Hyatt Hotels Corporation is a global hospitality company with widely recognized, industry leading brands and a tradition of innovation and service. It supports its mission by adhering to a set of core values that characterizes its culture. Associate communications is an important component of instilling that culture, as well as informing and motivating employees. Recently, Hyatt turned to StrandVision Digital Signage to efficiently communicate with associates throughout their workdays, no matter when they are working or where they are on the properties.
The challenge of communicating with employees at a typical hotel is daunting. Employees range from housekeepers, to waiters, to room service staff, to administrative staff; they are constantly on the move and work shifts cover 24/7. Yet, virtually every staff person has contact with guests and must be plugged into the organization's mission and news. For large organizations such as Hyatt, associate communications must include both local employee news, notifications and recognition, as well as information that is sourced from corporate headquarters.
At Hyatt this associate communications challenge was traditionally handled by memos and bulletin board postings that were occasionally supplemented by PowerPoint slideshows and corporate videos. The approach was inefficient and did little to guarantee that information reached every associate in a timely and consistent manner.
Explained Terry Holden, Hyatt Director of Human Resources, NY Area, "Posting notices around numerous bulletin boards was a very inefficient use of talent and time at our various properties. We wanted to connect with our employees in a format that used today's technology to consistently communicate with every associate at any of our hotel locations with a push of a button and StrandVision's digital signage was our answer."
In early 2010, Holden, who leads human resources operations for Hyatt properties in New York City, decided to implement a StrandVision Digital Signage system with full video and audio capabilities, including licensed background music. He piloted it at two New Jersey properties and soon rolled it out to other properties, including the flagship 1,300-room Grand Hyatt New York at Grand Central Terminal.
Following the initial deployment in the metro New York area, Hyatt corporate recommended the StrandVision system for the rest of its North American properties. Additional hotels are adding the system, with 65 properties planning to deploy the StrandVision system in 2012 bringing the total to over 100 properties.
Taking advantage of StrandVision's account management system, local managers can sign up and pay for property-level licenses using a corporate discount while automatically enrolling in the corporate Hyatt network.
In many businesses the logical place to put digital signage screens is in the employee lounge or dining room. At Hyatt, especially the Grand Hyatt, it made sense to put screens in the back-of-house service elevator lobbies where associates wait, as well as lounges and other areas where employees congregate. In this way it is virtually certain that every associate will be exposed to the digital signage programming several times each shift.
Holden deployed 10 screens throughout the Grand Hyatt with fewer screens at the smaller properties. Using StrandVision's PC-2-TV.net audio and video extender that sends digital signage streams long distances over Ethernet cables, the Grand Hyatt system even has a display in an employee area on the 36th floor.
Holden and his team post an extensive stream of employee news pages and videos that is updated daily. On any given day the StrandVision system carries a continuous loop of more than 50 pages with three or four videos thrown in on topics such as:
Staff in Holden's office post updates from many sources every day. Commented Holden, "The team didn't require any advanced formal training. It's such an easy-to-use system. They just go onto StrandVision's site and post their pages."
Holden and his team have also established a StrandVision Digital Signage library to share pages with other Hyatt properties.
Hyatt is also taking advantage of StrandVision's ability to seamlessly mix programming from different sources into a single digital signage stream.
Each administrator in the Hyatt network has specified rights under StrandVision's Digital Signage management hierarchy. They simply post notices that appear in a few minutes on the
screens that they control. For instance, Holden can post notices to all four of the properties in his area but individual property administrators' notices are posted only on their local displays.
Layered over this area network is the Hyatt corporate network. An authorized HR administrator at headquarters in Chicago receives digital signage content suggestions from six contributors. Pages and videos are posted and distributed to all properties that are equipped with StrandVision Digital Signage.
Corporate topics include key business initiatives, management messages, guest service stories, benefit enrollments and new policies. Recently, the CEO was able to address all of the field employees served by the StrandVision system through a video that was automatically distributed over the digital signage network.
The StrandVision system automatically mixes corporate content in with local pages and videos at the frequency desired. The content is posted and automatically removed according to the selected schedule. Local administrators are not involved so corporate has complete control over its messages to the entire network.
The StrandVision system addresses corporate communications objectives. "In the past we would send notices to the field, but the inconsistency of message distribution throughout our company was a concern for us. Now, we know," said Doug Patrick, Hyatt Senior Vice President Human Resources, North America. "The StrandVision product is clean and easy to use. It's designed in a way that helps get the information out quickly and efficiently. It's great."