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Beekeeper Achieves Industry-Leading Data Security Practices With ISO 27001 Certification

Beekeeper Achieves Industry-Leading Data Security Practices With ISO 27001 Certification

Beekeeper has never taken the trust of our customers and users for granted. Trust is at the core of everything we do: it drives the innovation of our platform and inspires us to do better. We built Beekeeper from the ground up to be a secure internal communication platform that transforms the way we engage and work.

When it comes to data security and customer data protection, Beekeeper only invests in certified data centers. We have also taken further action to certify our product and services team with ISO 27001 certification. As part of our continued commitment to meeting and exceeding data security standards, we are proud to announce Beekeeper’s ISO 27001 certification. Paramount to ISO 27001 is that we adhere to international best practices in every action and process as it relates to data privacy and security of our information systems, chiefly customer data protection.

From technology implementation to an end-user perspective, we use the highest standards of cybersecurity to ensure data privacy processes around information transmission in the following important ways:

Adoption of GDPR Compliant Best Practices

In January 2017, we were honored to have Dr. Amir Ameri join Beekeeper as the Data Protection Officer (DPO). As a specialist in cybersecurity, data protection, and data privacy, Dr. Ameri has over 20 years of technical and leadership experience in risk management, with a specific emphasis on the legal and regulatory requirements related to technology.

The DPO’s role involves all aspects of risk management and specifically entails monitoring and controlling to ensure customer data protection. Conducting regular data privacy impact assessments is a standard practice by our team. These data privacy impact assessments hold the interests of our customers as the highest priority.

Any proposed features to the Beekeeper team communication app are reviewed by the DPO in accordance with GDPR requirements. Only upon approval are our engineers given the green light for implementation. Our Product and Services were prepared well-ahead of May 25, 2018, when GDPR regulations go into effect. At Beekeeper, data security is everyone’s responsibility.

ISO 27001 Certification

The journey to ISO 27001 certification is not a one-time activity. It is an incredibly rigorous process that is audited on a three-year cycle. Having completed the first audit successfully in early 2018, Beekeeper has already scheduled the dates for the next audit in 2019. The value of the ISO 27001 certification is a testament to our commitment to our customer data protection and data privacy.

Beekeeper ISO certificate

Customer Data Protection and Data Storage

We have a virtual private cloud (VPC) categorized as the most secure form of cloud computing.
This means that end-to-end communication takes place between two parties over encrypted channels. We make use of encryption at rest, segregating the data between customers based on various layers of virtual and physical protection, such as using certified data centers limited to the customer’s choice of jurisdiction. This is an additional layer of risk management and protection wherein stored data is encrypted to ensure the security of data access channels.

We at Beekeeper look forward, as always, to connecting dispersed teams with our award-winning team communication app and our exceptional customer support, ranked 5-stars on Capterra and 4.8 out of 5 stars G2Crowd.

Download our Data Security white paper to learn more about what we are doing to ensure the security of our customers’ data.


9 Reasons You Need Secure Internal Communications

9 Reasons You Need Secure Internal Communications

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

Protect Your Workforce From Data Security Issues

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

Facilitating Employee Connection Without Sacrificing Data Privacy

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

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

The Benefits of Secure Internal Communications Solutions

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

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

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

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


Quick guide to writing employee performance reviews.

A Guide to Writing Comprehensive Employee Performance Reviews

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

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

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

1. Start with the Positives


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

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

2. Refer to the Previous Review


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

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

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

3. Record Constructive Feedback


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

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

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

4. Highlight Unfulfilled Goals


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

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

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

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

5. Setting Future Employee Performance Goals


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

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

Streamline Workforce Management and Improve Employee Performance


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

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


Wie sicher sicher sind die internen Kommunikationskanäle Ihrer Mitarbeiter?

How Secure Are Your Workforce’s Internal Communication Channels?

Though today’s consumer digital communications tools are designed to be the ultimate data mines, businesses can’t afford to take data security risks when it comes to their digital internal communications. As personal data becomes an increasingly lucrative commodity, and a currency willingly traded for access to everything from online shopping to social apps, the topic of personal data security should be paramount when developing an internal communications solution for your workforce.

