Within the hospitality industry, the saying, 'time is of the essence' is a constant reminder of the need to have effective scheduling processes in place. When customers fail to receive the service they expect due to inadequate staffing levels, the impact can be much more significant than just one disgruntled client. In a world where online reviews can make or break a business, one complaint can quickly cause reputational issues. That then means that using scheduling software such as Tracktime24 is no longer a luxury but is instead an essential tool for effective staff management.
Features of Work Time Management Apps
When you're considering implementing a new work time app, it's essential that it has a range of features that will save you time and provide accurate data.
Employee Work Time Tracking
When managing your employees' working time, you need to have accurate data, while also providing a level of transparency for both you and your team. No more disputes over whether someone was late, whether they are should be paid overtime, or if they left early.
Then there's the management of breaks. When you're busy running your business, it can be challenging to monitor your team and the time taken on breaks. A work time tracking app can provide clarity for your team on when they should be taken, while also providing data for you to review on what's happening when you're not there to supervise.
Work time tracking also means that you can set the rules by which payments or deductions are made. And it's not only the day-to-day team management where this data can be helpful. When it comes to annual staff appraisals, promotions, and disciplinaries, you need accurate information that helps you see the complete picture of your employee's timekeeping.
If you have multiple staff working a range of shifts, it can take a crazy amount of time to design the weekly schedule. Then all it needs is for someone to call in sick, and you're back to the drawing board. A work schedule app should have the functionality to create fixed and flexible scheduling to meet your business's needs; after all, we all know that in the hotel industry, one week is never the same as the last!
You should also be able to copy and paste or move around shifts so that you can make those adjustments easily. Then you can publish schedules so that your team immediately knows what they're working and of any last-minute changes.
Online Leave Management
It's important to your team that their requests for time off are processed quickly, but it's also essential for the business to have adequate cover to ensure that service levels aren't affected. Having an online leave management system finally gets rid of those sticky notes and pieces of paper that get lost and forgotten. And just how do you effectively manage who has how much holiday and what's left for this year? Then there's the authorization flow for signing off requests. It's no wonder that managing leave can be a nightmare task.
An online leave management system should allow you to keep track of requests, who's off at any point, and define an approval flow. It should also let you monitor sickness levels and know at an instant how many team members you'll have on shift.
Covid-19 has added another level of complexity to work scheduling. However, many software companies now have built-in functionality to include requests for time off due to quarantine, whether that's alongside illness or with the ability to work from home.
Business Travel Management
If your team is required to undertake corporate travel, then this can be another administrative function that the work schedule app can manage for you. This can include requests for travel and approval of plans along with a location for saving all the files associated with the trip.
Do all Hotels Need A Scheduling System?
It might seem that this is the reserve for larger companies, but there are actually lots of benefits for smaller establishments as well. In fact, in many smaller hotels, staff take on a number of roles, and having just one team member off, can result in real scheduling challenges.
Then you need to consider legal obligations. In many parts of the world, there are working time directives that provide your team with the rights as to how many hours they work and how much time off they are entitled to. Then there are annual and public holidays as well as requirements to provide maternity and paternity leave.
It can quickly become challenging to manage even when there's just a small team to oversee.
Costs Vs. Benefits
There's no getting away from the fact that there are going to be costs involved in implementing a work schedule solution. When you're looking for software, check out the price per user and whether this is for the exact number of users or if you have to fit within a category. When you have 51 users, and this takes you up to the 50-100 pricing, that extra employee can cause a significant increase in costs.
Do also check whether you can purchase the software or app on a modular basis. That then means that if, for example, you have no requirement to monitor staff travel, then you don't need to buy that functionality.
You should always be offered the opportunity for a trial period or the chance to use the software in a test mode so that you can assess whether it's going to meet your needs. Some packages provide the option for the free use of their scheduler when you just have two users so again, this can be a great way to assess if it's the right choice for your hotel.
A work schedule maker should reduce your workload. It should provide you with quick access to essential data, and it should be easy for your team to use. When that's in place, then you'll start to see the efficiency savings that you can make for your hotel.