If you’re a hotelier reading this article, we don’t need to tell you: most hotels in North America report major staffing headaches.
At the end of 2022, 87% of hoteliers described themselves as short-staffed, with 36% describing the situation as “severe.” Luckily, it does seem to be trending slightly better – that’s a fall from 97% in the middle of the same year.
It’s a problem that’s a vicious cycle. The managers who would normally be tasked with hiring are too busy to make the right hires and do the training necessary. With so many factors outside of your grasp, there is no easy way to solve this problem. But technology is one thing you control that makes it easier to do more with less.
Cloud-based innovative technology can make the job of everyone on property easier. Staff shortages have made it essential for hotels to embrace automation and better communication. Here are four ways technology can alleviate some of the problems created by staff shortages.
1. Automate tasks to improve operations
To keep operations smooth, hotels require many staff who perform many (often repetitive) tasks that need to be done every day. The technology at your hotel should make these tasks easier and require fewer staff to get them done.
With fewer staff on site, you need everyone to be on the same page. That’s what a cloud-based property management system, like Jonas Chorum PMS, can do. Automate processes such as room assignment, inventory management, and room readiness. And then alert relevant back and front-of-house staff about all of these things. End the need for two-way radios, reduce calls to the front desk, and truly maximize employee efficiency.
2. Easily train and onboard new staff
Your hotel is complicated, but your technology shouldn’t be. The tools your staff use day in and day out should be easy to use for new employees.
Unlike other PMS providers, Jonas Chorum takes hours to train on, not weeks. We also have a unique approach to customer support that means if you ever do have a problem, we don’t pass the buck on finding a resolution.
During a staffing shortage, you can’t afford to invest weeks training staff on operational software only for them to leave. Intuitive software makes it easier to hire from a wider candidate pool because you don’t require as much specialized knowledge or experience.
3. Streamline arrival for every guest
Technology can streamline the guest arrival process. One option is to email guests a pre-arrival registration link to gather financial and personal data, meaning they only need to pick up their key. This saves your front desk staff valuable time with every single check-in.
Another option is to go fully contactless, with a digital key and a mobile app. Investing in new locks means guests can skip the front desk entirely and head straight to their rooms. With the right implementation, you’ll keep valuable up-sell opportunities that you might have had with a front desk check-in.
In fact, a digital pre-registration or check-in will always show guest upgrade options, which your busy front desk may skip on arrival.
Consider whether now is the time to invest in contactless check-in at your hotel.
4. Communication, Communication, Communication
The technology you use should never make it harder to provide excellent service to every guest. Reliable, easy-to-use technology never gets in your staff’s way. One of the most important things your technology should do is to keep lines of communication open and keep everyone on top of what’s going on, down to the minute.
Jonas Chorum’s technology suite improves your staff communication in two key ways:
- A PMS that supplies and maintains real-time data on inventory, arrivals, analytics, and more
- Put that data into action with Staff Mobile solutions, where they can communicate and register task competition
Learn more about how better technology will help your hotel during a staffing shortage.