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.

Beekeeper Team App Wins 2018 HTNG TechOvation Award

Beekeeper Team App Wins 2018 HTNG TechOvation Award

Each year at the HT-NEXT Awards Program, one company is presented with the prestigious TechOvation award for innovative products that have a big impact on the hospitality industry. We are thrilled to announce that the Beekeeper team app is this year’s TechOvation award recipient!

After being chosen as a semi-finalist from the initial pool of nominees, and then as a top-three finalist in the second phase of the competition, Beekeeper was a resounding audience favorite. After a live presentation at HT-NEXT by Corey McCarthy, VP of Global Marketing at Beekeeper, on how the Beekeeper team app is transforming hotel internal communications, a panel of 34 judges including CIOs from Marriott, Hyatt, Hard Rock, and Four Seasons Hotels, advanced Beekeeper into the final round. Hundreds of attending hospitality and technology professionals voted Beekeeper as the 2018 TechOvation Award winner.

HTNG Recognizes Beekeeper as Best New Hospitality Technology

The HT-NEXT Awards Program joins Hospitality Technology’s Hotel Technology Forum and the HTNG (Hospitality Technology Next Generation) North American Conference. HTNG is a global not-for-profit trade association that fosters the development of next-generation solutions through collaboration and partnership between hospitality professionals and technology providers.

Michael Blake, CEO of HTNG, congratulated Beekeeper on the award: “The Beekeeper app uses both factors of convenience and mobility that we see rapidly growing in the hospitality industry. We recognize Beekeeper for their innovation and are very happy to announce them as HTNG’s 2018 TechOvation Award Winner!”

Beekeeper Team App Transforms Hospitality Internal Communications

Beekeeper’s journey to earning the TechOvation Award began in December 2017, joining fellow award candidates in producing and submitting compelling 90-second videos to demonstrate Beekeeper’s innovative approach to employee engagement, real-time mobile collaboration, enhanced internal communication––and the impact of our intuitively-designed team app on the hospitality industry.

Check out our submission video!

Corey McCarthy, VP of Global Marketing at Beekeeper, accepted the TechOvation award. “Beekeeper is thrilled to be named the HTNG 2018 TechOvation Award Winner,” she said. “Our digital workplace platform reaches every single employee with relevant messaging. This is critical to the 1.9 million front- and back-of-house hotel employees who don’t sit at a desk or have a company email address. When you create a great employee experience, it translates to a great guest experience. Winning the 2018 TechOvation Award signifies that hoteliers see a dire need for digital transformation in workplace communications. Beekeeper not only empowers staff, but our open API supports integration with existing operational systems. That means hotels can use Beekeeper for payroll, scheduling, file sharing, task management, and other systems.”

We are honored to be recognized by HTNG as the 2018 TechOvation Award winner, and extend warm congratulations to all of the contestants!

Try a free demo of our award-winning team app.

Former Customer Andrada Paraschiv Heads Beekeeper's New Hospitality Division

Former Customer Andrada Paraschiv Heads Beekeeper’s New Hospitality Division

Andrada Paraschiv was the Executive Director of Communications and Strategy when the company consulted Beekeeper to help overcome significant internal communications challenges after a major reorganization. Parent company FRHI, a global hospitality management company, wanted to centralize internal communications for their three hotel brands, Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel. A primary initial challenge was to find an internal communications solution to bring the nearly 50,000 frontline employees working together as one dispersed, yet united, team.

Beekeeper Employee App Solves Internal Communication and Employee Connection Challenges

In 2013, FRHI had recently undergone reorganization as part of the reorganization process. As Paraschiv recalls, Beekeeper’s team communication tools proved the natural choice to create, “a feeling of one company, one FRHI. We were trying to bring our three hotel brands under this one umbrella. We thought that Beekeeper presented an opportunity to have one place where our team members could showcase their news, achievements, and ideas.”

FRHI team communication app

Prior to adopting the Beekeeper digital workforce app, Paraschiv and FRHI’s leadership and frontline employees were accustomed to communicating exclusively with their company’s teams using traditional internal communication methods such as emails, newsletters, and phone calls. The reorganization brought these cross-property employee engagement and internal communication challenges to the forefront.

