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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.



How a Better Employee Experience Enhances the Guest Experience

In the hospitality industry, every business’ main focus is to provide the perfect guest experience by delivering better service than the competition. But what if businesses could improve their guest experience by focusing on a different area entirely, like employee experience, through adopting digital workplace tools?

As it turns out, businesses with a strong employee experience overlap with businesses with a strong guest experience. Happy employees equate to happy guests because happiness is contagious. So, how should a hospitality business improve its employee experience and implement digital workplace communication tools with an eye towards getting the downstream benefits of more satisfied guests?

The Digital Workplace: A Catalyst for Guest Satisfaction By Satisfying Employees

The answer lies in merging information technology with the right communication tools. The more connected your team is to each other, the easier their jobs will be and the happier they’ll be—all while serving guests faster and more effectively.

Using a team communication app is key if you’re interested in building a connected workplace that provides a solid employee experience. When your team uses a workplace app that improves their ability to communicate seamlessly, there are fewer barriers to providing an excellent guest experience.

How Can Employee Apps Help Connect Teams?

Team communication apps can connect teams in a few different ways:

  • Track who is doing which ongoing tasks (like cleaning)
  • Track who is doing one-off tasks (like helping guests who request another bed or
    towels)
  • Provide a place for team leaders to discuss issues or ask questions to management
  • Provide a place for remote internal communication among employees

A good team communication app will have all of the above features, and more. Little bells and whistles like providing informal “Good job!” tokens are also a nice touch that the best workplace apps provide.

Using Team Communication Apps To Improve the Employee Experience

Other features of a strong team communication app include workplace automation, one-to-one messaging, project tracking, and file sharing.

Screenshot of a mobile device showing HR materials being shared with an employee through group messaging.

In the hospitality industry, most employees will likely get the most use out of a workplace app that allows for mobile collaboration while on-the-move to avoid time-consuming physical meetings. This means the one-to-one and group messaging features that a team uses to communicate a need to be user-friendly and easy-to-use for mobile workers and your on-site workforce.

How Workplace Apps Automate Tasks or Employee Success

Additionally, automated tasks are a critical part of hospitality industry information technology, and they can do a lot to improve your employee experience and thereby improve your guest experience. Certain key daily tasks, like doing the laundry, are easy to delegate and assign into separate sub-tasks with the right communication tools.

A workplace app that creates and assigns the “laundry” task to the designated team makes managers’ jobs easier and makes work more predictable for the laundry team, too. For other teams that rely on the output of the laundry team—clean laundry—to do their job, having an automated workplace app that notifies them when the laundry team has finished their work expedites the internal communication process.

Far from isolating workers, the right workplace app eliminates microtasks like asking the laundry team if they’re done with the laundry, which significantly impacts both employee experience and guest experience for the better.

Interested in how a team communication app like Beekeeper can improve employee and guest experiences alike? Schedule a free demo.



Employee Engagement Q&A With Jill Christensen

Employee Engagement Q&A With Jill Christensen

Author, speaker, and employee engagement expert Jill Christensen responds to questions from our Bee School webinar, “If Not You, Who? Cracking the Code of Employee Disengagement.” In this session, she reveals how employee engagement drives business success. She also provides a thorough action plan to start the conversation about how better internal communication workforce solutions like Beekeeper can improve employee engagement within your company.

Employee Engagement Q&A Session

Q: If the employee is in the wrong chair [not a suitable role], should the organization try and place them in a more suitable chair or different department or get rid of them?

JC: This is something we see organizations do all of the time. I call it “moving the deck chairs on the Titanic.” If you have an employee who is truly mismatched for their role, and there is not another role in the company where they are a good fit, you need to think about what that person’s skills are. If they are in marketing, that person may be really good at sales or communications. If this person is an accountant, chances are there isn’t another role inside your organization outside the finance department. If this person has extraordinary skills in what they do, but that person’s position is eliminated and there isn’t another position like that in your organization, that might be an opportunity to release them because their skills are in finance and there is not a finance role open in your organization.

However, if the person has a great attitude and was great at their job but their job is being eliminated or they want to try something different, then I would absolutely move them to a different place within your organization.

When you have an employee who is incompetent at their job and there is no other job that is a good fit for them in your company, and if they cannot grow and improve, they need to be removed. The situation could also be that a person is great at their job, but their attitude is negative. If you talk with them and let them know they need to improve their attitude but they’re not doing that, and their performance plan has not worked, I highly recommend you remove them from your organization because they’re bringing down other engaged workers. I understand it’s difficult to do, but trust me when I tell you the employee is going to land in another organization in another company and they’re going to be fine.

