Brand, values, and communication reach YOTEL’s global workforce every day
YOTEL has been bringing affordable luxury to the hotel industry since 2007. In 2012, with multiple locations around the world (and even more set to open), YOTEL realized they needed a better way to communicate with their growing workforce—email was no longer cutting it. They wanted a central, online communication hub that every staff member could use to stay in touch with each other, hear important company messaging, and share YOTEL’s values.
To meet these requirements, YOTEL implemented Jostle’s employee success platform. That was in 2013 and they haven’t looked back. They now have an accessible online space, where their culture, values, and brand live. Jostle is the tool that keeps important topics front of mind for every employee, ensuring they deliver a consistent, high-quality experience for every customer.
Who is YOTEL?
YOTEL is a UK-based hotel company that focuses on affordable luxury. They have a lean approach to business, internally and externally, and believe that a lower-cost service should not compromise quality. They provide a rich experience for hotel guests, with a service that has everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The business model and brand are inspired by first-class airline travel, which achieves a high level of quality and comfort despite limited space. The influence of airlines permeates the company through brand language, hotel locations, and automated technology systems to benefit their guests. They’ve discovered that one of the biggest pain points for guests is time and they want to make the entire hotel experience as seamless and efficient as possible.
They have two brand identities—YOTELAIR and YOTEL—and 225 staff members across four time zones. The company is both physically and culturally diverse, and that’s only increasing as they grow.
Why did YOTEL need an employee platform?
When YOTEL started out, their company was small and niche. They primarily used email to communicate. However, as they grew, they realized that email didn’t provide the depth of communication needed to reach a growing, and increasingly diverse, workforce. They recognized the need for an online space that every employee could access to stay in touch with each other, the company values, and the YOTEL brand.
Engaging employees with their values and culture
YOTEL has very clear values—to be smart, honest, empathetic, efficient, and inspiring. These values are the backbone of their internal company culture and external customer experience. They want to make sure they live these values every single day, with the intention of providing a better workplace for employees and consistent service for their customers. They needed a way to connect every employee to their company values and keep them top of mind.
“One of the ways the Jostle platform has been fantastically useful is for reiterating our values.”
VP – Brand
Ensuring communication is reaching everyone
With new hotels in the US and deals established for other hotels around the world, communication was becoming a lot more challenging. YOTEL needed to connect different types of workers across multiple time zones. They needed a central location that would connect everyone—to each other, to the company culture, and to information that helps them do their job.
Celebrating employees with recognition and reward
As a lean business, YOTEL doesn’t have the budget for large PR events or gatherings of their entire international workforce. They needed a transparent way to reward and celebrate employees for outstanding work and publicly recognize their fulfillment of company values.
“We needed a communication system that would work across an online platform, that wasn’t reliant on local servers or email systems. It also had to be incredibly easy to use - for users and administrators. It had to be intuitive.”
VP – Brand
How is Jostle helping YOTEL?
The Jostle platform is improving communication throughout YOTEL. They’re using its diverse features to communicate messages that: improve the internal reach of their brand; bring the company culture to life; increase connections between staff members; recognize good work; and improve processes.
YOTEL are communicating their teamwork across locations
Bringing values and culture to life
YOTEL has a rich company culture. Part of this culture is a belief that it’s important to live their company values at work every day. They’ve been very deliberate in making this happen.
Internally, they’ve developed a service brand that was collaboratively created by 150 staff members. In a nutshell, they’ve created 31 very simple practices—one for each day of the month—that employees are encouraged to put into practice.
By reinforcing these 31 practices, YOTEL staff members are remaining true to the values of the brand and delivering this to their hotel guests. “The 31 practices are actually extremely simple. I mean, crazily simple,” said Jo, VP - Brand for YOTEL, “but we’ve seen some fantastic results.”
“Jostle is an excellent way of getting our values in front of our Crew. We also use Jostle to reward people for putting our values into practice.”
VP – Brand
An example of one of the practices is: Practice 7 - We admit if we make a mistake or do not know the answer. YOTEL is using Jostle to communicate and share the expectation and application of these practices with the use of their lively News view and up-to-the-minute Activity feed.