Paraschiv saw the potential of Beekeeper as an employee-focused app committed not only to unified internal communications and employee connection, but to mobile collaboration. With the flexibility of Beekeeper’s employee app, around-the-clock accessibility was possible, ensuring that FRHI’s many frontline employees and teams could remain connected in 35 countries, and speaking 22 languages, across time zones, shift calendars, and locations.

The Employee Engagement Benefits and Highly Visual Elements of Beekeeper That Won Her Over

Another key benefit of Beekeeper that appealed to Paraschiv was the highly visual nature of the employee app, essential for FRHI’s international mobile workforce. Through FRHI Talk, chefs could capture culinary offerings as they were made and post photos, menus, and relevant dining information for the entire on-site team—or for teams at other FRHI properties to enjoy and be inspired by.

Best of all, since Beekeeper works across mobile and desktop devices, FRHI leadership, management, and frontline employee teams can communicate, contribute, and engage on-site, on-the-go, and wherever their busy work days take them. Live streams on digital signage in break rooms and other frontline employee gathering spaces provides yet another internal communication layer for the entire FRHI team.

From Beekeeper Customer to Beekeeper Executive Team Member

The increased employee engagement and internal communication numbers after implementing FRHI Talk speak for themselves: about a year into deployment of their employee app, workforce adoption of FRHI Talk soared to 98%. In fact, FRHI was the 2015 recipient of Ragan’s Employee Communications Award for Best Employee Engagement using Beekeeper.

After witnessing first-hand from the customer perspective the transformative effect of Beekeeper’s employee app on both internal communication and employee connection at FRHI, Paraschiv later joined Beekeeper in October 2017 in a newly created role as Head of Hospitality.

In this new role, Paraschiv leads the Beekeeper Hospitality Division to support the increasing demand for better internal communication and employee connection for dispersed workforces. Paraschiv recently led a hospitality expert panel at the National HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo (HRIH) with the Beekeeper team in March 2018, in Las Vegas, NV that broke attendance records for the morning session of the conference.

To download the full FRHI case study, complete the form below.

Guest using chatbots on a mobile app to check in on a mobile device.

Chatbots Simplify Hotel Operations and Transform Guest Experience

It may sound like something out of an episode of The Jetson’s but AI (yes, this includes actual robot assistants, like The Jetson’s beloved Rosie), particularly in the form of chatbots, is making frequent appearances in the hospitality industry. The goal? To improve the guest experience through more efficient internal communication with digital workforce solutions.

This year’s AAHOA Annual Conference takes note of this growing hospitality trend with a seminar, “Technology To Improve Housekeeping and Maintenance Efficiency,” featuring Dorothy Creamer, Editor, Hospitality Technology; Micah Green, Founder, Maidbot; David Mitroff, Founder and CBC, Piedmont Avenue Consulting; and Raman Rama, President, Sarona Holdings. The seminar focuses on how hotel owners can leverage the latest digital workforce products and services to simplify and improve hotel operations to enhance the guest experience and ultimately drive occupancy rates.

How Digital Communication Tools Help Increase Bookings

According to a study of travel review sites conducted by Christopher Andersen, Ph.D, Assistant Professor at the Cornell School for Hotel Administration, higher occupancy rates are directly linked to how high a hotel’s reviews and ratings are. Specifically, the study analyzed Travelocity data that demonstrated that if a property increases its review scores by 1 point on a 5-point scale, the hotel can raise rates and still maintain the same occupancy.

Notably, Anderson’s findings point to social media as a powerful ally when it comes to consumer booking habits and to making sure a curious browser goes through with booking a room in your hotel. More broadly, these findings reflect an equally important insight: the way we navigate and complete much of the tasks in our personal and professional daily lives revolves around digital technology and informs our expectations of consumer experiences.

Exterior of a hotel showing four stars.

Fast Mobile Search Experiences Matter

The access to and ease-of-use of digital technology, particularly when it comes to mobile devices, affects purchase follow-through. A 2017 Think with Google study showed that if a website takes longer than three seconds to load, 53% of consumers will leave the site and conversion is lost. Put simply, with the vast, instant access to information digital technology provides, consumers aren’t afraid to take the time to compare lodging options—otherwise known as ‘shopping around’—and are using consumer opinions to inform their transactions.

