May 2018 Beekeeper Product release notes

Beekeeper Employee App Product Release Notes May 2018

This month, the Beekeeper product team is bringing you a wealth of new, exciting feature releases for Beekeeper’s employee app. Some of the primary highlights include a number of improvements to our secure messaging experience, and chatbot innovations for gamification. We also worked on some major software system architecture changes to accommodate the internal communication complexities at larger organizations.

Beekeeper Product Release Highlights

  • New Chat Inbox (Web): The new chat interface on the web app makes secure messaging even easier to use. Search secure messaging conversations by title (or participants if named in the title) and switch easily between your chat inbox and the archive folder. We also improved the responsiveness of the page so that it loads faster.
  • Screen shot of new secure messaging inbox for secure messaging Beekeeper employee app

  • Manage users, groups, and internal communication streams by Unit (Dashboard): We are making outstanding progress on the Units element in the Dashboard, integrating complex organizational charts seamlessly on the Beekeeper employee app. More details to follow in the coming weeks!
  • Units element for Beekeeper employee app Dashboard integrating organizational charts

  • Call button from user profile (Android): Easily reach your colleagues over the phone through the new call button available on the user profile. Calls can be made directly to colleagues within our employee app from your phone. This feature is available if the user has a phone number listed in their Beekeeper profile.
  • Call button from user profile

  • Migration to a new employee app version: We are in the process of migrating many of our customers onto a new version of Beekeeper to ensure a seamless employee app experience in the coming years.
  • New Referral Page: Do you know other internal communication experts? Use the new “Get Rewarded” button in the Beekeeper employee app dashboard to share your love for Beekeeper with friends and professional networks. You can also visit this referral page. For your referral, you will get an Amazon gift card and your friend will get a complimentary month of using Beekeeper.

More Beekeeper Employee App Capabilities

  • Built gamification chatbots for secure messaging, such as the Hangman chatbot and Giphy chatbot
  • When sharing media in a chat, we will now include the name of the chat in the confirmation dialogue to ensure secure messaging through extra access and sharing control (Android)
  • Language addition: In the latter part of May 2018, Beekeeper’s employee app will be available in Korean (all platforms)
  • Download the mobile employee app button (Web app)
  • Add multiple users to a group all at once (Dashboard)
  • Add multiple groups to a user all at once (Dashboard)
  • Add multiple users to stream permissions all at once (Dashboard)
  • In-app secure messaging for end users is active on iOS, Android and Web versions of Beekeeper

Our number one goal is to make sure our customers are happy and using the Beekeeper employee app to its full extent. If you would like to see a new feature added, contact your Customer Success Manager.

For more information about Beekeeper’s employee app, specific features, and use cases, check out our Help Center.

Haven’t seen Beekeeper in action yet? Get a free demo of Beekeeper’s employee app.

How Team Apps Streamline Crisis Management for Manufacturing

How Team Apps Streamline Crisis Management for Manufacturing

In our white paper, “Streamline Manufacturing Crisis Management with a Team Communication App,” we outline the three most impactful types of crises that manufacturing companies can encounter and provide in-depth analysis of how they affect your manufacturing business.

The three major examples of crises that affect manufacturing companies are:

  • Natural disasters
  • Technical or human error-precipitated crisis
  • Discord crisis

Given these, we also detail why having a solid crisis management plan is an essential component of your internal communications strategy that you can’t afford to forego. With that in mind, we also cover risk assessment, crisis operations planning, and how digital technology such as a team app can assist manufacturing companies with successful implementation and maintenance of crisis management plans. Lastly, having the right internal communications strategy in place minimizes recovery time for your manufacturing workforce in the unfortunate event of disaster or crisis.

Manufacturing Risk Assessment Protocol

Safety and real-time communication are top priorities for manufacturing companies. While it may seem difficult to predict what manufacturing-specific crises might arise, there are practical steps manufacturing companies can take to prepare their workforce as much as possible in the event of emergency.

In addition to incorporating the numerous local, regional, and national resources available (such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) multi-hazard loss estimation software, HAZUS) manufacturing companies should focus on conducting regular audits of their manufacturing facilities and plant equipment.

