer messaging or communication streams, conveying ideas in seconds. The confidentiality of private platform messages far outranks the tell-all mode of walkie-talkies, while allowing for the elaboration of ideas without long-winded transmissions.

3. Technological Advances

Despite the fact that current technology makes touchscreens and voice response functions common offerings, walkie-talkies rely on archaic technology that hasn’t changed much over the past few decades. For modern corporations, the branding messages and customer-facing approach of the company shouldn’t have such a stark contrast from its technology.

The alternative to continuing to use outdated technology for communication is to adapt to smart device use across all business functions. From hospitality and retail to IT and telecommunications, taking steps to incorporate modern technology not only promotes productivity, but enhances corporate image.

4. Form and Function

The physical range is not the only limitation of walkie-talkies, as their single-function approach severely limits a user’s ability to communicate. Without the means to deliver pictures, videos, or subtle messages, teams must rely on alternative methods of internal communication to convey a point.

On the other hand, team communication apps allow for direct peer-to-peer messaging, group messaging, image and other file transfers, and inline translation for diverse groups. These features move beyond even standard cell phone functions, all in a private corporate communication platform.
peer to peer messaging

5. Crisis Communication

In times of corporate crisis, a walkie-talkie presents only the most rudimentary form of communication and not a clear one at that. If a company experiences a local natural disaster, has a PR crisis, or suspects that competition is about to launch a negative narrative, advanced communication methods are a necessity.

In critical situations, mobile communication can prevent a major crisis. Mobile communication via team communication apps streamlines the process of disseminating vital information quickly, whether your crisis is of the natural or PR variety. Group messaging lists, network connections, and even media alerts keep you and your team informed and connected.

See how 1 Hotels used Beekeeper’s team communication app for crisis communications during Hurricane Irma in Florida last summer (starts at 1:25).

6. Confidentiality

Because walkie-talkies involve voice communication only, there’s no privacy when staff members must communicate in the presence of team members or customers. At the same time, the noise coming from staff walkie-talkies can detract from a brand’s customer experience, whether the organization is a hotel, retail store, or restaurant.

Not only do team communication apps cater to multiple forms of communication like video, pictures, document, messages etc., but users can expect confidentiality in all matters. Written messages discreetly convey necessary information between team members, without alerting customers to the specifics.

7. Paper Trail

In industries that value maintenance of a paper trail that proves employee action and conflict resolution, walkie-talkies offer no means of tracking communication. This becomes a challenge when staff receive directions from team members or customers, but cannot record the information they need without scrambling for a piece of paper and a pen.

While corporations can establish confidential communication solutions within internal apps, they can also document employee activity and collaboration for posterity. For teams that work in customer service, this can prove invaluable as information is readily accessible yet discreet should employees require it.

If you’re looking to make the switch from walkie-talkies to a team communication app, fill out the form below for a free demo with a Beekeeper app expert.

Embracing the Digital Transformation and Digital Culture

Embracing the Digital Transformation and Digital Culture

Is your business ready to pivot from traditional workplace communications in the age of digital transformation? Current digital workplace trends require that businesses have policies in place that address the increasing emphasis on technology and organizational agility if they want to remain profitable. Digital culture is constantly changing, and digital workplace solutions need to keep up.

For example, a pro-active, leadership-led approach to team communications positions your company to not just respond to, but also anticipate these changing workplace trends. Some of these trends include innovative ways to manage remote workers and foster employee engagement.

Teams need to be ready to perpetually reinvent themselves, and having a few examples of effective digital workplace solutions can be helpful to stay competitive and digitally savvy.

Digitizing Internal Communication With Grace

Keeping up with digital workplace trends means implementing digital workplace solutions as rapidly as the need for them is identified. This could mean adopting a team communication app that can handle all of your team’s organizational needs in one platform. It could also mean changing hiring practices to emphasize different digital channels than HR was working with previously.

beekeeper team communication app

The other side of the digitization coin is companies will need to proactively look for digital workplace solutions to solve issues they might not even realize they have. With the power of information technology, the workplace is becoming more streamlined and more extensible than people imagine. By constantly browsing solutions, companies can stay on the cutting edge of digitization rather than struggling to catch up. This is a fundamental change in workplace culture.