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

Our online actions are being tracked and collected on an unprecedented level, resulting in massive amounts of personal data that can be leveraged for profit and advertorial aims. In contrast, whether your company is 25 to 25,000, we believe that data privacy ethics do scale: data security has been integral to Beekeeper’s team communication app from day one.

Protect Your Workforce From Data Security Issues


The recent Facebook data breach revelation raises important questions regarding company responsibility when it comes to data security. In this case, user data allegedly collected by a researcher from a quiz app downloaded via Facebook’s app marketplace was sold to UK-based political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Downloaded by 270,000 Facebook users, the quiz app also obtained the personal data of those users’ personal contacts––who, importantly, did not consent to the app accessing permissions––to the staggering tune of 50 million people. In light of this, it has never been more imperative for companies to adopt secure digital communication tools and proactively address data security in your digital workplace.

With Beekeeper, you’ve taken the first step in ensuring workforce data security by giving your employees a team communication app with:

  • Secure group messaging
  • Fully-monitored user controls
  • Best-in-class 256-bit TLS encryption
  • GDPR compliance

Facilitating Employee Connection Without Sacrificing Data Privacy


Employees want to be connected; this is a given. If companies don’t provide them with an internal communication solution, they will find messaging alternatives––likely consumer messaging apps like Facebook’s WhatsApp––that pose potentially devastating privacy and data security issues which could prove costly to your business. These consumer messaging apps are not secure, requiring employees to exchange personal information such as cell phone numbers and personal email addresses. Unlike consumer-facing messaging apps, where your personal data is exchanged for your free usage of the app, Beekeeper alleviates GDPR non-compliance risk as a subscription-based, secure internal communications solution built from the ground up specifically for business messaging needs.

secure internal communications

Secure Workforce Internal Communications with GDPR-Compliant Management Tools


Another key differentiator between consumer messaging tools and Beekeeper’s employee app is the lack of user management capabilities. With Beekeeper, in addition to controlling the messaging of your team communication app, company management can proactively regulate employee data from the moment a new employee is onboarded. This admin control is significant during employee offboarding, too.

Without secure internal communication, an employee who is no longer at the company could still have access to your workforce’s internal communication channels, presenting potential legal ramifications should any proprietary company information be divulged. What’s more, employee data is stored in these unsecured and unmonitored chats via the consumer messaging app. With Beekeeper’s administrative tools, access to your company’s internal messaging app can be closely controlled with personnel changes in your workforce.

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



Employee asking an HR chatbot for PTO, payslip, and shift schedule using a mobile device.

5 Best Ways to Use HR Chatbots for Onboarding and Employee Surveys

Human resources teams are increasingly using HR chatbots to conduct employee surveys to streamline the onboarding process. In addition to being a valuable tool in your onboarding process, chatbots grant new hires a powerful ally and an introduction to the company’s team communication app. What’s more, HR chatbots can then distribute employee surveys to new team members to quickly and efficiently get feedback on the onboarding experience and beyond.

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

Here are five main ways that HR chatbots can help HR onboarding, each of which makes a new hire’s life much easier and increases their employee satisfaction early on.

1. Walking Recruits Through Onboarding Paperwork


New employees need to fill out basic paperwork like tax forms and may also need to sign non-disclosure agreements or other legal documents during onboarding. HR chatbots can be used to provide new hires with the documents directly through the team communication app, and then answer their questions about how to fill out a form if there’s any ambiguity.

2. Guiding New Hires Through Company Policies


Some of the paperwork new hires receive through the team communication app that houses the HR chatbot will be company policies. These could be anything from HR policies regarding vacation to standard operating procedures for the new hire’s team. The employee can then ask questions to the HR chatbot and save themselves the time of asking a coworker for an answer to a simple question.

