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Beekeeper Announces New Android Interface

The Beekeeper app for Android devices is getting a fresh new look and even simpler interface. The new user interface aligns more with the iPhone navigation, providing a better user experience and making it easier to help colleagues using a different device.

What is changing?

The main app navigation containing streams, chats, and notifications tabs moved to the bottom of the page. The tabs are marked not only with an icon, but also with a name so users can better understand which icons do what.

The stream will show you public posts for all colleagues. In the chats, you will find private conversations with one colleague, group chats, campaign announcements, and surveys. The notification will display all alerts you haven’t read yet.

New Beekeeper Android Interface

Additionally, the “More” tab (previously the app menu) moved from the top left to the bottom right of the screen. The icon changed from three horizontal lines to a square. This is where you can find information about the app and the customized navigation extensions that your organization might have set up for you.

In the top left corner you can find the stream switcher. Many organizations use multiple streams and here is where you can switch from one to the other.

Lastly, the stream information has remained in the top right corner, but you’ll need to tap the circled “i”, to view the stream details, suggested tags, and view who has access to that stream.

Why are we doing this?

We build our app using native Android and iPhone layouts to facilitate seamless navigation for our users. iPhone traditionally provides navigation at the bottom, while Android had it at the top of the screen. Google, who designs Android software, recently released a new navigation layout at the bottom of the screen that is more similar to the iPhone interface.

We monitored the way customers use the app and found the iPhone navigation was more intuitive. Our iPhone users were switching streams more frequently than Android users and also switch more frequently between chats and the app menu.

By aligning both versions of the app and changing to the iPhone navigation, we’re aiming to provide you with a better user experience.

To find helpful app information and FAQs, visit the Beekeeper Help Center.
Beekeeper is Digitizing the Non-Desk Workforce With Transformative Integrations

Beekeeper is Digitizing the Non-Desk Workforce With Transformative Integrations

Digitizing the non-desk workforce is a big movement since this employee demographic hasn’t been prioritized when it comes to the digital transformation. For five years we’ve been listening to our customers and evolving our platform to anticipate future workplace needs.

Today, non-desk employees don’t regularly have access to operational systems and communication channels in a mobile-first solution that actually works for them. And if they do, the business environment is cluttered with so many different systems it makes workflows more confusing than they need to be.

We’re here to change that. Today.

Imagine a world where you didn’t have to open a bunch of different platforms to get your job done. A world where you could just open a single app that had all your operational systems and communication channels in one place.

Sounds like a workplace productivity machine.

Enter Beekeeper Integrations

Our mission is to digitize the non-desk workforce so everyone has access to colleagues and systems they need to get their jobs done more efficiently (and with more personality). The goal of Beekeeper integrations is to revolutionize productivity and facilitate high individual and team performance. All while keeping employees engaged, happy, and empowered.

We’re thrilled to announce Beekeeper 2.0 with the launch of two flexible forms of operational system integrations.

1. Marketplace Integrations

The Beekeeper Marketplace is an integration hub that enables organizations to design and implement highly customized digital workplace platforms for their employees. These off-the-shelf integrations are completely user-ready from the get go.

This gives non-desk employees a simplified, secure, and easy-to-use tool where anything a particular worker needs to excel in their daily routine is stored in one convenient location. You can integrate with common systems like Sharepoint, Box, and various HR software, request an app, or connect your own software to Beekeeper.

2. Custom Integrations

Connecting to your legacy systems is not only convenient, it allows management to gain access to more data and get better insights that guide operational improvements and growth. Beekeeper’s open API gives IT teams the ability to create custom connectors and integrations, saving time and resources compared to building proprietary systems.

Our customers love Beekeeper’s intuitive interface so much that they wanted to carry it across all the systems they integrate with. They’re merging their existing operational systems like payroll, scheduling, file sharing, task management, and much more into the centralized Beekeeper app. Employees already use the app to communicate throughout the work day, and now enjoy using it more operationally.

The Beekeeper Developer Portal allows organizations with deeper technological resources to make these robust integrations even more customizable. Between expanded APIs and the eternally elastic resources available on the Beekeeper Developer Portal, the possibilities with custom integrations are limitless.

Evolution is a Great Thing

Don’t worry, none of the feel-good features are going away. In fact, we are always working toward improving those features too. Our core product is an industry-leading communication tool, and by adding operational functionality through custom integrations, there are unlimited possibilities to digitize the non-desk workforce.

We just wanted to make our customers lives a bit easier by giving them everything they need in the palm of their hands. Let your hive thrive!

Schedule a demo so our app experts can walk you through Beekeeper’s integrations. Don’t see one you need? Request your own and we can add it to our Marketplace.
3 Warning Signs of Declining Employee Morale

3 Warning Signs of Declining Employee Morale

Your employees power your business, and ensuring employee morale is high is critical for helping workers maintain their productivity. Running a successful business means viewing your employees as a core asset, and morale serves as a measure of their satisfaction with their work.