How is Workplace Culture Changing?

Digital workplace trends increasingly emphasize connectivity between different elements of the same company, as well as increasing integration of customers via CRM (customer relationship management). Employees need to communicate with and share information no matter where they are geographically, and customers want more and more updates on their deliverables.

Likewise, digital workplace trends like remote working and ubiquitous social media use make work a bit less formal than before. HR departments can make a good impression on their employees by thinking ahead about remote working policies rather than waiting for problems to occur. Thankfully, digitization makes HR’s job much easier as personnel management dashboards can manage employee onboarding, and disseminate relevant information from one centralized location.

Vertical Integration Of Workplace Digitization

More and more, a company’s leadership is in greater communication with their entire team, as well as in horizontal communication with other companies’ management. This means leaders in the digital era are exposed to more perspectives and information than ever before. Businesses looking to improve their bottom line will implement strategies which help executives and employees alike prioritize and manage information. Focusing on a business’ core performance indicators is one simple way to make sure that only the most important information is analyzed.

Managing Employee Engagement During Digitization

Digitization strategies need to involve more than tracking performance metrics, though. Businesses also need to check in more frequently with their employees to make sure their needs are being met while ensuring the pace of solution implementation is making staff more efficient rather than less.

As always, businesses that show agility in their business model and compassion for their employees will maintain a competitive edge and remain relevant in the era of digital transformation.

Download our white paper to learn how to digitize your workforce with an internal communications platform.

how to increase employee engagement

How to Increase Employee Engagement

As part of our Bee School educational series, we recently co-hosted an employee engagement webinar, “If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement,” with former Fortune 500 business executive, best-selling author, and employee engagement expert Jill Christensen. In this employee engagement webinar, Jill shared her four-step strategy to immediately boost employee engagement, why Beekeeper is a thought leader in the employee engagement space, and her passion for giving frontline employees a voice through better internal communication.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to improving employee engagement, actively encouraging frontline employee feedback, adoption of team communication apps by leadership, and building and sustaining company-wide trust are all primary ingredients for better productivity and revenue growth.

  • When employees are engaged, everyone benefits. This includes customers, clients, leaders, shareholders, and the board of directors.
  • Build trust in leadership! Your CEO, not just HR, must own and champion your employee engagement strategy. This is a paradigm shift when it comes to an employee engagement strategy. When organizations approach employee engagement as a team, it shifts the dynamic in employee engagement from being there to give (genuinely motivated, invested) rather than just to get (showing up just for the paycheck), building a mutually beneficial commitment.
  • Disengaged employees offer untapped potential and an opportunity for growth to improve profitability, performance, and productivity. When people trust leadership, they feel an emotional connection to the organization, and this encourages employee engagement and discretionary effort, otherwise known as “going above and beyond.”

Jill Christensen’s Four-Step Employee Engagement Process

  1. Get the right person in every chair. Hiring for a job skills match is a mistake; you must also hire for a values match. Individual values need to be aligned with your organization’s values. When incompetency and toxic attitudes go unchecked, it ripples out to the rest of the team.
  2. Create a line of sight (goal alignment). Employee goals need to be aligned with CEO goals. This demonstrates that what employees are doing every day matters, and strengthens employee connection with your organization, i.e. “we’re all in this together.”
  3. Build a two-way communication culture through platforms for employees to communicate with the rest of the organization—with each other and with management. 80% of employees globally use mobile devices to communicate. That’s why it’s critical to have mobile and desktop apps for them to communicate. Provide opportunities to speak up. Your employees have ideas about how to improve your business, what’s working, and what’s not.
  4. Lift people up! Create a culture of constant and sustained recognition. People want to hear the words, “thank you.” And the best part? It’s free! This can also be leveraged as an opportunity for brainstorming and debriefing after an event or large project.

The bottom line? In order to re-engage your employees, you need to understand and fulfill their basic human needs. Make the commitment to start the conversation about moving beyond traditional approaches to employee engagement with an internal communication solution.

To watch the employee engagement webinar, fill out the form below.