3. Giving New Employees an Introduction to Their Team’s History


Most teams don’t have their entire company history uploaded to the team communication app, but learning about your new team’s achievements, future projects, and goals is a critical part of the onboarding process. Recruits can ask the HR chatbot questions regarding their team’s place within the company and how that role is changing or expanding with their addition.

4. Using HR Chatbots to Check-In and for Shift Management


Once new employees have been in the swing of things for a while, HR chatbots can reach out to them via the team communication app to see if their onboarding process is going smoothly. If it isn’t, the HR chatbot can refer them to potential solutions or suggest they speak to someone on their team. Chatbots can also serve as virtual time clocks, automatically prompting employees to clock in and clock out via your team communication app.

Employee using an HR chatbot to check in and out of shift on a mobile device.

5. Following up with Employee Surveys or Refresher Quizzes


HR chatbots can conduct employee surveys that are employee-specific to see what they think of the onboarding process in retrospect and find out whether they think any parts could be improved. Chatbots can also initiate refresher quizzes on any operational or HR trainings, such as safety procedures, to ensure information retention.

Doing this with an HR chatbot connected to the team communication app guarantees a high level of employee engagement with the follow-up process and will also make employees happier because their needs are being proactively addressed.

HR chatbot conducting a Safety Training refresher quiz on a mobile device.

HR Chatbots Are The Future


With the advent of employee surveys conducted by HR chatbots, human resources teams will have more time to deal with important issues, while simultaneously experiencing increased employee satisfaction and cost savings.

Likewise, new employees will feel empowered by the ability to ask any questions they want as they arise without the fear of having to take time away from someone else who is working on something important. As a result, HR chatbots are at the forefront of the digital transformation and are sure to be a critical part of the digital transformation of workplace culture moving forward.

Ready to see how Beekeeper’s team communication app can assist with onboarding and employee surveys at your company? Schedule your free demo.


Beekeeper Produktwebinar

Beekeeper Tech Talk: How to Create the Ultimate Digital Workplace

What’s on the horizon for the Beekeeper product roadmap? Join us for the first Beekeeper product webinar, Beekeeper Tech Talk, on March 22, 2018 10am CET (German), 11:30am EST (English). In this webinar, learn how you can create the ultimate digital workplace for your workforce with Beekeeper, and provide frontline employees with easy access to all the systems they need in one secure team communication app.

We’ll share some of the latest Beekeeper app integrations like our chatbot SDK and our integrations SDK and how Beekeeper customers can build on these digital workforce integrations to dramatically improve internal communications and increase productivity using your custom Beekeeper employee app.

Beekeeper Unveils Chatbot SDK and Integrations SDK

There are a multitude of operational applications for the upcoming Beekeeper chatbot SDK and integrations SDK. We’ll walk through how our SDK technology enables you to easily connect your Beekeeper employee app with other digital workplace apps to streamline daily tasks.

From enhancing internal communications across HR, management, and frontline employee teams to facilitating and measuring frontline employee engagement, chatbots can be programmed to initiate many of the most common HR-specific and shift management tasks. For example, chabots can send out employee surveys to collect frontline employee feedback on the next team outing, or to find a time that works best for an upcoming training.

Chabot Use Cases: Implementing Chatbots With Your Employee App

In the webinar, we’ll also present use cases for your chatbot SDK and integration SDK that could be incorporated into your existing Beekeeper team communication app workflows. As an external developer, the Beekeeper chatbot SDK enables you to build two-way chatbots into the messaging capabilities. Most important, these plug-and-play integrations easily connect with your existing digital workforce tools.

Potential chabot use cases we’ll cover include:

  • Employee engagement through chatbot gamification
  • Training and refresher quizzes about company policies and safety guidelines
  • Shift management (clock-in and clock-out, PTO requests, shift swaps)
  • Task assignment and follow-up

Beekeeper chatbot use case

Beekeeper chatbot use case

Beekeeper Integrations Roadmap and Upcoming Marketplace Apps

Discover how Beekeeper integrates with the workplace apps and digital workflows you utilize daily in the Beekeeper Marketplace, and learn about upcoming Beekeeper integrations with SAP SuccessFactors and ADP. For example, with the ADP integration, companies can automatically synchronize ADP and Beekeeper employee information, and manage it all directly within the Beekeeper employee app.

