Original article published in Hospitality Technology. Written by Michal Christine Escobar, Senior Editor (Hotels).
Efficient communication and a lack of technological resources are two of the biggest challenges Hyatt Hotels Corp. -- and most hotel brands -- face with its deskless workforce.
“With our global staff always on-the-go, and with 60-70 percent without email addresses, communication and alignment can be challenging,” says Mike Cohen, Director of Communication Systems, Hyatt. “Finding a customizable solution that allows for seamless communication and interaction was one of our top priorities.”
However, the pandemic emphasized just how crucial it was to keep their deskless teams together, communicating and informed.
“The pandemic really highlighted our need to be able to push critical information to our deskless workers while also providing them the ability to communicate amongst each other and with management,” Cohen said.
To manage this issue, Hyatt turned to Konverse, a centralized digital workplace app that provides secure and innovative support for deskless workers and the companies that employ them, enhancing collaboration and keeping everyone current on company projects and protocols.
Hyatt had been working with Konverse for years already. The platform began as a way to send messages to and from onsite staff, but the platform quickly introduced task management tools, a service desk, employee recognition, and more. In the midst of COVID-19, however, the Hyatt team took advantage of Konverse as their centralized communication tool that employees were already accustomed to using to ensure compliance and safety regulations were regularly followed while also pushing out important, timely resources to its teams.
Using Konverse, Hyatt was able to consolidate much of its technology needs into one platform without having to find additional vendors which also helped the company avoid incurring unnecessary or additional costs, Cohen added.
How It Works
So how exactly is Hyatt using Konverse?
First, it implemented the technology at its Global Contact Centers as well as at hotel operations worldwide, said Priscilla Rau, Manager of ServiceNow at Hyatt.
“In our Global Contact Centers, Konverse is leveraged primarily as a communication tool and knowledge center, providing our deskless staff ‘rooms’ to chat and stay informed on company protocols,” Rau explained. “Konverse’s robust APIs have also enabled Hyatt to customize the platform to our unique needs. We built out a task management system called the Back Office Board on top of the Konverse platform for in-house operations. This has allowed Hyatt’s select hotels to increase customer service and cleanliness scores by providing a system to track inspections and work orders.”
Adoption is Key
After working so hard to create a great platform for its deskless workforce, “adoption was an important focus for Hyatt,” Rau added. To encourage adoption, Hyatt invited managers at its Global Contact Centers to use the tool the same way they would a social media platform.
“We quickly saw an uptick in open communication across teams,” Rau noted. “With adoption high, company initiatives and changing protocols are now easily disseminated. Our workers have also appreciated the informal and more humanized communication, especially during the pandemic.”
For deskless workers using the Back Office Board, Hyatt found an increased adoption via training of General Managers and other management staff.
Since implementing Konverse at its Global Contact Centers and hotels, the company has seen a “tremendous increase” in staff communication and collaboration, Rau added. Using Konverse’s task management system has allowed its deskless workers to be informed of operational issues that need to be completed, while providing management more insight into the progress that’s been made.
This technology has become a “huge asset” in opening communication lines and allowing the company to provide “up-to-the-minute updates” to deskless staff, Cohen adds. But there is an additional benefit for global hospitality brands, such as Hyatt. When operating in countries outside of the United States, such as China, where communication tools like YouTube are not available, Konverse provides Hyatt with a way to distribute video content at scale.