I’m encouraging you to say, “We should invest in ensuring people are a good culture fit and are amazing at their jobs,” because as you try to engage employees and create an amazing culture, you simply cannot afford to have people amongst you who are in the wrong chair. Use my four-step process to achieve sustainable engagement.

four step process for employee engagement

Q: How do you measure employee engagement?


JC: The best way to measure employee engagement is to conduct an employee engagement survey. There are many employee engagement surveys that exist in the marketplace; I highly recommend you don’t create your own survey. You cannot piece together questions that you have seen on other employee engagement surveys and believe that your survey is statistically significant and valid unless it has been created by scientists and statisticians.

Your employee engagement survey needs to be rubber-stamped by people that do this for a living. Run a search on “employee engagement survey” to find these. If you would like me to help you find the survey that is right for the size of your organization, please reach out to me or look into Beekeeper. Once you send your employee engagement survey to all employees, you’re going to get a certain number of responses back, and that number is the percent of employees who are engaged.

Q: How do I approach senior leaders if they don’t think there is a problem?


JC: One easy way to approach this is to conduct an employee engagement survey because then it’s not just you communicating with senior leaders that there is a problem. It’s arming you with data about your company, where employees are saying, “Houston, we have a problem.” This way it’s not anecdotal; it’s your employees saying, “We don’t like the culture; we don’t think our senior leaders communicate well; we don’t understand the organization’s values; we don’t feel like compensation is where it needs to be, and we don’t feel like we have the resources to do our job.”

Now if you’re going to say, “My senior leaders won’t allow us to conduct an employee engagement survey because they don’t think there is a problem,” what I would do is show senior leaders the data and the correlation between employee engagement and profitable revenue growth. Ask some of the following questions: Is the company where they want it to be? If the customer satisfaction level is where they want it to be, is employee retention as high as they would like? Are revenues high, and is the company growing as fast as they want it to?

If the answer to any of those questions is “no,” then the answer lies in looking at the company’s culture, how things are done, and the work environment. This means your employees are not as productive or creative as they could be, not staying as long, and are not providing great levels of customer satisfaction. Unless you have an extraordinary workforce, or your workplace is known around the globe for being amazing, chances are you have work to do.

This is about empowering you with the courage to go to your senior leadership team and say, “If our organization isn’t exactly where you want it to be on all these levels, then we have an opportunity to improve. We know employee engagement creates an amazing culture and can drive improvement so we have nothing to lose by conducting an employee engagement survey to see where we are.”

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




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.




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.



Bee School Leadership and Followership QA

Bee School Session 6: “Leadership and Followership” Q&A

Class is dismissed! Sadly, Bee School has ended with Dr. Herkenhoff’s lecture on “Leadership and Followership,” but we have a few more insights to share. This educational series has been a great success and we couldn’t have done it without your participation!

Leadership

In the final session titled “Leadership and Followership,” Dr. Herkenhoff explains the qualities of each, why they are essential, and how to improve in both areas. First, she dives into leadership—the act of guiding and directing others. She explains the differences between formal and informal leadership, and identifies the four types of leaders with examples, pros, and cons of each.

Leadership Styles

leadership styles

Expanding on her last lecture on “Emotional Intelligence,” she reveals her research findings that good leaders have the technical know-how and high IQ, but great leaders have those and a high EQ. That is the ultimate differentiator, along with knowing how to build communities.

Below are what she deems as the most important leadership skills:

  • Tolerance for ambiguity
  • Frazzle factor (stress)
  • Risk-taking
  • Feedback
  • Remember: People join companies, but leave managers. Be a great manager and you will retain your people.

    Followership

    On the flip side of leadership, followership is the process of being guided and directed. Many people consider the term “follower” as negative, but that it simply not the case. Effective followers have the power to improve organizations and influence their leaders. We are all followers at some point, so these skills are essential for each and every one of us.

    The professor outlines the four types of followers and pros and cons of each to prove her case.

    Type of Followers
    Types of Followers

    There were two great questions asked during the presentation and below are Dr. Herkenhoff’s responses. If you have any further questions or feedback about Bee School, or want us to send you the recording, email us at beeschool@beekeeper.io.

    Q&A with the Professor

    1. Do good leaders need to be good followers?

    Absolutely. Being a good follower doesn’t make you a sheep. There are many traits learned as a follower that make better leaders.

    Collaboration is the key to success. Leaders who have learned how to work with people and bring out the best in them will create a strong culture and have an easier time motivating teams to accomplish goals. Similar to collaboration, diplomacy means knowing how to get along with those who have differences while not ignoring those differences. Leaders can’t afford to be oblivious to the attitudes surrounding them.

