How Ginger Hotels is using Workplace to reduce hierarchy and connect people
by Mike Sharkey
Workplace leaders: Our regular Q&A with the industry leaders using Workplace to transform how their organisations work
We meet the business leaders who are shaping the future of work. We ask them to tell us about their Workplace launch. We share examples of how the platform is helping them find new ways of working. And we gain real-life insights into the Workplace experience…
This week we meet Rahul Pandit, CEO of Ginger Hotels (part of the Tata Group). We discover what factors drove the groundbreaking hotel company to adopt Workplace, why the platform is reducing hierarchy and how using Workplace increases employee engagement.
Ginger Hotels is an Indian hotel company. The launch of their Smart Basics™ brand in 2004 saw the beginnings of a revolution in the Indian hospitality industry. Since then, the chain (a subsidiary of the Tata Group) continues to grow and they now operate hotels all across India.
In 2016, Rahul and his leadership team were looking for a platform they could use to improve communication and share best practices more effectively. Since the launch, 81% of the employees use Workplace every month (86% of them via mobile). And there's an active Workplace group for every 13 people in the company.
Workplace uses industry-leading security controls and hosting operations. And this was a big positive for the Ginger team who firmly believe that the communications tools they use should be securely accessible by a mobile workforce wherever they are in the world.
The familiarity of the Workplace tool was also a distinct advantage. Ginger Hotels' employees already understood the interface through their knowledge of Facebook. This meant less time and money spent on training and learning and development. As a result, the implementation was easier and there were higher levels of adoption and engagement. As Rahul says, "We were looking for a platform that was intuitive and did not need much training. It also helped that most of our employees were already familiar with the Facebook GUI. All of these factors helped our choice of Workplace."
How did the launch go?
The launch was a great success. And Rahul believes the reason for that was due to leadership involvement throughout the process.
We've adopted Workplace as a business platform, not merely a communication tool.
The leadership set up a "cross-functional team", which included people from HR, IT and operations. Once the project team was up and running, they received support from internal influencers and advocates of the program. Their role was to guide and shape the implementation from the pilot, through beta launch and then to full rollout.
It worked. Within 12 months, 100% of the company was on Workplace. "We launched Workplace live from the Facebook office in Singapore with our teams logged in across all locations in India. This was possible as the leadership team was involved in the launch and implementation."
How has it changed the way you work?
Workplace helps Ginger Hotels reduce hierarchy and connect colleagues across the entire organisation. The positive effects of this are significant. Rahul believes that using Workplace brings, "positive performance pressure and speeds up work."
I am delighted that our frontline associates today have a tool that gives them direct access to the MD and vice versa.
Indeed, Ginger Hotels analysis shows an increase in productivity of over 50%*. This is due to a reduction in email use, faster workflows and better access to information. Ginger Hotels managers now expect lower employee attrition*, thanks to better ways to create social and interest groups in the company.
And using Workplace has enabled Ginger Hotels staff to engage with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda of the chain. They've used the tool to broadcast and share their volunteering efforts. Members of staff use Workplace to share information about CSR activities – street and beach cleaning programmes, efforts to teach the underprivileged and blood donation initiatives.
Rahul is enthusiastic about the results: "This connects people across Ginger Hotels in India and enthuses them to contribute with their families. As a result of this upsurge, Ginger was recognised as one of the best companies within the Tata group for its contribution to the group's volunteering effort."
How can we make Workplace better?
We're inspired by the feedback our customers give us to make Workplace even better. How does Rahul think we can improve? "I think you could enable professional connections across companies and enable a talent mart (like a verifiable LinkedIn)."
Which we think is an interesting idea. We'll let you all know how we get on as we continue to make improvements to Workplace.
With thanks to Rahul Pandit, CEO Ginger Hotels.
*Ginger Hotels internal survey data