When the eco-chic 1 Hotels brand launched in 2015, it not only set a new standard for sustainability in design, but it significantly raised the bar in how management reaches and celebrates their entire staff. With the digital workforce platform Beekeeper at the hub of its internal communications operation, 1 Hotels is reaching every single employee with relevant messaging, engaging them and connecting them with one another. 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn Heights, located directly on Brooklyn Bridge Park overlooking the East River, is the most recent property to go live with “the hive.”
“Whether you’re 18 or 85, it doesn’t matter; people love to share,” said Jason Brown, Director of People Operations for 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge. “We believe that sharing starts at the top. If the General Manager is passionate about communicating with his or her team, and the department heads are of the same mind-set, then Beekeeper is the platform to use. We encourage our team members to use their cell phones for positive work-related communication, although not in front of guests or in guest areas. They use this tool to share their successes, and we use it to reward and recognize their efforts. It’s a celebration of life. In a word, Beekeeper is contagious.”
Beekeeper digitizes the non-desk workforce by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure, intuitive platform. Beekeeper connects colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile or desktop devices, and includes an intelligent analytics dashboard to help companies improve internal communication and streamline business processes. Secure, automated, and relevant information is readily distributed, searchable, and measurable in one central hub for an efficient digitized workflow.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge uses its custom mobile Beekeeper app to communicate daily arrivals, events, and other important information in real time to improve operations. The team also uses the app for onboarding, scheduling, task management, employee surveys, and crisis communications to ensure the entire organization is aligned.
To Bee or Not to Bee?
Here’s how managers and staff at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge say they are using Beekeeper:
“I can’t image not having Beekeeper,” said General Manager Cornelia Samara. “I use it from the moment I wake up to see what’s happening throughout the day at my hotel and to read what’s happening in the company. Beekeeper really helps me stay connected.
“The survey feature is very helpful,” she said. “If we have an activity or hold a meeting, we can go back and ask the team whether they enjoyed it, if they found the information helpful, or should we could do something differently? When opening the hotel, we used the survey to help in naming our employee dining room. We narrowed the name down to five selections, posted the options on Beekeeper, and put it out for a vote.”
Brown said most of the workforce at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge doesn’t have access to traditional forms of communication like email and text messaging, so instead, Beekeeper is used to instantly connect everyone. He said with Beekeeper, everybody has a voice, and everyone can participate. Beekeeper has shaped the brand’s culture given everyone an identity.
“We’ve used Beekeeper for crisis communication,” Brown said. “The team at 1 Hotel South Beach was impacted by Hurricane Irma recently. Beekeeper was used to communicate with team members while the property was closed. We used it to check on our staff and communicate with them about returning to work. We also use Beekeeper to onboard new team members and engage with them even before they start on their first day. New team members are introduced to the team via Beekeeper, and they can quickly get acquainted with co-workers.
“My favorite feature of Beekeeper is its accessibility across a variety of different devices,” he added. “It can be accessed on a tablet, a smartphone, or a computer. We even have a communication monitor in our employee dining room where we can display feeds for team members to look at to see what’s going on while they’re having their break. Everyone can access it, and everybody can participate. Employee engagement is truly enhanced. I think turnover would be much higher if it weren’t for Beekeeper.”
Ruggero Massetti, Director of Rooms, said at the beginning he was skeptical of Beekeeper, assuming it was another social media app that would distract his team members. As time progressed, however, he said he found Beekeeper to be an important operations tool.
“Beekeeper keeps all team members aligned and unified,” Massetti said. “It helps us share all the information that is necessary for the hotel and for staff to do their jobs.”
Mark Hall, an engineer at the property, said: “We constantly have projects going on throughout the hotel, and we use Beekeeper to keep our employees updated about the status of those projects.”
Buzzing with Pride
“1 Hotels is widely becoming known for its eco-conscious design, sustainable architecture, cause-oriented partnerships, and unrivaled service,” said Corey McCarthy, Beekeeper head of global marketing. “Soon, we believe this brand will also gain acclaim for being one of the best hotels to work for, thanks in part to Beekeeper. Yes, our mobile app is ideal for enterprise communications . . . but it does so much more. Beekeeper enables employees’ personalities to come alive. It gives them a sense of pride in their jobs, a voice among the organization, and a sense of belonging to an extended family.
“We are honored that 1 Hotels opened its doors with Beekeeper in Miami, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, and we look forward to growing right alongside them as they plan openings in 2018 in West Hollywood and Sanya, China, and in 2019 in Silicon Valley and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.”