AI and Chatbots: Partners in Providing an Exceptional Guest Experience

Far from worrying about frontline workforce replacement, those working in the hospitality industry should view AI, especially chatbots, as valuable communication tools that can boost productivity and enable frontline employees to focus on their primary priority: an exceptional guest experience.

A hotel’s consumer ratings and reviews will always reflect guest experiences, for better or for worse. The benefits of AI assistance in the form of chatbots are two-fold for your digital workforce, and have far-reaching, positive implications for the hospitality industry. Increased service efficiency means better delivery of a memorable guest experience, leading to brand loyalty and thus greater occupancy rates.

Here are some of the major hospitality service areas that impact the guest experience that can directly benefit from chatbots and AI automated operations using digital workforce communication tools. For example, your hotel can implement a custom mobile app that guests can download to enhance their stay in relationship to the following hospitality experiences:

  • Room service: Chatbots can virtually take the in-room orders of guests. Chatbots can be programmed to ask a variety of detailed questions to ensure your guests get exactly what they need (like specific condiments on their sandwich, or extra ice in their water) and can even schedule delivery.
  • Guest check-in and check-out: One of the most useful applications of a chatbot is as a virtual booking agent. Chatbots can send reminders to guests regarding the details of their stay, such as check-in and check-out times, and augment them if necessary based on guest requests (for example, extra pillows or special food or beverage items to be in-room upon arrival).
  • Maintenance requests: When a guest encounters an in-room issue, such as a burned-out light bulb or a broken appliance, chatbots can field guest issue reporting so repairs can be made quickly.
  • Special requests: From wake-up calls, “do not disturb” notifications, or delivery of extra towels or toiletries, chatbots can handle instantaneous communication of many of the most common guest requests. Instead of picking up the phone and calling the front desk, guests submit requests with one click using the mobile app. Hospitality teams receive automated notifications of these requests directly, and can complete them more quickly and efficiently.
  • Concierge services: Think of a chatbot as a 24/7 virtual local guide to the best food and entertainment options in the area, including on-premise dining and events. Chatbots can be set with the day or week’s latest events and promotions. Best of all, with your hotel app, guests can consult the chatbot concierge at their convenience, whether in their hotel room or on-the-go.

Screen shot of a hotel guest reporting a maintenance issue on a mobile device.

This is all good news for the hotel industry, which is already uniquely profitable and, according to hospitality experts, is poised to experience even higher occupancy rates in 2018. Loyal customers will continue to patronize a hotel property even when rates increase because they are loyal to the guest experience you have created.

With the help of chatbots and a digital workforce app like Beekeeper, guest services that previously commanded substantial staff time and energy can be automated. When tasks like these are delegated to digital technology, your workforce is free to assist with more complex guest needs and requests that require face-to-face interactions.

To see how chatbots and AI can increase hospitality revenue, download our white paper, “Digitization of the Non-desk Workforce.”

5 Ways to Maximize Your AAHOA 2018 Experience

5 Ways to Maximize Your AAHOA 2018 Experience

Conferences present incredible professional development opportunities for your workforce to discover the latest in hospitality trends, attend insightful thought leader panels, engage with other industry professionals, and promote your brand. This year, the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) is hosting their annual convention and trade show at the National Harbor, MD, March 27-30.

From national guest speakers such as keynote speaker Jimmy Johnson, Former Coach of the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins, and over 400 hospitality related vendors offering the industry’s latest products and services, this year’s AAHOA convention is packed with activities and networking opportunities for your workforce.

Just 15 minutes from our nation’s capital, there’s plenty to do both during and after hours during your stay in National Harbor. Here are five insider tips to maximize your workforce’s time at the AAHOA convention this year!

1. Download the AAHOA engagement app.

To stay updated during the convention, and to follow-up with convention connections afterwards, check out AAHOA’s engagement app. With this AAHOA-dedicated communication tool, get insider access to after parties, create a personal convention agenda, access workshop locations and speaker information, and participate and view photos and posts on the app’s activity feed.

