The information has been out there for a while — tools that let employees network, known as social software, ensure better cooperation, higher productivity and innovation in a company. That sounds almost too good to be true? At hotelkit, we are enthusiastic users of social software ourselves, namely our own. hotelkit is a digital all-round solution with numerous features for more efficient collaboration and communication. Three hotelkit employees — Alexandra Spindler (Head of Operations & People), Branka Ristic (Corporate Happiness Manager) and Sophie Schmidt (Social Media Manager at hotelkit and receptionist at Hotel Der Salzburger Hof) — tell us how the collaboration platform not only promotes productivity, but also “social connections” within the company.
We at hotelkit can confirm from our own experience that social software promotes the well-being and productivity of employees.
Alexandra, why are “social connections” so important in the workplace, and how does hotelkit help strengthen them?
Alexandra: We spend so much time at work, so social connections need to be encouraged there as well. During the height of the pandemic, physical meetings with colleagues were limited. This made digital communication via hotelkit even more important. We do not want to replace personal contact, but instead create a platform for dialog. All team members can, for example, be kept up to date on news or make contributions via the Ideas tool. This way, the team spirit is not lost despite the physical distance.
As Head of Operations & People, you are the central person in the office. How do you manage to keep all employees up to date when many are currently working from home?
Alexandra: Home office was not a novelty for us at the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, but already lived practice. We were already well-equipped beforehand, with laptops, working in the cloud, and our own social software, hotelkit. So, we were able to maintain communication and daily workflows without any problems. We also have some part-time employees who are not in the office every day. Therefore, transparent and digital communication has always been a top priority for us. As an employer, we want to offer flexible working hours because we want to create a space where work and private life (studies, family, children…) can be integrated.
The features of our social software hotelkit offer numerous opportunities for interaction and enable employees to organize their working hours flexibly. Our goal as an employer is to have happy employees, and hotelkit helps us to achieve this.
Branka, why is it so important for you as Corporate Happiness Manager to make employees happy, and how does hotelkit help you with that?
Branka: The pursuit of happiness is an essential element in our culture, not only in private life, but also in the modern working world. That’s why we try to make our employees happy. Happy people are much more productive and show a higher level of commitment. A healthy work environment and a sense of community in the workplace make people enjoy what they do. They don’t dread going into work. This in turn leads to fewer absences.
During the first lockdown in March 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty in the team. We tried to ease our employees’ minds through weekly online coffee breaks and regular online meetings to update them on the situation. The Moments tool, our own social stream in hotelkit, was also important for everyone to feel connected. We celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events via posts in that tool. Employees shared experiences from their daily lives with the rest of the team.
How does hotelkit help to make new employees feel part of the work family?
Alexandra: It starts with the onboarding process. hotelkit is an indispensable tool there. The new “hotelkids” — as we affectionately call our baby employees — get to know their area of responsibility and much more via digital checklists. hotelkit also ensures that everyone stays up to date, whether in the office or at home. Thus, conversations and standards are recorded in Handovers and Handbook articles. In turn, the hotelkit Ideas tool gives all employees a great chance to get involved. You can contribute to innovation in the company right from the start.
Branka: In addition, new employees are assigned a “buddy” to help them and bring them into the work family. Moreover we strengthen our team connection with various activities such as cocktail tasting, game nights or cooking together. New employees should feel welcomed from the first day on.
We try to make our employees happy. Satisfied people are much more productive and show a higher level of commitment. People enjoy coming to work thanks to a healthy working atmosphere and a sense of community at work.
How do you promote the well-being of your employees? How does the software support you in this?
Branka: We place a lot of emphasis on health. We offer anything from farm-fresh organic fruit in the office to nourishing team lunches and joint online workouts. In addition, we regularly organize team events — also online — to work on that company spirit.
Thanks to hotelkit, I can communicate new benefits quickly and transparently to the entire team. Surveys help me to determine the needs of the employees, for example, which workout they prefer or who wants what for lunch. The Handbook also lets me create a collection of all employee benefits. This gives the whole team a transparent overview.
Sophie, you work both as a receptionist at Hotel Der Salzburger Hof and as Social Media Manager at hotelkit. How does the system help you to keep track and feel comfortable in both teams?
Sophie: Since I use hotelkit as a central platform in both teams, I can easily stay in touch with all my colleagues, no matter which company. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine managing the workload of two jobs without hotelkit. You’re always notified about the most important news and changes and stay up to date. After all, that can often be difficult, especially working from home.
Even though it is a digital platform, hotelkit encourages connection with work colleagues. hotelkit Moments, for example, is a fantastic tool in this respect. You get to be part of all the big and small moments in your colleagues’ lives, not just at the office but at home as well. All via our own personal social network!
Without hotelkit, I could no longer imagine doing two jobs. You get the most important information and changes and stay up to date.
You also want to strengthen your team connection with hotelkit?