You Can’t Predict the Future, But You Can Predict Your Scheduling Needs

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How many employees will you need to deliver the service your guests expect?

That is the question facing every hotel and finding the answer has been especially challenging. It is no secret that the hospitality business is facing a serious shortage of workers, but a recent survey from Revinate highlighted that the shortage is creating even bigger problems for employees who are working: Nearly 40 percent of hoteliers reported significant increases in staff stress due to overwork.

As hotel operators work to lower that stress, they’re dealing with a major stressor of their own: A maze of fair workweek laws that vary from city to city and state to state.

Oregon has a state mandate for companies with more than 500 employees to issue schedules seven days in advance. Philadelphia requires a 10-day advance notice requirement and bonus pay for those who close and open on consecutive days. Boston, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis are among other major cities where fair workweek ordinances have been introduced, and lawmakers in states like Connecticut, New Jersey and North Carolina have also considered proposals. Depending on where your property is located, the laws involve several complexities that can make compliance management a full-time job. For example, Chicago’s Fair Workweek FAQs document is 11 pages of 24-hour notices, fractional pay mandates and hourly wage thresholds.

The good news: You can take a break from all that reading, thanks to our intelligent predictive scheduling for Labor Management and Time & Attendance.

The predictive scheduling tool incorporates all the nuances of regional laws to simplify scheduling while avoiding hefty fines for mistakes that fall out of city or state fair workweek guidelines. When a manager makes a schedule change that falls out of compliance, an automated alert helps avoid what can be a costly mistake (in New York, for example, the first violation is $500, ticking up to $750 for every additional error).

“With hoteliers facing more limitations on the ability to adjust schedules that fall outside of permitted time frames, the industry is calling for solutions that don’t just follow legal requirements, but that also provide them with the means to make informed business decisions,” said Mark Heymann, Founder of UniFocus. “Predictive scheduling by UniFocus respects the needs of both employees and employers. Operators can plan their schedules with confidence, knowing they are always fully compliant and if they’re not, can understand the fiscal impact of choosing to make non-compliant schedule changes out of necessity. Predictive scheduling provides staff with a predictable work environment that breeds loyalty while preventing any coverage lapses that can impact the guest experience.”

It’s all about balance

While managers struggle to stay in compliance, employees struggle to balance their at-home responsibilities with their work. The Revinate research also offered a deeper look at how declining employee morale has been weighing on the entire hotel ecosystem. More than 35 percent of hoteliers said they have had to reduce occupancy and F&B service, and more than 25 percent reported a sharp uptick in the number of guest complaints all due to the labor shortage.

How does predictive scheduling help you keep the staff you have?

Enter ShiftGenius. ShiftGenius integrates with predictive scheduling and gives employees more control over their schedule by allowing them to select shifts that work best for their needs. For example, managers send open shifts to employees who can then pick up those shifts and create their own schedule. ShiftGenius makes managers’ lives easier, helps employees reach a better-balanced schedule for their lives, and helps employers stand out in the labor market by addressing the trend towards more flexibility.

As scheduling expectations continue to change, meeting these needs will play a key role in the service industry’s successful employment retention. We believe there is a chain reaction here that will play a critical role in the industry’s recovery: Happier employees lead to happier guests lead to happier bottom lines.

Predicting the future of predictive scheduling

Fair workweek laws may be limited to certain locations right now, but the labor market is in the midst of a seismic shift — and your company should be prepared. Likewise, as scheduling expectations continue to change, meeting employee needs will play a key role in the service industry’s successful employment retention. By integrating UniFocus’ intelligent Labor Management and Time & Attendance tools into your operations, you can be prepared for whatever tomorrow brings.

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