RHW Hotels Uses Team Communication App to Improve Operations

RHW Hotels Uses Team Communication App to Improve Operations

RHW Management Inc. manages more than 600 employees and nearly 2,000 guest rooms across 19 hotels consisting of five different Marriott brands, Intercontinental Hotels, Hyatt, and Hilton properties. One of the biggest problems for any hotel property is communication between departments, and for owners of multiple properties, effective communication across their portfolio is next to impossible.

David Montero, the current Director of Operations at RHW, set out in search of a more robust internal communication and engagement solution. One that could manage the complexity of communicating with frontline employees across multiple properties within one intuitive interface. He was also looking for ways to increase engagement and enhance corporate culture. After all, happy employees = happy guests.

Do any of these challenges sound familiar? If so, read on for RHW’s journey to improve internal communications and operations, all while giving employees a voice in the organization with their team communication app.

History of RHW

RHW originated during the oil boom of the late 1970’s as a small oil company. By 1983, RHW Development, Inc., was formed to develop apartment complexes. While formulating their business plan, they discovered Brock Residence Inns and decided this new hotel concept that targeted extended-stay travelers would make a better investment than apartments.

After the success of building their first hotel, they redirected their focus from real estate investing to building a hotel company. They quickly made that hotel a financial and operational success, positioning themselves as one of the first franchisees of a brand that later became the Residence Inn by Marriott. As the company grew, they divided it into two different entities: RHW Development, Inc. (to develop hotels) and RHW Management, Inc. (to manage hotels).

Identifying Challenges and Finding a Solution

Fast forward to 2016. Business was booming for RHW, but David knew there had to be a more efficient way to communicate with his frontline staff than using bulletin boards and the hardbound red book at the front desk.

The properties faced many communication challenges. Trusting that messages were clearly communicated at the property level was a struggle— regardless of how fantastic their general managers were. Many times, information shared with one shift wasn’t shared as consistently or effectively with other shifts, and employees weren’t always alerted to a new addition on the bulletin board.

As much as David was interested in solving communication issues between properties, he was also looking for a way to make employees feel like they were involved in something bigger. (While keeping in mind employees’ reluctance to blend their personal and professional lives.)

Reinforcing and re-inventing RHW’s company culture, developing internal talent to position the business for rapid growth, and reduced turnover costs got David thinking about different ways to address employee communication in the hospitality industry. So he went in search of a digital solution.

Improved Employee Communications With a Custom Mobile App

David chose Beekeeper’s team communication app to solve these challenges. As a custom branded solution, RHW was able to customize the app to reflect its own brand. For each property, David set up communication streams that covered the daily news and other happenings, including the number of arrivals and departures for the day. The streams and group chats help set daily expectations because hotel staff could check Beekeeper to see how busy the property was going to be that day.

RHW team communication app

David’s goal was to make the RHW culture come to life by instilling purpose in his team. This is where Beekeeper helped connect the entire organization and set the tone for what employees could expect when they walked into their particular property that day. Employees also know what’s happening in the upper levels of the organization through corporate announcements, as well as other property events or news. Properly setting expectations has gone a long way in making his employees feel connected and engaged.

Organizational improvements since implementing the team communication app have been remarkable. “It was incredible to see all of the personalities that came alive on Beekeeper that we didn’t realize had existed before. Giving our employees a platform allowing them to have a voice has transformed our organization,” said David Montero.

Want to read more about RHW Management’s success story? Fill out the form below to download the full case study.

Learn How to Digitize Your Non-Desk Workforce in 20 Minutes

Learn How to Digitize Your Non-Desk Workforce in 20 Minutes

For decades, office workers have been provided with digital messaging and operational systems to help them work more efficiently. Technological advancements are crucial for evolving workplace productivity, but what about the 83% of the global workforce that doesn’t work behind a desk?

This employee demographic has been largely left out of the picture when it comes to the digital transformation office employees have been experiencing over the last decade. However, they need access to communication channels and operational systems just as much as any other employee. Sharing information like shift schedules, sales inventory, safety protocol, trainings, company updates—anything work related— effectively is critical in non-desk industries.

All it takes is the right tools

We know digitizing the non-desk workforce sounds like a daunting task, especially when most employees don’t even have a corporate email address. Luckily, it’s actually pretty simple when you have the right tools.

