June 27, 2019

How to Prepare Your Hospitality Business for the Coming Shifts in Workforce Management


Computers and robotics are the steam engine of the modern era. Technology is again revolutionizing the global workplace. 

Digitalization has set up the new pillars of the global economy—real-time communication, the Internet as the unlimited knowledge base, and instantly accessible information. These shifts have not bypassed the hospitality industry, with nearly two-thirds of U.S. customers considering it “very or extremely important” for hotels to continue investing in technology to enhance the guest experience. Take Airbnb for example—thanks to technology, this start-up managed to grow into the world’s largest accommodation provider, without owning any property.

The job market has also evolved, especially with the rise of the “gig economy.” An increasing number of workers are opting for freelancing or multiple part-time engagements as an alternative to a lifelong, full-time job in a single company. Combined with high turnover and personnel shortages in the hospitality and restaurant industry, businesses cannot afford to disregard employee experience. 

In this new marketplace reality, rebuilding legacy workforce management processes might be perceived as a challenge; but it is also an opportunity. Technology can help businesses to upgrade outdated processes and transform HR from a service-oriented, reactive function to a proactive force that drives company success.

Leveraging the momentum for change

Employee shift scheduling is the foundation of workforce management. It governs the level of productivity, allows supervisors and line managers to assess business needs, and—most importantly—ensure customers are serviced with quality.

When planning and creating a shift schedule, managers need a real-time view of employee availability and skills, so they can assign the right person to the right shift and resolve any potential conflicts. Supervisors require a high-level overview of labor costs and regulatory compliance to avoid potentially costly repercussions.  

On the flip side, employees will no longer settle for unpredictable schedules and the lack of control of their working hours. They demand schedule visibility and real-time shift notifications well in advance—as well as the flexibility to arrange trade shifts easily with their peers. Seamless, real-time communication capabilities and fair schedules have become the top priorities in the job search.

Businesses relying on outdated, manual scheduling tools find it difficult to effectively manage busy nights and slow seasons. Moreover, poor employee scheduling can foster frustration and animosity in the workplace, which easily spills over to customer experience. According to the “Hotels at Face Value” report, unfriendly staff is ranked as the most frustrating factor for 62% of guests, while Deloitte’s survey on restaurant customer experience shows that friendly employees have the biggest impact on creating a positive experience.

To address these challenges, a growing number of companies in hospitality and food service are deploying scheduling platforms to upgrade their organizational processes and optimize staffing costs. There is a myriad of apps that promise increased productivity—from scheduling and monitoring attendance to managing benefits and payroll. Workforce Management solutions that automatize time-consuming, administrative tasks are especially valuable to managers who have other, more pressing responsibilities on their plate. 

However, most of these tools cannot technologically support the access and flexibility that modern Human Resources and Operations departments demand. They are not built for the cloud from the ground up and are not mobile-ready, so real-time workforce management is limited or not possible at all. Moreover, the majority of these platforms are stand-alone solutions that don’t offer full integrations with the HR back office. 

Integrating scheduling, leave management, payroll, data sources, and other capabilities are the next steps for forward-thinking Human Capital and Workforce Management vendors. 

Humanity has made it its mission to identify and integrate its powerful scheduling capabilities with leading HCM systems. These collaborations are established to address the needs of enterprises and large organizations: to eliminate double data entry, accelerate their scheduling processes and empower their teams with an intuitive, mobile-first solution. 

Today’s organizations can only thrive if they invest in upgrading their internal processes and better address the needs of the workforce. There’s no shortcut to this, but leveraging the strengths of specialized, innovative tools can certainly make this ambitious project much more painless.