Experienced managers know what studies have consistently shown: Satisfied employees are more productive than those who dread coming to work. It can be easy to miss out on early warning signs that morale is dropping, and failing to take steps early on can lead to more difficult problems in the future.

Here are three signs employee morale is dropping and a few tips for fixing the problem early.

Negativity

Work almost always causes a bit of stress for workers, and it’s common for employees to feel frustrated on occasion. However, studies have consistently shown that it only takes a single employee to cause this frustration to spread throughout the workplace, and these negative feelings can quickly lead to drained morale in the workplace.

Make sure to provide ways for employees to leave feedback and criticism for management, and let them know your company takes this feedback seriously. If the negativity is caused by poor management, make sure to address these issues with employees and find out if you’re doing enough to solve the problem.

It is very important to promote a positive and motivating workplace atmosphere as much as possible. Always make sure that everyone involved has a complete understanding of the overall vision of the organization, while trying to accomplish their individual goals.

Confusion

A major part of running a business successfully is ensuring everyone is on the same page. Workers need to have consistent access to job-related information and feedback, and it’s important to deliver information in a timely manner. When this order begins to break down, it’s common for employees to feel drained, and this lack of energy can lead to even more confusion, creating a self-sustaining problem.

Look for signs that employees are having trouble navigating their day-to-day activities, and find out if overall productivity is starting to drop. It’s common to find confusion in the office when bringing in new employees or when hiring new people in management positions. If your business operates seasonally, workers might become confused when demand picks up.

One of the keys for fighting confusion and maintaining your office morale is to focus on your hierarchy in the workplace. Ensure everyone knows their roles, and make sure your managers feel empowered to make decisions and delegate to others. If productivity has dropped, spend some time with your workers to find out where the bottleneck is. Small problems can snowball into confusion easily, so keep an eye out for warning signs.

Exhaustion

Those in management positions want their workers being productive at all times, and many try to find ways to increase employee productivity. However, too much work can cause workers unneeded stress on the job, which can lower productivity and cause them to make mistakes.

Even worse, being overworked and stressed out can affect workers’ personal lives, which can lead to poor sleep, health issues and distractions while on the job. Poor sleep has been shown to have a profound effect on work performance and lead to negative attitudes, which are clear signs of poor office morale. Work-related stress can also lead to high turnover, resulting in a less experienced workforce.

The key to preventing overworking on the job is encouraging employees to take breaks. Some workers try to minimize their break time to impress managers, so ensure your employees know they’re encouraged to take a break and refresh, and consider making breaks mandatory. Small breaks can be helpful as well; a five-minute breather after completing certain tasks, for example, can help your employees stay refreshed throughout their shifts. If your employees work alone, finding ways to help them take breaks together can help them remain focused.

Another factor to consider is vacation time. While paid time off is a significant expense, providing vacation time also lets employees recharge away from the office, which can result in higher overall productivity.

Workplace morale is key for ensuring your employees are productive, but it can be more difficult to maintain good morale once it starts to slip. Make sure your business regularly measures office morale, and include employees on these conversations. Encourage employees to be honest; workers are sometimes reluctant to report problems, so assure them you’re interested in their feedback. View maintaining your morale as part of running a successful business, and feel free to make investments if it will lead to a happier and more productive workforce. Guaranteed you’ll see the return.

Interested in learning more about improving employee morale and boosting productivity in your organization? Schedule a free personal demo with our app experts today.
Bay Area Council Economic Institute Highlights Beekeeper as a Successful Silicon Valley Company

Bay Area Council Economic Institute Highlights Beekeeper as a Successful Silicon Valley Company

The Bay Area Council Economic Institute recently published a report titled “Innovation Bridge: Technology, Startups, and Europe’s Connection to Silicon Valley,” with a spotlight on Beekeeper!

Innovation Bridge Report

The meticulous report delves into why so many European startups make their way to Silicon Valley and highlights numerous success stories, including Beekeeper. Leaders of many government agencies, universities, accelerators, venture firms, and private companies contributed their insights. The Institute’s knowledge partners, including Mind the Bridge, RocketSpace, Factory, and Tech.eu. also provided key data to enrich the study.

As a global startup that was founded in Zurich, Switzerland and is now dual-headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Beekeeper was given a spotlight. On page 41, you’ll learn about our fearless CEO, how Beekeeper came to be, the investors who helped get us here, and a few of our wonderful hospitality customers.

Bay Area Council Economic Institute

Since 1990, the Bay Area Council Economic Institute has been the leading think tank focused on the economic and policy issues facing the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area, the world’s leading center for technology and innovation. A valued forum for stakeholder engagement and a respected source of information and fact-based analysis, the Institute is a trusted partner and adviser to both business leaders and government officials.