Preparing Operations and IT for Crisis

When it comes to a manufacturing emergency situation––an injury on the plant floor, a manufacturing equipment malfunction, or workforce care during an extreme weather situation––operations and IT departments play uniquely relevant roles in planning and response. For example, a manufacturing operations team makes sure the right resources are accessible to their workforce such as appropriate food and water rations, first aid kits, and fire extinguishers. Likewise, IT needs to have a contingency plan should plant power be lost, or digital internal communications compromised.

How Team Apps Facilitate Crisis Management for Manufacturing

Using a team app as part of your internal communications strategy is an effective, efficient method of ensuring emergency information reaches your entire workforce, from administrative offices to the plant floor. With the ability to push real-time alerts with one click, a team app facilitates instantaneous notifications to make sure your manufacturing workforce has the latest updates and safety information.

From plant closures to notifications that it’s safe to come back to work following a major natural disaster, a team app is a quick and easy way to communicate need-to-know information to your manufacturing workforce. Confirmation campaigns, which prompt employees to click that they have read and received messages, are one of the core features of Beekeeper relevant to the fast-paced, physically demanding manufacturing environment.

Manufacturing confirmation campaign with Beekeeper team app

Internal Communication Tools to Minimize Crisis Recovery Time

Beekeeper has many manufacturing-relevant features such as digital signage to reach the plant floor workforce when mobile devices aren’t easily accessible, communication streams, and push notifications, which are integral to any crisis management plan. Necessary files and documents, such as maps that show emergency meet-up locations in the event of a plant evacuation, are easily uploaded to stream posts and messages––accessible wherever your workforce is at a moment’s notice.

To learn more about how team apps facilitate manufacturing crisis planning and management, download the full white paper.

Interne Kommunikation in Echtzeit beim Roten Kreuz

Beekeeper Provides Real Time Internal Communication for the Red Cross

As an international humanitarian organization, The Red Cross provides worldwide crisis management, global health, and well-being assistance before, during, and after disasters. Part of the German Red Cross, the DRK Säckingen County Association has roughly 80 full-time employees working across several German Red Cross departments.

Real time internal communication is imperative given the time-sensitivity of the emergency and crisis management services the DRK Säckingen County Association provides. From communicating emergency operations and route information to instructions for deliveries of aid supplies and up-to-the-minute updates on volatile safety situations, the DRK needed more reliable and efficient internal communication between paramedics, employees, and other relevant departments.

Internal Communication Goals for Connecting Departments

The DRK Säckingen County Association management identified the following functionalities as essential when selecting a unified communications solution that would best meet their interdepartmental connectivity and crisis management needs:

  • Data security in all employee messaging and communications
  • The ability to sort and share information, and to ensure it reaches relevant teams in a timely manner
  • An intuitive user interface similar to that of a consumer communication tool like WhatsApp, but with more control over who receives content and messaging
  • Overcoming Crisis Management Barriers Across Dispersed Teams

    Prior to adopting Beekeeper’s team app, the DRK Säckingen County Association used WhatsApp as their chosen internal communication platform. Though easy to use, employees felt the communication app was too intertwined with their personal communications so using the app for work-related communications was a challenge.

    WhatsApp also lacked the ability to manage what employees were seeing, as users could selectively sign out of chats and would thus miss crucial crisis management updates. Successfully reaching all employees and making company crisis communications and other valuable information accessible at a moment’s notice was inconsistent and difficult to measure. This was particularly challenging given the highly mobile nature of the work, with employees spread out across offices, sites, and locations.

    Unified Communications with Beekeeper’s Team App

    Many factors set Beekeeper apart when it came to selecting an internal communication tool for the DRK Säckingen County Association’s widely dispersed crisis management workforce:

    1. A professional interface that is clearly and visibly differentiated from consumer messaging tools like WhatsApp.
    2. Dedicated streams on the Beekeeper team app specifically for the German Red Cross’ Rescue Services and Mobile Social Services departments.
    3. Centralized internal communications for both office and in-the-field employees, such as paramedics and other first responders.

    From the management perspective, stream administrators can tailor and organize information for individual departments so employees see only the urgent information that is relevant to them. On the employee side, all content on the Beekeeper team app can be labeled with tags for easy searching and sorting so employees can quickly find the latest updates, protocols, and need-to-know information on-the-go.

