Hotel Effectiveness Blog

6 Common Hotel Scheduling Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)

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Time and time again, we find hotel managers are making scheduling mistakes that end up costing their hotel a substantial amount of labor dollars. Are you guilty of committing one of these scheduling offenses?

Take a look at our list of the 6 most common hotel scheduling blunders managers make, and learn how you can avoid them at your hotel:

Scheduling Blunder #1: Using a spreadsheet

Studies show 90% of spreadsheets contain errors (more details here). Because of this, we don’t recommend using spreadsheets for key functions in your hotel. If you’re using a spreadsheet to create schedules simply for the layout, a spreadsheet might suffice for that purpose; however, you’re greatly decreasing scheduling efficiency and introducing the likelihood that errors  will  crop up  in the future.

Instead, enlist in hotel scheduling software that’s designed to help hotel managers make smart scheduling decisions – incorporating factors including labor standards, budgets, occupancy forecasting and other revenue drivers. This is something spreadsheets simply cannot do.

Scheduling Blunder #2: Creating fixed schedules for all employees

While there are some positions in a hotel that have fixed schedules, this should never be the case for your whole staff. The hotel business is variable in nature, your employee schedules have to reflect this. You should always schedule more labor hours on your hotel’s busier days, and less on slower days.

Scheduling Blunder #3: Not scheduling to labor standards

Labor standards are essentially a recipe for how to staff every position in your hotel. They determine how to schedule for each position based on operational metrics such as occupancy, minutes per room or F&B covers and revenue.

Scheduling to your labor standards takes the guesswork out of creating the schedule and puts managers on the path to optimal staffing levels for your hotel. Without scheduling to your labor standards, you run a great risk of overstaffing or understaffing your hotel.

Scheduling Blunder #4: Not adjusting the schedule mid-week if needed

Remember this tip: hotel schedules should never be written in stone!  You have to be prepared to make changes to your schedule based on what is actually happening during the week.  If you notice a specific department is using more labor hours than scheduled or an employee is at risk for overtime, make adjustments to the schedule to get back on course and avoid overspending on labor. Additionally, if unexpected events occur (such as a group canceling or booking last minute), be sure to adjust the schedule accordingly. By not doing so, you will either waste labor hours or sacrifice the quality of your customer service depending on the situation.

Scheduling Blunder #5: Not finding the right start time for certain positions

Oftentimes, hotels will schedule their housekeepers to start their shift first thing in the morning. But is this really necessary? Is there a sufficient amount of work for them at that time, or are labor hours being wasted?

Find a start time that makes sense for that position, and schedule your employees to begin their shift at that time. This also applies to other positions in your hotel, such as dishwashers.

Scheduling Blunder #6: Not having a system for notifying hotel employees of schedule changes

When changes are made to the schedule, it’s important to notify employees as soon as possible. Sure, you can try to track them down by calling them to let them know they’re scheduled to work on Wednesday instead of Friday. But that takes time – and what if you can’t catch them?

This is why it’s strongly recommended to have hotel scheduling software in place that will automate this process. There are scheduling tools (myHotelTeam, for instance) available that give employees access to their current schedule anytime, anyplace, and will automatically alert them when changes are made to the schedule.

To see how Hotel Effectiveness can help your hotel avoid these scheduling blunders, simply click here to schedule a demo!

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