Newmark Hotels created Smart Staff, an app that provides help to employees who are experiencing any problems. Picture: Pexels.
Newmark Hotels created Smart Staff, an app that provides help to employees who are experiencing any problems. Picture: Pexels.

World famous hotel group develops innovative app for staff

By Travel Reporter Time of article published May 31, 2021

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Newmark Hotels has developed a unique, custom-built What’s App based communication app called Smart Staff.

The app aims to stay in touch with the team.

The app has a specially developed “help” function that allows employees who are experiencing any problems to send a direct message requesting assistance.

“Whilst it is accepted that the customer is king, we are nothing without our staff members. The employees of any business are its most valuable asset - they are the soul of the business," said Kate Zaaiman, Human Resources Director at Newmark Hotels.

She said at the time of hard lockdown Newmark went into crisis management mode and tried to find ways to support their team at the most basic level.

“When we realised this was going to be a longer-term challenge, Newmark developed Smart Staff.

“Smart Staff has a gamification element as a fun aspect for people to win prizes, as well as a “reality TV” component with videos filmed by team members, shared on the platform. It is here where we also share our teams’ successes and wins.

“Smart Staff builds morale and allows our staff, whether it is in a bush lodge or city hotel - to feel like they are part of something bigger – that they belong to a community," said Zaaiman.

Newmark is now also using this app to send out training material so that the hotel groups staff can upskill and multi-skill themselves.

“Covid has forced hotels to reduce the size of their staff complement and as teams have shrunk, remaining staff have had to do more. This training support helps them to adapt and learn necessary new skills.

“Most recently, we launched a new campaign which is communicated via Smart Staff called Reasons to Smile. Every Friday we send out a real, feel-good story about one of our staff members’ successes or a positive story from one of our hotels, or any other good news that gives our employees a reason to smile. The aim is to boost morale in what is an ongoingly tough time.

“The internal culture of any organisation is key to the long-term success of that business and at Newmark we are committed to innovating wherever necessary to nurture our employees through this current crisis and in the future," she added.

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