Beyond being an invaluable communication tool during the convention to stay in touch with other colleagues attending from your workforce, the AAHOA engagement app keeps you connected to the hospitality industry professionals you interacted with and met at the convention year-round. Even better: you’ll be rewarded for your participation on the AAHOA app with points, badges, and prizes.

2. Treat your workforce to the best happy hour in National Harbor.

According to TripAdvisor, McCormick and Schmick’s has a happy hour that starts well-ahead of the typical happy hour at 2:30 pm. Rave reviews cite happy hour prices with large portions. After a day of inspiring speaker panels and educational workshops, be sure to bring plenty of business cards, hone your company’s elevator pitch, and be ready to ask relevant industry questions about employee engagement and workforce management to prospective clients and hospitality peers alike. Harborside at McCormick and Schmick’s might just be the perfect place to do this.

3. Take a selfie with co-workers (and new convention friends!) at The Awakening sculpture.

One of many public art offerings to be experienced along the banks of the river community of National Harbor, New Jersey-born American artist J. Seward Johnson’s 70-foot, cast-aluminum sculpture, The Awakening (1980), is a cultural focal point for all ages to enjoy. The figure looks as if it washed up on and is emerging from the sandy shores of the Potomac River, with giant limbs protruding from the ground that make both excellent climbing structures and a remarkably unique selfie backdrop.

4. Take advantage of National Harbor’s newest mode of transportation, the Circulator.

Stay close to the convention venue to make sure transportation hurdles are minimized. For less than the cost of one taxi or Lyft ride, for just $5, you can shuttle between the area’s hot spots, 7 days a week, 365 days a year—including Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, this year’s AAHOA convention venue.

5. Get a birds-eye view from atop the Capital Wheel.

The view from 180 feet above the National Harbor never disappoints! Opened in 2014, the Capital Wheel lifts between 600,000 an 800,000 guests into the Maryland skies each year for an approximately 15-minute ride. For those who want the full VIP experience, National Harbor One (one of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas) features glass floors, chilled Perrier, Amazon Alexa technology, and leather seating.

With hundreds of hospitality-oriented vendors, educational workshops, expert panels, after-party networking events, and even certification courses and trainings, there are plenty of opportunities for both work and play at this year’s AAHOA convention! After checking out our recommended National Harbor activities, be sure to stop by our booth to meet the Beekeeper team and find out more about how our award-winning employee app can improve internal communication and operational alignment for your workforce.

Fill out the form below to schedule a meeting and meet the Beekeeper team at the event.

Beekeeper to Lead HRIH Panel on Increasing Employee Engagement

Beekeeper to Lead HRIH Panel on Increasing Employee Engagement

What’s the secret to exceptional occupancy rates, an enviable work culture, and engaged frontline employees? The answer lies in your company’s employee engagement and internal communication strategies. Alongside fellow hospitality thought leaders, Andrada Paraschiv, Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper, will present industry best practices and key ways to drive employee engagement, performance, and revenue growth with digital workplace apps.

The panel will also focus on how employee engagement leads to exceptional guest experiences. This presentation is part of a hospitality expert panel at the National HR in Hospitality Conference and Expo, taking place March 5-7, 2018, at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.

Engaged Frontline Employees Are Your Brand’s Best Ambassadors

Frontline employees are the primary representatives of your brand and can be the primary champions of your company, too. Joining Andrada Paraschiv for the panel titled, “How to Engage Your Frontline Employees,” are Erica Carey, Senior Director, Digital Product Management, Hilton Worldwide; Jason Brown, Head of People, 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge; and Jeff David, Managing Director, The Watergate Hotel.

The panelists will share how Beekeeper’s award-winning digital workplace app has transformed their teams’ internal communication, increased employee engagement, and empowered frontline employees through company-wide alignment on common goals, real-time delivery of critical information, and opportunities for performance recognition.

How Digital Workplace Apps Create Unified Communications

1 Hotels’ Colleen Kerrigan, of Conference Services at 1 Hotel Central Park, credits Beekeeper as, “100% the most important internal communication tool that we have at this hotel to help us operate.” Beekeeper’s digital workplace app is the primary communication tool used for the property’s Morning Rally, where the team gathers together to go over pre-shift information, including daily VIP arrivals, events, and overall guest check-ins and check-outs.

