Employee retention and operational efficiency are at the top of every hotelier’s mind today. Facing high turnover rates and a historic staffing shortage, hotels must find ways to attract and retain quality employees. And they must do this while being mindful of overhead costs.
According to eHotelier, the hospitality industry is currently reporting a staggering 73.8% employee turnover rate. That number is alarming enough, but what’s even more concerning is the cost of turnover. Forbes reports that hiring a single new employee can cost a business as much as $18,000. Between an industry-wide staffing shortage and the high cost of hiring new labor, hotels everywhere are facing an extremely expensive problem.
How can you control onboarding costs, reduce the need for more staff on duty, and improve employee retention? The first step must be to minimize turnover. eHotelier lists common reasons for high turnover as “seasonality, unsocial working hours, low pay, lack of meaningful work, and a perceived lack of career advancement.” Let’s explore a few ways to combat these challenges. With hotel technology and strategic staffing processes, hotels can reduce turnover, improve morale, and stand out as attractive workplaces.
Use hotel technology to streamline operations and unburden hotel staff
Automate processes that were previously performed manually. This is one of the most effective ways to streamline operations and get more done with fewer employees, while improving morale. All too often, when hotels are short-staffed, the burden falls on existing employees to take care of more responsibilities. This can quickly lead to burnout and even more staff shortages. Instead, with streamlined operations and increased automation, you can improve efficiency and reduce the number of employees needed per shift. Further, as an additional benefit, leveraging hotel technology can significantly save on staffing and operational costs. This way, fewer employees can get more done without being overworked – while minimizing overhead costs at the same time.
The front desk is one of the easiest places to reduce bottlenecks and unburden employees – by offering contactless check-ins and check-outs with Digital Key technology. When you convert from key cards to Digital Keys, guests can use their smartphones as their room key and bypass the front desk entirely.
Along with freeing up front desk employees for other tasks by offering mobile check-ins, you can also reduce your staffing needs by allowing guests to communicate with the front desk via text, and automating daily tasks in your PMS. Check out this article for more info on improving staff retention with hotel technology.
Adopt effective onboarding practices and ongoing training
Once you’ve implemented the right technology to streamline operations and reduce the number of employees needed per shift, you’ll be positioned for the next step. At this point, you’ll be ready to update your onboarding and training processes. Proper training and education help new staff members get their bearings and settle into their jobs faster. Updated training for current staff members provides refreshers and new information to help them do their jobs more effectively. Does your onboarding include training on the hotel technology you use? Are new employees equipped with the knowledge and resources to complete their jobs and improve the guest experience? When you take this step, you can further reduce the burden on your current employees by ensuring that all staff on duty understand their responsibilities and how best to complete them at any given time.
Offer attractive perks for great performance
Along with equipping your staff to succeed with automated hotel technology like Digital Keys and the right training programs, you can also improve employee engagement with the right perks. Start an employee-of-the-month program, and offer incentives like free meals at your hotel restaurant and employee discount programs. You might want to start a rewards program, in which employees who excel can accrue points that can be spent on a range of perks, like spa services, gift cards to local businesses, and other attractive incentives.
Fight burnout with clear paths to advancement
The most effective employees are people who have drive and ambition. They want to know that they have opportunities for advancement in their careers. You can facilitate this need by communicating openly with staff about their potential within your hotel. Make sure they know how they can improve, and the best ways to move forward. Hold periodic performance reviews and provide mentorship to help staff members progress toward their goals. Listen to their suggestions and help them feel empowered within your hotel’s operations. Along with implementing technologies like Digital Key that can make employees’ lives easier on a daily basis, this will help reduce turnover and improve morale by ensuring that your employees see a future for themselves with your hotel.
The right hotel technology is key to all of these strategies. When you give guests the option to bypass the front desk and free up staff for other tasks, you unburden front desk employees and reduce the need to schedule multiple people for busy shifts. This frees up resources to focus on ways to improve employee retention.
By implementing technology like Digital Key, you can improve employee morale by relieving stress on your staff. With effective onboarding, you deliver the right training to help employees feel confident and engaged as they settle into new positions. Clear communication around advancement opportunities can fight burnout and give employees a sense of purpose in their work. With all of these steps combined, your hotel will stand out as a preferred place to work in your area. And you’ll see less turnover and more effective staff.
Want more info on how Digital Keys can help your hotel reduce turnover and run more efficiently? Schedule a demo today