Now We’re Talking: Bizimply Launches Employee Engagement Platform For Hospitality

Workforce management experts Bizimply are launching a new tool to help hospitality operators improve team member engagement, while also ensuring that all communications between employers and employees are transparent, open, and kept separate from personal communication apps. 

Bizimply Connect enables communication between team members in real-time, on a company-wide, site-specific or one-to-one messaging basis. Operators will be able to use the platform to share weekly rotas with teams at specific sites, ask for short-notice staff cover, update employees on new company policies or marketing activities, or send tailored information to individuals, such as induction details for new joiners. 

For team members, Bizimply Connect offers a way to communicate quickly with their GM or supervisor when they need guidance or support while on shift. They can also use the platform to chat with colleagues in their team or wider company, to share information and ideas, or to organise social events. 

Bizimply UK managing director Alex Dyer said: “Engaged teams are the key to successful hospitality businesses: they thrive in their work and interact positively with customers to deliver exceptional service and memorable experiences. They are more loyal to their employer and less likely to leave, which is vital for operators facing the ongoing staff recruitment challenge.

“Crucially, Bizimply Connect helps operators to achieve high levels of engagement and motivation without intruding on team members’ personal lives. As an industry, we’re seeing growing numbers of staff experiencing ‘burn out’, frequently because of our long hours, ‘always on’ culture.  

“Unlike other chat platforms, Bizimply Connect protects the boundaries between work and personal life, which will help protect team members’ mental health and keep them engaged and happy in their work.” 

Bizimply Connect will be offered to all existing Bizimply customers, as a seamless and low-cost addition to their workplace management software. Unlike many employee engagement apps, Bizimply Connect can be implemented easily with the systems commonly used by hospitality operators, without the need for costly integration – making it particularly appealing to smaller businesses with a handful of sites. 

Employees will access the platform from the MyBizimply app on their mobile phone or tablet, which team members will be able to turn off when not on shift, enabling them to easily separate communications about work from their personal life. 

The Gunton Arms and sister pub The Suffield Arms in north Norfolk have been using Bizimply since 2021. General manager Bethany Price said: “We value the work-life balance of every team member and Bizimply Connect is a great fit with that ethos. It means we can keep personal and work chats separate, so our team members can reclaim their WhatsApp for private use. There’s no need to share personal numbers, which is crucial for maintaining a balance between work and home life. 

“Bizimply Connect has also proved to be an amazing tool to boost employee morale, as managers can use it to share news and announcements and make sure that all team members are kept up to date and feel valued.” 

Chef and restaurateur Graeme Watson is a board member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain and an Ambassador for the Burnt Chef Project, which campaigns for the mental wellbeing of hospitality workers. He said: “Hospitality can be a busy and high pressure environment to work in, and as well as getting support in the workplace, staff need to know that their downtime away from work will be respected. 

“Many younger employees in particular communicate mainly through WhatsApp and other social media, and also socialise with work colleagues, so the lines can get blurred. It’s important to ensure that work-related communication is clear and separate, and that staff can fully ‘switch off’ from work when they need to.”           

Bizimply Connect: key benefits

  • Easy for employees at all levels to access and use to communicate up, down, and across the company;
  • Employers can ensure the right people are in the right conversations, by creating company-wide, site or team-specific groups;
  • Real-time communication, making it ideal for emergency messaging such as requests for short-notice staff cover, or for staff needing guidance on shift from their GM or supervisors;
  • Enables employees to chat across their team or whole company, encouraging collaboration and fostering workplace friendships;
  • Creates a discrete platform for work-related communications, allowing employees to keep a divide between their work and personal lives;
  • Seamless and low-cost addition to existing Bizimply workforce management platform, compared to high costs of installing a new messaging platform 

Hospitality and mental health

  • In February 2023 researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London reported that almost 1 in 4 hospitality employees report having experienced mental health problems.  Dr Shanquan Chen from the Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, said: “Jobs that involve working face to face with the public, particularly where the employee has a degree of responsibility, and those that involve working irregular and long hours can all be emotionally demanding or even expose employees to violence and verbal aggression. This in turn could contribute to higher rates of mental health problems.” 
  • In January 2023, insights from hospitality training provider HIT Training showed how employees value mental health support: . 85.8% of employees would be more likely to leave a job if there was no obvious support for employee wellbeing, and 45.3% of employees believe first aid for mental health would enhance their benefits package. 
  • According to a survey for The Burnt Chef Project in 2020,  4 out of 5  hospitality employees have experienced at least one episode of mental health illness during their career, with 2 out of 3 saying they have experienced mental health issues at least three times.