Best of all, the Beekeeper digital workplace app makes this information accessible on-the-go, and 24 hours a day, enabling unified communications, employee engagement, and mobile collaboration for the whole team no matter what shift they work.

Beekeeper hospitality employee engagement app

Why Employee Connection and Employee Engagement Matters

Historically, the hospitality industry has prioritized the guest experience and spent fewer resources on the employee experience. In this panel discussion, attendees will gain significant insights on how to successfully steward frontline employee experience and engagement and reduce turnover while providing exceptional customer service. The panel will address why implementing effective communication tools in the workplace, such as a digital workplace app like Beekeeper, translates into happy employees, loyal guests, and satisfied investors.

What you’ll gain from this employee engagement panel:

  • Hearing from hospitality experts how your company’s internal communications directly affect employee engagement and employee connection to your brand
  • Employee engagement is integral not only for employee performance and satisfaction, but for an optimal guest experience
  • Learning ways to ensure your frontline employees feel informed, connected, heard, and recognized
  • How to increase frontline employee connection, collaboration, and performance through leadership-led, three-way internal communication
  • How a digital workplace app like Beekeeper benefits your entire team with real-time, unified communications that connect leadership and frontline employees alike

Be sure to check out booth #313 and attend Beekeeper’s breakfast panel, “How to Successfully Engage Your Frontline Employees,” in person! Join the panelists and Beekeeper team for lunch and an informal roundtable discussion on employee engagement best practices to ask any questions and snag your very own Beekeeper pashmina.

To learn more about how Beekeeper can help your frontline workforce, schedule a meeting with one of our experts.


How to Build an Effective Internal Communication Strategy

Building an effective internal communication strategy starts with understanding how to efficiently distribute important information to those in your workplace who depend on it. This simultaneously provides an opportunity to cultivate, and better support, employee engagement across your workforce. There are many components to crafting your internal communication strategy which we cover in our latest whitepaper, but let’s start with the basics.

Corporate Communication Tools Are Essential

Organizations commonly prioritize effective communications with customers, partners, and job applicants, but what about an internal communication strategy? While external communications are essential to your business, employee engagement is critical for successful daily operations and can be easily achieved with a well-crafted strategy and the right corporate communication tools.

For example, with Beekeeper’s real-time communication tools, you can easily share documents, initiate polls and surveys, and automate workflows through dedicated information streams to ensure everyone is on the same page. Using the Beekeeper analytics dashboard, you can see team usage statistics and tailor future internal communications based on your findings.

Beekeeper analytics dashboard

Employee Engagement Matters

Beyond better communication, there are countless other benefits to having an internal communication strategy in place. Most companies experience higher employee engagement, lower turnover, improved safety and productivity, and an overall increase in satisfaction. Additionally, a thoughtful communication strategy fosters a sense of community, trust, and loyalty in your organization.

Having seamless internal communication across your entire workforce is simple to facilitate and ensures everyone has the information they need to perform their jobs at an optimal level.

Sounds great, but where do you start?

Develop a Workforce-wide Communication Strategy

Creating an internal communication strategy for your workforce seems daunting if you don’t know where to start. Luckily, we specialize in internal communication so we’ve done this a time or two and want to share our process in the hopes of making your planning productive and pain-free.

We’ve written a white paper that gives you the tools you need to start planning and implement a successful internal communications strategy while increasing employee engagement.
This white paper will teach you everything you need to:

  • Conduct channel, stakeholder, and SWOT analyses
  • Identify criteria and workforce communication targets
  • Develop a strategic method and evaluation planning
  • And more!

To start crafting your own internal communication strategy, boost employee engagement, and pave the way for a happier and more productive workforce, download the white paper.

Culture Design Expert Shares His Secrets to Elevating Corporate Culture

Josh Levine Shares His Corporate Culture Design Secrets

Employee engagement statistics are low—and even lower for non-desk employees— which is a hard truth for most employers. Reports show that disengaged employees cost companies between $450 and $550 billion a year. So why aren’t companies doing more to address this expensive problem? The most successful companies in the world have the highest levels of employee engagement, yet engagement initiatives are frequently put on the back burner.

