Oakland, Calif, Dec. 15, 2020 — 2020 was one of most challenging years the hospitality industry has ever experienced. Resilient hoteliers had to adapt overnight to a new reality. But from these dark times came the rise of the frontline worker. It is their dedication to this industry that keeps hotels running smoothly and ensures that guests’ needs are met during this difficult and dangerous time. Beekeeper, developer of an award-winning, GDPR compliant, workplace app that digitalizes hotel workers, is giving back to the industry’s unsung heroes – those dedicated hotel workers who went above and beyond for guests, healthcare workers and first responders – by donating up to $20,000 to various nonprofit organizations chosen by its very own customers.

“This past year is a reminder of how important it is to empower every single employee to have the right tools and access to critical information for everyone to be safe,” said Cris Grossmann, Beekeeper CEO and Co-Founder. “So, I want to commend hoteliers for their commitment to frontline workers. They continue to inspire us to create better, simpler, and more tailored tools to revolutionize the way the front line is working nowadays. Organizational change is never easy. Becoming a resilient, inclusive workplace takes commitment. We at Beekeeper are here – and will be here – supporting [hoteliers] all the way. Supporting our communities and lifting each other up is also paramount to our mission. That is why we are donating $20,000 to the charities of our customers’ choice. Together we will overcome the challenges we endured in 2020. I’m confident that we will move together towards a brighter future.”

A Year Like No Other

When COVID-19 hit, inquiries about Beekeeper increased threefold, as hoteliers found themselves in dire need of communicating with furloughed employees who did not have a company email address or even a home computer. The digital Beekeeper employee-communication platform enables hoteliers to engage effectively with active and furloughed frontline hotel workers in real time and in their language of choice. Managers can save time by reaching their teams with one click and can see an audit trail of who has seen or not the communication. The solution serves as a channel for sending clear and consistent updates to active or furloughed workers as well as communicate and train on frequently changing operating procedures.

Reviews posted on Hotel Tech Report from global hotel and casino operators using the platform are substantiating that Beekeeper is here for its customers and the digital app is making a positive impact on employee performance and engagement. When asked “What do you like the most” about Beekeeper, respondents said:

“Beekeeper allows all associates across all of our hotels to engage with each other and share each other's success and experiences. It is also a great way to convey important information quickly. I have found this to be especially helpful in the age of COVID-19. Things are changing quickly with the pandemic and having company-wide communication has helped us to stay on top of things in a more efficient and effective way. It is also fun to post pictures of anniversaries, birthdays, hotel awards and successes or share funny stories.”

[Beekeeper drives] instant communication that reaches everyone. We love the messaging capability and chat functionality; we have used this a lot during these challenging times. The App is both useful as a working tool to share information but also has a strong social aspect.”

New Tools for a New Normal

To help hoteliers fortify their employee communication initiatives amidst this new normal, Beekeeper executed the following in 2020:

1.   An educational and globally attended webinar series was launched attracting more than 2,000 participants — The webinars, hosted by Beekeeper Head of Hospitality Andrada Paraschiv, explained how hotels can effectively communicate with their teams amidst the disruption to maintain productivity and eliminate staff confusion. Operators from Daios Club Luxury Resort & Villas, Fitler Club, HDG Hotels, IHG, InTown Suites, Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International, North Point Hospitality, and Swire Club, along with executives from Jones Day, the Cornell Institute for Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations discussed best practices for communicating and connecting with employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

2.   New critical integrations were added to strengthen the Beekeeper marketplace and support a hotel’s workforce more efficiently with an open platform optimized for mobile — Integration partners that joined Beekeeper this year include: Ceridian (a provider of human resources software and services), UKG – formerly Kronos (an HR and workforce management solution provider), Lua (a robust housekeeping and task workflow management system), Typsy (an online hospitality learning platform), SalesBoost (an on-demand skill-based learning and coaching platform). Beekeeper also integrates into the Microsoft Office 365 environment with an already functional SharePoint integration and an upcoming Teams integration.

3.   A Hospitality Forms template package was created that helps hoteliers get operational value faster and helps them comply with the current physical distancing requirement (especially now, to avoid a number of hands touching the same forms, or a number of employees congregating in certain areas) — Beekeeper customers have been using digital forms for daily health checks, shift reports, employee of the quarter nominations and many more. By digitalizing the daily health check form, a luxury hotel in New York City is saving every employee between eight and 15 minutes of queueing every day, which for the number of their employees worked out to 66 hours a day, which nears $300,000 of savings in one single year.

In addition, improvements were made to existing features within the Beekeeper platform, from introducing a new home screen that makes finding relevant information and systems faster, to voice messaging, authenticated links and customer FAQ chatbots. Coming soon in 2021 will be a new Tasks feature as part of the Operational Suite, which will enable teams to manage their tasks on the go, directly from their employee app.

“At Beekeeper, we believe that 2021 will be the year of the digitalized hotel workforce,” Paraschiv said. “If there is one thing hoteliers learned this year it’s that they must have a digital way to get the right operating procedures to the right workers at the right time to guarantee the right result. For this to happen, there must be transparent communication between management and staff to improve the employee experience and boost engagement. Most hotels are trying to implement the right safety and cleaning standards. The ones that will be most successful will be those who will be truly able to live up to those standards, whose employees understand what is required of them and are  empowered to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. NOW is the time to invest in our people. In return, they will take care of our guests.”