The need for frontline workers to be part of a wider organisational community and company culture has been found to be increasingly important. But how do you navigate internal communication and employee engagement challenges when your workforce is separated by location, time, and role? Cristian Grossmann, CEO of Beekeeper, looks at why the answer may lie in cultivating a digital workplace with team communication tools.
Connect dispersed catering teams across shifts and locations
The catering industry has a diverse workforce––many of whom are hourly workers that speak different languages, may switch roles regularly, and are based in different locations wherever events take them. This creates limited opportunity to gather the entire workforce together to engage with at once or even for day-to-day interaction amongst those who you don’t work directly with.
Breaking with tradition: improve employee engagement with a digital workplace
Traditional methods of team communication include notice boards, in-person team meetings, and e-bulletins. However, these are outdated and ineffective when it comes to fostering employee engagement and harnessing a sense of catering community and culture. With the at times unpredictable, on-the-go nature of catering work, it can difficult to be sure that your workforce is receiving the right information in a timely manner without a mobile team communication tool. It’s also almost impossible to get the entire company team in the same place at the same time, especially when there are always customers to serve.
Your catering workforce wants your company to be technologically-savvy
According to a recent study by Aruba on the role of technology in the digital workplace, 64% responded affirmatively when asked if they thought their organisation risked falling behind if new digital workplace technology wasn’t integrated. Unhappy workers will ultimately leave but if they don’t, they can be toxic and create a negative atmosphere amongst co-workers. Adopting a team communication tool for employee engagement helps create a thriving digital workplace which in turn impacts company culture. Investing in a digital workplace needs to be a priority for management and HR teams if catering companies are to both retain their workforce and create a happy work environment.
Employee engagement solutions in a modern world
Catering management may be keen to invest in technology that facilitates better customer service, but can often shy away from solutions that aid workforce management. The digital age has brought with it a number of ways that allow us to genuinely change the way we communicate in the workplace and software that can be accessed via a smartphone is a very practical solution for all.
Below are seven benefits a team communication tool can bring to your catering workforce.
1. Unified communication: One common employee feedback response is that they aren’t updated on company news often enough. Celebrating new hires, new clients, or successes such as a specific job well-done can be shared through a digital workplace. Using team communication tools, such as an employee app, means management can distribute information to the entire catering workforce instantly while creating a communication channel for the team to comment or provide feedback. This ensures any issues are ironed out quickly or any concerns are dealt with as soon as possible.
2. Employee-driven content: Team communication tools also enable individuals, regardless of role, location, or time to share their own successes, learnings, or news. This can be anything from great customer feedback on a catering event, or a new inventory procedure they have introduced. This type of employee engagement is key to bringing the team together, even remote workers, to congratulate and commemorate achievements, creating a sense of pride in and active ownership of company culture.
3. Two-way communication via messaging: Getting the time to speak to a manager or a HR executive can be tricky in a large organisation, but it’s often very important for an individual to have that channel when required. Mobile messaging functions in a team communication tool that facilitate this dialogue are crucial to creating a sense of belonging for employees.
4. Mobile HR tools: Implementing team communication tools as part of your digital workplace strategy enables your workforce to request holiday or shifts changes, speeding up the process and putting an end to time-consuming forms. Other HR processes such as viewing recent payslips can be automated with chatbots for instant document retrieval.
5. The ability to initiate employee surveys and polls: Regular employee polls on company decision-making or changes communicates that management values everyone’s opinion. By polling and surveying the whole team it enables for more informed decision making and can help planning and evaluation across a number of topics from changing job roles to catering event feedback.
6. A digital workforce resource: Having company policies and guidelines, as well as new hire training information, accessible through an employee app saves time and resources for both HR and your staff. A digital workplace can also function as a centralised space for crisis communications and response guides to be instantly and easily accessed in the case of an emergency at an event.
7. Inline translation: Team app content can be translated into different languages so your entire workforce can participate in generating content and stay on the page as the entire organisation.
By investing in team communication tools that facilitate interaction, streamlined internal communication, and employee engagement, catering companies can create a thriving culture that drives successful catering operations and cultivates happy employees.
by Cristian Grossmann, CEO of digital workplace app Beekeeper