Through its economic and policy research and its many partnerships, the Institute addresses major factors impacting the competitiveness, economic development and quality of life of the region and the state, including infrastructure, globalization, science and technology, and health policy. We are honored to be mentioned in one of their reports!

With over 80 employees in four countries, we are growing quickly! If you’re interested in joining the Beekeeper team on our quest to digitize the non-desk workforce, view our job listings on our Career page.
Benefits communication - get higher open enrollment participation

Benefits Communication: Get Higher Open Enrollment Participation

If you’re in HR, you know open enrollment is just around the corner starting November 1. Open enrollment can be an extremely stressful and overwhelming time for management and employees alike. These periods are the only time employees can enroll in benefits or make changes, resulting in a lot of pressure on both sides of the fence.

Although open enrollment is critical, employees don’t fully understand the process or actual benefits available. Therefore, benefits communication is often ignored.

When employees miss the deadline, it creates more administrative work and can lead to disgruntled, unproductive employees. To prevent these issues, it’s important to get the highest open enrollment participation—and the key to that is through effective benefits communication.

Plan Ahead

To get the highest participation rate, you have to plan your benefits communication in advance. People need to know well ahead of time the opportunities that will be made available to them.

Start by ensuring colleagues receive a comprehensive overview of the benefits offerings, including their portion of the cost. Notify employees of open enrollment meetings a month prior so they can schedule accordingly. Don’t forget to allow enough time for management to submit enrollment changes to insurance providers and verify enrollment was successful.

Employees need ample time to review educational materials and consult with family members in order to make informed decisions. You may be thinking, “What educational materials?” which leads us to our next point…

Offer Education

Let’s face it, “I completely understand my ever-changing healthcare benefits” is likely not something you’ll hear from any employee. Because of this, employees frequently bypass making changes during the open enrollment window. It’s an employer’s job to make sure employees have all the tools to make informed decisions by the deadline.

Plan and implement a benefits education program complete with seminars/webinars, personal consultations with experts, one-on-one meetings with HR representatives, and any other options that suit your organization. These educational opportunities will help demystify the open enrollment process and make employees feel more confident in their decisions.

Although it seems like more planning now, it will save a lot of headache down the road. More knowledge will lead to less confusion and higher participation rates. Ideally, you can repurpose these educational materials with minor tweaks as benefits change so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel twice a year. It will also help alleviate call volume and surprise visits by confused employees.

Communicate Potential Consequences

To get a high participation rate, employees need to understand what happens if they miss open enrollment. By communicating potential consequences, employees are more likely to take the deadline seriously. It’s not meant to be a scare tactic, it’s simply the reality of what could happen.

Potential consequences include not receiving any benefits (if enrolling for the first time), dependents being dropped or not added, or dropped coverage altogether. All of these scenarios can have a significant financial impact on the employee.

According to an Aflac Workforces Report, 60% of employees haven’t tried to learn about health reform on their own. And 75% expect their employer to notify them of any changes in health care coverage due to health care reform.

In a nutshell, a company’s benefits communications may be the only source of information employees receive, so it’s important to arm them with plenty of information and support.

Use an Accessible Platform

We’ve discussed what to communicate, but what is the best distribution method? Email is widely used for benefits communication, however, it’s often ignored or doesn’t reach the entire workforce. 83% of the global workforce consists of non-desk workers—many who don’t have corporate email addresses— so they’re left out of these vital communications.

If employees aren’t using a computer, there’s a good chance they’re on their smartphones. Custom mobile internal communication apps are a great way to reach all or part of your teams in real time. In addition to quick messaging, you can schedule automated reminders, send confirmation campaigns, and automate workflows, while still remaining personalized.

There are many more ways to improve employee benefits communication with mobile. Colleagues will appreciate benefits communication in bite-sized chunks that are more easily digestible than thick blocks of email text.

Ask for Feedback

The best way to get high enrollment participation is to simply ask employees what information they want and how they want to receive it. They may prefer it being distributed in a different way than you’re providing, or may have follow-up questions that can be addressed during feedback periods.

Employee surveys are a great way to clarify benefits options and the open enrollment process. And it has never been easier with mobile surveying technology that allows you to create and send in mere minutes. Employee surveys demonstrate that you’re dedicated to making the process as convenient as possible—potentially reducing the number of employees that miss open enrollment.

For more information on how to improve employee benefits communication, download our white paper. Or talk to one of our app experts by filling out the form below.
top 10 international events for CIOs

Top 10 International Events for CIOs

Although organizations are still recovering from the economic downturn freezing or cutting budgets, they’re regaining strength and global IT spending is expected to increase in the coming years. The economy has started swinging in the right direction, however, there is still a ways to go.

A CIO’s role is more important than ever as digital continues to drive and even replace manual processes. Business goals have changed and CIO’s are tasked with finding emerging opportunities paving the way for the digital transformation.