    Red Cross Beekeeper team app

    Digital Communication Leads to More Efficient Operations

    One of the most significant changes the DRK Säckingen County Association made by implementing Beekeeper’s team app was transitioning from manually created, printed, and distributed paper announcements to digital internal communication and operations information. Communication streams and group chats are now the channels for distributing meeting notes. Using their Beekeeper team app’s analytics dashboard, senders can track employee open rates by requesting confirmation, which recipients confirm with one click. After implementing Beekeeper, the read rate has increased substantially from 80% to 98%.

    Beekeeper’s team app has improved the efficiency of the DRK Säckingen County Association’s internal communications in the following ways:

    • Vast reduction in emails
    • Less printed notices and updates with the ability to upload PDFs and other files directly to messages and posts in the Beekeeper team app’s streams
    • A mobile, less complicated, and transparent digital internal communication platform

    Today, the German Red Cross has nearly 160 employees in multiple departments across the organization who are active users of their Beekeeper team app. Adoption is also high, with 76% of 99% of activated users engaged and contributing to the Beekeeper team app daily.

    Download the full German Red Cross case study by filling out the form below.

    Make the most at the HITEC Houston hospitality technology conference.

    From Cybersecurity to Space Shuttles: Make the Most of HITEC Houston

    Hosted by HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals), HITEC Houston will take place June 18-21, 2018, at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. HITEC features several educational sessions on the most-talked about topics in the hospitality industry today, including cybersecurity and AI. Don’t forget to browse the latest hospitality technology products and services from over 300 hospitality industry vendors that will be showcased in the HITEC exhibitor hall.

    In between keynote speaker presentations, educational panels, and the conference’s opening party at the iconic House of Blues, here are some of the top events, booths, and local attractions to check out during HITEC Houston!

    1. Attend the E20X Competition

    Celebrating technological entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, HFTP’s popular E20X program spotlights the innovative spirit and ideas of startups. Competing startups pitch to both HITEC attendees and a panel of hospitality industry experts. This year you can catch the E20X presentations from 1-4 pm on Monday, June 18. Teams from startups around the country will compete for the Grand Prize of $5,000, and the People’s Startup Award, a crowd favorite award voted on by HITEC Houston attendees. Before the competition, be sure to connect with the startups’ at their E20X Pavilion booths on the exhibit hall floor.

    2. Make Cosmic Connections at the Johnson Space Center

    Take a break from HITEC Houston at Houston’s Johnson Space Center, just a 30-minute drive from the conference venue. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (formerly the Manned Spaceflight Center until being renamed after the late former President in 1973) sits on 1,620 acres and is home to the U.S. Mission Control Center. Artifact highlights from NASA missions include a touchable moon rock and a full-scale replica of NASA’s Independence. Accessible by elevator, it’s the only shuttle in the world mounted on a original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, open to the public to explore (for space movie fans, Independence inspired the name of one of the space shuttles in the 1998 blockbuster Armageddon).

    3. Sit-in on Joe Schaap’s Technology Showcase: “Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMS”

    A mobile hotel property management system (PMS), StayNTouch, is a software solution that, like Beekeeper’s team communication app, is focused on driving revenue, reducing costs, and empowering the hospitality industry’s dispersed workforce with the right internal communication tools to provide exceptional guest experiences. Join Joe Schaap, founder and CEO of StayNTouch for the Technology Showcase, “Your Guests are Changing, So Should Your PMS.” Hear first-hand how a mobile PMS impacts the hospitality industry, from hotel operations and revenue generation to guest satisfaction. The session will cover why it’s essential that hotels arm their staff and property with a modern PMS, and how the hospitality industry can respond to today’s digitally-driven consumer.

    4. Beekeeper Breakfast Panel: How Team Apps Deliver Exceptional Guest Experiences

    Don’t miss the Beekeeper-hosted breakfast panel with hospitality industry expert Connie Rheams, Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper. In the panel, learn more about how Beekeeper’s team app facilitates better internal communication and employee engagement that translate to more personalized guest experiences. Can’t make the panel? Be sure to stop by the Beekeeper booth 1702 to say hello and hear about how our team app is transforming the way hospitality industry workforces reach and engage every single employee, especially those on the frontlines.

