Brand, values, and communication reach YOTEL’s global workforce every day

YOTEL has been bringing affordable luxury to the hotel industry since 2007. They operate six hotels around the world and are set to open a further eight hotels in new destinations. In 2012, 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 People Engagement® platform. That was three years ago and they haven’t looked back. They now have an accessible online space, where their culture, values, and brand live. It keeps these important topics front of mind for every employee. This means they’re providing a consistent, high-quality YOTEL experience to every customer.

  • Company:
    YOTEL
  • Size & Locations:
    225 employees, 6 locations in major cities/airports
  • Sector:
    Hospitality
  • Interviewees:
    Jo Berrington, VP - Brand
    Sahrette Saayman, Global Marketing and Communications Manager
  • Participation:
    70% monthly

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. This airline influence 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.

The company is nine years old and has six hotels in major cities/airports and plans to open eight more hotels in the coming years. 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 going to increase as they grow.

YOTEL locations

YOTEL locations

Why did YOTEL need an intranet?

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.

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 live these values every single day, with the intention of providing a better workplace and consistent customer service. They needed a way for their values to meaningfully reach every employee and to stay top of mind.

“One of the ways the Jostle platform has been fantastically useful is for reiterating our values.”

Jo Berrington

Jo Berrington
VP – Brand

Communication and connection

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.

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 employees for good 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.”

Jo Berrington

Jo Berrington
VP – Brand

How is Jostle helping YOTEL?

At a fundamental level, the Jostle® intranet 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

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.”

Jo Berrington

Jo Berrington
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 their Jostle intranet 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 the Jostle intranet 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 and their growing workforce.

YOTEL regularly recognize good work via Jostle

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 the Jostle intranet has been fantastic.”

New hires are finding the Jostle intranet a useful way to get connected and familiar with the company from day one. Features such as the TEAMS view, 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 regularly recognize good work via Jostle

YOTEL staff use PEOPLE view to connect with each other

Since implementing the Jostle intranet, YOTEL has also been happy to see the drastic reduction of internal emails. “Every single article that we put on our intranet 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 via 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 intranet makes this a lot easier.” With the mobile Jostle intranet, 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

A Shaggy Award

YOTEL also uses their intranet 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 the Jostle intranet.

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

Here’s a mosaic of Shaggy! It’s made up of staff photos

YOTEL’s growth supported by Jostle

YOTEL has been using the Jostle intranet for over three years now and remains a happy Jostle customer. Since implementing the Jostle platform, they’ve launched their New York hotel, opened a new hotel in Paris, and are working on opening another eight hotels in the coming years.

Jo was very clear about how the  Jostle intranet 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 intranets in their old companies but I don’t think they've seen anything that works. Belinda, our new Global Operations SVP, loves the  Jostle platform. 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

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 intranet 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.”

Jo Berrington

Jo Berrington
VP – Brand

About Jostle Corporation

Jostle’s People Engagement® platform is helping organizations around the world become extraordinary. It creates connected and vibrant workplaces by connecting employees, enabling communication, and driving workplace culture. We make it easy for companies to engage their employees. This allows our customers to achieve employee participation rates of over 85% — that’s over 5X industry norms. For more information contact info@jostle.me or visit us online at www.jostle.me.