Topics like ROI, cybersecurity, AI, and collaboration are top of mind for any CIO. To remain at the forefront of innovation and find the latest technology solutions, it’s crucial to attend events with other industry leaders. Finding the right event for your company can be a time-consuming process. That’s why we’ve done the work for you!

Here are the top 10 international events for CIOs:

1. Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner is the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company. Every year they host the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, specifically designed for CIOs and Senior IT executives. Held on November 5-9 in Barcelona, Spain, 6,000+ Gartner analysts, industry experts, solution providers, CIOs and senior IT executives will discuss the digital transformation and key topics surrounding technology, leadership, and business strategy. Featured speakers include Gartner analysts and business leaders from top companies like Amazon and SAP.

Here you’ll find a wealth of networking opportunities and be able to share best practices across all industries. With 130+ solution providers filling the ITxpo showcase, you’re bound to find solutions that will work perfectly for your team. Perhaps the most valuable and unique benefits are the CIO story sessions and one-on-ones with 140+ Gartner analysts. The CIO story sessions feature CIOs who share practical examples putting their own digital leadership into practice. The one-on-one meetings allow you to get personal, tailored advice and help you explore new ways to approach critical challenges.

2. CIO Summit

The CIO Summit, hosted by CDM Media, is their flagship event where IT leaders and strategists meet to tackle industry challenges and explore developing trends. Happening November 12-14, 2017 at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Arizona, the CIO Summit agenda offers a balanced schedule of focused educational sessions, keynote speeches, open forums, panel discussions, think tanks, and one-on-one meetings designed to inspire and put theory into action. This is the perfect chance to meet IT executives from industries including, but not limited to, healthcare, telecom, education, finance, and government.

Speakers include CIOs from big names like Volvo, CBS, Mastercard, McKesson and many more. If networking is your game, there’s no lack of networking opportunities, even after the day’s events are over. You can even watch the event’s golf tournament to get better acquainted with attendees. You’ll leave the event with new contacts and ideas to spearhead new IT initiatives.

3. Oracle OpenWorld

Considered the industry’s most important business and technology conference, Oracle OpenWorld has it all, including live performances by Ellie Goulding and Usher. Coming up October 1-5 in the world’s tech capital, San Francisco, CA, at OpenWorld you’ll see tens of thousands of attendees all there to gain valuable insights into trends and leverage the cloud for innovation and growth.

If you’re looking for a huge event rather than an intimate environment, this is the place to be. With more than 2,500 educational sessions led by Oracle customers and partners, you’ll get to hear their first-hand experiences and be inspired to bring learnings back to your own company. Focus areas include app development, AI, customer experience, big data and analytics, IoT, security, IT operations and so much more. After seeing hundreds of demos, interactive labs, and exhibitions, you’ll walk away with new knowledge about cloud technologies and maybe even bring home a new solution for your teams.

4. Intra.NET Reloaded

Intra.NET Reloaded is the perfect place to see how intranets, the digital workplace, and internal communications work together to optimize business processes. The demand for mobile, cloud, and collaboration is growing as businesses scale, and this event aims to prepare for that transition. Everyone who is in the internal communication and digital workplace scene will be there, either in Boston (April 26-27, 2018)or London (November 27-28, 2017).

You’ll walk away with more practical knowledge than you thought possible. Gain insights on how to develop and integrate a customized employee intranet that is both informative and engaging and organize cross-unit collaboration projects. Experts will teach you how to create purposeful and engaging content, find solutions to your intranet challenges, and exchange best practices on how to set up an integrated social collaboration and communication infrastructure. All the skills and contacts you’ll gain will help you transform from a traditional intranet to a successful global digital workplace.

5. Enterprise Mobility Transformation Exchange

If your specific interest is in mobile IT, the Enterprise Mobility Transformation Exchange is for you. This is an invitation-only forum held in both the U.S. and Europe where C-Suite, VPs and Directors of Mobile, IT, Architecture, Field Service, Fleet Management, and Operations will meet to transform IT strategy. (Both event locations have passed this year, so be sure to look out for the 2018 dates.) Here you’ll learn what strategies and solutions other companies are implementing, partake in intimate workshops, and develop business partnerships through interactive networking. All with the aim of managing security risks, productivity, adoption, and innovation in your own company.

The best thing about this forum is that you can build your own agenda by selecting case studies, panel debates, interactive roundtable discussions, and one-on-one meetings that reflect your current priorities. That way, your time is only spent on what will individually benefit you. Be sure to request your invitation well in advance to get a spot!

6. Enterprise Business Collaboration

Collaboration is the glue that holds every successful organization together. It’s impossible to reach your full potential if all the puzzle pieces don’t fit together. If effective collaboration is something your company needs to work on, you should give this event some serious thought. Held at the Hotel Oderberger in Berlin, Germany, the Enterprise Business Collaboration is where 200+ technology, business, and communication professionals come together to discuss challenges and opportunities for mobile, video, social, messaging, and virtualization tools that drive seamless collaboration.