As YOTEL has expanded into different countries and cultures, they’ve used Jostle to bring these company values into each of their new locations. By doing this, they’re able to provide a consistent and quality experience to their customers around the world.
YOTEL regularly recognize good work via Jostle
Connecting the company
The Jostle platform is providing YOTEL with a high level of connectivity in a number of ways. It’s used to better connect colleagues around the world while reducing email; connect all members of staff with desktop and mobile; and connect new employees to the company from day one.
Jo shared: “When we ask for feedback on orientation––and we’ve put a lot of senior people through orientation recently—the feedback that they’re giving us about Jostle has been fantastic.”
New hires are finding Jostle a useful way to get connected and familiar with the company from day one. Features such as Teams, which allow the user to see up-to-date organization charts with a photo of each employee, are proving extremely useful. It allows new staff members to connect with their team members before meeting them directly.
YOTEL staff use PEOPLE view to connect with each other
Since implementing Jostle, YOTEL has also been happy to see the drastic reduction of internal emails. “Every single article that we publish would’ve been an email before we got the Jostle platform. It’s easy to see that has saved a lot of emails!”
Also, the arduous process of sending company-wide emails has been simplified. They’ve been replaced with News Articles, which are simple to post and reliably reach every employee at the same time. Everything, from partnership opportunities to handbook updates, is posted on the Jostle platform.
Employees have easy access to all of this information on their mobile phones, which has been extremely useful for YOTEL. “It's critical for us,” said Jo, “because our cabin crew members [housekeeping] are a very transient workforce. It’s far more difficult to engage with them than the back-of-house team, and having a mobile employee platform makes this a lot easier.” With the mobile Jostle app, all YOTEL employees are on the same page. Company messages can reach them, regardless of where they are or what their role is.
Recognizing and rewarding staff
YOTEL understands the importance of recognizing the good work and performance of their staff. Their lean approach to business doesn’t detract from the value they place on celebrating success. “Our culture is made up of lots of different things, including awarding and rewarding people, and doing that instantly. We celebrate a lot where we can,” says Jo.
YOTEL uses the Jostle platform in a number of ways to celebrate and praise their staff. Using the up-to-the-minute Activity feed allows them to instantly recognize and showcase good work. This is a simple but effective way to acknowledge staff, and inspire others to act in kind.
A Shaggy Award
YOTEL also uses their platform to host an internal communication campaign called the ‘Shaggy Awards’–-named after YOTEL’s internal moose mascot, Shaggy. Throughout the year, employees that go above and beyond the call of duty are given a ‘Shaggy Award,’ their story is published on the Jostle platform, and they receive a pin badge. At the end of the year, everyone with a Shaggy Award is entered into a lottery draw to win a trip to New York or London. Cleverly, YOTEL brings this full circle and requests that the winner publish a News Article about their trip on Jostle.
By recognizing staff in this way, YOTEL is highlighting the importance of living company values to all of their staff and is improving internal communication along the way.
Here’s a mosaic of Shaggy! It’s made up of staff photos
YOTEL’s growth supported by Jostle
YOTEL has been using Jostle for nearly a decade now and remains a happy Jostle customer. Since implementing Jostle, they’ve opened over ten new locations, including in New York and Paris.
Jo was very clear about how Jostle has helped company-wide connectivity during this time of growth, and it’s not just her opinion: “A lot of our new upper management have seen an intranet at their old companies but I don’t think they've ever seen them work. Belinda, our new Global Operations SVP, loves Jostle’s approach. She's over the moon with how easy it is to use. She can see it working. It's very simple. The only thing I get is positive feedback.”
YOTEL profile each new employee with a News Article
As YOTEL continues to expand around the world, they believe the Jostle platform will be an invaluable asset in retaining the strength of their culture and connectivity. It provides leadership with a way to relay important messages and branding to everyone across the company at the same time. It brings a level of equality and inclusion to the entire team, regardless of their role or location.
“I think the Jostle platform is hugely important to us, even more as we grow. Particularly in the way that we’re growing because of the disparate nature and time zones of the teams.”
VP – Brand
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