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Putting People First | The Secret to Concord Hospitality’s Success

Beekeeper for Hospitality

Organizations that understand the connection between a thriving workplace culture and delivering excellent customer service are often the top performers in their industry. Concord Hospitality is one of those companies. 

Established in 1985, culture has always been a priority for Concord Hospitality, an owner, operator, and developer of hotels across North America that now has a portfolio that boasts over 150 properties and employs 5,600 employees across nine regions. 

But as Concord continues to grow, the leadership team always sticks to its mission as “a Great Place to Work for All.” But that meant the company needed a sure-fire way to connect with their entire workforce as they added new hotels and associates.

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The company’s main goals were to:

  • Be able to reach frontline workers who don’t have company email
  • Make sure every associate received consistent messaging from the home office
  • Connect the workforce to the company, culture, and philosophies to make them better owners and partners in the company

“Beekeeper Caught Like Wildfire” Concord Smashes Initial Activation Goals

After searching for the right communication solution, Concord Hospitality partnered with Beekeeper. The company intended to do a slow rollout of the communication app with a goal of reaching 50% activation in six months. “We started with a group of hotels right near our home office in Raleigh so we could reach them and be supportive of them right in our own market,” said Debra Punke, Concord Hospitality’s Chief Human Resources Officer. 

But after just the first month, word got out and Beekeeper “caught like wildfire.” After just three months, the company exceeded expectations and reached 75% activation.

Rooted in its mission to put people first, Concord Hospitality is committed to building a culture that connects with and celebrates everyone.

Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion with Inline Translation

When you have a diverse multi-cultural organization, removing communication barriers is essential. Beekeeper’s “Inline Translations” is enabling Concord Hospitality to translate content into employees’ preferred language with a simple click. Inline Translation supports more than 100 languages, and it empowers every single employee to communicate with one another. It minimizes the overhead for management to make content accessible for employees of all backgrounds and raises productivity and engagement. Inline Translation also promotes workplace diversity and a strong corporate culture rooted in connectedness.

“Beekeeper allows us to communicate to everyone without any barrier,” Punke said.

“This translation piece makes this tool powerful. We developed ‘Concord (C) Groups’ to share diverse cultures. Groups include C-Pride, C-Pets, C-Vets, C-Fit, C-Kids, and more. Here people can share stories, discuss best practices, and ask for advice on what matters to them most. C-Groups on Beekeeper help us connect to our associates and create a more compassionate workplace environment.”

Building Engagement 

“I can’t overstate the amount of importance we put on the engagement piece,” said Punke. 

That means associates connect with their colleagues on the Beekeeper app from Day 1. It’s an integral part of onboarding and orientation at Concord Hospitality. And with a workforce that represents 105 different countries, Concord uses Beekeeper’s inline translation feature to make sure everyone is included and engaged by enabling people to communicate in their preferred language.

Associates are encouraged to share a little about themselves on the platform. For example, on the company’s annual Share Day, associates volunteer with local organizations in their communities. Then, they post pictures of their community service on Beekeeper and bond over their collective experience of giving back.

Concord Hotel Community Service

Concord also uses the platform to celebrate associates, whether it’s for a great sales win or a stellar review from a customer. Having one centralized communication platform brings everyone together as one big family no matter what their location is.

“That’s what connects people and keeps them engaged, and helps drive our success,” Punke explained.

And a little competition never hurts! Concord gives awards to the associates and the regions most engaged on the Beekeeper app.

One-Stop Employment Shop

Concord has leveraged Beekeeper to create a one-stop employment shop with all of the company’s different systems in one place. Associates can share schedules and documents, onboard, get professional training, and access handbooks, policies, and procedures in a one-stop employment shop that’s in the palm of their hands. 

Concord also empowers associates with the information and tools they need to provide great customer service. By accessing their specific property stream, an associate can deliver recommendations to customers, whether it’s for a restaurant, a nearby fitness facility, or a park. 

Soon, frontline teams will be able to punch in and punch out with the new integrated time clock system Concord is developing.

Creating A Place for Everyone

Concord had been searching for the right communication app that could build on its commitment to an inclusive and connected workforce. They tried other tools, like a company intranet and Yammer, but quickly realized that they only reached people who had a company email address. For frontline associates, who make up the majority of Concord’s workforce, the company had to rely on face-to-face communication or notices posted next to time clocks.

Now, with a mobile-first communication tool, Concord:

  • Reaches every associate from the home office to the frontlines
  • Streamlines communication through a centralized hub for consistent messaging across the organization
  • Can include every associate without language barriers thanks to inline translation 

Having a digital home where every single Concord employee is included has flattened the hierarchy by connecting the top of the organization with the frontline workers, and created a place for everyone.

Cultivating a Passion for Concord’s Purpose

Concord Hospitality is more than just a business. It’s a place where people are connected to one another, to the company, and to the core values:

Quality ★ Integrity ★ Community ★ Profitability ★Fun

But as the company continues to acquire new properties and build its workforce across North America, connecting new teams to those core values that drive Concord’s strategy can seem challenging. 

Having a centralized hub that everyone can access on their mobile device has solved this problem. Concord can easily align its workforce with its values and philosophy. This comes in handy when the company acquires a new hotel and a whole new team. 

Concord Hotels Team

As soon as they join the Concord family, they’re activated on Beekeeper and immediately connected to the entire organization for a seamless transition. 

“The goal was always to reach and share consistent messaging across the organization so that it would build that family-type environment that helps us to grow, no matter what size, and we always feel connected to the company and the purpose of the company.” 

Building Relationships are the Secret to Concord’s Success

Concord Hospitality uses Beekeeper for more than just business. The company created Concord Groups, or C Groups—a place for people to come together to share their culture, history, background, and even their passions. There are C Groups for the LGBTQ community, for veterans, for women, for parents and pet lovers, and to celebrate important events like Juneteenth.  “It creates compassion and energy and really drives relationships in our organization,” Punke said.

“The biggest advantage of this platform is the ability for each of us to see the other in a very authentic and transparent and real way, which is what creates relationships. And relationships and that kind of authenticity help us to be an organization that is full of innovation and ideas and success. And it’s driven by our frontline workers.”

Want to learn how to create a people-first organizational culture at your hotel? Join us for our upcoming webinar on building exceptional guest and employee experiences!