A full-service natural foods cooperative grocery store, Wheatsville Food Co-Op has been serving Austin, TX since 1976. With 250 employees and counting, they are known for paving the way for high-quality, locally-sourced, and sustainable grocery store growth in Texas. Despite these successes, Wheatsville discovered major internal communication gaps between departments and frontline staffs after analyzing the results of their annual employee engagement and satisfaction survey in 2016, also involving co-op emails.
Key survey findings included:
- Inefficient operational and internal communications. The management team communicated primarily through time-consuming email.
- Workforce management issues. 70% of employees don’t sit at a desk or have corporate email addresses, so internal communication at the retail store level was a challenge.
- Lack of employee engagement between retail locations. Without an easily-accessible internal communication tool, frontline staffs weren’t interacting.
Closing Internal Communication Gaps at Frontline and Management Levels With the Beekeeper Employee App
Prior to adopting Beekeeper’s employee app, Wheatsville’s daily internal communications were printed departmental and organization-wide log books. A tedious process, administrators emailed log notes to managers or supervisors about completed or still-outstanding tasks. These were updated and re-printed multiple times a day and pinned to department bulletin boards. Time-consuming and costly, there was also no way to track that the notes were being read.
Better Workforce Management with Less Emails
From a workforce management perspective, Ryan Vanstone, Information Systems Manager, realized email was similarly ineffective when it came to operations at the store’s retail level. Receiving 75-100 emails a day, he spent too much time sifting through emails and identifying actionable items. A daily task for managers and supervisors, they needed a way to greatly reduce the workforce management noise and better prioritize internal communications in a more user-friendly interface.
Beekeeper Employee App Increases Employee Engagement
Beekeeper’s employee app provides organization-wide unified internal communications and employee engagement levels have skyrocketed. With Wheatsville’s employee engagement program, “Caught in the Act,” employees recognize each other for lending a hand, being proactive, and going above and beyond for a customer. Each post in this stream earns one point, and the person they tag gets two points. Automated chat messages notify employees of their points total. Points are tallied in the Beekeeper workforce management system and an awards ceremony is held at the end of the year where colleagues are awarded prizes—greatly improving morale.
Improved Internal Communications Delivers Better Customer Experience
Beekeeper’s employee app facilitates a better employee experience with mobile internal communication that enhances the retail customer experience. Thanksgiving, which Wheatsville has deemed the “Grocery Superbowl,” is the biggest retail day of the year. Using Beekeeper, a separate internal communication stream was created for both retail stores to share orders, shortages, and overages. In addition to group chats, this workforce management tool ensures alignment between front and back-of-house retail teams, during the busy holiday retail season and beyond.