Managing in hospitality is hectic . There's so much to do, so many roles that have to work in unison. And they all must focus on the single goal of giving your guests the best possible experience. Any glitch along the way can quickly threaten guest satisfaction, making a manager's ability to schedule according to both demand and individual staff strengths a necessity.
In the most recent edition of FocusED, we discussed why the hospitality industry needs a dynamic scheduling solution, one that will help managers save time and pair their staff with guest demand for the ideal service level. Besides the intricacies of such a solution, though, we also want to examine how a smart scheduling platform made specifically for hospitality will help managers in their day-to-day operations.
To that point, we've come up with a few insights that will show hotels, restaurants, retailers, or virtually any service-related business that they can transform employee scheduling from a time-consuming, inexact process into an absolute strength. As you'll see, when you use a capable labor management system (LMS), you can sync your scheduling with your time & attendance, forecasting, budgeting, and reporting and, thus, give your managers a comprehensive, holistic view of their operations. And when managers have the right tools at their disposal, guest service shines.
Track the Many Moving Parts
Excel might be indispensable for your accounting and finance departments, but it leaves much to be desired for staff scheduling. There are just too many moving parts for a manager to stay on top of with a spreadsheet. Time-off requests, overtime tracking, pay rates, and countless other data points – they're all too cumbersome and prone to error on a spreadsheet, especially for larger teams.
Dynamic scheduling software will not only automate your scheduling data but, just as importantly, will also provide schedule reporting that a manager can view from a mobile app. This lets your managers walk the floor, communicate with guests, and coach their teams, all while still having immediate access to the scheduling system to make fast but fully-informed decisions. The right scheduling tool saves managers time, eliminates errors, and can automatically match individual employees with specific shifts for optimal guest service.
Bend to Demand
Expanding on that previous point, guests don't arrive on a set schedule. Granted, in a perfect world, business volumes would be linear, and your managers would always know who is about to walk through the door at any given time. But that's not the way a service-oriented business works, especially in hospitality.
Where a static scheduling solution might work great in other sectors, it's just too rigid for a hotel or restaurant with demand that ebbs and flows, seemingly on a whim. Instead, dynamic scheduling that's part of an LMS with smart forecasting lets managers look into the future, take all of the variables affecting guest demand into account, and automatically create the ideal work schedule for any condition.
Precise Time & Attendance Data
The other side of the scheduling coin is time & attendance. Even the most forward-looking, accurate scheduling tool cannot account for every variable. Kids get sick, cars break down, and life happens, presenting managers with dilemmas that they must usually address on-the-fly. Unfortunately, employee availability is never a given, and last-minute changes are inevitable.
Just as we discussed with smart forecasting, a dynamic scheduling solution that works within the same LMS as an advanced time & attendance tool provides constant transparency, clarity, and communication between a manager and his or her team. Employees use a smart time clock for punches, which sends that data in real-time to an intuitive reporting dashboard that tells a manager who's on the clock, who's running late, and how labor costs are aligning with benchmarks. There's no substitute for immediate and reliable data, especially in an environment with rising labor costs, stagnant revenue growth, and little room for error.
The Bigger, Optimized Picture
What does dynamic scheduling mean for your labor management? It's a critical component of a more efficient, streamlined approach that lets you optimize your workforce rather than merely manage it. Workforce optimization is proactive, not reactive, and looks down the road to help your managers prepare for any conditions or business volumes. Obviously, scheduling is an integral part of that bigger picture.
Simply put, dynamic scheduling is agile but accurate, saving your managers time with automated insights. It allows them to be better at their jobs, to streamline labor costs while consistently meeting guest expectations with precise staff scheduling. For a more detailed look at these dynamic scheduling solutions and what they can do for your operations and bottom-line, check out the newest edition of FocusED. Your managers, employees, stakeholders, and guests will all thank you for it.
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