     Apple iPhone 7 Screenshot showing Hotel Talk communication stream on Beekeeper team app

    5. Watch the Cybersecurity Closing Keynote by Theresa Payton, the First Woman to Serve as White House CIO

    Her professional credits include starring as Head of Intelligence on the CBS reality show Hunted, but Theresa Payton’s primary claim to fame is for being tapped to run White House IT operations (which she did for President George W. Bush from 2006-08). With the recent Facebook data breach scandal, and GDPR regulation beginning May 25, Payton’s cybersecurity-focused keynote is especially relevant. Combining her cybersecurity expertise and business entrepreneur savvy, Payton will outline the top threats that can lead to data breaches, and share practical steps for the hospitality industry to successfully plan for and manage cybersecurity risk.

    Register now for a breakfast session with hospitality industry expert, Connie Rheams, on how to deliver exceptional guest experiences through better internal communication and employee engagement.

    How to Use Team Apps to Facilitate Workforce Wellness Programs

    How to Use a Team App to Facilitate Workforce Wellness Programs

    Mental health is a crucial aspect of a thriving, engaged, and healthy workforce. In turn, workforce wellness is an integral part of any healthy––and productive––workplace. So what role can technology like team apps play in helping facilitate both happy, healthy employees and wellness in the workplace?

    Consider Offering Subscriptions to Well-being Apps

    In combination with a comprehensive wellness program, a team app can be used to facilitate many of the components of your plan, from fitness challenges and polling your workforce about group wellness-oriented or other employee engagement activities to integrations with specific wellness apps.

    Beekeeper poll feature

    When researching options to include in your workplace well-being action plan, there are many wellness apps such as Luminosity (neuroscience-back brain games to improve memory), Sleep Cycle (tracks your sleep patterns to ensure optimal amount of rest), and MindShift (a self-proclaimed “portable coach,” this app provides strategies for common anxiety provokers like social situations).

    While somewhat controversial as to whether adding another technological tool to our lives actually relieves stress, here are the key benefits that matter in the context of emotional and mental health:

    • The option to choose anonymity. Unfortunately, mental health challenges still carry a stigma, and even with an open workplace environment, not everyone in your workforce will feel comfortable confiding. A well-being app can be an alternative gateway and introduction to self-care on your workforce’s own terms.
    • Access by your workforce on their own time and at their convenience. Stress manifests in different ways for all of us, and a person’s ideal environment for managing it is entirely subjective.
    • Relatively affordable when compared to traditional therapy or counseling. In fact, some are free, such as Happier which acts as a mobile gratitude journal.

    It’s important to note that a well-being app, and technology in general, is just one part of a well-rounded wellness program and strategy.

    Use a Team App to Facilitate and Champion Your Wellness Program

    While not all activities are appropriate to track and post publicly on your team app, team-building events are. For example, a group outing to a local park to pick up trash serves three purposes: helping to beautify your community, environmental stewardship, and an ecologically-philanthropic way to get active.

    Beekeeper’s own Well-Beeing stream is one way to create communication streams dedicated to your wellness program in your team app. Doing so is an ideal method of sharing wellness tips, uploading guidelines, and posting best practices with your workforce.

    Beekeeper well-being app

    Having nutritional snacks, drinks, and other food options available for your workforce is also an important part of creating a healthy workplace. Posting the week’s offerings on your team app and the nutritional value (for example, antioxidant benefits of blueberries, or heart-healthy benefits of oatmeal) further encourages your team to add them to their daily diet at work.

    Using a team app as part of your internal communication strategy to drive workforce engagement with a company wellness program can be an effective part of your overall wellness program strategy in the following ways:

    • High visibility fosters goal accountability
    • Two-way communication allows for both leadership and workforce to contribute posts on their own wellness journeys
    • Gamification of wellness programs with incentives for posting, recognition of their participation, and polls to let employees weigh in on what wellness offerings they would most like to see available

    No matter what route you take or what solutions you decide to implement, incorporating multiple strategies, such as a team app like Beekeeper, ensures your workforce feels supported by offering the ability to engage on their own terms. A team app can be an integral part of a well-rounded workplace wellness program in today’s busy, digitally-focused world.

    See how the Beekeeper team app can help facilitate workplace wellness programs! Download our “Internal Communications Strategy in 2018” eBook.

    9 Reasons You Need Secure Internal Communications

    9 Reasons You Need Secure Internal Communications

    Though today’s consumer digital communications tools are designed to be the ultimate data mines, businesses can’t afford to take data security risks when it comes to internal communications. With personal data being an increasingly profitable commodity, the tracking of online activity is occurring on an unprecedented level. In this context, it’s never been more important from a data security perspective to distinguish between consumer and private messaging tools, and to consider how to secure your internal communications with solutions that provide better, and more secure, team communication tools for your workforce.