The Beekeeper Marketplace is also the place to request custom app integrations for your digital workplace.

Q&A Session: How is Beekeeper Providing Digital Workplace Solutions For Your Workforce?

Most of all, we want to hear from you on how integrating Beekeeper with your existing digital workplace tools is going. We’re also excited to learn what app integrations you’re looking for so we can maximize your success in utilizing the Beekeeper team communication app to its full, highly-collaborative potential.

Creating the ultimate digital workplace starts with unified communications across your entire workforce. Learn more about how Beekeeper’s digital workplace app can support this process and put your team on the path to better team communications, employee engagement, and productivity!

Access a replay of the Beekeeper Tech Talk.


Employee using employee app with a mobile device.

3 Ways to Use an Employee App for Workforce Appreciation

When it comes to employee appreciation, a little can go a long way. The point is to be demonstrative in your recognition efforts. Openly acknowledging the stellar performance, contribution, and attitude of your hardworking workforce can be as simple as a verbal commendation, or involve a reward of some kind.

With a team communication app like Beekeeper, sharing the achievements of your team is as simple as posting a candid photo of a colleague excelling on-the-job, sending a complimentary note via group messaging, or conducting a poll to vote on personalized rewards. Plus, posting this kind of highly-visible recognition through your employee app has the added benefit of encouraging employee engagement by giving everyone the ability to view, share, and comment.

1. A Virtual Thank You Card: Post Praise on Your Team Communication App

Did you receive a comment from a customer about a frontline employee who went above and beyond to make their day? This is a great example of discretionary effort, which is when an employee decides to give their best and better because they are invested in the company and successfully engaged.

Posting a quote or rave review from a satisfied customer about exceptional service and tagging your coworker in your team communication app is a simple yet effective way to publicly acknowledge their awesome performance. Likewise, sending a personal message directly to the exemplary employee through your team communication app lets them know you recognize and appreciate their efforts.

Screenshot of recognition using Beekeeper employee app.

2. Power in Numbers: Invite Your Workforce to Recognize Each Other

Lead by example! Starting a sustained system of recognition for your workforce using an employee app is an easy and effective way to involve the entire team to participate in an especially valuable form of employee engagement: a simple “thank you.”

Using Beekeeper’s polling and survey communication tools, you can quickly ask an employee’s peers what they love most about working alongside their co-workers. This not only encourages your team to contribute in championing and commending each other, it cultivates a positive work culture and a support system that extends far beyond the team communication app and into the physical realm of the workplace.

3. Survey Says: Ask Your Workforce What Reward Looks Like to Them

The people that comprise your team are unique. A “one size fits all” approach to employee recognition can be challenging as each employee defines the notion of reward differently. While one team member may enjoy a gift card to their favorite restaurant or grocery store, another may wish for an extra day of PTO (paid time off).

Through Beekeeper’s team communication app, managers can individually poll their workforce using a chatbot. The chatbot is a feature that private-messages and automatically responds, so you can use it to ask employees what they would appreciate most as a reward for a job well-done.

Adopting a team communication app is an efficient and engaging way to acknowledge employees and begin digital workforce transformation for your organization.

To try out Beekeeper’s team communication tools, start your free trial.


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.



Culture Design Expert Shares His Secrets to Elevating Corporate Culture

Josh Levine Shares His Corporate Culture Design Secrets

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

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

About Josh Levine

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

His writing has been featured in publications including Fast Company, The Design Management Journal, and 99u.com. Josh teaches at California College of the Arts’ renowned MBA program in Design Strategy and is Principal of the brand consultancy Great Monday. Great Monday helps companies with culture design because the team has found that when employees know why they work, they are more motivated, more invested, and are happier doing it. His book “Great Mondays: How to Design a Company Culture Employees Love” will be published in 2018 with McGraw-Hill Education.

