Hotel Staffing Solutions That Mitigate Labor Shortage
If you are a hotelier, chances are that the labor shortage is impacting your operations. But you are likely to not be alone.
More than a third of former hospitality workers is expected to not return to industry - ever.
So how can your hotel provide great customer service in these challenging times?
The good news is that there are many effective hotel staffing solutions available. In this article, we'll present some of these solutions and explain how they can benefit your hotel.
Why Is There a Hotel Staffing Shortage Right Now?
Let's face it, the past years have been eventful for the hotel industry. First of all, the hotel industry was the hardest hit by the pandemic. As a result, in countries such as the United States, 70% of hospitality employees were furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis.
Then, in 2021, the concept of "revenge travel" and "staycations" surged. Hotels struggled to keep up with the demand and customers' high expectations, as they suffered from labor shortage in the hospitality industry.
Take a look at this interview how Best Western Hotels CEO, David Kong view the labor crisis.
Many are wondering, why is there a shortage of housekeepers in hospitality industry? With the booming hotel industry, you would think that these furloughed employees will return to work.
In the past few years, the hotel industry has faced a labor shortage. The reasons for this are many and can be attributed to several factors, such as:
The industry does not offer competitive enough wages and benefits.
The working conditions are stressful compared to other industries.
It is challenging to achieve a work-life balance.
Job insecurity and shortened/part-time working hours and employment.
Some hotel CEO’s are realizing that many employees no longer want to work for them - and they’re trying different tactics to attract new staff.
These tactics include: offering higher salaries, more benefits, rolling out sign-on bonuses, and hiring temp agencies.
This brings us to the next point in this article. Hotels should use technology to better manage their staff, operations, and resolve staffing issues.
3 Hotel Staffing Solutions to Overcome the Labor Shortage
A hotel’s most important resource is its staff. With the shortage of workers in the hospitality industry, hotels need to find innovative solutions to maintain service quality.
And the good part is - smart hotel technology can address some of these issues.
There are several solutions that hotels can use to mitigate the shortage of workers. From hotel chatbots for an immediate response to questions, to self-service solutions for hotel check-in and check-out. We've listed 3 hotel staffing solutions that can mitigate the labor shortage.
1. Invest in a Hotel Housekeeping Software
There is a major shortage of housekeepers in the hospitality industry. As a result, many hotel chains, such as Hilton, have stopped providing daily housekeeping services.
While this solves the issue in the short term, it is not a long-term solution for this problem.
First of all, there are inefficiencies in the housekeeping department. From the time it takes for a housekeeper to go to the next floor to the high turnover rate of housekeepers. All these affect the employee productivity and quality of work.
Then, with the suspension of daily housekeeping services, there is a lack of convenient ways for guests to request housekeeping services.
So, they either have to contact the front desk or teleoperator, which is an old-fashioned way that is inefficient and not very service-minded.
A housekeeping software can tackle both of these issues.
A housekeeping software is a supportive tool that helps hoteliers and management control housekeeping operations in real-time and gain data-driven insight into the operations.
Housekeeping platform is optimized for desktop and mobile devices.
A good housekeeping software for hotels contains key functionalities, such as:
Integrated with the hotel's property management system.
Task dispatch and management
Automated task routing
Progress tracking dashboard
Housekeeping inspection modules
On-demand guest requests for housekeeping services
But the best part is...
Modern hotel housekeeping software can track all hotel tasks and provide insights into the business operations on different performance metrics. Including, how many rooms are cleaned at any given time, how long time it takes to complete a task, and the inspection scores for the task.
Overall, it is a great hotel staffing solution that helps with monitoring housekeeping and enable hoteliers to make data-driven operational decisions.
2. Implement a Hotel Self Check In Kiosk
One of the most common pain points for guests is slow service and long queues at the Front Desk. Often, the reason is that there are simply not enough check-in desks to serve all guests.
The solution? Let the guest check-in using a hotel kiosk.
A hotel self check in kiosk is an application with a digital touchscreen that allows guests to complete all or certain processes of the check-in and check-out.
We've talked about it before, hotel kiosk are one of the trending hospitality technologies that hoteliers should be on the look out for.
The best part about a hotel self check in kiosk is that the hotel can decide how integral part it will be in the operations.
This means that they can choose whether or not to use it as the primary objective to become a completely contactless check-in hotel and replace front desk employees - or just use it as a method to eliminate queues during peak check-in and check-out.
... And let's not forget about the up-selling opportunities with hotel kiosk. For example, McDonalds' reported a 6% increase in sales after introducing their self-service kiosk system. While recent data show that ski resorts can have a €38.39 in upsell revenue per room per month using hotel up-selling software.
A hotel self check in kiosk includes key functionalities, such as:
Integration with the hotel's property management system.
Upsell and upgrade functionality.
Key code generator for RFID- and Magstrip key cards.
Payment terminal and payment provider integration.
Interested to learn more? Click here to check how our hotel kiosk can improve your operations.
3. Automate Frequently Asked Questions with a Hotel Chatbot
Last, but not least, a hotel chatbot can be an efficient communication channel. Especially during these times where labor shortages are affecting hospitality.
A chatbot is a computer program which performs a set of predefined tasks based on a specific set of rules or Artificial Intelligence.
Chatbots are designed to mimic a human conversation and typically interact with users through text or audio.
As outlined in an iAfrikan article, a hotel chatbot can be used for various purposes such as:
Collect user information such as demographics and preferences.
Induce guests with up-selling offers and add-ons.
Immediate response to frequently asked questions.
Bookings and reservation inquiries.
Still, many hoteliers are hesitant to adopt a hotel chatbot for their operations. But have a look at these stats:
More than one-third of respondents prefer to communicate with a chatbot when arranging travel plans or comparing accommodation options.
80% of consumers who have interacted with a chatbot had a positive experience.
Chatbots can help hotels receive up to a 30% increase in direct bookings and reduce customer service costs by 30%.
Hotel Staffing Solutions: Conclusion
Hotels are currently experiencing a shortage of staff. Many hoteliers tried different tactics including salary increment, additional benefits and referral bonuses. But these are often considered as short-term solutions.
To truly combat these issues, hotels need to look for long-term solutions. And for that, we conclude that hotel staffing solutions can help hotels mitigate the labor crisis.
There are many hotel software solutions available for modern hotels. Some of the hospitality solutions that we presented in this article were:
Housekeeping Software - A useful tool to improve task management, offer on-demand housekeeping alternatives for guests, and gain access to vital analytical tools.
Hotel Self Check In Kiosk - Help hotels reduce overhead costs and queues at peak hours, as well as to provide up-selling opportunities.
Hotel Chatbots - Reduce frequently asked questions, handle booking and reservation inquiries, up-selling offers, etc.
While these solutions tackle different parts of the hotel operations, it is important to note that every hotel has its own unique challenges.
What works for your competitor, may not work for you. Metasphere is a leading expert in automating hotel procedures and we’ve built an entire hotel ecosystem on the back of it.
So, whether you want to know more about automating hotel processes, or schedule a demo session of our products, we are here for you and would be up to have a chat with you!