MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA—It takes a lot of organization and task management for a hotel to work like a well-oiled machine. All team members need to be on the same page behind the scenes so that the guest experience is optimized.
The mobile employee communication app Groupe.io, developed by SpotCues (a portfolio company of Pramati Technologies, based here), was created to close “the gap in communication and collaboration for the non-desk workers who represent 80% of the global workforce,” noted Praveen Kanyadi, Groupe.io’s co-founder/VP of products.
The fact that a majority of non-desk employees do not have corporate email addresses hampers the ability to communicate in real time, and Groupe.io can eliminate that problem.
“Daily operations of the hospitality industry are quite complex with lots of moving parts, and real-time communication is the backbone to ensure smooth operations,” said Kanyadi. “In the absence of an inclusive communication channel, individual teams use public messaging apps to communicate, putting organizational data at risk.
“The Groupe.io app was developed to help organizations efficiently communicate with their employees,” he continued. “Our app enables organizations to connect their desk and non-desk workforce without requiring corporate email addresses. The mobile-first approach makes it easy for non-desk workers to receive communication directly on their mobile device in real time.”
Groupe.io offers three core components—communication, engagement and productivity. The management team can use the app to instantly broadcast to all or specific groups of employees and keep them informed about what’s happening in the organization to motivate and engage employees, noted Kanyadi.
“The app provides pre-built templates for common use cases, such as company news, announcements, events, polls, surveys, policy updates, etc., and organizations can instantly create custom templates,” he said. “These broadcasts could include files, links or media and may also require employees to digitally acknowledge receipt of these communications if required.”
Managers can also communicate with their specific teams for things such as operational tasks, daily huddles and VIP arrivals, while employees can instantly collaborate with coworkers through one-on-one chats.
Groupe.io comes pre-loaded with a suite of employee engagement features, Kanyadi pointed out. Employees can share their feedback through surveys and their ideas through the Idea Box. The recognition section helps them to instantly endorse their coworkers.
The productivity feature enables the operations team to digitize paper-driven processes such as work orders, maintenance checklists and inspections. The Task Manager enables managers to quickly create ad-hoc or scheduled tasks, and assign them to employees. The workflow capabilities allow employees to submit requests such as shift changes and paid time off directly from the app.
Groupe.io solved two major user issues—forgotten usernames/passwords and secure login—by adding biometric authentication for login.
“Following a strategic partnership with FIDO-based omnichannel authentication platform ThumbSignIn, workers can use fingerprint scanners or face ID on their phones to log in on iOS, Android and web platforms,” said Kanyadi.
A majority of Groupe.io’s 500-plus clients are from the hotel industry, including Marriott and Radisson hotels. “Most properties report an average of more than 70% retention, which shows very high engagement,” said Kanyadi.
Palm Holdings, owner and operator of hotels in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., has adopted the app throughout its portfolio.
“Our team recognized that there was an opportunity to enhance our daily communication across brands, and Groupe.io was the perfect solution,” said Tammy Kazakevicius, manager, corporate operations, Palm Holdings. “We wanted our team members to feel engaged and appreciated; stay up-to-date with company news; and be able to share best practices on one platform that everyone has access to. It helps increase employee productivity and strengthen our company culture, which can hopefully reduce turnover.”
She noted that the integration into her company’s hotels was a painless process, with the Groupe.io team working with executives to design a custom version for each property.
“We also wanted to create one main Palm Holdings spot, so all team members would feel united and can communicate with each other,” said Kazakevicius. “Groupe.io set up an integration plan in advance that included marketing plans; webinar training; project schedules; a three-month content plan for posts; and YouTube training videos for our management team and frontline staff. One of the benefits of introducing Groupe.io is that the platform is similar to existing social media tools, so many employees were comfortable navigating the tool with minimal training.”
The exec pointed out that executives and non-desk employees alike have embraced the app.
“Our executive team travels across North America and with Groupe.io, they are always connected,” noted Kazakevicius. “Team members really enjoy reading the comments and seeing who is viewing the posts; it makes them feel proud and encourages them to participate more often. It’s made our team feel united and has helped us create a culture that is unique and fun.” HB