The digital workplace requires just as much collaboration as the physical workplace, if not more. This international knowledge exchange covers content management, digital workplace initiatives, internal IT architecture—all the pieces that enable effective collaboration and dictate processes. Keynote speakers include IT leaders from MIT, NASA, and SIEMENS, and the workshops, briefings, panel discussions, and interactive world cafe sessions are chock-full of information you’ll be excited to bring back to the office. And with the icebreaker session and networking dinner, you’ll finally get to connect with those hard-to-meet executives in a relaxed setting.

7. The European CIO Conference

With only 100 CIOs from large European organizations, the European CIO Conference is the most intimate CIO event you can go to. This two-day meeting November 29-30 at the Dorint Hotel in Wiesbaden, Germany is the annual flagship event put on by the European CIO Association. The “EuroCIO” is the only independent European not-for-profit representative for the large IT users, both private and public.

Not only are CIOs tasked with staying ahead of the ever-evolving IT industry, they also have to think about changing regulations and cybersecurity threats. This event prepares you for the seen and unforeseen challenges facing IT executives that threaten a company’s security and profitability. Workshops include topics about cybersecurity, how business innovation can be supported by IT, artificial intelligence (AI), how to manage IT speed-up, autonomic platforms, GDPR and beyond, and industries 4.0. You’ll walk away armed with knowledge to think strategically and tackle these issues head on.

8. Gigaom AI

AI has been a futuristic subject, but for CIOs, the future has been here for a few years already. It’s their job to use both machine learning and AI to pull ahead of the pack in their industries. Gigaom AI will prepare you for the AI revolution and tell you how to implement AI in your organization so you don’t fall behind. Keep an eye out for the 2018 dates.

As a CIO, you’re probably in charge of spearheading the digital transformation and that definitely includes AI as it’s the quickest way to scale your business. This event is one of the few focused on how AI is used now, how to get started using it, and how to optimize it if you’re already utilizing it. It’s also a good introduction to how other departments will be using AI in the future. AI experts will teach you to be an intelligent machine master, prepare for AI-based shadow IT, and learn how to be competitive using AI and machine learning. Additionally, you can sign up for the hands-on “Using AI” workshop to gain a deeper understanding.

9. ForbesLIVE CIO Summit

ForbesLIVE CIO Summit gives you special access to the world’s most influential leaders, policy-makers, entrepreneurs, and artists. With this collective knowledge and power, you’ll learn how to address critical issues that have been blocking your IT goals and solve them with solutions you’ve never thought of before. Since the event is hosted by Forbes, it’s not surprising the speakers are off the charts: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Sir Richard Branson, just to name a few.

This conference focuses on helping CIOs build their own network of CIOs, CEOs, and VCs to accelerate their path to innovation. It’s an invitation-only event with a limited guest list to maintain an intimate, personalized setting. Request to attend in advance to score a seat!

10. CIO 100

Watch out for the 2018 date because you won’t want to miss this powerful gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. CIO 100 is an annual conference that offers educational sessions around enterprise mobility, cloud, big data/analytics, social/collaboration tools, risk management, and disruptive technologies. Here you’ll achieve a fresh perspective and start evaluating new solutions to drive your company’s IT initiatives forward.

Included in the conference is the CIO 100 Award Ceremony and CIO Hall of Fame Induction, which honor CIOs who have implemented innovative strategies that greatly impacted their organizations. CIO 100 offers great networking opportunities with industry leaders who have profoundly shaped the IT/business landscape, demonstrating both creative vision and practical leadership in information technology. You’re guaranteed to leave inspired and with business cards from the most prominent men and women in the field.

To learn more about how a digital workplace and collaboration tool like Beekeeper can drive your IT initiatives, fill out the form below to schedule a free personal demo with our app experts.
improve benefits communication

Improve Employee Benefits Communication with a Mobile Workforce

Benefits have become an increasingly important consideration for workers. Many job seekers today are even willing to take a lower paying job that offers superior benefits over a higher salary with inferior benefits. However, effective benefits communication is lacking in many organizations.

Benefits are vital to employee welfare, as well as creating a sense of security and peace of mind. They can attract top talent, build trust, loyalty, and satisfaction, and benefits communication helps reduce turnover.

All of this sounds great right? Unfortunately, benefits packages have become increasingly complex so many people don’t fully understand all that is available to them. Some companies have found success in creating benefits packages tailored to different age brackets, but they still struggle to relay the relevant information to a diverse and distributed workforce.

Where’s the value in having benefits if employees don’t know what they are or how to use them? Here are a few tips on how to improve benefits communication with a mobile workforce:

Schedule automated reminders

Many benefits are centered around deadlines—the biggest example being open enrollment. This period is when workers are eligible to make changes to their healthcare benefits, making it one of the most important aspects of any successful benefits program.

