Hotel managers have many responsibilities throughout the day. One of the most complex is employee shift scheduling. Even small scheduling errors can cost the hotel money. One mistake can increase the labor dollars spent, so the best option is to avoid these errors altogether. However, many managers don’t have the tools in place to help them do this.
There is no question the scheduling process is a nightmare. On top of this, many managers also have to face a high rate of turnover, demanding clientele, and an environment that provides no margin of error when creating schedules. This makes the ability to reduce mistakes challenging.
It is tempting to jump to find a solution for scheduling problems. However, first, it is best to take some time to find out what the most common problems are. After all, when you know the problems, you are better suited to find a viable solution.
Use of a Spreadsheet
Manual spreadsheet input leaves out many important factors. For example, scheduling managers can’t see a person’s pay rate, or when they have requested time off on the same screen. As a result, they may create an entire schedule and then have to go back and change everything. Not only does this increase the potential for a mistake, but also takes more of the scheduler’s time. With time and attendance software, this is completely avoidable. A recent survey found that 60% of the hospitality industry currently use some type of human resources software. This shows that the majority of organizations have realized that they don’t need to use spreadsheets as a standard for managing time and attendance.
Creating Fixed Schedules for Employees
The entire staff of a hotel cannot have a fixed schedule. The hotel industry is variable, and the employee schedules must reflect this. Make sure to schedule more people on busy days, and fewer on slower days. Having the same number of individuals working each day is not efficient. In the long run, it leads to more labor costs. It can also result in reduced customer satisfaction on busy days.
For some hotel managers, they waste time letting employees know when they work. This can even result in phone lines being tied up throughout the day. As a result, customers are neglected. All this happens, because managers are spending time telling Bill, Sally, and Jane when they work. Thus, these employees are not empowered.
Even though this may sound extreme, it isn’t. It is a scenario that occurs all the time in hotels. Employee and manager communication is an inefficient process in most hotels. It also leads to numerous shift scheduling mistakes. With time and attendance software in play, this is eliminated. Thanks to online portals, employees don’t have to call in to find out when they work.
Higher Labor Costs
In the hotel business, employees have different “ranks.” This means varied pay rates and different availabilities. As a result, it is often easy to schedule employees that accumulate extremely high labor costs. If they work overtime, this results in even more labor costs.
Overtime is rather easy to manage. However, the challenge is keeping everything straight. When you begin using time and attendance software, this is no longer an issue. All employee information is kept together. When it is organized, it is easier for scheduling managers to keep labor costs down.
No Contingency Plan in Place
During the year, employees take vacations. Some employees quit and many call in sick. In some cases, they can forget they have to work or change their availability. If you don’t have a contingency plan in place, such as a part-time workforce that can handle last minute changes, serious issues can arise. This, too, is easily managed and kept track of with the use of scheduling software.
Minimal Employee Input
For many managers, scheduling is done with minimal information. It typically is limited to time off requests and availability. However, childcare needs, social events, and personal appointments can come up suddenly. With collaborative scheduling, this is no longer an issue. Employees can decline or accept shifts. This transfers the ownership of the schedule to the employee. This software even allows employees to sign up for the shifts they want to work. With this, many scheduling conflicts and mistakes are avoided.
Managing Scheduling in the Hospitality Industry More Efficiently
Scheduling isn’t always challenging. With the right process in place, it is quite simple. This increased efficiency can reduce the potential for mistakes. As shown above, scheduling mistakes can often cost quite a bit. When you have the best methods in place, they are easily avoided.
If you are ready to increase the efficiency of your hospitality workforce, then scheduling software is a smart option. There are countless programs to choose from. The features and options offered are vast. This makes creating a system that works for you simple. Once all the information is gathered, you can eliminate the hassle of scheduling mistakes.