Recently we announced the next evolution of Beekeeper with our new Marketplace and expanded capabilities for custom integrations. Employees become instantly linked with the operational tools and people they need to do their job well. When colleagues don’t have any blockers, organizations experience increased engagement and employee satisfaction. Both of which have been proven to generate higher organizational commitment and high individual and team performance.

See how 1 Hotels uses Beekeeper to mobilize their non-desk workforce and keep operations running smoothly.

Insights you need to start the transformation

Our long-term vision is to improve the day-to-day realities experienced by 2 billion workers, ushering non-desk employees into a sustainable digital future. For that reason, our most recent white paper, “Digitization of the Non-Desk Workforce,” gives you the knowledge you need to start the process and the imperatives to look for when deciding on a solution.

Here’s a quick introduction of the white paper:

Recent advancements in artificial intelligence signal massive operational changes across virtually every industry, especially for global businesses with expansive and diverse organizational charts. With these changes stems an unprecedented boost in organizational connectivity. As employees adapt, they will discover how increased accessibility to managers, peers, and workplace tools will help them ascend into a richer, more fulfilling era of work.

When discussing hyperconnectivity, the image of an employee glued to their desktop or mobile phone may traditionally come to mind. But for non-desk employees who constitute the very backbone of many organizations in the hospitality, manufacturing, retail, etc. industries, increased connectivity takes on an entirely different meaning. For individuals whose roles require them to be constantly in motion, intensely vigilant to their surroundings, or frequently interfacing with customers, timely access to information and colleagues has the power to increase efficiency and garner many new skills.

Needless to say, executive leaders tasked with leading non-desk employees through current technological changes face a very unique and exciting challenge. Workforce digitization sits on the frontlines of this challenge. Armed with creativity, data, foresight, and the right set of tools, optimizing non-desk employee productivity through digitization becomes your golden ticket to a happy workforce and a prosperous future for your organization.

To learn how to digitize your non-desk workforce and start seeing immediate results, download the full white paper by submitting the form below.


How the EU GDPR Affects Your Internal Communications

As the countdown to the EU GDPR enforcement continues, organizations are frantically working to ensure their internal communications meet GDPR requirements to avoid being shut out from doing business with the European Union. The General Data Protection Regulation aims to protect both companies and the consumers they serve, so not meeting GDPR compliance standards means there’s more at risk than huge fines.

Get a free demo of Beekeeper here to see how you can improve your internal communications for desk and mobile staff throughout your organization.

Personal data protections affect outside business, but what you may not realize is that GDPR regulation also impacts internal communications systems within organizations. Keeping an eye on both internal and external data privacy might mean changing your organization’s internal communications strategy and its software to ensure GDPR compliance.

Information Lockdown

The GDPR overview covers users’ rights to access, rights to erasure of data, data portability, privacy by design, and even involves appointment and oversight of Data Protection Officers to track compliance. Transparency in data subjects’ rights, along with enhanced protections against security breaches, will affect how your organization handles information flow through internal communications in the future.

Locking down sensitive information is a critical component of the GDPR requirements. Here is what you need to know about personal information as it relates to internal communications.

The Definition of Personal Data

If your company regularly uses email or another platform for internal communications, you should expect significant changes in the way you use those media. According to GDPR requirements, personal data is any information about a person or data subject that offers identification. This loose definition includes:

  • Names
  • Photos
  • Email addresses
  • Bank details
  • Social media posts
  • Medical information
  • IP addresses

If your employees routinely hold private discussions via email, forward medical updates to Human Resources personnel via attachments, or work remotely, the GDPR regulation will affect your responsibility for that information. Still, these are only a few examples of information privacy concerns when it comes to internal communications within organizations.

Communication Solutions for GDPR Compliance

Choosing communication solutions that meet GDPR compliance protects users’ data by default. Both internal employees sharing personal information and workers processing client information will follow the same guidelines for information privacy.

Whether your business is part of the EU or not, clients and employees alike will recognize GDPR compliance as a sign that your organization takes privacy seriously. At the same time, acknowledging that employee internal communications, both on a personal and professional level, contributes to workplace morale is another component of GDPR compliance.

Improved internal communications policies and platforms help employees connect and ease the often-complicated transfer of information. However, getting employees on board may prove the most challenging part of adapting to GDPR requirements. Still, user-friendly services and integrations can help ease the transition, so choosing the right internal communications solution takes precedence.

