Optimised workforce planning is a business imperative for hoteliers

Hotels are complex businesses, which as consumers we might not think about when we are greeted with a smile on arrival. But to deliver natural, efficient customer service requires all the moving parts and people to be working in harmony. It’s now more important than ever to digitally connect your teams to increase efficiency, build agility and create a safer environment for your guests and your staff. Optimised workforce planning will boost productivity and improve margins, but not at the expense of your people. It’s about working smarter with your resources, not harder and embracing the benefits that come digital tools and transformation. In other words, optimised workforce planning.

Research from the likes of Mckinsey suggests that recovery for the hotel sector could take until 2023 to reach pre-COVID-19 levels. Alongside those numbers, Hilton, a global brand with over a million rooms, saw its RevPAR drop by 81%. With those sorts of numbers it’s easy understand why hoteliers are turning to digital solutions and why workforce optimisation is a business imperative.

Reducing staff churn rates

Workforce management in hotels is unique with a high degree of complexity, without contending with COVID-19. Balancing seasonal staffing issues, agency staff, staff retention, recruitment, and training along with a myriad of regulations, laws, health codes and business rules, makes workforce management incredibly challenging. Brexit has added to that headache too.

Reported staff churn rates for hoteliers vary from 30% up to over 73%. What’s clear is the industry suffers from a higher-than-average staff turnover rate (normal is considered to be 10-15%). The cost to the business of attracting, onboarding, training and retaining staff is high, which means in an environment where there is significant competition for talent, reducing staff turnover is a priority.

So, what are the key steps to reducing your staff turnover rates? Building a happier, more engaged team. Improve your staff experience, improve their productivity and that will increase your profitability. There is a direct correlation between happy staff and high productivity. Three areas to pay attention too:

  1. Engage your staff. Sounds easy but needs to be done in the right way and can be hard with different roles and different shift patterns
  2. Empower your staff – give them more control, it works and your people will be happier
  3. Create the case for automation and digital tools. Automation is the enabler and will help you deliver on 1 and 2

The numbers are compelling:

  • If you have a low engagement rate your operating income could be over 32% lower than companies with more engage staff
  • If you have highly engaged staff, your operating income could be nearly 20% higher

Optimise your workforce to deliver exceptional guest experience and increase profit

In today’s highly digital world, customers expect faster service. Let’s face it, a lot of us use Amazon delivery speed as a benchmark, which means speed and immediacy are an essential component of everyday life. But for hoteliers its all about delivering that all important customer experience. A great customer experience means your guests will spend more. In fact, 86% of people are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, according to pwc. Customers are willing to pay a premium of up to 13% more for luxury and indulgence services, simply by receiving a great customer experience.

Optimising your hotel workforce, to deliver great experience relies on a robust approach to workforce management. Get the right people, in the right place, with the right training means you can delight your guests and capitalise on the opportunities. In order for your staff to meet and exceed guest expectations, they need to be able to react quickly, have the tools to plan and be proactive. Which means your people have the right knowledge at their fingertips. Attempting to deliver this using manual processes is a real headache and very time consuming. Workforce management technology when used the right way, is essential to delivering great experiences and more.

Optimised workforce planning benefits

Digital workforce management solutions help hoteliers streamline processes, increase productivity and reduce costs through improved scheduling and smarter optimisation of their people and the skills. Digital tools are perfect for staff working shifts, different rotas and often don’t have a work email address. Everything can be accessed via a mobile device.

Digital workforce management solutions will reduce your HR department and operational teams operating costs, while increasing the efficiency of the hotel.

  1. 60% reduction in time spent on scheduling – managing schedules, shift swaps, skills and legal WTD is very time consuming. A digital approach will reduce time spent by 60% or more
  2. Eliminate human error – reduce the chance of human error in staff scheduling with automation
  3. Avoid over scheduling – with manual approaches, hotels often over-schedule on shifts to compensate, which creates additional costs
  4. 43% reduction in agency staff – many hotels rely on agency staff to supplement their own workforce. With workforce management tools this can be substantially reduced or eliminated
  5. 25% reduction is staff turnover – increased employee satisfaction reduces staff churn. Efficient handling time off and scheduling requests are an important aspect of happy and engaged staff
  6. Improved margins – happy staff are more productive. Focussed on delivering guest experience, spend per guest will increase, without adding overhead
  7. Security – single login and biometric data collection ensure that only the actual employee can clock in and out. Employees can access all their information at any time, securely.

Manual process just doesn’t cut it! The case for digital workforce management is enormous. Need some help building the business case, just ask.

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