By Nicky Chenery, General Manager, EMEA, SafetyCulture (https://safetyculture.com/)
Nicky Chenery, General Manager of EMEA at SafetyCulture, explains the crucial role technology must now take in reducing operational costs and improving communication to help hospitality businesses stay afloat during the pandemic.
Faced with booking cancellations and mounting staff shortages, hospitality leaders are finding that good operations incur a steep cost in the pandemic era. But what’s the alternative? Cutting corners, team burnout, low productivity and morale can all compound to negatively affect the business. Bad operations come at a much higher price.
In late December 2021, the UK government promised grants to hospitality businesses to tackle the impact of the Omicron variant, but many are yet to receive them. Under increased financial pressure, businesses are forced to re-examine workplace procedures and find new avenues to strengthen their operations with fewer resources on hand.
As those in hospitality are called upon to do more with less, it’s crucial for leaders to adopt effective technology that will help them better connect with the frontline and implement new procedures in a practical and scalable way. Here are some ways to get you started.
FIGHT DECISION FATIGUE
As we’re forced to keep up with new variants and measures relating to Covid-19, decision fatigue has taken hold.There is an antidote — simplicity. Replacing complex tasks with simple processes using technology can be the solution.Whether it’s digitising opening or closing checklists or making it easy to raise problems on- the-go, this can be a game-changer in the day-to-day processes for hospitality team members.
We see this day to day in our line of work. Raising and resolving issues can be a challenge, especially for large hospitality resorts than span acerage with many different teams on staff.That’s the problem that Butlin’s was facing.When relying on pen and paper to report issues across the entire property, things get lost in the shuffle.The list gets too long to recall, and staff members are likely overrun with different tasks and priorities.
It was after adopting our flagship app iAuditor that Butlin’s realised how easy it was for workers to flag issues with immediacy and ease.With tech that allowed them to capture photos and contextual evidence as events happened, it became far easier for management to provide support in real-time. Introduce simple and intuitive tools and your teams will thank you for it – with reduced operational costs being an added bonus.
TAKE BURNOUT OFF THE MENU
We all know that hospitality can be exhausting. And unlike desk workers, working from home is not an option for most hospitality staff.Those in the industry are faced with heavy workloads and demanding shifts – where both their personal and mental health is put on the line every day.
Preventing burnout is crucial for any business, and now is the time to check in – how are your teams feeling? There are ways to identify employee burnout, but the focus should really be on prevention, especially with “The Great Resignation” sweeping across the UK and the rest of the world. SafetyCulture research recently uncovered that 3/4 of UK frontline workers don’t feel listened to on topics that matter to them. Hospitality employees are undoubtedly stretched thin with constantly changing regulations compounded by staffing shortages. It’s never been more crucial to ensure their voices are heard and valued.
Communication channels between managers and teams may have not come top of the list before the pandemic, but it certainly takes priority now.Teams need to feel confident to speak up not only about Covid-19 concerns, but all potential issues in the workplace. It’s imperative that your team understands there are robust compliance, safety and legal policies in place – show them that their concerns will be addressed and their opinions matter.Technology can play a huge role here. It can amplify individual voices and put the power in the hands of each and every staff member. Equip teams with the right tools to make speaking up and raising issues easy – such as scannable QR codes that instantly notify the right people.
As we head into 2022, it’s crucial we keep our frontline top of mind and equip them with the right tools and training. Consumer confidence is fragile at the moment and there’s no better time to boost employees’ confidence and ensure their time can be spent on tasks that positively impact customers and the business.
*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1950 adults (861 US, 554 Australia, 535 UK). Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th August – 9th September 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of US, UK and AU frontline workers (aged 18+).