Unfortunately, many HR departments struggle with getting colleagues to enroll or make changes on time. This is often due to employees, especially non-desk employees, not receiving vital information in a timely manner, including open enrollment deadlines.

The best way to ensure coworkers enroll on time is to start early and communicate often. Mobile communication is a great way to do this since you can set up automated notifications/reminders in small and easily digested messages and posts.

The most effective mobile communication platforms also allow for easy customization and personalization, allowing companies to target specific groups with language that will engage them. Ideal platforms also allow companies to see who is and isn’t engaging with the reminders. This gives HR departments insight into what works and what doesn’t, empowering them to improve their communication strategy.

Send confirmation campaigns

Read receipts are useful, but they don’t require confirmation that something has been read. For critical matters, such as participating in open enrollment, you need confirmation that a message or document has been read or a video has been viewed.

Confirmation campaigns provide an extra level of accountability and management knows for certain whether or not someone has seen it. If employees don’t take action, management will know they chose to ignore it and can either reach out or refer back to the campaign if they encounter complaints about missing a deadline.

Consistent communication is the key to success. Colleagues need to be reminded what the program offers with regular prompts, notifications, and other messages. Communication from the top level is also important as people will be more likely to participate if they know there is support from all levels of management.

Distribute employee surveys

One key way to improve benefits communication is by simply asking colleagues what is most convenient and useful for them. With a mobile platform, you can distribute polls and employee surveys to elicit quick feedback about current communications and how they can be more effective.

Creating employee surveys and compiling responses may sound time-intensive (and it is when physical questionnaires are involved), but new digital workplace tools make the process so easy you’ll wonder how you did it any other way.

You can create, distribute, and collect feedback in mere minutes using a pre-determined list of employees. If and when people don’t send responses, you can even automate reminders. Once everyone has completed the survey, all the data is captured in the analytics dashboard where you can analyze responses and come up with a strategy that works for everyone.

Or, if there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, employees can be segmented into targeted groups so they will receive more relevant content.

There are so many ways to use mobile technology in your benefits communication—and the right platform can ease or even automate the process. Not to mention your colleagues will appreciate the simplicity and ability to stay well-informed!

For more detailed information on this topic, download our white paper. If you’re ready to start improving benefits communication now, fill out the form below to receive a free personal demo.
Q+A with employee engagement expert and best selling author

Q+A With Employee Engagement Expert and Best-Selling Author

The most successful companies in the world have the highest levels of employee engagement, yet engagement initiatives are frequently put on the back burner. Or, they’re put solely in the hands of HR when senior leaders from every department should be involved.

What are the most effective ways to engage employees? How are operations and employee engagement related? What’s the cost of a disengaged workforce? We have a special guest here to tell you. Since employee engagement is such a hot topic, we’re honored to share insider knowledge from expert, Jill Christensen, who sat down with us to answer some questions.

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 was recently named a Top 100 Global Employee Engagement Influencer for 2017. She also led Global Internal Communications at Avaya and Western Union.

Needless to say, she has some great insights about challenges and solutions in the employee engagement department. Now let’s hear from Jill herself!

1. Why did you decide to dedicate your career to employee engagement?

As a consultant, I got the opportunity to work in many different industries. In virtually every company where I worked, employees were unhappy and the company operated in a dysfunctional manner. I thought to myself that someone needs to fix this, so I dedicated my career to teaching leaders how to change their cultures and re-engage employees.

2. Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.

I want to fix every broken business culture in the world, so I thought the best way to reach everyone is to write a book about how to re-engage employees and make it available on Amazon! My book, “If Not You, Who? How to Crack the Code of Employee Disengagement,” focuses on a proven four-step process to re-engage employees, which people can execute on immediately.

3. You were a judge and keynote speaker at the Employee Engagement Awards. What criteria do you look for in the winner?

The most important criteria is innovation. As a judge, I look for companies that have developed creative solutions to re-engage employees. In addition, I’m looking for sustainability. Employee engagement is not a program or an initiative. It’s a journey that lasts for decades, so I’m looking for companies that create and execute on a long-term strategic plan.

4. How are employee engagement and customer engagement related?

There is a direct correlation between employee engagement/satisfaction and customer engagement/satisfaction. When your employees are engaged, they go above and beyond the call of duty and give you a lot of digressionary effort, which flows through to the customer experience.

5. How are employee engagement and operations related?

Operations management involves ensuring that business operations are efficient in terms of using as few resources as needed and effective in terms of meeting customer requirements. When employees are engaging, they are more productive, efficient, and aware of customer needs. They are on the ball, on top of things, and make fewer mistakes, so clearly, a business will operate more effectively when your employees are running on all cylinders and giving it their all.

