Over the past few months, while the world has adjusted to life in lockdown, we’ve learned how important it is to have tools that keep people connected. Out of necessity, essential businesses have found solutions to maintain safe, adaptable teams. Other industries have adopted new tools to communicate with furloughed frontline workers, keeping them updated about when they might be able to return to work, and what they might need to adjust to stay safe when they get there.
Now, as everyone navigates back to workplaces that need to prioritize safety, agility, and productivity (and not to mention rebuild morale), we’re taking a moment to adjust our platform – and the way we think about how to enable the frontline workforce – for the next phase of work.
As digitization of remote work accelerates and frontline workers emerge as “essential” to businesses around the world, organizations need a tool that takes a holistic approach to enabling their front line.
Companies don’t just need to reach frontline workers, but connect them to information. They don’t just need to update processes, but digitize them so they’re accessible and adaptable. They need to automate processes to remove unnecessary, repetitive tasks and leverage the full potential of frontline workers. Beyond all of this, companies need the data to keep optimizing their frontline strategy.
How is Beekeeper Evolving?
Welcome to the future of frontline work: Beekeeper 2.0. As a first step, Beekeeper is prioritizing fast access to information on the front line for every employee. That means:
- Highlighting important information the moment you open the app
- Ensuring everyone can always read updates and messages: even when they’re outside and there’s sun glare, even if they’re color blind or struggle with other visual challenges
- Offering powerful translation capabilities, so employees can understand the information they’re receiving
- Helping customers to digitize and streamline common processes
- Adding more connection points and integrations to pull information from anywhere and surface it in one place
Read on to find out the details, and get the background on why…
One-Stop-Shop for Information
We’re excited to announce that Beekeeper also recently added a new entry-point for the app: Home! Home will be the one-stop-shop for the most important updates and shortcuts frontline workers need to find information quickly, saving valuable time for frontline teams everywhere.
Frontline users can access notification settings, see recent updates, get an overview of all Streams, or start a new Chat, right when they open the app! What’s more, we’re also updating the design of the mobile app to make it more accessible and easier to identify important information.
Beekeeper ❤️ SharePoint
In addition to changes to the mobile app, we also released an out-of-the-box integration between SharePoint and Beekeeper’s Document Library, so admins can share information from the head office to the front line without duplicating work.
Organizations can provide the most up-to-date SOPs, guidelines and handbooks in a mobile-friendly Document Library in Beekeeper, without changing how things work in the head office. Companies don’t need to buy additional Microsoft licenses to provide frontline workers with the information and files they need, optimized for them.
Cover every shift with UKG (Kronos) + Beekeeper
SharePoint isn’t the only exciting integration that recently joined Beekeeper’s Marketplace! Building on Beekeeper’s existing Shift Schedules feature, companies can now connect Beekeeper with UKG, formerly Kronos, Workforce Ready, Dimensions, or Central for better shift coverage and effortless shift communication. The integration sends shift information from Kronos into Beekeeper’s Shift Schedules feature, where every hourly worker on the front line can view their upcoming shifts in a calendar or list view on mobile.
With Beekeeper and Kronos, Shift Managers can stick with the scheduling platform they already know, and frontline teams can rest assured that they have their most up-to-date schedule in their pocket. Managers and hourly workers alike can forget about phone trees or frantic text messages to figure out schedule changes — with the Kronos integration, frontline teams will automatically receive a notification whenever their shift is updated.
Other Important Updates to Increase Accessibility
Beekeeper customers have seen some of these updates already over the past months.
Fresh, Accessible New Experience
Desktop users have been exploring the new Beekeeper web app and dashboard navigation designs, which prioritize visual hierarchy (so you can easily identify the most important information) and contrast (so users have an easier time reading and navigating).
Breaking Down Language Barriers – Everywhere
Beekeeper’s popular Inline Translations feature has been expanded — teams are now translating Chats, Campaigns and Surveys in Beekeeper. This saves teams time that was once wasted copying and pasting text into Google Translate, and it helps team members connect and work more efficiently.
