Smart Staff Rosters: The Future of Scheduling in Hotels

Assigning too much work to your staff can be as problematic as assigning too little. The hospitality industry employs a huge chunk of people because running a hotel is a labor-intensive endeavor. One of the toughest jobs here is to distribute work fairly amongst all your staff members. But, how can you ensure that the work is being distributed evenly and effectively? By automating the process of maintaining staff rosters. 

Manually maintaining staff rosters is no easy task. As I’ve just been saying, hotels employ an astounding number of people. Not only do you have to assign everyone work, but you also have to ensure that no one is overburdened. Also, the work should not be concentrated during a particular slice of the day. This gives an unfair advantage to the ones who work the other shifts when the rush is lower. 

To add to the usual problems, this is also the year after the global pandemic. Labor shortages are at an all-time high. 2020 saw mass layoffs which had extremely far-reaching consequences. Not only did two-thirds of hospitality workers refuse to return to work, but worker strikes also overtook the US. The demands for more flexible work hours, protection against being overworked, and fair pay universally arose in all industries.

But we cannot lose sight of the chief reason for the mass layoffs and the lack of fair pay. Which was- the gigantic loss encountered by the hospitality and tourism industries in 2020. Now that the situation is changing for the better again, you, the hotelier, have to make changes as well. 

Wondering how to satisfy employee demands in such a period of acute labor shortage? Invest in a Property Management System. In this article, I will elaborate upon the advanced scheduling feature that is a facet of StayFlexi, a PMS. But before we delve into its benefits, let us first understand:

How Do Smart Rosters Work?

Rosters are schedules that are usually prepared on a weekly basis. These let the housekeeping staff know which duties are assigned to them. The roster also contains details of their shift timings and the rooms that are assigned to them. 

Maintaining a housekeeping roster manually is a huge pain in the neck. Especially when you have to keep rotating everyone’s duties at least on a weekly basis. This must be done to ensure that the same people are not being assigned heavy-duty shifts every week. 

Smart Rosters or Automated Rosters digitize the entire process of maintaining the housekeeping schedule. This is extremely helpful when you have a large group of employees. With StayFlexi, you can change staff rosters on a daily basis rather than a weekly one. This provides the staff with flexible working hours. There is much more fluidity about their shift timings. And the best part is, you don’t have to do anything at all. StayFlexi takes care of every unprecedented change. 

Let’s take a look at the obvious advantages of having Smart Rosters over a manually maintained one:

Why are Smart Rosters Better?

Takes Staff Availability Into Account

Oftentimes your guests’ requests go unanswered without it being the housekeeping staff’s fault. This is because guest requests are not taken into account while creating a manual roster. Very often, a staff member who is also busy is tasked with additional work. So, they obviously cannot complete the task in time. 

Can Smart Staff Rosters predict guest requests? No. But it can very easily find out if the concerned staff member is otherwise engaged. And it can also reroute the guest request to a staff member who is currently not busy. If no one is available at that point of time, the guest can be informed of the same. Though such situations are extremely unlikely, it’s still better than making a guest wait indefinitely. 

The guest registers their request on their mobile hotel app/website. So, the staff members can review the request once they are free and address that concern.

Balances Load 

Smart Load Balancing is a feature of StayFlexi that is meant to keep your staff happy. The brief period between Check-Out and Check-In is the most stressful period for the housekeeping staff. 

StayFlexi balances this in two ways. First, with StayFlexi, you don’t need to have fixed check-in and check-out timings at all. So, there is no scheduled period during the day when the workload increases. 

Also, the automated scheduling system records the number of working hours and the tasks performed by a staff member. This way, it can easily space out shifts and assign tasks in a way that work is evenly balanced. There is no room for human error in this automated system.

Improves Communication 

If you have a reasonably large property, then communication between staff is a key feature. If a certain staff member is busy, it is unlikely that they will be able to inform someone immediately. So, what would they do in case they need to request someone else to perform a task? Or, how would they request a shift change?

Usually the manager is informed of these requests. But it is extremely hard to implement immediate changes in the roster because it creates a lot of variables. This is one of the major reasons why staff rosters aren’t modified even after receiving a formal request.

With a PMS like StayFlexi, not only can the staff directly lodge their requests in the app/website itself. But also, the automated scheduling system itself can shuffle the variables around and create a modified roster.

Provides Flexible Working Hours

This directly follows the last point about improved communication. One of the major demands of the US worker strikes is flexible working practices. Your staff might want more control over their work hours as well. 

In such a situation, having a Smart Staff Roster is essential. As mentioned before, this roster is much more malleable. It naturally implements shift changes to ensure that no one person is overworked. Moreover, Smart Rosters can be changed much more frequently than manual rosters. 

Due to its advanced scheduling methods, StayFlexi does not have to steer away from unexpected requests or shift changes.

Eliminates Biases

This is one of the major reasons why any manual process is automated at all. Yes, the efficiency increases, and the room for human error decreases with automations. But human errors are not always unintentional. 

Automations do away with the entire question of human biases. Unless you intentionally change the staff rosters yourself, StayFlexi will do it automatically and impartially. 

Making sure that everyone’s workload is equal and manageable is the main intention. There is no room for preferential treatment to certain members of the staff. No staff member can be stuck performing the same duty or the same shift every day. 

In Conclusion

Smart Staff Roasters balance workload and more importantly, free you of the duty of scheduling. They are way more flexible and open to change than manual rosters. Unpredictability is not something that can be easily accommodated into pre-planned work schedules. But with StayFlexi’s Smart Housekeeping options, you can always stay prepared for the unknown. 

This is one feature that is bound to improve the working conditions of your housekeeping staff. There are several other interesting features associated with StayFlexi’s Smart Housekeeping option. If you want to know more about this, do let me know in the comments below.

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