6. What are the biggest consequences of a disengaged workforce?

Decreased productivity, creativity, customer satisfaction, and retention; increased absenteeism, theft, mistakes, safety, and quality issues. And the granddaddy of them all? Stagnant or decreased revenue growth, because we know there is a direct correlation between engagement and bottom line results. The most profitable companies in the world, and the companies that are growing the fastest, have the highest levels of engagement.

7. What extra challenges do companies face when trying to engage their non-desk workforce?

When you have a large non-desk workforce, you must ensure that your communications are mobile optimized. I don’t believe companies face additional challenges in this space. Why? Because desk or non-desk, all employees are people and all people are human beings. And at their core, human beings are wired the same way. For the most part, what motivates and inspires you, motivates and inspires me. What deflates and discourages you, deflates and discourages me. Very few people are motivated by money. In order to engage employees, you need to fulfill their basic human needs.

8. What are three tips for companies looking to drive engagement?

I have four, as presented in the strategy in my book. 1. Hire people whose individual values align with the company’s values. 2. Ensure that every employee has individual goals that align with the CEO’s goals. 3. Create a two-way communication culture. 4. Recognize people. When you do these things, it drives trust in senior leaders and causes employees to feel an emotional connection to the company, which is the definition of engagement.

9. What is the best employee engagement initiative you’ve seen a company roll out?

The best initiative is one that is strategic and long-term and championed by senior leaders vs. tactical and short-term and championed by HR. As I’ve said, employee engagement is not a program or an initiative. It’s a strategic journey that lasts for decades.

10. What do you think sets Beekeeper apart from other employee engagement tools?

Beekeeper’s differentiator is that it is geared toward geographically distanced employees. The tool enables field and remote employees to seamlessly connect and communicate with the entire organization in a simple, intuitive, and unified manner. It allows peer-to-peer messaging for team collaboration, as well as top-down communication for organizational alignment.

Looking to use employee engagement to increase motivation levels and your bottom line? Fill out the form below to get a free personal demo of our employee engagement app, Beekeeper.

Top 10 International Retail Events to Grow Your Business

Retail events are crucial for brand exposure, staying ahead of industry trends, meeting the right people, and shopping around for the latest technologies that bring value to your stores. With so many retail events out there, it’s hard to pinpoint which ones give you the biggest bang for your buck. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 international retail conferences and expos that specialize in a variety of areas.

You’re bound to find at least a few events that are right for your retail organization. Mark your calendars folks, here are some hot retail events you don’t want to miss!

1. NRF Retail’s Big Show

As NRF’s flagship event, Retail’s Big Show is a three-day expo and conference taking place January 14-16, 2018 at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. It’s regarded as the largest retail event of the year because it draws the largest gathering of industry executives, thought leaders, and vendors to discuss industry trends and how to keep up with the digital transformation.

This event has everything from marketing, merchandising, mobile retailing, growth hacks, and so much more. You’ll get the opportunity to rub elbows with the biggest retail players and get the first glimpse of the upcoming technology solutions catered to retailers. Like the name suggests, this is where BIG things happen!

2. ICSC RECon

The ICSC Retail Real Estate Convention (RECon) is a three-day event (2018 date TBD) specifically geared toward retail real estate professionals from around the world. With over 37,000 attendees and 1,200 exhibitors, it’s the largest industry convention that provides a wealth of networking opportunities.

If you’re looking to expand your business or find new store locations, this is a great place to connect with professionals who have a breadth of experience in this area. This is also the place where deals get made, so come prepared with your pitch! Make sure to download the app prior to the show to get the most out of the weekend. Like the others, this event is packed with educational sessions and workshops so be sure to plan your time accordingly.

3. Retail Congress Asia Pacific

The Retail Congress Asia Pacific, a tradeshow and conference for retailers in the Asia Pacific region, will be held October 10-11 of this year at the Kerry Hotel in Hong Kong. It’s the premier information and networking event for retailers in this area. The Congress provides the opportunity to meet and build relationships with key decision makers from 25 countries. More than 350 delegates are set to attend the event this October and provide a fresh direction for the retail market.

This year’s theme, “Reshaping Retail in Asia Pacific: Survive and Prosper,” aims to prepare businesses for the unknown and better understand the modern customer. It will have a new format this year including the Ideas Factory that has 20-minute sessions designed to challenge and inspire, seven-minute presentations leading into heartier panel discussions, and Q&A/roundtable discussions. Bring your networking game to the next level by attending the gala dinner, cocktail reception, and retails awards. Be sure to download this year’s Congress App to connect with confirmed attendees and pre-book meetings.

4. HR Retail

HR Retail is an annual training conference for HR executives, specifically in the retail industry, that will be held April 10-12, 2018 (you’ve got plenty of time to prepare) at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in sunny San Diego, CA. It’s the perfect event for innovative HR professionals looking for new tools and strategies to address HR’s biggest challenges like how to attract top talent, development, employee engagement, and turnover and make a change to their people strategy.

