2 min read

How Tupelo Honey Increased its Employee Engagement

Feb 18, 2022 2:41:15 PM

The pandemic put a strain on the hospitality industry, causing company cultures to change and increasing employee turnover rates. Employers not only needed a quick and easy way to communicate COVID-19 policies and procedures, but also a permanent way to communicate ongoing updates and engage with frontline team members.

That’s why Tupelo Honey, a café specializing in Southern fare that has locations in 14 states, began working with goHappy in July 2020: The team needed a faster and more direct way to communicate with its frontline staff and receive feedback.

“We needed a quick way to get a pulse on the company as a whole,” said Alesha Sisk, director of talent & training for Tupelo Honey. “The pandemic took a toll on the industry, and we wanted to ensure our staff’s opinions and needs were being heard.”

Here are a few ways goHappy’s messaging and feedback modules helped Tupelo Honey achieve better engagement and increased participation from its frontline team members.

Increased awareness of company changes, updates and benefits.

Tupelo Honey uses the messaging module several ways, including for open enrollment, relaying menu changes, sign-on bonus programs and updates about the company’s increased fair start wage policy. To ensure information about benefits was understood by all staff members, Tupelo Honey launched a video series called “The More You Know, The More You Tupelo” that allowed management to provide information about benefits to staff. The series broke down offerings so that team members easily could understand what the benefits can do for them and how they can use them.

In all instances, Sisk said she has seen an increase in awareness and when an action needs to be taken, including a 40% increase in open enrollment.

Increased engagement from corporate to management to hourly workers.

Because of insights received during an employee engagement survey, Tupelo Honey began putting a larger focus on its management training. The HR team created a curriculum of professional development videos for the leadership team that covered topics like how to have difficult conversations with staff members and tips for time management.

Positive feedback from frontline team members.

While direct text messages to frontline team members have proven to be a great way to communicate policy updates, procedures and other important information that is pertinent to frontline employees’ jobs, they also have been a great way to engage and uplift team members.  

Tupelo Honey’s frontline workers have been very vocal about the increase of efficiency in getting communications out to them and the positive impact it has had on their level of engagement.

“Employees appreciate getting information directly from our team as opposed to having everything funneled through managers or other staff members,” Sisk said. “In fact, team members across the board appreciate this form of communications so much that goHappy has become the main form of communication to our frontline staff.”


Shawn Boyer

Written by Shawn Boyer

Shawn Boyer, Founder & CEO of goHappy.