    Protect Your Workforce From Data Security Issues

    The recent Facebook data breach revelation raises important questions regarding company responsibility when it comes to data security. In this case, user data was collected by a researcher from a quiz app downloaded via Facebook’s app marketplace. Downloaded by 270,000 Facebook users who did grant the app access to their own data, the quiz app also obtained the personal data of those users’ friends––who, importantly, did not consent to their data being accessed––to the staggering recently updated estimate of 87 million people. That data was then sold to UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

    Facilitating Employee Connection Without Sacrificing Data Privacy

    The Facebook data breach spotlights an unfortunate reality regarding employees’ use of consumer messaging apps in the workplace: questionable access to data and data security. If companies don’t provide an official internal communication solution, employees will self-select consumer-grade messaging alternatives like Facebook’s WhatsApp that pose potentially devastating privacy issues which could prove costly to your business.

    These consumer messaging apps are not designed for business use, and thus not business compliant, requiring employees to exchange personal information such as cell phone numbers and personal email with company unauthorized users. What’s more, employee data is stored in these unsecured and unmonitored chats via the consumer messaging app.

    The Benefits of Secure Internal Communications Solutions

    Unlike consumer messaging tools such as WhatsApp, subscription-based internal communications apps are explicitly created with data security and privacy front-of-mind because they are designed for business communication, not as data mines and vehicles for advertising revenue. Unlike consumer-facing messaging apps, where your personal data is exchanged for your free usage of the app, subscription-based team communication apps alleviate GDPR non-compliance risk as well without compromising on quality employee connection.

    Here are nine of the most impactful differences between consumer apps and digital workplace communication platforms for optimal employee connection and data security:

    1. Dedicated communication streams. Defined working groups filter information to get the input of workforce colleagues who most need to weigh in on decisions without unnecessarily involving other team members.
    2. Automated administrative operations. Workplace communication apps can automate frequent messaging like onboarding or even be pre-populated as part of crisis planning. Confirmation campaigns can track compliance for health and safety regulations.
    3. Centralized platform. Project updates and company announcements are shared in a centralized space, so your workforce shares knowledge and gets answers faster.
    4. Assess workplace culture. A built-in analytics dashboard provides a secure method to gauge workplace culture based on interactions. Employee polls and surveys are simple to push out and give quick insights into what is happening within the organization.
    5. Avoids information silos. Without access to communication, people aren’t getting the crucial information they need to effectively do their jobs.
    6. Richer collaboration. Two-way communications allow feedback to be exchanged between departments and locations, across time zones and offices.
    7. Integrations with HRMS systems. Sync personnel profiles across systems to ensure information is always up-to-date, and to easily activate and deactivate user accounts.
    8. User-powered content selection. Unlike algorithm-based content delivery, using an internal communications platform with intentional streams empowers employees to select the content most relevant to them and their roles. Pinned posts at the top of each stream can convey helpful reminders and posting guidelines.
    9. Intuitive navigation. A simple, familiar user interface means better workforce adoption.

    Learn the steps you need to take to protect your company data with secure messaging by downloading our GDPR Assessment tool.

    The benefits of digital workforce change management

    The Benefits of Digital Workforce Change Management

    When it comes to effective change management, any organization that is looking to implement a successful digital transformation needs to communicate the ongoing changes with everyone. This is especially true when it comes to change management with primarily non-desk workforces; achieving workforce-wide adoption of new technology can be particularly challenging when workers aren’t accustomed to receiving information via digital methods.

    Deploying an employee app to handle workforce change management can:

    • Ensure messaging is clearly communicated in real-time to all employees
    • Easily allow organizations to push updates to teams across shifts, time zones, and departments
    • Provide detailed analytics to measure employee engagement and communication

    Digital Change Management Simplifies Workforce Tasks

    Above all, digital workforce change management should make everyone’s lives easier. Change management and employee buy-in requires an agnostic approach to technology. Not every person in your workforce is going to embrace digitized workflows. Therefore, your chosen digital workforce strategy needs to be easily integrated with other traditional internal communications strategies to effectively reach all employees or audiences.