The agenda is full of rich content from keynote speakers who are HR leaders from top brands like Levi Strauss, Macy’s, Lush, and Gap. They share their tips and tricks to help retailers implement successful HR initiatives. After this three-day event full of actionable sessions and unique networking opportunities, you’ll be prepared to tackle your day-to-day and strategy challenges head-on.

5. Retail Business Technology Expo

If you’re a European retailer looking for innovative tools, services, and other solutions that can help you grow your business, boost productivity, and enhance the customer experience, the Retail Business Technology Expo is the event for you. Held May 2-3, 2018 in Olympia, London, this expo offers numerous conferences and seminars where attendees can learn about transformational ideas, information, and products to run your retail organization more effectively.

The expo covers issues in numerous categories including ecommerce, finance, marketing, merchandising, supply chain, and the list goes on. It’s a must for anyone responsible for purchasing decisions, including IT, eCommerce, payments, marketing, loss prevention, finance, supply chain, profit protection, operations, HR, and security.

6. World Retail Congress

The World Retail Congress event, hosted April 17-19 in Madrid, Spain next year, brings together over 1,000 global industry leaders to address the evolving consumer demands and the future of retail. There are countless reasons to attend, including those we named in previous events, but this one has some unique offerings.

Here you can network with retail leaders and decision makers from more than 65 countries and be a part of an exclusive CEO program. This is an invitation-only program throughout the three-day event designed to connect CEOs, discuss each day’s biggest learnings, participate in leadership mentoring, and gain exclusive access to keynote speakers and intel for off-site networking events. Past speakers include the CEO of Neiman Marcus, Head of Future Retail for BMW, Global Managing Director of Alibaba, and Global VP of Coca-Cola.

7. NG Retail Summit

NG Retail is a three-day summit held October 18-20 of this year at the Fairmont Mayakoba in the tropical Riviera Maya, Mexico. With three summit themes, 15 workshops and 150+ retail executives, this event provides a more intimate setting and comprehensive/collaborative approach to learning.

Programs are tailored to helping attendees implement their key projects more effectively by gaining an in-depth understanding of project needs, desired business outcomes, and challenges they face when trying to hit their goals. If you have forward-thinking projects in mind to take your business to the next level, this is the place to get the implementation strategies you need from those who have already mastered it.

8. Shop.org Digital Retail Summit

The shop.org Digital Retail Summit, happening September 25-27 this year at the LA Convention Center, is a key event for anyone who wants to learn more about ecommerce, online marketing, and mobile commerce. Its main focus is on techniques and technologies that will help you increase ROI and profitability in the digital retail space.

Attended by thousands of retail professionals annually, this event offers educational and networking opportunities for merchants of virtually any size or industry. The event boasts an impressive lineup of speakers including CEO of DSW, Director of Digital Merchandising for Kohl’s, and even Kobe Bryant. They’ll discuss their own successes and failures and how you can apply those learnings to your retail organization. If your business relies heavily upon digital, this is the event for you.

9. Independent Retailer Conference

The Independent Retailer Conference is the only conference that exclusively supports small, independent retailers. Open to any type of independent retailer, the event is more of a pop-up conference within a tradeshow that covers issues surrounding store operations, marketing, management, merchandising and more.

If you own or operate an independent retail store or chain, you’ll get very relevant and tailored insights directly applicable to your needs. You’ll be surrounded by like-minded people who have been in your same position and have great insights to share to help you thrive in the independent retail space. IRC provides the perfect environment for small retailers looking for custom, one-of-a-kind solutions and indie-style strategy ideas.

10. Business Startup

For those of you starting a retail company in the UK, the Business Startup event in Olympia, London November 16-17 is the place to be. Known as “the UK’s biggest exhibition for anyone starting or growing a business,” this event will give you the right know-how to launch and grow your startup.

With 250 seminars, 350 exhibitors, and 12 workshops, the hardest part will be deciding which sessions to attend. You can also participate in training sessions, speed networking, and other activities that will help expand your network and industry knowledge. Perhaps the most valuable part of the event is that you get to pitch your business at the Angel’s Den where venture capitalists are searching for the best new idea to invest in. Guaranteed you’ll walk out of here energized to expand your business, or even have a new investor!

Interested in more information about improving your retail organization? Check out some of our retail-centric blogs How to Reduce Retail Turnover with Better Internal Communication and 3 Ways to Improve Retail Employee Performance. Or fill out the form below to get a free personal demo with a Beekeeper expert who can walk you through how our digital workplace app can help streamline your operations.
September Beekeeper Product Release Notes

Beekeeper Product Release Notes September 2017

As promised, here are the latest features and improvements we’ve developed since last month’s product release notes. Here’s what you can start using now or very soon!
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