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WHAT'S THE BUZZ IN HOSPITALITY?

Three Ways Technology Can Help Recruit and Retain Hospitality Staff

Aug 25,2021

As the hospitality industry attempts to recover from the pandemic, with vaccines and global reopenings offering a glimmer of hope, a new challenge has arisen: despite the return of travel, hospitality operators cannot find enough employees to meet the rise in demand.  

The hospitality industry is facing a major labor shortage. After COVID-19 fueled industry-wide layoffs, many being entry-level workers, few are willing to return; in a recent Q2 2021 survey of 13,000 workers by Joblist, one-third of all former hospitality workers responded that they would not be considering returning to the industry in any capacity. As recruiting and retaining staff becomes another source of pressure for hoteliers, insufficient labor adds yet another challenge to effectively meeting guest needs and delivering a personalized experience in a rapidly changing hospitality environment.

However, as technology continues to play a critical role in the industry’s recovery, the integration of new solutions can give employers a competitive edge in recruiting new staff and aid in retaining staff by reducing labor costs and offering the critical support frontline workers now need.

Provide Support & Simplify Tasks through Connectivity

The emergence of technological connectivity, or the ability to link and communicate seamlessly across multiple systems, creates even further opportunities to boost employee satisfaction and retention rates by providing critical support to frontline workers. Not only does this technology streamline labor management, but by simplifying many of a property’s functions, new staff can be effectively trained more quickly.  

Designed to streamline connectivity within a property, industry-leading PMS solutions can share relevant data across a property’s internal systems, eliminating time-consuming labor and swiftly identifying potential problems. Enhanced task management features promote connectivity and enhance staff collaboration by utilizing property data and communication channels to assist hoteliers in assigning and managing tasks for frontline staff. All relevant guest data and task information becomes immediately accessible on an intuitive mobile interface, allowing employees that identify potential issues to immediately access the tools necessary to implement a solution, or swiftly connect staff with the right team.

Task management features can further promote interoperability by allowing staff to easily assist guests whenever a need arises. Two-Way guest communication allows guests to send requests over SMS, enabling real-time staff responses. To further enhance the guest experience, centralized text services can automatically keep guests informed of their request status and allow for easy and efficient interaction between guests and staff throughout the booking and check-in process.

When personnel can leverage digital connections, they can more easily access the critical support systems they need, boosting operational efficiency and improving employee satisfaction and engagement.

Promote Employee Safety & Streamline Operations with Contactless Solutions

The pandemic led to a widespread adaptation of several contactless solutions. Not only are these solutions vital to meeting emerging guest demands, but continual innovation and adaptation of contactless solutions will play a key role in promoting staff safety and reducing labor.

New POS and guestroom management system features like mobile check-in/out and self-service kiosks ensure staff safety by reducing physical contact, while simultaneously automating front-desk labor. Similarly, mobile ordering apps and in-store kiosks can further allow staff to meet guest F&B needs while minimizing contact. By introducing contactless solutions, critical labor resources are freed up, allowing staff to focus on other tasks to meet guest needs. When guests are given the enhanced, personalized experiences they expect, staff receive fewer complaints; through this, a safe and positive work environment is promoted, and frontline staff are left with a greater feeling of accomplishment. 

Use Data to Identify Actionable Insight on Staff Performance

Utilizing data can be a critical tool in understanding an operator’s workforce. By using POS and PM analytics to track employee performance, hoteliers can collect and analyze valuable data like check averages, F&B table turn times, item sales and more. Managers can then acknowledge employees for their outstanding performances and identify those who may need additional training, boosting staff retention and satisfaction by assisting operators in determining which employees should be promoted, or identifying a staff member who may be in danger of quitting.

With labor resources stretched thin, utilizing POS and PMS analytics can aid in developing a well-structured scheduling framework by anticipating guest demand. In doing this, hoteliers can prevent understaffing or overstaffing by creating the ideal balance with service quality. To further boost operational efficiency, an integrated, web-based scheduling system allows managers to create schedules according to an employee’s specific skills. Using prior periods sales trends, managers can forecast labor needs more accurately, considering historical performance when creating schedules.

As technology’s role in hospitality changes and basic hotel functions are continually automated, future innovations are likely to emerge. With the right tools in place, hoteliers can provide employees with the critical support they need, improving employee satisfaction and retention rates during the time it’s needed most.

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