In July this year, trade body UK Hospitality stated staffing in the hospitality sector was
“in serious crisis this summer”, with vacancies 48% higher than in pre-Covid times. Deloitte predict disruptions will likely increase beyond 2025.
Limited staffing can be a challenging situation, potentially causing knock-on effects for hotel owners. These consequences can impact various business areas:
- Guest Experience: Reduced staff can lead to longer wait times at check-in, slower response to guest requests, and less personalised service, all of which can negatively impact guest satisfaction.
- Quality of Service: Fewer staff members may mean that essential tasks like cleaning, maintenance, and food preparation are not performed to the usual standards. This can lead to a decline in the overall quality of the hotel experience.
- Operational Efficiency: With fewer staff to handle daily operations, processes may become less efficient, leading to potential bottlenecks or mistakes. This can result in financial losses or additional expenses in rectifying issues.
- Staff Morale: Overworking the existing staff can lead to burnout, increased stress, and low morale. This might lead to higher turnover rates, which can further exacerbate staffing challenges.
- Reputation Damage: Negative reviews and word-of-mouth due to poor service or lack of amenities can harm the hotel’s reputation. This could affect future bookings and long-term profitability.
- Strategic Impact: Low staffing levels can hinder the hotel’s ability to launch new initiatives, expand services, or make necessary improvements. Long-term growth and strategic goals may be compromised.
- Competitive Disadvantage: If competitors are maintaining staffing levels and service quality, the hotel with lower staffing might find itself at a competitive disadvantage, losing market share to rivals.
I’m Experiencing Low Staffing at My Hotel; How can I Mitigate the Potential Damage?
Fear not! Let Guestroom Genie share our 8-point strategic approach to dealing with the limited staffing issue.
- Assess the Staffing Needs: Understand which areas are most impacted by limited staffing. Focus on roles that directly influence customer satisfaction, like front desk, housekeeping, and food and beverage service.
- Cross-Training Employees: Train staff to be versatile in multiple roles. Cross-trained employees can shift between responsibilities as needed, making the most of the available personnel.
- Outsourcing and Temporary Staff: Hire temporary or part-time staff during peak seasons or when you anticipate a higher demand. Outsourcing certain functions can also be a practical solution.
- Adjust Service Offerings: Simplify menus or reduce non-core services temporarily. Make sure to communicate any changes to guests ahead of time to manage expectations.
- Optimise Scheduling: Implement intelligent scheduling to ensure staff are deployed during peak times. Analysing historical data can help in predicting the busiest hours and planning accordingly.
- Communication with Guests: Proactively communicate with guests about any limitations or changes to service, apologising for any inconvenience, and outlining the steps taken to ensure a pleasant stay.
- Implement Self-Service Options: Consider providing self-service kiosks, mobile apps, or in-room tablets for services like room service ordering, spa bookings, or concierge services.
- Invest in Technology: Many hotels are running more digital-first, or “low-staff” models. Investing in technology such as Guestroom Genie helps to automate routine tasks that take up valuable time and can significantly help your business run smoothly with reduced staffing!
With Guestroom Genie You Can Enjoy:
- Property Management – Streamline your Property Management with such features as secure storage of contact details (e.g., contact information, general enquiries, billing and guest services), room type inventory, facility lists and additional costs
- Rate Management – Optimise your rates quickly and simply with remote Rate Management
- Channel Management – Link to booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb for two-way synchronisation of reservations and availability between Guestroom Genie and Online Travel Agents (OTA). Links with VRBO and other OTAs and currently in progress.
- Resource Allocation optimisation – Optimise Housekeeping Management by tracking turnaround times, detailing cleaning schedules including information such as urgency of each job, and record maintenance issues. You can also block rooms for if staffing becomes very low
With Guestroom Genie you can be proactive, and flexible, and mitigate the impact of limited staffing on guest satisfaction. Contact Guestroom Genie today to discuss our range of subscription options to suit your business.