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

Corporate Culture Q&A

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

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

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

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

5. What is the ROI of culture?

There are a few ways to get to this question.

ELTV


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

Turnover


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

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

Employee Sentiment


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

@Mentions


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

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

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

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

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


5 Ways to Improve Communication Between Your Healthcare Staff

5 Ways to Improve Communication Between Your Healthcare Staff

Communication is essential throughout the healthcare community as the health and wellness of patients depends on a clear and accurate exchange of information. As many employees in the healthcare field travel to various facilities and make home visits, on-the-go communication can be especially challenging. Healthcare workers don’t regularly check email as most of their time is spent with patients, so it’s difficult to stay current on company updates.

Poor communication between healthcare staff not only has the ability to affect the patient experience, but it can attribute to a financial loss at various facilities and negatively affect workplace morale.

Although ways to improve communication may not happen overnight, the effort is critical to reduce miscommunication and stress for both healthcare workers and patients. Here are 5 ways to improve communication among your healthcare staff.

1. Assess Your Current Method of Communication

Before you can make improvements to your internal communication, you need to assess the current methods. As someone who works in the healthcare sector, you already know how important it is to avoid making costly and potentially fatal mistakes.

Are there any obvious gaps in your communication that result in mistakes? Take detailed inventory of what works and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve assessed your communication, it’s time to ask for feedback and create an internal communications strategy. A great example of good communication is allowing your staff to have a voice, listen to their feedback, and make appropriate changes. If you want to improve communication, you must be willing to listen.

2. Streamline Communication Channels

Working in healthcare, there are protocols you undoubtedly need to follow, but when you do your assessment of your current state of communication, don’t forget to see if there are ways to streamline your channels. Communication should be simple, but can quickly become convoluted with too many means of doing it.

streamline communication channels with beekeeper

As long as you ensure your communication remains confidential and secure, you may be able to eliminate some unnecessary steps, which often end up causing confusion or are time-consuming to navigate. The bulk of communication can be stored in one simple interface that doesn’t involve email. Which leads to our next point…

3. Encourage Mobile Collaboration

Today, pagers remain a mandatory means of communication in many healthcare facilities. While pagers may be an effective way to alert someone you need them to return your call ASAP, it’s not always an effective or practical way to conduct a two-way conversation.

Since healthcare workers aren’t huge fans of email, encourage top-down, bottom-up, and two-way communication via a HIPAA compliant mobile team communication app. If you’re worried about professionalism, establishing a Code of Conduct and BYOD (bring your own device) policy will keep your expectations clear without worrying about issues like time management.

In an age of technology where roughly three-quarters of American adults own and use a smartphone, it only seems natural to encourage its use at a professional level for real-time messaging. (Let’s face it, almost every employee is using their mobile phone anyways.)

mobile messaging with beekeeper

4. Give Employees a Voice

Similar to what we mentioned above, when you give every employee a voice and value their input, the communication between your staff is likely to improve. While you may work in an office and do minimal traveling from one facility to the next, another member of your staff may travel so much that their car becomes a home office.

Whether you see your staff a few times a day or about ten minutes a week, each individual should have the same opportunity to express concerns, needs, and wants. Once employees don’t feel like their voice is being heard, good communication comes to a halt.

5. Don’t Eliminate Face-To-Face Communication

As you begin to use technology more and more to communicate with one another, don’t forget the value of face-to-face communication.

In-services and mandatory meetings are often met with anything but enthusiasm, especially when you have staff that may already feel overworked and spread thin between various tasks. While you may not have the power to eliminate mandatory face-to-face meetings, try to make the “in-person” time you have with your staff count.

Paying attention and being an active listener not only shows your staff you care enough to be “present,” but that you value their efforts and want to know more about their experiences at work.

These seemingly simple actions, if done correctly, will set a solid precedence and your staff is more likely to practice these same actions when working with coworkers and patients.

Looking for an engaging real-time mobile solution to share updates and communicate with your colleagues? Fill out the form below for a free demo of the HIPAA compliant Beekeeper team communication app that specializes in connecting healthcare employees.