    It is this awareness that is learned while being a follower that allows leaders to take into account their various audiences including colleagues, board members, customers, and coworkers. A good leader knows each of their stakeholder groups well enough to know what it will take to bring them along for the ride.

    Collaboration, diplomacy, and awareness are great, but critical thinking and knowing when to stand up to their leaders is an admirable trait learned as a follower. It is this motivation, intelligence, and competence that inspires followership.

    Standing up to your leaders at every point in your career when you think things are heading in the wrong direction takes courage. This requires critical thinking and awareness of the situation to get your point across with the conviction and energy needed to change what is wrong, as well as support a leader or manager who is doing things well.

    2. What is the best process for delivering and receiving feedback?

    Delivering feedback is one of the most difficult things for people to do, so when you receive feedback, the first thing you should say is “thank you.” The courage that it takes to give any feedback is significant. The fact someone took the time and effort to make you better deserves to be treated with appreciation.

    After receiving feedback and thanking the person, take a minute to reflect and do your best to remove your personal emotions from any response. If you need more time to digest the feedback, let the person know you would like to sleep on their comments before responding.

    Giving feedback can be accomplished in three simple statements:

    1. Deliver the data – not your opinions.
    2. Let the person know how this made you feel.
    3. State your wish for how you would like to see things changed for the future. If this is a manager giving performance feedback, this is the time to also deliver a fitting consequence if the situation is not resolved.

    Here is an example:

    1. Mary, last week in our team meeting I requested you submit your TPS report by this Monday. It is Wednesday and I still haven’t seen your report.
    2. I am frustrated that I wasn’t heard asking for the report or informed about a delay in the process of delivering it to me.
    3. My wish for the future is that you meet deadlines that are asked of you or you communicate in advance why you can’t meet the deadline. I would like this report submitted by noon tomorrow. If I do not receive your reports on time, I will not approve your future requests to leave a few minutes early.

    You can finish by thanking the person for accepting your feedback and be willing for it to work the other way around (minus the consequences part).

    Bee School may be over, but we have another webinar around the corner! Sign up for the next one with employee engagement expert, Jill Christensen, who will share her four-step strategy to immediately engage employees.



Best Practices for Employee Satisfaction Surveys

Why 73 Questions Only Works for Vogue: Best Practices for Employee Satisfaction Surveys

You may have seen Vogue’s famous “73 Questions Answered by Your Favorite Celebs” video series, which got us thinking about how 73 questions could apply to something we are experts in—employee satisfaction surveys!

Voque asks their favorite personalities 73 questions to see what they like, dislike, and share their knowledge, and employee satisfaction surveys accomplish a similar goal. (Although, we think 73 questions is too many for a survey—but more on that later.) Employee surveys are designed to gauge likes, dislikes, and satisfaction levels across the organization and ensure everyone is aligned as much as possible.

In November, Sarah Deane, Experience Design expert and Founder of EffectUX, sat down with Beekeeper CEO, Cris Grossmann, for a Q&A session about how to develop the most effective employee satisfaction surveys. The article was published in the Huffington Post to share best practices with readers so every organization can have the right tools to gather meaningful feedback to make organizational improvements.

Article Preview


With employee disengagement numbers being shown at near 70%, more and more organizations are looking at how they can create better workplace cultures to engage their workforce in meaningful ways, and for good reason. Workforces with higher levels of engagement have been found to be more profitable, have less turnover, and have increased customer loyalty. The business case for engagement is clear – it has been found that disengaged employees cost the American economy up to $350 billion per year due to lost productivity.

To test Beekeeper’s mobile platform and try the employee satisfaction survey feature, fill out the form below for a free trial.


Bee School Session 5: “Emotional Intelligence” Q&A

Bee School Session 5: “Emotional Intelligence” Q&A

Everyone knows what an IQ is, but not many know what an EQ (emotional quotient) is and why it’s critical for successful leadership. This week’s Bee School lecture focused on “Emotional Intelligence” which determines your EQ. This concept is defined as the ability to recognize and regulate your emotions and those of others around you. Emotional intelligence (EI) includes the following:
emotional intelligence chart

Although the term is relatively new, the concept has been around for a long time. MBA professor and host of the Bee School educational series has conducted a significant amount of research on the topic. She found most managers have roughly the same amount of technical skills, and what sets good managers apart from exceptional ones is a high EQ.

