One of the hottest topics among frontline organizations this year is how to engage and retain frontline talent.
It’s notably the toughest labor market in modern history. Frontline workers are leaving their jobs in droves searching for new careers and better opportunities. So it’s easy to see why the session on engaging and retaining top talent at the Frontline Success Summit was so popular.
Chris O’Shea, VP of Global Marketing at Beekeeper, sat down with two hospitality leaders to talk about how they leverage a mobile-first strategy to keep and engage their frontline workers.
- Ed Gallier, Head of Learning and Development for Leonardo Hotels in the UK and Ireland. An organization that has 51 hotels, and 4,500 employees, and is part of the Leonardo family of 200 hotels in 21 countries across Europe.
- Jesse Antonio, Assistant Director, Team Member Engagement at Resorts World Las Vegas, the largest Hilton property in the western hemisphere with 5,000 employees, and the first integrated property to open on the Las Vegas Strip in more than a decade.
This session was jam-packed with takeaways, and the panelists even came out for an encore to answer the long list of audience questions. Here’s a sneak preview of the discussion.
Eliminating the Frontline Disconnect
At Resorts World Las Vegas, 5,000+ workers were hired and onboarded prior to the property’s grand opening. To connect such a large workforce, the company chose a mobile-first solution. “Having a product like Beekeeper which allows us to reach everyone, communicate with them, engage with them is really vital to our operations and building our company culture,” Jesse said.
They showed every new hire how to join Beekeeper. That’s all it took. When employees showed up for their first day of work, they went online to ask their new colleagues questions.
“They started to create this community on Beekeeper,” Jesse shared. “There’s no challenge getting new people onto Beekeeper because it’s just happening organically now.”
At Leonardo Hotels, Beekeeper was rolled out the week the country went into lockdown. The timing couldn’t have been better. “It was the best thing we did,” Ed said. “It was core to the strategy of keeping our hospitality team together for what we thought would be a couple of weeks or a couple of months but turned out to be so much more than that.”
Onboarding Strategies to Optimize Frontline Retention
At Resorts World Las Vegas, employee onboarding is automated and training is paperless, making it an easy process for new hires. “As somebody logs onto Beekeeper we have a series of automated messages that get sent to the user based upon their first login and it’s spaced out every few days.”
Beekeeper closes the information gap common for new hires. At the enormous, 88-acre property, one of the first things employees use Beekeeper for is to find their way around by watching a video tour of the hotel.
Engagement Strategies that Stick
Engaging a staff of thousands is a big task. But it’s necessary to ensure that they stick around.
With a workplace solution, the key, according to Ed, is “trying to find as many different ways of why people would log on and engage and use the app.” The ability to make information accessible to everyone has made a huge difference in creating a more inclusive workplace and boosting engagement. “Head housekeepers use a stream because you’ve got inline translation,” he said, adding that it was a turning point for the team.
It was even emotional for some who felt connected for the first time. “A couple of tears were shed.”
Jesse added that two-way communication boosts engagement with the frontline. “It gives them a channel to have their voices heard and that really goes a long way to retaining our team members here.” But having a little fun with Beekeeper helps, too. When Resorts World Las Vegas got security dogs, employees used the app to suggest and vote on names (aww) 🐶
Learning and Development
Learning and development are critical in showing employees how to perform the functions of their jobs. At Leonardo Hotels, “L&D is a pillar of the organization.” With Beekeeper’s integration capabilities, Leonardo Hotels is able to easily connect its learning management system (LMS) with the app so employees can complete training and track their progress.
And when there’s a specific task that the team needs to know, managers create their own content. “They’ll video the process being done and then share that with everybody else on the stream.” Ed shared. “You just couldn’t get that over email or a desk-based device.”