The most important element of the hospitality business is the guest experience. In the age of the sharing economy, hotels face increasing competition for bookings. Travelers now choose between established hotels or privately-owned accommodations through vacation rental sites.
To increase their value proposition, hotels need to leverage their biggest asset to make sure guest experience is the best it can be: their frontline employees.
The Watergate Hotel, in Washington, DC, and 1 Hotels, for three US locations, recognized the path to improving their customer service was through their frontline teams, who have the most personal interaction with guests. By implementing digital strategies, including a team app that connected their mobile hospitality team to internal communications, the hotels could build an engaged workforce and create brand ambassadors to make every guest’s stay a great experience.
Though each hotel brand had different goals, they both selected Beekeeper for their internal communication strategy, recognized as the Most Innovative Hotel Technology and Best New Hospitality technology. Beekeeper has since delivered compelling results for the hospitality business of both The Watergate and 1 Hotels.
The Watergate Hotel: An Internal Communications Remodel
The Watergate is a high-end hotel in Washington, DC, with 336 guest rooms and 280 employees. The 20,000 square-foot complex is nestled next to the historic Georgetown neighborhood and overlooks the Potomac River.
After investing $200 million to renovate the physical space, the Watergate Hotel wanted to do an internal communications remodel. From the front desk to housekeeping to the restaurant, leadership wanted to connect their entire staff in real time with no gaps in communication. This was critical for an integrated internal communication system in order to maintain, and improve upon, their reputable guest service.
The Watergate launched Beekeeper’s group messaging app to connect employees on their mobile devices. They also eliminated the traditional group messaging method of bulletin board notes where many messages were missed. Instead, digital signage aligns internal communication between all employees, especially the night and day shift, for continuity of guest service.
Leadership wanted to communicate with staff about events such as VIP guest arrival. They also wanted to empower their employees by using the Beekeeper team app to:
- Train staff
- Introduce new workers
- Recognize employees for going above and beyond in their jobs.
As for the results after Beekeeper took over internal communications? The Watergate has seen a spike in the hotel’s TripAdvisor scores and reviews, a big influencer in recruiting new guests.
“Beekeeper has revolutionized the way we talk. It’s the foundation of our culture and community, and it’s an integral part of our daily operations.” -Jeff David, Managing Director, Watergate Hotel
1 Hotels: Sustainable Internal Communications for Higher Retention
Whether an iconic view of Manhattan from the Brooklyn waterfront, on the sand in South Beach, Miami, or overlooking New York City’s Central Park, 1 Hotels has three prime hotel real estate locations, with more to come.
1 Hotels opened in 2015, and wanted to refine internal communications so they could connect their dispersed staff. They also aimed to improve employee engagement by celebrating their employees more in order to reduce turnover, a persistent challenge for the hospitality industry with turnover rates near 70%.
1 Hotels also wanted to align staff to their core vision of sustainability. Their dedicated maintenance team needed a way to keep colleagues up to date on project statuses around the hotels. With Beekeeper’s team app, 1 Hotels gave every department, and every employee, a voice in the company and the ability to communicate with one another.
Their previous internal communication tool was a consumer app that kept information in silos separated by department. Beekeeper gathers internal communication into one digital workplace for anytime, anywhere access to mobile collaboration.
In their quest to reduce turnover, 1 Hotels has a morning in-person “rally” where employees gather pre-shift to learn about the day’s events over the Beekeeper app together. Leaders can track employee engagement through surveys to make sure their teams are happy in their jobs.
Eliminating information silos has done wonders for internal communication at 1 Hotels. Employees quickly adopted Beekeeper, even calling the team app contagious, and the results are powerful.
- The entire team is united on the sustainable mission of 1 Hotels.
- The real-time capabilities of the group messaging app has served as a communications tool during crisis throughout Hurricane Irma to keep employees posted on weather conditions and alerted them when 1 Hotel South Beach had to shut its doors during the worst of the storm.
- Turnover has been reduced by 39%, an amazing accomplishment for any hospitality business.