Is it time for your business to use a mobile team app?

The right mobile collaboration apps (also known as digital internal communication platforms) can deliver a wide range of benefits for any catering and hospitality company.

Better internal communications creates employees who are more engaged, productive, happier, and more likely to stay with their employer.

A team app should be a vital component of your workforce management strategy. Especially if the majority of your team are non-desk based mobile workers who are separated by job roles, locations, and shift schedules, which is common within larger catering and hospitality companies and specialists like event caterers.

Better access to shift schedules

A recent study in the US found that inconsistent shift patterns and lack of advance notice when new schedules are released had a profoundly negative impact on employees. Last-minute changes to a shift worker’s schedule can prevent them from being able to arrange childcare, plan medical appointments, and organise socialising. The study found that providing employees with access to their shift schedule at least two weeks in advance can alleviate these issues.

A team app is easily accessible from anywhere at any time, either through the mobile app, or on a desktop computer.

This internal communications tool can help shift workers’ manage their work/life balance by giving them earlier, improved access to shift schedules. The right team app can also give shift workers the ability to quickly and easily swap shifts when they need to, ensuring shifts are always covered and reducing employee absenteeism.

For instance, shift briefing documents can be shared daily in dedicated streams, eliminating the need for time consuming, pre-shift check-ins and in-person meetings. Plus, shift schedules can easily be shared in streams and Beekeeper chats quickly facilitate shift exchange requests.

How better shift schedule access works in practice

If we look at how this works on a practical level, one of Beekeeper’s customers has as many as 150 floating employees supporting them during busy periods or when work sites are understaffed.

Before Beekeeper, their shifts were organised via email. The manager responsible for planning the shift schedules collected all the given answers in an Excel sheet and sent out the individual shift plan. This whole process took about half a day to complete. They implemented monthly surveys which went out to all the members of the group. Managers could easily download the survey results in Excel, which saved them a great amount of time.

Their shift trade requests are now conducted via Beekeeper chats. And shift schedules are posted in streams (similar to feeds), so employees can search for them by keywords and access them from home.

How successful is the implementation?

A team app needs to be properly implemented. This means you will need to measure and evaluate the success of the roll-out process. Successful implementation of a team app involves a variety of factors, including placing it at the heart of your internal communication strategy and ensuring that the roll-out is driven by the leadership team.

Managers and other team leaders must know how to navigate the mobile collaboration app, and they also need to use it so employees will follow their example. It’s particularly important for leadership to review and assess user data that shows adoption rates of the app at all levels. This helps quantify how many engaged employees are using the app, as well as how they’re using it.

After adoption has been established, you can extend or incorporate additional features based on internal feedback with the help of a dedicated customer success representative.

Think about how easy it is to use a team app

The next thing to consider is the usability of a team app. Usability refers to how user-friendly a mobile collaboration app is for both administrators and workers. Since some catering and hospitality business operate 24/7, a team app should effectively bridge the internal communication gap between different departments, day and night shifts, and different site locations.

It’s also important to consider how well a mobile collaboration app’s technology integrates with your workforce’s other messaging tools.

Successful integration with your workforce’s existing messaging tools and workflows helps adoption rates as your team will be more likely to use internal communication tools that they’re familiar with.

Will a team app make it easier to do business?

The right mobile collaboration app will facilitate real-time communication that can help your workforce save time, carry out operational tasks, and streamline operations for your hospitality and catering business.

Real-time communication saves valuable time, particularly when your workforce is spread out across multiple locations or teams. For instance, within your mobile collaboration app, communication streams let you easily post pictures or videos to convey important team updates and company information. Users can also notify specific members of your workforce by tagging them in posts.

Ultimately, a mobile collaboration app’s customer support should be thorough and detailed. You must proactively identify and solve any potential issues in order to address them in a timely way to keep your internal communications running smoothly.

Easy access to a team app via mobile devices

Whether your team members are working remotely or on-site for clients, your workforce can access a mobile collaboration app on their personal devices anywhere they are, from an offsite event, a kitchen, a staff office, or to the break room. A mobile communications app puts all the information they need right at their fingertips regardless of where they are.

Since the majority of people now own a smartphone, it makes sense to use them in our daily work lives. Investing in a secure, mobile communications platform is the ideal opportunity to unite a distributed workforce and keep your catering employees connected and engaged at work. Creating a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) policy in the workplace means you’re fostering a culture of trust. Feeling trusted by management can have a huge effect on your team’s mindset at work and make them valued, happier, and less likely to leave for another job.

The right mobile team app can deliver a broad range of benefits for your hospitality and catering business that can increase employee engagement and productivity, and grow your bottom line. Try one now and see for yourself.

By Cristian Grossmann, CEO and co-founder of workplace communication platform, Beekeeper

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