Blocking Hacker Activity

Companies that fail to protect their employees’ and customers’ personal information face substantial costs in the form of fines and lost business if the breach occurs. Conforming to GDPR regulation not only adds further protection from hackers, but also guarantees that your company maintains client trust.

Request a free demo with one of our hotel experts

The new GDPR regulations mean that information traveling online might require a specific type of encryption protection (like end-to-end), but many businesses need more than email to support internal communications. Confidential peer-to-peer communication is one component of organizational communication systems, but that security can extend to all areas of the business to conform to the EU GDPR requirements.

Internal Communications Guide Productivity

At a time when business truly is global, ensuring that your company’s communication methods support rather than reduce its productivity is a priority. In fact, improved internal communications and collaboration through social technologies can raise productivity by 20 to 25%, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.

At the same time, adapting to alternative internal communications that adhere to GDPR requirements now means that when May 2018 rolls around, you’re ahead of the deadline in guaranteeing GDPR compliance. As a bonus, moving away from conventional communication methods frees up the time you previously spent clearing up misunderstandings due to lagging internal communications.

Employee Contributions to Communication

Although cybersecurity is a considerable concern for business owners, employees are often left out of the loop. Making sure that employees care about cybersecurity is the first step in adhering to the new GDPR privacy rules. Encouraging employee participation and feedback is a huge part of maintaining cybersecurity throughout your organization.

Your internal communications approach should consider employees’ needs and responsibilities. As you roll out new processes and guidelines to conform with GDPR guidelines, involve employees in the process. Create a communication policy that includes a GDPR overview and clearly defines expected employee behavior and notes any upcoming changes in communication platforms.

Making sure to highlight when and through which channels personal information should travel is the first step, but helping staff understand the intent behind these policies with a thorough GDPR overview is essential, too. Soliciting employee feedback confirms understanding and clarifies any details. This goes a long in way in improving and securing communication.

Participation to Productivity

While taking the time to help employees through a transition in both procedure and software may initially detract from productivity, note that companies with high effectiveness in change management and communication are 3.5 times more likely to outperform their industry competitors. This comes from a study by Towers Watson which highlighted employee contributions as they impact an organization’s bottom line. The study’s findings illustrate an intricate relationship between internal communication, management guidance, and job performance.

To get a more in-depth GDPR overview and learn more about improving internal communications, get a free Beekeeper demo now.

Is your organization GDPR compliant? Download Beekeeper’s 31-Point Assessment to Ensure GDPR Compliance created by our Data Protection Officer to find out.

How the Sharing Economy Impacts the Hotel Industry

How the Sharing Economy Impacts the Hotel Industry

These days it’s common to see consumers ordering meals or car rides via their smartphones, booking hotel or flight reservations with a few taps, and order products with two-day delivery. But with the emergence of crowdsourcing companies and platforms that let everyone open up shop, the impact on every industry can’t be ignored.

Competitive prices, authentic experiences, and perks unique to every host give hotels a run for their money. With the rise in mobile apps and ordering services remotely, is there still a place for hotels in the hospitality market?

What is the Sharing Economy?

The sharing economy is a collaborative approach to acquiring goods and services, and in today’s world, it’s a huge part of the overall economy. The premise is simple: technology companies provide the interface between providers and consumers, connecting those in need with those who have extra.

An Independent Workers’ Market

According to Forbes, the sharing or “collaborative” economy means that people can turn to one another for goods and services, rather than large companies. Non-desktop workers, for example, for-hire drivers, rental property hosts, and freelancers across a variety of industries make an income based on a side-gig mentality.

While the majority of consumers have purchased an item or service through the sharing economy, only a small percentage of the population offers those services and goods. That means the potential threat to larger corporations comes from a relatively small segment of the population.

Sharing Economy by the Numbers

Businesses like ride-sharing companies and online retail platforms continue to see growth as people become more tech-oriented and look to peers rather than large corporations to fill their needs. As a result, Uber doubles its revenue every six months, while Airbnb exceeded one million rooms years ago.

