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beeekeeper product release notes november 2017

Beekeeper Product Release Notes November 2017

We’ve made some big changes since the last product release updates! Here’s what you can start using this month and some you can look forward to in upcoming months.

Release Highlights

    • Android navigation redesign (Android) – This week we released a new interface for the Android version of the Beekeeper app. The stream, chats, and notification tabs moved to the bottom of the screen. The app menu, also known as the “More” tab, is also at the bottom of the screen (similar to the iOS app) and the stream switcher is now at the top left. Click here for more details about the new Android interface and why we made these changes.
    • New android interface

    • Navigation extensions interface (Dashboard) – To streamline access to Navigation Extensions, we’ve finished the interface that enables you to create and edit extensions from your Dashboard. To access the Navigation Extensions interface, look under the “Extensions” tab in the Dashboard.
    • Navigation extension UI

    • Start a new campaign or survey by cloning an existing one – To help you save time reaching your colleagues, this new feature allows you to clone existing surveys and campaigns from the Dashboard. You can easily make modifications to fit the context of your next communications.
    • clone survey

    • Dashboard in German and English (Dashboard) – To serve our growing base of international system administrators, this month we implemented the necessary changes to translate our Dashboard in multiple languages. We currently support English and German. More languages will be added according to demand.
    • Database encryption in all data centers (Hosting Infrastructure) – All our data centers are now running fully encrypted databases. This completes the encryption of our system and is a step towards the privacy and legal requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Everything Else

    • Message Receipts (web, Android, API) – The team has built the API and Android and web app components of our upcoming Message Receipts feature. We are still working on the iOS components, so look out for the feature release in January!
    • To accommodate our expanding user base, we’ve translated the web and mobile apps in Brazilian Portuguese, Turkish, and Romanian.
    • The app now warns users about unsaved content when navigating away from the compose box in Streams.
    • User’s “last seen” time, which is the last time they used Beekeeper, is now available in the profile view on the web and iOS apps. It will be on Android soon.
    • To open chat details, you can simply click a group chat’s avatar (Android).
    • Link previews in chats show two lines of text instead of one (Android).
    • When an image is loading, a placeholder appears instead of just a gray background (Android).

    The Beekeeper product team is always fine-tuning the platform to create a better experience for our customers. Hopefully these will make your app experience more enjoyable and you saw some features coming up that you requested!

    For more information about Beekeeper and specific features, check out our Help Center or contact us. Or let us know what features you would like enhanced or added in future releases!
Android-Oberfläche

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 product release notes october 2017

Beekeeper Product Release Notes October 2017

We’ve officially launched the Beekeeper Marketplace with some very helpful apps and integrations you’ll want to start connecting to the Beekeeper app. Beyond the Marketplace, you can also start enjoying some new app features this month.
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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.
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.
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.
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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Rebranding

The workplace is a hive – Beekeeper’s symbolic makeover

Here at Beekeeper, we strive for innovation and want to deliver the best experience for our customers. We’ve evolved significantly since our inception to adapt to our clients’ needs, and as our story has changed, our brand has changed along with it. You may have noticed our revamped logo and our website’s new makeover. This rebrand goes beyond just aesthetics. It’s a reflection of our commitment to connecting people through technology, especially the two billion members of the non-desk workforce that aren’t normally kept in the loop. Beekeeper is where technology meets people, and this is our journey to unite them!
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Blog_banners_operational_system_integration_preview3

Why communication and operational system integration is a game-changer

Email is still the most common form of communication in the corporate environment, which doesn’t bode well for the 80% of the workforce that comprises non-desk employees. As many as 83% of non-desk employees don’t have corporate email addresses, leaving them out of important conversations and making critical information unattainable.
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5_Ways_to_Recognize_Your_Frontline_Employees

5 Ways to Recognize Your Frontline Employees This Labor Day

Labor Day is more than just a day off work for office employees, it’s a dedication to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It’s an annual tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country. Frontline employees are the backbone of the labor force, but with high consumer demands, many don’t get the opportunity to take Labor Day off.
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