At Beekeeper, our mission is to connect every single employee to keep them engaged within an organization to improve productivity and reduce turnover. To help combat the problem of employee disengagement, we’ve partnered with an expert on corporate culture, Josh Levine.

About Josh Levine

Josh holds a BS in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University, and BFA in design from the Academy of Art University. As a brand strategist and culture design expert, Josh has helped local and global organizations engage customers and empower employees for over 15 years. One of his most recent ventures was co-founding CultureLabx where he leads brand development. Culture Lab is a community of founders, designers, and practitioners committed to redefining workplace culture by hosting experiments to help business leaders understand its value to the employees, the company, and the community.

His writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, The Design Management Journal, and Josh teaches at California College of the Arts’ renowned MBA program in Design Strategy and is Principal of the brand consultancy Great Monday. Great Monday helps companies with culture design because the team has found that when employees know why they work, they are more motivated, more invested, and are happier doing it. His book “Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture Employees Love” will be published in 2018 with McGraw-Hill Education.

Josh met with us to discuss what a great corporate culture looks like, why it’s important, and how to achieve it.

Corporate Culture Q&A

1. What defines a great culture?
A great culture is a high bar. When everyone from executives to employees to contractors understands a company’s purpose and values—the why and how’s—and make choices based on those, you are on your way. Purpose is the reason a company is in business beyond making money. Values are the three to five shared beliefs that guide behaviors.

2. Why is culture so important for a company’s brand?
Today culture *is* the brand. As social media and the internet more broadly continue to shorten the distance between the inside of a company and the external world of customers, employee and organizational choices are more exposed. If you attempt to convince communities through “brand marketing” of a story not aligned with what’s happening on the inside you’ll get called out, and fast.

3. What is “culture design” exactly?
It’s the two-part process we use to help our clients find, tell, and live their story. First, a company needs to establish and codify behavioral expectations by defining their unique purpose and set of values. Then they create the tools with which they manage their culture—new practices that help employees understand, connect to, and embody those culture touchstones. Through the process, the organization has created a living document we call the “culture code.”

4. How does culture affect communication and operations?
For the business, culture is about empowering choices that move it towards its goals faster. If we all know why we are here (purpose), and how we should get there (values), we have more context for how we should work with one another, prioritize strategies, and make more effective decisions— communications and operations included.

5. What is the ROI of culture?

There are a few ways to get to this question.


You can estimate employee lifetime value, or ELTV, which looks at how even marginal increases in speed to onboard, productivity, and tenure generates exponential gains for the company.


The rate of employee turnover can be useful because it can be tracked so easily. Multiply how many employees left in the past year by 25-50% of their annual salary, and you have a good sense of what your cost of turnover is. Not all those departures can be attributed to culture alone, of course.

To increase fidelity of this metric, leaders need to look at the qualitative data from off-boarding conversations. Which of those had themes like discontent, lack of opportunity, or managerial issues? Those are culture related. Just like any survey, the longer this number is tracked and measured, the more useful it becomes.

Employee Sentiment

Employee sentiment is a great one if you have enough data points. The mistake most companies make here is the annual employee survey. That’s too much too late. Instead, spread your questions out over time. Monthly or even quarterly single question polls keep response quantity and quality high. If you can only ask one question my favorite is “how likely are you to recommend working at this company to your friends or family?”


Even increases or decreases of mentions on social media regarding customer experiences can be looked to as measurable impressions.

The assumption underlying all of these is that investments in improving culture increases employee engagement which improves customer satisfaction and the bottom line. There’s a lot of variables in there so none of these are perfect, but they all can be useful.

6. What are the easiest ways to improve a company’s culture?
Start small. There’s no need to try to change an entire organization to make a difference. Think of how you’d like your sphere of influence, the 10-20-30 people that you interact with most, to start behaving and embody that. You have to be the culture change you wish to see in your world.

Beekeeper is an employee engagement and team communication app that caters to non-desk workforces. Our customers such as Marriott, Heathrow Airport, and Seaboard Foods experienced immediate operational improvements and elevated corporate culture.

