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Dear Edie: HELP! I NEED EMPLOYEES? -- Working Around the Clock

Edie Lowe
Posted by Edie Lowe on March 29, 2021

Dear Working Around the Clock,

Controlling labor costs and finding employees will be the two most critical tasks we address in 2021 as hospitality professionals.

Despite this, many hotels are still using the same labor standards that were in place prior to COVID. It is time to revisit and revise your labor strategy. Fortunately, PerfectLabor™ provides department-specific labor standard templates to assist you in building dynamic schedules.

If the labor standards are built correctly the staffing guidelines based on occupancy should flex whether the hotel is Select Service or Full Service. I recently took my daughter on a college tour trip through the Carolinas and Virginia. This trip provided me with a first hand view of staffing at several of the hotels using PerfectLabor™. Check-in and check-out were done by the same Guest Services person. The GM had to help with housekeeping. Breakfast was grab and go. The restaurant and bar were closed. Even with lean operations, the hotels were obviously understaffed.

My most interesting hotel observation was the occupied rooms seemed to be on the same floor. Makes sense -- fewer steps for the one or two Room Attendants. How did I know which rooms were occupied? The sticker that tells you the room is clean was broken or missing on most of the doors. (I find it strange that a cleaning protocol now alerts everyone to the occupied rooms in a hotel.)

As we prepare for increases in occupancy this Spring and Summer, it is important that we are aware of what the market is paying their associates for the same positions. There are several benefits to using our wage benchmarking tool,  PerfectWage™ in conjunction with PerfectLabor™.

PerfectWage™ offers competitive industry-specific wage information by position in over 100 markets. This easy-to-use tool helps you make wage decisions and set compensation strategies, making your hotels more attractive and reducing employee turnover. With this information, hotel management can stay abreast of how their employee wages compare to other hotels in their market. These statistics are available at both the hotel-level and across an account's portfolio, depending on the user's access. In addition to the wage information, we also provide average tenure and average employees in positions which might be the reason the hotel's average wage runs higher or lower than the market. Did you know that the average Room Attendant is gone before they reach their 90 day review period?

Knowing how your wages compare to the market is imperative to building a team and can increase your hotel’s overall bottom line and success. Keep in mind - calling around to investigate yourself is actually illegal, so don’t make that mistake.

I recommend two things:

  1. Take full advantage of PerfectLabor™ to ensure that your labor plans are 100% perfect. Staff each shift with exactly the labor you need -- no more, no less.
  2. Use PerfectWage™ regularly to ensure that your wages are competitive and aligned with your compensation strategy. Don’t let uncompetitive wages keep you from recruiting and retaining the talented staff you need.

Please email me at edie.lowe@hoteleffectiveness.com with your questions for future Dear Edie articles.

Topics: Hotel Profitability, Labor Costs, Scheduling, Wages