How your hotel PMS can help you manage your staff
Your hotel PMS not only contains important information concerning your clientele and operational results, but also provides a wide range of information to use to help manage your staff. Whether it be to manage shifts or to estimate your staffing needs, your hotel PMS is the primary information source you should use.
The front desk opening hours
Your front desk should be one of the most efficient services at your hotel, as your guests’ satisfaction will depend on it from their arrival until their departure. The main reason for a client to be dissatisfied with their experience at the front desk is the time spent waiting. Managing your staff is therefore crucial to optimizing your front desk’s efficiency. The PMS will allow you to get occupancy forecasts for any given period of time. These forecasts are crucial, but you will also need to know which type of clientele is planning on staying with you as you may welcome them differently. For example, if you are welcoming a group with a tour guide, checking-in could be easy as tour guides usually hand out the keys to each individual in the group themselves. Your occupancy forecasts will eventually change between the time you decide on your staff’s shifts and the actual day. However you can always use the occupancy recorded the previous year for that day in your hotel PMS. This will allow you to better decide on the number of employees needed at the front desk. These forecasts can also be used by any of your staff affiliated with your front desk, such as your valet parking and concierge staff.
The housekeeping department
Housekeeping also depends on your occupancy. To better predict your housekeeping needs, you can follow the same method as your front desk. However, there exists many staff management or performance models when it comes to housekeeping. Whether using the number of rooms, points, hours or type of housekeeping, your final calculation will always depend on your occupancy. It is therefore important to have accurate occupancy forecasts on which to calculate your housekeeping needs. You will need to study the data in your hotel PMS such as the number of bookings made but also the type of rooms booked. This is particularly important, as your housekeeping needs are different depending on the type of rooms booked. Your biggest room will definitely need more time to be cleaned than your smallest room. In addition, according to the season, some parts of your hotel may not be occupied. Your hotel PMS will then tell your housekeeping staff which building or floor has not been booked so that they do not have to clean the common areas as often. Your hotel PMS can also indicate how long each one of your clients are staying. You can therefore forecast your staffing needs according to your housekeeping policy.
The catering department
The restaurant services are also influenced by the number of people staying at your hotel. However, the magnitude of this influence is different for your catering department as forecasts are often far from the truth and there are significant fluctuations. Some elements, such as breakfast, remain predictable, but your client retention rate for other restaurant services is not so predictable. However, some information in your hotel PMS can be useful, such as how many packages including meals are booked. This can give a general idea of how many customers are expected across your different restaurant services. You can also use your restaurant’s average retention rate to infer your catering staff needs and shifts.
Events at your hotel
Events also require a significant amount of staff. However, as everything is usually planned in advance, managing these staffing needs across your different departments is easier. Keep in mind that every event is unique and thus has different staffing needs. The group module of your hotel PMS will provide each department with specific details concerning each group, such as the number of people in the group, the number of rooms booked, the type of group and the services booked. You will therefore be able to plan the optimal amount of catering and housekeeping staff, along with any other services or activities you provide and the staff they require.
Your hotel PMS should be your main source of information when the time comes to manage your staff, as your staff represents a large portion of your expenses. The balance between the lack and the surplus of staff can have a great impact on your clients’ satisfaction and your hotel’s profitability. In addition, recruiting and training your staff takes a lot of time, so it is important to be able to build optimal schedules to avoid your staff feeling under pressure or useless. It is up to you to find the right balance using your best friend: the PMS!