• Ed Nybble

Spotlight On | Smart Staff - train, test, reward, repeat.

Smart Staff, delivers content in the form of text, images, video & sound clips making it an effective training and communication tool using WhatsApp as its primary contact medium.



Initially designed for the service and hospitality industry, Smart Staff sends multiple-choice styled questions to staff to test and track skill levels and knowledge. Staff can view the content and answer the questions in their own time - reducing downtime at work.

The idea to start Smart Staff was sparked when founder, Renato Balona was sharing a coffee with a friend. With a career background where mobile and design has always been the golden thread, Renato designed a simple, easy to use interface to engage staff.


"Hearing the challenges their company faced in trying to find a simple cost-effective way to provide on-boarding and training to their staff in the hospitality industry, I realised the solution had to be mobile, and WhatsApp was the obvious choice, " explains Renato Balona.

The tests take less than five minutes to complete and a full report is sent to the managers identifying problem areas to be addressed in future training and development programs.



Over the last two years, Smart Staff has evolved into more than just a platform to educate and test staff for hotels, lodges, and restaurants and have developed a library of training materials that staff can access on the go. "We run exit interviews, 360 feedback, on-boarding, updates on internal vacancies, company news, and a direct link to HR."

And the good news is that engagement rates are rocketing! Messages sent from Smart Staff have an open rate of over 90% and 84% of staff take an action - measured by answering a questionnaire, following a link, or sending feedback.

With the devastating impact of Covid-19 on the hospitality industry Smart Staff became a vital tool for hotels and lodges to stay in contact with their staff during this difficult time, offering support, advice, UIF information, and even sending digital vouchers to staff members who were struggling to survive.

Recently Smart Staff has teamed up with Workability, a network of physiotherapists to provide a platform for patients to connect with the closest practice, receive appointment updates, feedback, and receive advice from a therapist. Follow up surveys are also used to gauge how effective their treatment is progressing.

The growth and expansion opportunities for Smart Staff are endless whether you have a staff or a client base. If you believe your business is needing an efficient, cost-effective training and communication tool, check out their website.

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Renato Balona | +27 823 708 349

Email: renato@mysmartstaff.co.za


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