A hotel manager’s job has never been an easy one. But it has become even more difficult over the past few years. Maintaining an adequate cash flow has become challenging due to fluctuating prices from online booking. There has been an increase in security challenges, and customer expectations continue to grow.
These changes force hotels to provide more standard amenities which don’t come cheap. There’s also competition from other parties such as Airbnb that offer accommodations in private homes.
To not just survive, but thrive, managers need to automate as many processes as possible. Since the cost of labor is becoming a significant expense, optimizing your workforce is crucial. Time tracking and scheduling software is the answer to streamline hotel management.
Employee scheduling can quickly overwhelm even the best managers. Because hotels never close, employee scheduling is a constant responsibility. Every team and employee has deadlines to complete daily. Many tasks can’t be put off without impacting service levels. To come up with the best scheduling possible, you must take into consideration the following:
- Expected occupancy
- Time to create shift schedules
- Schedule changes
- Employee availability and preferences
If a scheduling manager miss calculates and schedules too few employees, it could impact service levels. However, if too many employees are scheduled, labor costs will quickly eat up profit.
Employee availability and scheduling preferences are essential factors. You must remain compliant with labor laws and not schedule employees for too many hours per day or week. Company policies and agreements must also be taken into consideration.
Employee scheduling can quickly occupy the majority of a manager’s time every day, but workforce management is only one of those tasks that a manager must deal with. A solution for efficient and cost-effective employee management is web-based time tracking and scheduling software. Let’s go over some of the benefits.
Keep Labor Costs Low
Most employees in the hospitality industry are paid by the hour. This means that tracking time down to the minute is essential to ensure profitability and compliance. One crucial component of a time tracking system is the ability to track hours worked accurately. The traditional method of recording hours on a paper timesheet is inefficient and can lead to human error, but with a web-based time clock, you can ensure that the margin for error is small.
Web-based for Easy Access
No matter the process you are looking to automate, there is always a benefit when it comes to replacing pen and paper systems. By using automated time tracking and scheduling software, you can create and store electronic records in the cloud. This benefit is often overlooked, but it accounts for a great deal of time savings. The type of data storage can include employee information, time cards, tax forms, and of course, schedules. Nobody would have to dig through a file cabinet to find employees’ information.
Cloud-based systems also eliminate any hardware capability issues. This was a frequent shortcoming of old systems, but with cloud computing, all users can access their information from any device with an internet connection.
No matter the size of your business, you could benefit from an automated time tracking solution. Human resources departments are often late to the party when it comes to taking advantage of technology. However, advance time and attendance software can bring efficiency tools to hotel workforce management.
Avoid Labor Violations
Time tracking and scheduling software is also necessary to ensure you remain compliant. Time tracking software can handle the more complex aspects of time tracking, such as overtime calculations, break monitoring, accruals tracking, and absence management.
Not only does a time tracking solution help you remain compliant, but it can also store your employee’s time card information in the event an audit is triggered.
Open Available Shifts
One of the benefits of using online scheduling software is that you can create open shifts and quickly fill them. This is a useful option if you have an unexpected increase in occupancy and need to fill shifts last minute. Employees can view the schedule and see which open shifts are available and request that they are assigned.
Last-minute call-ins are not uncommon in the hospitality industry. If an employee does call in or doesn’t show up, the system can send alerts to management to let them know that there is an open shift. Managers can then send messages to available employees, asking them if they like to take on the shift. If someone accepts, the manager can quickly reassign the shift.
Prevent Time Theft
Any business, whether new or well established, is susceptible to time theft. Hotel employees are often unsupervised, which means that the hospitality industry is especially vulnerable to forms of time theft.
One particularly expensive form of time theft is called buddy punching. This occurs when an employee clocks in or out for another co-worker. One of the best defenses against buddy punching is using a biometric time clock. Facial recognition is just one of the many biometric options available. This feature will compare the identity of the employee clocking in to that of an image associated with their user account. Only one identity has been confirmed will the employee be able to access their account.
Another form of time theft is padding the number of hours worked. This occurs when an employee punches in a few minutes early or punches out a few minutes late. Failing or accidentally forgetting to punch out for unpaid breaks or lunches can also add falsified hours to a paycheck.
U.S. employers pay millions of dollars per year in unnecessary wages due to time theft. A biometric time clock can help to ensure employees are punching time only for themselves, and that their time is accurate. Thanks to scheduling software, you can also apply break rules as well as schedule lockouts.
As you can see, many benefits come with using time tracking and scheduling software in the hospitality industry. It can help you accurately forecast future scheduling needs, quickly fill in scheduling gaps, adjust for call-ins or no-shows, reduce time theft, and ultimately reduce your labor costs.