What does the journey from customer to Beekeeper team member look like?
We sat down with Andrada Paraschiv, former Executive Director of Communications and Strategy at FRHI and Executive Director, Luxury Internal Communication & Engagement, AccorHotels. Now Head of Hospitality at Beekeeper, Paraschiv shared how her customer experience, and passion for employee engagement, informs her role here now.
What led you to consider a team app as part of your internal communication strategy while at FRHI?
In 2013, we changed our organizational structure at FRHI, changing the way we operated, from a brand-based approach to a region-based one. I was appointed head of communications because we didn’t have an established internal communications department within the company.
Beekeeper did a pilot with Swissôtel , where users could “like” and comment on content. It was in the very early stages. Pierre Botteron, VP of HR at Swissôtel, introduced me to Beekeeper co-founder, Cris Grossmann, in Berlin for an event. He showed us a presentation of the team app at the end of September, and we signed in December 2013. We spent the first months of 2014 planning the rollout. It was very successful!
The goal was to unite our team under one FRHI brand. This involved bringing people working under different brands together at a regional level. At the time, hotels didn’t have their own communication streams. We typically used Beekeeper for posting hotel accomplishments and top-down communication. This content was visible to everyone in the company and anyone could create a post.
We were pleasantly surprised when employees would post rave reviews about the team app. It was evident that this internal communication solution was having a positive impact on the FRHI employee experience. The platform was so easy to use, employees quickly picked it up, and the familiar social media user experience kept them coming back.
Hear from RHW Management’s frontlines! Suite Attendant, Mary Joy Watt describes why she loves using Beekeeper at work.
There are several team communication apps available on the market. Why did you ultimately choose Beekeeper over the competition?
We wanted Beekeeper over Yammer because it was easy to use. Yammer only provisioned a few licenses, so it was hard to manage and complicated to navigate. In contrast, Beekeeper’s visual emphasis worked right away, especially for our users with language barriers. Visual messaging was key, so our workforce didn’t have to wade through too much written information.
What was the catalyst to make the move to join the ranks of Beekeeper as an employee?
Sometimes Beekeeper co-founders Cris and Flavio would come and do employee engagement workshops with us. They were really interested and open to our feedback and would get excited about any new ideas we had to improve the platform. Their hands-on leadership style and passion for their product was inspiring.
They’re also very personable, likeable people, so I made a decision to join them on this exciting journey. I had also seen first-hand the positive impact that Beekeeper could have on an organization, and I wanted the opportunity to effect the same positive change within other companies. This is why I joined the Beekeeper team.
What has been the biggest area of growth since you joined Beekeeper as an employee? Where are you most excited to see the product go?
We’ve come a long way since the days when users could only add one picture! Now there are campaigns, locations (for large scale properties), surveys, integrations, the Innovation App, and so much more. The operational direction is really exciting.
Seeing how some of the hotel customers use the communication streams is different from FRHI, like posting about VIPs or sharing shifts. It’s incredible to watch how the employee experience has improved through access to two-way communication channels.
What’s the number one way you think digital tools can best support hotel workers in today’s work environment?
From a corporate perspective, hotels are in so many different locations. When I was at FRHI, to reach a specific end user, I had to go to an HR director, relay my message to them, and hope that message would be accurately conveyed to frontline employees.
With Beekeeper, a hotel GM can now touch base with everyone on their team through personal messages and recognition. Many hotel GMs have hundreds of staff members working for them, so one-on-one communication with every team member is not always possible.
Now GMs can simply push out important updates to everyone at the hotel. Using internal communication streams for sharing best practices and employee engagement initiatives are some of the best ways to facilitate true employee connection at your hotel.