Sign up for your free trial of the Beekeeper team communication app to see the benefits for yourself.

Beekeeper Launches Read Receipts in Chat Messages

Beekeeper Launches Read Receipts in Chat Messages

You’ll start noticing an improvement in chat messages in the Beekeeper team communication app. Since one-on-one and group chats are a heavily used feature, we wanted to improve the chat experience for our customers. This is one we’ve been excited to launch for a long time!

When you send chat messages, do you ever wonder if they are being read? Now you don’t have to. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1:1 message or a group chat, read receipts in chats tell you which colleagues have read your message and which ones still haven’t. For group chats with the Beekeeper team communication app, click on a message to access a “Message Info” box, to see more information.

This feature is critical for ensuring important or time-sensitive information is read, and, if not, you can follow up with the appropriate contact. It also creates an extra level of accountability as colleagues will be more likely to respond if they know coworkers can see if the message has been read.

Read Receipt Markers

To familiarize you with the new UI, here’s a picture of the possible states and how they’ll appear:

Sending – Message is sending

status: sending message

Sent – Message was received by server, but not yet read

status: message sent

Partially Read – Some, but not all users have read the message

status: partially sent

Read – Message was read by all chat participants

status: message read

Below is the “Message Info” box we mentioned to find out who read your messages.

Beekeeper Message Info Box

Additional Capabilities Coming Soon

There are many other exciting features in the pipeline to continue our journey enhancing the chat experience. Soon you will see a notification at the bottom of the screen when colleagues are typing so you are aware of an incoming message and don’t type over each other.

Additionally, we’re developing a way to help you sort through your unread messages with the “Chat Marker” feature. Every time you enter a chat that has unread messages, it will automatically direct you to the last message you read, giving you the opportunity to catch up on what you missed.

Hopefully this is a useful feature for your day-to-day communication and operations. And if not, you can deactivate it at any time. To deactivate the feature, go to to your Dashboard Settings or contact your Customer Success Manager for assistance.

For more information about Beekeeper and specific features, check out our Help Center or contact us. Let us know how you’re using the platform with your digital workforce and what other improvements or features you’d like to see.

Join Us For “Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement” Webinar

Join Us For “Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement” Webinar

Last year we partnered with “Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer for 2017,” Jill Christensen, for a Q&A about the hot topic of employee engagement. Due to an overwhelming number of requests for more information on this subject, Jill is participating in our Bee School educational series designed to help leaders run successful teams.

We recently finished a 6-class leadership course taught by an MBA professor, and now we’re going to continue the initiative with a webinar hosted by Jill titled, “If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement.”

Who is Jill Christensen?

With three decades of consulting, speaking, and global Fortune 500 executive-level experience under her belt, Jill has dedicated her career to engaging employees to improve productivity, retention, customer satisfaction, and revenue growth with clients like AT&T, Nokia, Crocs, and Novartis. She is Founder/President of Jill Christensen International, a best-selling author, and international keynote speaker, and led Global Internal Communications at Avaya and Western Union.

Her view is radically different—she believes that although Human Resources “owns” culture change, they do not own culture change. Employees will not re-engage unless senior leaders and managers change the way they lead the company and their teams.

Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement

According to Jill’s research, organizations in the top tier of employee engagement outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share and have a 90% better growth trend than their competition. However, 87% of workers are not engaged, which is a huge missed opportunity. Jill teaches business leaders how to inspire employees to get off the sidelines and into the game.

In her webinar, “If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement,” she explains her four-step strategy to turn your disengaged workforce into a unified, high-performing team. The results? Increased profits, customer satisfaction, productivity, and retention. No matter the industry, employee engagement is crucial for your bottom line.

What You Will Learn

You’re guaranteed to leave the session with:

  1. A new perspective on employee disengagement and the number 1 reason employees don’t engage.
  2. An innovative, proven four-step strategy you can apply immediately to re-engage employees.
  3. Tactics to engage senior leaders in employee engagement.
  4. Clarity on next steps and inspiration to achieve your goals.


Format: Webinar with a Q&A portion at the end.
When: Two sessions will be held January 31st 2pm EST (New York) & February 1st 2pm CET (Berlin)

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