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Meyer Jabara Hotels Enhances Employee Communication with Beekeeper

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DANBURY, CONN.—Employee empowerment has always been a key operating principal for Meyer Jabara Hotels (MJH). To take its Journey culture to new heights this year and boost employee engagement, the owner and operator of 32 hotels has partnered with Beekeeper, the leading app for frontline teams. Beekeeper features an intelligent dashboard that connects property leaders and the corporate management team with all frontline employees to improve internal communication, support HR teams, and streamline business processes. Secure, relevant information is readily distributed, searchable, and measurable in one central hub for an efficient digitized workflow.

“We’ve only been using Beekeeper for 30 days, and it has quickly become an employee engagement tool that we cannot do without,” said Sean Meade, General Manager of the Cambria Hotel White Plains (N.Y.) Downtown and Chairman of MJ’s Journey LOP. “Beekeeper centralizes and digitizes all of our operating processes, including shift schedules, end of shift reports, HR requests, new employee training, uniform ordering, associate opinion surveys, and a lot more. It also gives us a place to recognize birthdays and anniversaries, commemorate a big sales win, and post photos of fun things happening at our hotels. The buy-in from employees is game changing. I’ve never seen so much excitement. Employees are connecting with each other, and they are gaining a better understanding of our culture and why we do things the way we do them every day. It’s phenomenal.”

Meade said prior to a recent employee luncheon celebrating his property’s performance success, employees used Beekeeper polling functions to decide on the menu for an upcoming celebration. He said he assumed his staff would opt for Peruvian cuisine, however, more than 50 percent requested a Brazilian menu instead. “Beekeeper saved the day,” Meade said. “Within just minutes I learned something new about our team, and it will go a long way towards making our celebration much more memorable by giving them exactly what they want—not what I think they want.”

All Departments Impacted

Jessica Knopp, Regional HR director for MJH’s Lehigh Valley (Penn.) Region and Team Leader for the Beekeeper deployment, said employees across all departments—from housekeepers, supervisors, and inspectors to front desk associates, guest service staff and engineers—were eager to become part of “the hive” from the jump.

“Within the first 30 days of the pilot, we hit our activation goal of 81 percent,” Knopp said. “Even more impressive is that 95 percent of those associates who are logged into Beekeeper are actively using it daily. The platform is so easy to work with, as is the Beekeeper support team. Some technology companies get you set up and then leave you to figure things out yourself. Beekeeper is a true partner in every sense of the word. We can tell them what we want the platform to do. If enough hotels want to leverage it in the same way, they will build out the functionality. Quarterly webinars are also a huge help. They notify us of new features Beekeeper will be launching and give us more insight into how we can be leveraging existing features that we may be unaware of or not using effectively. We cannot wait to get the next release of Beekeeper that will integrate AI into our communications process.”

Knopp said HR is eager to standardize onboarding within Beekeeper. In addition, peripheral technologies, such as Dayforce and Bridge Virtual Learning, are already integrated into the platform. Soon Microsoft Teams for corporate communications will also be “live” in the hive.

Culture Communications

Andrada Paraschiv, Beekeeper VP of Hospitality, said properly communicating a company’s culture is key to attracting and retaining hotel employees today. The only way to sustain the workforce is by giving employees real-time collaboration tools that they are already familiar with, such as mobile apps, and empowering them to leverage those same types of apps at work to make their jobs easier and tasks more efficient.

“When we first met with Meyer Jabara Hotels they had two goals,” Paraschiv said. “The first was to give employees a voice and connect them to the company and The Journey. Second, was to give employees access to the information they need to do their jobs successfully and then recognize those people on the same platform and share their successes company wide. The 11 hotels now “live” with Beekeeper have already achieved those goals, and the remaining properties will follow suit by the end of the third quarter 2024. Beekeeper recognizes that engaged employees are one of the strongest indicators for a frontline company’s success and one of the quickest ways to affect an organization’s bottom line. We’re excited to set up with Meyer Jabara Hotels and see what they do next.”

Promoting Wellness

One of the most successful and engaging communications streams is what MJH calls “The Wellness Hive.” Led by Regional Vice President Denise Maiatico, the channel offers informative tips on financial, physical and mental wellness and includes healthy chef inspired recipes, fitness tips, and trivia.

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