    Overcoming Barriers to Workforce Adoption of Digital Technology

    Familiarity and ease-of-use are both essential factors when it comes to workforce adoption of new workplace technology. People want to use communication tools they are familiar with. From a consumer standpoint, it’s safe to assume most frontline employees talk to family and friends through messaging on mobile devices that is extremely intuitive. If a company can’t make their messaging app easy and desirable to use, they simply won’t use it. Moreover, the employee app experience needs to prove its value by being integrated into their daily workflows and becoming an asset to their job.

    Employee Apps Connect Dispersed Teams for Mobile Collaboration

    With the Beekeeper employee app, teams across industries that are comprised of both desk and non-desk workers can be connected wherever work takes them. For example, say housekeeping submits a maintenance request to fix a broken lampshade in a room directly from their mobile device using the employee app. The maintenance team receives their request in real time, and service can commence sooner. The room is ready faster, freeing up housekeeping to continue on to other rooms, so guests can check in on time. Removing workforce communication delays translates into better guest service. Satisfied guests become return customers, which in turn increases revenue.

    Announcement in Beekeeper streams

    In a manufacturing context, a team app allows rapid delivery of quotas, safety reminders, and product updates, instantly connecting HR or management with frontline workers on the loud plant floor. Accessibility via mobile device or digital signage saves valuable time and expense while ensuring workplace safety because workers are notified immediately of and can communicate out any safety alerts, equipment issues, or last-minute changes in production schedules.

    Safety training on the Beekeeper team app

    Three guiding principles to keep in mind when implementing a change management strategy:

      1. Ensure your change management program reaches everyone.
      Your change management solution should be aligned with your company’s goals, but it also needs to reach every single member of your workforce. Using a digital workplace app like Beekeeper combines some of the most-used internal communication tools for shift management, payroll, unified communications, and employee engagement.

      2. Make sure leadership is informed, and invested, first.
      Executive buy-in is the first step to successful change management. Further, if leadership doesn’t have mandatory discussions about their role in change management, it won’t work. When leadership models positive technology adoption behaviors, they align themselves with their workforce through actively demonstrating the technology’s value.

      3. Consider consulting with change management professionals.
      When it comes to your change management plan, adoption relies on implementation. Why not bring in change management experts who can guide you step-by-step through your digital workforce transformation?

    At Beekeeper, our Customer Success Managers ensure your deployment is launched without a hitch applying our industry-leading best practices to maximize rollout through employee engagement, dashboard analytics measurement, and messaging. For larger organizations, Beekeeper partners with change management and system integration expert Accenture.

    Try a free demo of the Beekeeper digital workforce app now!


    How to Increase Employee Engagement and Improve Retention

    Employee engagement is one of the most important metrics that businesses can track.
    Employee engagement determines employee retention, which can contribute or detract significantly from the bottom line because hiring is expensive and new employees aren’t as productive as more experienced employees.

    Companies that are wondering how to improve retention need to develop and sustain effective employee engagement programs which keep their current base of personnel satisfied and productive. The goal of most employee engagement programs is to create a workplace where employee connection is prioritized. To do this, companies are increasingly turning to digital employee engagement platforms like Beekeeper to implement this vision.

    Digital employee engagement platforms facilitate two-way communication opportunities between leadership and frontline employees for encouragement and recognition, interaction through posting, liking and commenting on visual highlights of the work day, and streamlined group or peer-to-peer messaging.

    Engaging Employees in the Workplace

    Making your workplace engaging as well as productive isn’t expensive like many believe. And the best part is that getting better engagement with an employee engagement program is easy because employees already want to feel valued and part of a team.

    There are many ways to shape an engaged and effective workplace through employee engagement programs. Boosting employee engagement could be as simple as offering a reward program for high performers or recognizing those who consistently give their all to help their team.

    Often, the ingredients for cultivating a happy staff is a result of high employee engagement as much as it might be the result of an employee engagement platform. Positive attitudes are contagious and, when modeled by staff, encourages the rest of the team to join in. Making a small change like offering employees spotlight biographies on a rotating schedule, for example, can make a big impact when it comes to improving employee engagement.

    Fostering strong bonds between employees and their teammates is also a surefire solution to the issue of how to improve retention. With Beekeeper’s employee survey features, managers can quickly and easily poll employees for their input on the next employee engagement event, such as time, date, and type of activity, without having to reach out individually to each co-worker. Likewise, an employee could post to find last-minute shift coverage through the employee app, instantly notifying the entire team with one click.