Last but by no means least, dozens of Beekeeper customers are digitizing business processes with mobile-first forms. Forms in Beekeeper allow organizations to easily collect information in a structured format and move away from paper-based processes, effectively following industry guidelines in times of Coronavirus.
All of these updates aim to make relevant information and data quick and easy to access, so teams and managers on the front line never struggle to find what they need fast.
How Beekeeper is Learning from Customers
The Beekeeper team has always paid close attention to customers. We track thousands of customer-created insights and use them as input for our product development.
In early June, we compiled a list of concerns we were hearing from organizations related to returning to work after lockdown. Some common trends emerged:
- Organizations are feeling concerned about their ability to rapidly update frontline teams to changes in policy and procedure.
- Teams want to be able to cut through noise and get the most important updates fast.
- Leadership is feeling a renewed need to keep close track of staff health and morale.
- Companies are feeling their budgets squeezed.
These concerns, while acutely present in the context of returning to work, are common challenges companies grapple with all the time.
A huge amount of time (and money) is wasted on the front line searching for information. The average frontline worker wastes 3 hours per week looking for information. At an organization of 1,000, this adds up to millions of dollars wasted per year. Add on to that the cost of staff turnover due to disengaged/disconnected workers, plus the cost of safety incidents due to lack of safety training or easy reporting, and the cost of maintaining a disconnected workforce is staggering.
In this context, digitization is inevitable, and vital to business continuity. What Beekeeper provides to customers is a rallying point for workforce motivation and organizational agility – plus sophisticated operational tools and integrations to make the right information fast and easy to access. This unified employee experience is uniting leaders and their workforces to rise to challenges better than ever before. By increasing digital connectivity, innovative leaders decrease the cost base associated with maintaining a disconnected and disengaged workforce.
How Does Beekeeper 2.0 Connect Frontline Organizations?
For decades, frontline workers have been the single most underappreciated asset in most companies. Turnover for frontline workers was high, job satisfaction was low, and productivity was stagnant.
In the last few years, however, an awakening has begun. Frontline workers are becoming more visible, enabled, and appreciated than ever before. Enterprises are starting to invest heavily in their frontline workers, equipping them with the tools, systems, and development they need to help their business become more agile, productive, and profitable. This gradual awakening has been dramatically accelerated over the past few months: the months in which the world woke up to the tremendous value created by frontline workers, to their dedication, and their criticality to keep our world running.
When we consider this – the value, the potential and the critical importance of the frontline – in the context of digital investments, the numbers don’t seem to add up. On average, just 1% of enterprise IT spend goes toward enabling and connecting frontline workers. 1%. Despite the fact that these workers make up roughly 80% of a typical workforce in frontline industries. They produce the products, the customer experiences and the value on which these companies generate 100% of their revenue.
To fully explore the value of this tremendous asset, this is what organizations need:
- A digital channel to reach and connect the front line. Leadership needs to be able to reach and update their whole workforce fast in the event of changes.
- A tool to digitize time-consuming, inefficient, expensive paper-based processes. These processes are difficult to track and slow down operations. A frontline-focused digital platform can digitize paper processes like shift scheduling or announcements, so you can reach your whole workforce fast, no matter where they are.
- An automation strategy. To harness the full knowledge and power of the frontline workforce, organizations also need to automate common time-consuming processes that take up time managers could be spending coaching their teams and improving results.
- Data and insights. In order to optimize and harness their full potential as an organization, companies need data and insights on their frontline workforce.
At Beekeeper, we eat, sleep and breathe frontline enablement. Following these principles, we’ll continue to empower frontline organizations to connect, digitize, automate, and optimize their operations, while still providing an exceptional frontline employee experience. These are solutions and challenges that we are passionate about, and it’s our mission to continue enabling the frontline workforce and frontline organizations to connect and thrive. Welcome to the new era of frontline work. We’re happy to be your guides.