Results consistently showed this was the main differentiator and, by having these skills, managers could be miles ahead of the average manager. By honing these skills, you can relate to people of different backgrounds and bring out the best out in yourself and colleagues by being aware of behaviors and how they impact others.

Dr. Herkenhoff shared some of her own examples of how she used emotional intelligence to solve complex challenges at global organizations. Her findings showed there is a positive relationship between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction. It’s directly responsible for increased retention, productivity, confidence, innovation, and lower stress levels. Alternatively, a low EQ can result in a lack of commitment, loyalty, organizational values, safety, and poor customer service.

During the seminar, there were two questions for the professor and you’ll see her responses below. If you have any further questions about the class content or Bee School in general, email us at beeschool@beekeeper.io.

Q&A with the Professor

1. What do I do when I discover emotional destructive behavior from an employee? How do I address this issue in a dialogue?

This is a tricky question to answer without any background or context, but I’ll do my best. If the issues being brought into the workplace are personal in nature or have escalated to the point of potential physical threats, I would advise consulting your HR department or someone else within the organization to discuss a plan of action that would result in the best outcome for all parties.

I would also advise against getting into a deeply personal conversation with the person. You are a manager, not a therapist. Your goal is to help your employee find the resources they need to be happy and whole so they can successfully perform their job.

If the destructive behavior impacts others within the organization, it must be addressed before it becomes a spiral of negative or toxic energy within the organization. Focus on the merits of the issues and seek a win-win solution first.

If it’s not as serious in nature, take a step back and try to recognize where your colleague is coming from and understand their pain. You can look at the factors in Hofstede’s model to help fine-tune your response and determine the way that particular person would like to communicate.

Address these during in-person meetings as they have the richest context. Before the first meeting, I would document the performance issues you’ve noticed that are related to the destructive behavior and review each within the context of job performance. List dates and times of specific job issues followed by your wish for how these issues would be handled in the future.

Once you have the meetings, make it clear you understand their side and also articulate how negative emotions affect company operations as a whole. Maybe they didn’t realize the impact they’re having and how much you genuinely care about their happiness at work. Ask the employee if there is anything he or she needs to accomplish your wishes.

Be careful that you are not asking what you as a manager can do to get them there. It is up to the individual to make the decision to change and it is up to you to provide the resources, if possible, to help accomplish your wishes as well as theirs. It is not up to you to fix or take on the emotional burden of an employee. It is your job to identify the problem within the context of the workplace and work on a collaborative solution where you are supporting the employee, but not fixing the issue for them.

Once the issue has been discussed and the employee has expressed what they need to adjust their behavior, make a plan to revisit the conversation weekly to check in on progress.

Your goal should be to avoid:

  • Lost productivity
  • Theft
  • Sabotage
  • Lack of commitment
  • Lack of loyalty
  • Low personal safety
  • Perception bias- pessimistic outlook
  • Poor customer service
  • Toxic work environment

2. Does EQ take precedence over normal intelligence?

Depending on the job duties, a healthy mix of both should be there. When it comes to normal intelligence, employees should be able to adequately perform all of their job functions and have the ability to extend their scope to adjacent functions with ease. If the person can accomplish their role, the level of EQ can make the difference between a C player and an A player.

A players are a must on every team. Their self-awareness, empathy, adaptability, and self-confidence can be motivating and contagious for your B players striving to be A players. To excel as a leader, both are important. From my research, I’ve found managers are generally the same technically, but it’s the emotional intelligence that sets them apart and makes them the best leader.

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new eu gdpr significantly impacts any hotel with international guests

New EU GDPR Significantly Impacts Any Hotel With International Guests

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of buzz about the EU GDPR. In case you want a refresher, the EU General Data Protection Regulation was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe to protect citizens’ personal data and stand on a united front regarding every organization’s approach to security. It was approved on April 14, 2016 and companies are scrambling to comply since the regulation will be enforced May 25, 2018. Any companies that aren’t compliant will face heavy fines up to 4% of annual global turnover or $20 million Euros, whichever is greater.

If you work for a company outside the EU, you may think this doesn’t affect your data security standards—but think again. The GDPR doesn’t only affect companies in the EU. Any vendors and suppliers that work with countries in the EU must comply with the GDPR as well. This significantly impacts hotels as the majority have international customers, many of whom reside in the EU.

Beekeeper was recently featured on Asian Hospitality discussing the implications of the EU GDPR on hotels. Check out the full article to learn more about how this regulation affects your hospitality business.

Now is the time to assess your GDPR compliance and see what extra steps your organization needs to take to meet the deadline. Enter the form below to download Beekeeper’s 31-Point Assessment.