My second 2019 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition vendor spotlight for you is… Beekeeper! Again, I took to Google to learn more about the vendors who I had never heard of before, and to see which ones I connected most with! The first thing that comes up when you search their name is that they are an employee communications tool. I read on to find out that they have branched out into operations as well and focus on engaging and bringing together the "non-desk" workforce such as employees in retail, hospitality and manufacturing. These are employees who may not have a company email address. Coming from an HR background in both hospitality and manufacturing, I wanted to learn more about this tool. Read on to see what else I learned from my chat with Austin Sandmeyer, North America Marketing Manager!
Their mission is to connect the unconnected:
"We wanted to help geographically distributed workforces and non-desk employees feel as if they were sitting right next to each other and to keep everyone in the company aligned. Companies with a large number of non-desk employees have a hard time keeping them in the loop with the rest of the organization. Beekeeper bridges this gap by connecting operational systems and communication channels within one secure platform that is accessible by mobile and desktop devices. You can customize it, schedule automated messages, establish communication streams, create and distribute employee surveys, and so much more. There are endless opportunities for making operations more simple and efficient, all while keeping your teams more engaged and happy to come to work."
Beekeeper is an app that employees download on their smartphones. No work email address is needed to sign up for an account. When an employee opens the app, they see their streams, similar to a Facebook feed. There is also a chat and group messaging function. Beekeeper started as a communications tool to help leaders have direct communication with front-line staff. They have built on the communication piece and now help companies with operations as well; their software is able to sync with HRIS systems and provide employees their schedules and paystubs among other things! When I worked in hospitality, we would email out the staff schedule to their personal emails which sometimes would go unchecked, and we would post the schedule on the bulletin board near the time clock. Although it was the employees' responsibility to obtain their schedule, a tool like Beekeeper would have made it easier for them.
You can set up automated workflows in Beekeeper based on triggers or dates, which I thought was so cool! For example, when a new employee logs into the app for the first time, a message it sent to them from the CEO, their manager, or whoever you want it to be from with a welcome message. A few days later, they will get another message with reminders to turn in certain forms or other deadlines. You can use it to send messages and reminders to enroll in new hire benefits, open enrollment, or any other information you need employees to receive timely. I also thought it was a great platform because you can use it for confirmation campaigns. If you as HR need to track who has seen the message, you can add in a checkbox that users have to acknowledge they received the message and read it. Another awesome feature is that translation is built in! Employees can translate all posts in the app into the language of their choice. The non-desk workforce can be very diverse and with that can come language barriers.
Beekeeper can also be used for employee engagement and recognition. Notifications can be sent out for employee of the month, birthdays, contests, etc. Employee surveys can be administered, and data collected. Peers can give each other shout-outs and kudos, and share something great the team just accomplished. Team leaders/supervisors can create group chats and invite employees. Austin gave a great example of the hospitality industry using Beekeeper in its every day operation. A housekeeper noticed an issue with an outlet in one of the rooms, took a picture of it and posted it to Beekeeper. The maintenance team got a notification and someone came to address the problem. Employees use Beekeeper to communicate with each other and keep an eye out for problems that they can help each other solve. I know I can think of a few ways in my organization that a tool like Beekeeper could speed up the process and cut down on customer frustration or delays that could impact revenue.
When attendees visit the Beekeeper booth #2458 at #SHRM19, they will be able to learn and see how the app works. Wouldn't it be awesome to generate more communication, accountability and engagement within your workforce? Do you even know the last time employees checked the bulletin board? An industry communication expert will be at the booth to answer any questions specific to your challenges. They look forward to having insightful conversations with HR pros at the conference. Oh, and of course there will be prizes being raffled off!
Trust me… there is so much more to discover about this platform! I hope you enjoyed the information that Austin and I were able to cover during our call. Their robust website has a ton of information and customer reviews. To learn more, you can visit them online at https://www.beekeeper.io/en. Reach out to the team on Twitter @BeekeeperSocial or email them at email@example.com with any questions!