A Swiss company called Beekeeper is using a cross-platform blend of web, mobile and digital signage to inform and motivate back of house workers in a variety of industries, such as hospitality.
The company recently announced a deal to provide its digital workforce platform for operational communications at SIXTY Hotels, a small luxury lodgings chain. While most digital signage platforms targeting the hotels market are very much about guest-facing communications, Beekeeper is focused on informing and motivating staff who aren’t sitting at desks and, in many cases, don’t have email accounts or other, more traditional means of being reached.
The Beekeeper platform is set up to digitize the non-desk workforce in companies. The platform connects colleagues across locations and departments in real time via mobile, desktop devices and digital displays.
“When I was introduced to Beekeeper, I immediately became hooked on its power to transform our engagement and improve our employees’ ability to share information and motivate each other,” Christopher Horn, VP Ops for SIXTY Hotels, told HospitalityNet. “Beekeeper gives us a mobile means to operationally communicate with all associates across five locations in a new, innovative and authentic way. We are optimizing best practices for sharing information, recognizing employee efforts, and holistically branding corporate and property news and promotions in real time. We’ve seen a well-over 90% adoption rate from among our associates.”
Horn told the trade publication that it was using paper notices on bulletin boards and stapled to paychecks, since more than 80% of its employees don’t have an email address or desktop computer. The hotel properties are using the platform to recognize staff for jobs well done, to chat about daily operational activity, poll associates, launch competitions and incorporate the chain’s social media streams.
This is interesting to me because, as noted above, this kind of back-of-house communications solves a problem. It may be pedestrian when compared to high-profile video walls and screens around offices and workplaces celebrating company accomplishments. But it is this meat and potatoes stuff – reaching hard-to-reach people like housekeeping staff in hotels and workers on manufacturing floors – that can make a real difference for companies and take tech like digital signage from a nice-to-have addition to a gotta-have.
It’s also interesting because here’s a company that does other stuff and also supports digital signage. Their signage capabilities are probably a shadow of what pure-play digital signage companies can do, but on the other hand, they have the mobile capabilities and operational integration that I doubt many CMS companies can offer.
A hotel that wants/needs a flashy video wall in the lobby may tilt to the the signage CMS company. But a hotel that wants to address a workplace comms problem across multiple platforms might very well tilt to something like Beekeeper.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.