The hotel booking tsunami has arrived, with bookings up 300% as a nation looks forward to the sector opening up and the chance of a UK staycation. With the announced government road map and confidence of the accelerating vaccination programs, there is a surge of optimism for hotels.
What can hotels do to capitalise on a strong and safe summer and recoup some of that lost revenue? Here are 3 things hotels can do to capitalise on the staycation surge.
COVID-19 has made the case for digital transformation
Digital transformation is not new; however, the hotel sector has been slow to adopt, taking a more traditional and conservative approach when it comes to technology. Preferring to put more emphasis on the face-to-face interactions between guests and staff. Yes, this is a service industry, but digitisation is not the bad guy, it’s the enabler of better, more personalised and sophisticated customer service. COVID-19 has accelerated the urgency in adopting new tools and technologies that were not previously being used.
Some hotels have already adopted technology such as mobile keys, but others have been slow to embrace tools that enable visitors to completely bypass the front desk and avoid contact with other guests. Something that in a COVID-19 world many guests might appreciate. Hotel services can be accessed by a mobile app, eliminating the need to speak directly with reception or concierge, or using voice recognition tools “Alexa”, ask housekeeping to bring extra towels to my room.
Hotel digital transformation is not just for guests it’s for staff too, across all operational aspects of the business including HR and scheduling. The real strength lies in bringing everything together, providing flexibility, and real-time communication on the go. With the trend for smart rooms in hotels and for hyper personalisation, why not think the same way when it comes to staff?
Communicate and retain
An estimated 1 million people left the UK during 2020, with a disproportionate number of them having worked in hospitality. With tougher immigration rules from Brexit, there is a predicted shortfall of 60,0000 hospitality staff, which means hotels have a talent gap.
80% of hotel frontline staff don’t have a company email address making communication near impossible. Engaged staff are more productive, which means efficient communication is key to making them feel comfortable so they can be their best.
With constantly changing operational requirements and staff scheduling, its extremely important that communication reaches everyone as quickly as possible. Digitalizing the workplace ensures that every employee — regardless of their physical location or role is connected in real time.
Retaining your best talent is more important than ever. Research and surveys show that when staff leave, for 25 % of them its because of communication, and not getting the information they need. Digitisation and technology are the enablers for smarter communication, in real-time, for on-the-go staff. Retain by solving the reasons they leave will help solve those staff shortages.
Smart, optimised staff Scheduling
Time is valuable and staff scheduling is complex, time consuming and difficult. Hotels need the perfect balance of staff to guest ratio and staff experience 24/7 in order to optimise productivity and deliver maximum profit margins. Workforce Management (WFM) software and smart scheduling technology can reduce the time spent on staff rotas by up to 80%, dependent on your current processes. (check out 7 success factors from using Workforce Management)
Move away from manual process and excel into an automated, optimised, data-driven solution. Dynamic workforce management and scheduling connects to your human resources, payroll and operation processes, but more importantly connects to your staff.
Today’s smart scheduling empowers your people, who can access their rotas from any device, see their rotas, shift swap, work different roles in the same shift and get paid correctly. Smart scheduling ensures you optimise your staff, matching peak demand with experience but not overstaffing which cuts into your margins. You’ll also get real-time communication too along with the safety net of compliance to ensure staff don’t exceed WTD or operational rules. Staff won’t be scheduled for roles where training has not been completed.