    Employee Engagement Ideas

    Strong work communities are critical for improving employee engagement. Employee engagement with teammates fosters a sense of community, so teams should get the chance to connect with each other as frequently as possible in a positive context. Giving teams ways to support and acknowledge each other throughout your company, with a team communications platform, for example, is one strategy for increasing employee engagement.

    FRHI, a leading multi-hotel brand management company, uses Beekeeper to connect 45,000 frontline employees across hospitality departments around the world. With their Beekeeper white-label employee app, FRHI created a centralized digital platform to showcase and share team news, ideas, and achievements.

    Engaged employees don’t want to let their teammates down, and teams that communicate well and often will feel more informed, perform better, and stay at the company. This helps lower the turnover rate at your company, the financial losses of which can be substantial, totaling approximately one-third of a worker’s annual salary, not to mention the impact on workplace morale and culture.

    Employee Engagement Programs Motivate Employees To Be Company Champions

    Companies wondering how to improve retention should look for ways to get employees to buy into the success of the company. The more invested in the company’s success employees are, the more likely they are to be a vocal and visible champion when the company experiences success.

    Feeling part of something bigger creates a sense of purpose, resulting in higher employee engagement. One way to motivate employees to be company champions is through effective storytelling. With a clear, compelling narrative about what the company does, and how the company does it, employees are incentivized to “own” your brand’s messaging, crucial buy-in that can lead to voluntarily sharing your company’s story. Offering an employee referral program is another way to encourage employees to be valuable ambassadors for your brand, and essential assets in the recruitment process.

    Invest in Workplace Culture

    The issue of how to increase employee engagement is a matter of building a company where employees want to work. Employees need to find their work meaningful, be supported and inspired by their colleagues, and find the rest of the company’s community much like a second home.

    While it won’t happen overnight, a great employee engagement platform can help implement employee engagement programs, build better internal communications, and make expensive turnover an issue of the past.

    Interested in testing a digital employee engagement platform for yourself? Sign up for a free demo of Beekeeper.

    Quick guide to writing employee performance reviews.

    A Guide to Writing Comprehensive Employee Performance Reviews

    For most managers, writing up performance reviews can be an overwhelming task. While performance reviews are an absolutely essential part of a feedback process to improve employee performance and a standard workforce management practice, writing up the reports can be time-consuming.

    To help you streamline and optimize this workforce management process, here are five need-to-know tips on how to improve your writing while making sure your reviews are accurate, professional, and most importantly, improve employee performance.

    Before you dig in, get a free demo to learn why Beekeeper is the employee app that improves internal communications and employee engagement.

    1. Start with the Positives

    Every employee will have done something since the last review that you’re proud of or is an accomplishment to that individual. While there may be minimal exceptions to this rule, it’s important to start your review on a positive note, helping the employee feel valued by the company while allowing you to focus on what helps to generally improve employee performance.

    For this, and the remainder of your review, you can use the formatting guides found on sites like State of Writing to help you structure your documents in a professional and coherent way. You could also run employee surveys to collect employee feedback to improve employee performance reviews.

    2. Refer to the Previous Review

    In the last workforce management review, you will have made goals or set targets for that individual to achieve in order to improve employee performance. The next step is to address these intentions so you can see how far the individual has progressed and whether they have accomplished, or even exceeded the goals you both agreed to.

    Tip: When writing your review, it doesn’t need to be the length of a dissertation. Instead, keep it to one page by tracking your word count with online word count tools, or by editing, proofreading and then condensing using online guides and tools.

    You’ll also have the chance to offer employee surveys which can find out how effective your performance meetings are and how they can be improved. You can offer this employee survey at the same time as the reviews to help them become more streamlined.

    3. Record Constructive Feedback

    Based on the comments made in the section above, you’ll then be able to address employee satisfaction regarding their role and start to brainstorm ways to improve employee performance. This is also where you can deliver constructive feedback and suggest solutions.

    Don’t forget that you can also highlight the things that an employee is good at (referring back to tip #2), in which you can set a goal to continue this or take it to the next level. It’s imperative that the feedback in this section is received in a positive and constructive manner.

    During the workforce management review, you can also offer the opportunity for employee feedback on their role and how they view the business.