The sharing economy segment of the market surpassed $250 billion in 2017, with leaders like Amazon and eBay leading the way. But will the success of companies in the sharing economy cause problems for the hospitality industry, where big names depend on dominating the market to achieve and maintain growth?

Hospitality on a Smaller Scale

Organizations like Airbnb, Expedia, and others are seeping into the hospitality arena and seeing enormous success. Because many companies have lower overhead costs than global and chain hotels, you might expect the sharing economy to overrun the name-brand vacation stay market. But that isn’t the case, said the President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide.

In an interview with PwC, Christopher Nassetta said that the sharing economy is impacting his business, but that it’s also “democratizing” travel. He sees that as a benefit because the model makes travel more accessible to a variety of demographics.

At the same time, reputable hoteliers offer a consistent customer service and vacation experience that local Airbnb hosts can’t compete against. Credibility is significant in the hospitality industry, according to PwC’s survey, and the human element is crucial in customizing consumers’ experiences.

Customer Care Priorities

Because the hotel industry is so consumer-focused, ensuring optimal client experiences holds the key to the industry’s future. Adapting to consumer expectations and investing in each interaction means hiring exceptional staff and providing them with the tools to succeed.

Non-desk workers in the hospitality industry rely on effective peer to peer communication and quick thinking to guarantee the consistency of customer interactions, making the difference between a tolerable visit and an enchanting stay. At the same time, collaboration among team members drives consistent results across all segments of hospitality.

A Tech Approach to Hospitality

Just as technology drives consumer behavior, it also supports workers’ needs. While the sharing economy and its dependence on technology continues to earn its piece of the pie, the hotel industry can remain competitive by adopting that technology.

Offering additional perks such as concierge services, local area guides, and online and app functions alongside regular amenities are just a few ways to add to the hotel experience. Connecting consumers with needed resources is a simple way to promote brand credibility.

Allowing employees to communicate and contribute to collaborative projects via an employee portal encourages productivity and reduces miscommunication that stems from managing multiple communication channels.

Adapting to Change

While it’s not advisable for bigger companies in the hotel industry to sit back and watch crowdsource platforms take over the realm of hospitality, at least for now, there seems to be enough demand to keep business going. However, times are changing, and adapting to those changes means more opportunity for business expansion.

Because of their penchant for earning top marks for reputation, amenities, and quality service, Les Roches suggests that brand-name hotels could lend their accreditation to privately listed rentals on new sites. Hotels can recommend local services, apps, and websites to stimulate the local economy or expand their reputable brand names into offshoots like BMW’s JustPark or Avis’ acquisition of ZipCar.

For startups in business enterprises that depend on crowdsourcing, success seems to have come easy. While hotel industry insiders might see those ventures as competition, technology continues to inspire advances in how consumers source, access, and pay for goods and services, so hotel companies must look forward, too.

To see how hospitality management company’s, RHW, tech approach to hospitality significantly improved operations and communications, download the case study.

In 3 Schritten vom überflüssigen zum leistungsstarken Intranet

Using Beekeeper to Make Your Intranet More Powerful, Not Obsolete

As the adoption of mobile workplace technologies continues to skyrocket, there is one question that operations, HR, and IT professionals face across many global industries: “When we optimize our workplace correspondence for mobile, what will become of our on-network company intranet?”

It’s a completely fair point of inquiry—and one we’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about as we continue to develop and expand the Beekeeper feature set. There’s no doubt we’re in a mobile content boom, which marks a lot of changes for your legacy content management system.

In the spirit of getting to the bottom of this mystery, let’s talk about the state of intranets now, as well as where they may be heading.

Intranet Recon 101: It’s Like Flipping a Car for Parts

After your employees start using dynamic, interactive, real-time mobile correspondence tools, the fact is that a static web-based intranet hub will begin to look a little stale. There are many reasons why your intranet may feel outdated, a few of which we have outlined on our blog in the past. TL;DR (“too long; didn’t read”) intranets are often full of content made irrelevant due to the passage of time, they are technologically clunky, lack a clean, simple user interface, and are often far more expensive to maintain than they are worth to your organization’s overall productivity levels.

The fixed nature of intranets also make them less social, less engaging, and, most importantly, less collaborative. For dispersed workforces who rely on digital checkpoints to provide feedback and execute projects, lacking the ability to connect directly with coworkers on the intranet becomes especially problematic. In other words, while intranets do a decent job of connecting people to information, they fail miserably at connecting people to other people.