    4. Highlight Unfulfilled Goals

    Of course, while some goals may have been achieved, others may not, and this will need to be addressed in the review. You will need to identify why these goals haven’t been met and what you can do to address them this time. In some cases, they may not be relevant anymore.

    You can call on writing guides to improve your writing skills for more comprehensive goal setting, allowing you to actively improve employee performance.

    If you, or your employees, feel like there’s a lack of communication in these areas, or room for improvement in the reviews, or the business itself, you could create more employee surveys and administer them via a team app to identify and rectify any problems. Collecting employee feedback here is essential so you can make sure your goals and intentions are positive and beneficial to your business.

    Screen shot on mobile device showing how to conduct an employee satisfaction survey using Beekeeper team app.

    5. Setting Future Employee Performance Goals

    With all the information you’ve spoken about above, you can now start thinking towards the future. This means setting goals for your employee to aim for while discussing how they can be monitored and tracked throughout the next 12 months. Remember to remain positive and encouraging for the best results.

    When you’ve finished writing your performance review (perhaps adding your employee surveys here to find out how well your employees think they are doing, since employee feedback is essential to your success), be sure to check it thoroughly, a process made easy with proofreading tools, to ensure it’s free from mistakes and of high quality.

    Streamline Workforce Management and Improve Employee Performance

    As you can see, conducting and recording an employee performance review doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Follow this simple outline, and you can maximize employee productivity and the quality of your business’s reviews. Using a team app like Beekeeper, you can improve and automate workforce management and operational processes, such as employee surveys, so you can focus on implementing results faster and boosting employee performance.

    Download our Real Time Employee Feedback Checklist to discover how to collect employee feedback with a team communication app.

    Beekeeper’s Internal Communications App Ranked #59 on Prestigious SaaS 1000 List

    Beekeeper’s Internal Communications App Ranked #59 on Prestigious SaaS 1000 List

    We’re excited to announce that our internal communications app, Beekeeper, is officially listed on SaaS 1000, a prestigious index of SaaS companies algorithmically ranked by a number of growth indicators such as hiring trends and team expansion rates. Lead411 founder Tom Blue began compiling the SaaS 1000 list as a way for him to index growing SaaS companies in a data-driven way. As the SaaS product landscape continues to expand, lists like the SaaS 1000 are incredibly useful tools for SaaS pros to evaluate the groundbreaking trends that will shape our industry for years to come.

    “The Beekeeper team’s international impact on frontline workforce internal communications is an indicator of their continued growth. We are excited to see them climb the ranks of SaaS 1000 and to see what the company has in store for the future.” – Tom Blue, Founder, SaaS 1000

    As a rapidly growing startup, we are honored to be recognized among so many incredible peers solving critical technological problems throughout the SaaS industry. As reported by SaaS 1000, our team has experienced a 27.71% growth over the past six months alone. In fact, we recently celebrated our 100 employee milestone, with team members working across our offices in San Francisco, Zurich, London, and Berlin. Over the course of 2018, we are projected to double in size worldwide. As our 4.9 rating on Glassdoor reflects, our organization is deeply committed to building a strong company culture that enables our employees to flourish.

    Beekeeper 100 employees

    “We are honored to be included on the SaaS 1000 list, and look forward to growing our team with strategic hires in order execute our vision to unite and engage frontline and corporate employees on one streamlined platform.” -Cris Grossmann, CEO, Beekeeper

    We are very proud of the strategic additions we have made to our team, including our recently appointed Head of Hospitality Andrada Paraschiv, Global Head of Hospitality Sales Connie Rheams, and a number of talented software engineers. These hires have allowed the Beekeeper family to double down on some exciting product expansions that have helped our clients amp up employee engagement efforts.

    Expansions to the Beekeeper team communication app Marketplace, launched in Fall 2017, continues to be a major focus for our team as we lean more heavily into integrating with operational tools. Our upcoming additions of ADP and SAP integrations will allow our customers to streamline payroll, scheduling, analytics, and IT solutions within Beekeeper. Our software engineers continue to hone in on our AI as well with features like chatbots. As we aspire to continue climbing the SaaS 1000 list, we’re excited to continue welcoming talented members to our team to help the Beekeeper platform and culture grow.

    Interested in hearing more about how the Beekeeper internal communication app can improve communications and operations among your growing workforce? Fill out the form below to schedule a demo.