Despite these shortcomings, when we look at the lack of utilization of legacy intranet hubs, we see nothing but an ocean of potential ways to optimize to meet the fast-paced demands of today’s workplaces. In order to salvage the best parts of the hub, it can be useful to look at your intranet like an aging car. When you lift up the hood, determine the pieces of content that your employees still engage with regularly, either by mandate or choice. You can determine this in two different ways:

  1. If you have access to them, look at your backend analytics to see which portals and knowledge base articles your employees engage with the most.
  2. If you do not have access to your intranet engagement analytics or would simply prefer more anecdotal feedback from your employees, send out a pulse survey to gauge which aspects of the current CMS hub they still use and/or find helpful in their everyday workflow.

Once you’ve identified the parts of your intranet worth saving, it’s time dig deeper into what the next generation of company content sharing could look like. This begins with exploring ways to reconfigure your current CMS with tools like ours that were built specifically for a mobile-first world. When we look at legacy intranet hubs becoming less useful and more of a headache (like the depths of a library archive), we see vast potential for optimizations. Below, we outline three easy steps that will help you successfully converge your aging CMS with your new mobile-first workplace platform.


Our Beekeeper Marketplace is a great place to start brainstorming ways in which your legacy intranet can be updated for mobile and real-time use. For instance, if analytics or anecdotal feedback suggests that employees find the intranet’s company personnel directory useful to keep tabs on team members, you might consider a Bamboo HR integration. This would allow employees to upload photos, fun facts, and critical contact information for colleagues to quickly access to get in touch or get to know their teammates better.

Beekeeper Marketplace

Another prime example of this would be implementing a Box integration, which would allow you to upload and maintain all frequently trafficked knowledge base articles and training materials to a centralized digital hub within Beekeeper. This allows employees to quickly look up and access files without having to dig through a graveyard of poorly managed documents that may or may not be up to date with the latest content.


Company content hubs should feel like a warm and lively gathering, not a ghost town. Carrying strong visual brand assets throughout your internal communications hub is a great way to encourage employee engagement and collaboration. Whereas a traditional intranet can feel as sterile and stark as a windowless chamber, the Beekeeper digital workplace suite can be customized entirely without robust assistance from IT or technical leaders in your organization.

In addition, the Beekeeper interface allows individual employees to customize things like push notifications and workflows, giving a more personalized feel to the workplace experience. In addition to increasing productivity, these interactive features and notifications also encourage higher levels of participation within the company culture, leading to higher levels of overall workforce satisfaction.


While we have touched on a couple of these features already, it is worth mentioning that automated workflows, communication streams, and content updates allow for a more dynamic version of your legacy intranet system to emerge. A common pain point among traditional intranet users is that that legacy hubs are resource-intensive to maintain, with technical ownership of the site frequently remaining murky or unassigned. With no one to steer the ship, documents and modules become quickly outdated and useless.

Beekeeper, on the other hand, was specifically designed to self-regulate as much as possible, including workflows, newsletters, and survey dispatches. While it may seem counter-intuitive that automation makes Beekeeper more dynamic and human, it’s touches like these that help your employees integrate the digital work hub into their everyday routines, making life less about logistics and more about productivity. For dispersed teams who may be scattered around a warehouse, kitchen, or retail floor, having check-ins automated becomes a true sanity preserver.

employee satisfaction survey

Why Folding Your Intranet into Beekeeper Will Set You on the Path to Success

At the end of the day, the goal of Beekeeper is to seamlessly augment and integrate with the tools that your employees already use and love, while replacing the tools that may be stuck in the past. Given that mobile apps are the primary method of communication for the modern workforce, our platform was built specifically for mobile rather than adapted for it.

Beekeeper enables employees to engage with their employer in the same way that they engage with their friends and family— on the go and on their own terms. While simply serving up content on a static hub falls radically short of this goal, building a digital space for employees to connect to one another and discover their purpose within their organization encourages all team members to find their purpose at work.

Want to hear more about how to bring your intranet back to life with a mobile, collaborative platform? Fill out the form below for a free demo with an app expert.