Hotel operations are changing because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hoteliers, as employers, must be vigilant and follow government mandates not only in dealing with guests, but also their staff.
Hotel employees should be taken care of as they are the most important resource of an organization. To make sure that they are well-prepared and well-protected, here are some factors that hotel owners should consider.
Factors To Consider When Preparing Hotel Staff For The “New Normal”
1. Flexible working hours
Determine which roles are critical to your on-site operations, and which members can work from home. For those who can work from home such as the Finance Officer, it is important in having a detailed plan on how they can work remotely and which tools they can use.
For staff critical to your hotel operations such as housekeepers, plan their rotations with a reduced staff capacity. This may involve cross-training some staff members to perform other duties. Review your human resources policies and ensure that the staff rotations and working hours comply with applicable laws.
2. Do a Check on their priorities and personal backgrounds
Hoteliers should ask their staff about their priorities and living conditions before deciding on who should be working from home. This way, expectations can be managed for the staff members.
For example, a receptionist living 1 hour away can be allowed to work from home due to the restricted access in public transportation. Moreover, some employees would not want to be exposed to the outside world as much if they have high-risk family members (older members of the family and others with pre-existing medical conditions). To prepare for these possible issues, determine ahead if they can stay at the hotel temporarily, or be given transportation options to go to work.
3. Re-evaluation of health benefits
Staff are more likely to contract the virus outdoors and at work. Hoteliers should then remind them of their healthcare benefits and even provide them with COVID-19 insurance. In addition, if the hotel does not already have one, think about creating a disaster relief fund for the staff.
4. Safety protocols
In maintaining a healthy workplace:
It is the hoteliers’ responsibility to maintain a safe and healthy workplace by providing masks and Protective Equipment (PPE) for their staff’s safety. They should be informed on which surfaces to clean often and be given tools on disinfecting the whole hotel. It is important in creating an outbreak response plan to ensure the continuity of your operations. Hotel staff need to be educated on COVID-19 to navigate the crisis better.
What to do when a staff member shows symptoms and contracts the virus:
Remind the staff that it is everyone’s responsibility to report a colleague who might be infected. Develop a communications plan on how the staff will report the suspected case to the owner, and what to do afterwards. Hoteliers must maintain the confidentiality of any hotel staff with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 to protect his or her identity. However, hoteliers should inform other staff members of their possible exposure to the virus because of their possible health risk in their workplace. Furthermore, contact tracing and risk assessment will be easier once the staff is informed.
5. New guest procedures
During the new normal, most guest procedures will change in adherence to government policies. Walk through the complete process with the staff so they can be aware of the changes in check-in, check-out, and other services they are to provide. Temperature checks must be done before anyone enters and leaves the hotel. Disinfection mats should also be placed at the entrance, and sanitation materials like rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, or tissues should be available for guests to use. Place social distancing cues all over the hotel premises to help guests reduce contact with others. Devise a plan on how to report a possible case of COVID-19, and inform the team on what to do when a guest shows symptoms of the virus.
6. Contactless hotel procedures
Hoteliers and their staff must have minimal contact with each other to reduce the possibility of getting infected. Hotel owners need to invest in digital tools to make work from home easier for employees and to standardize hotel operations in order to minimize contact. An all-in-one digital solution will allow your hotel to faster process guest check-in and automate guest reminders. Moreover, it helps boost task coordination between employees through the mobile app, and hoteliers are able to have a 360° view of the hotel without being on-site.
ZEN eManager: An all-in-one solution in contactless hotel management
During these challenging times, an expert all-in-one solution can assist hoteliers in preparing staff for remote and safe hotel management.
ZEN eManager comes with:
- A cloud-based hotel management system: ZEN eManager has both eZee Absolute, a Property Management System, and eZee Centrix, a Channel Manager. eZee allows easy management of hotel listings across all OTAs, real-time monitoring of hotel operations, acquisition of real-time guest insights, and sending of automated guest emails and reminders. Hoteliers and other staff can manage their properties remotely while ensuring that hotel operations are smooth and guest satisfaction is excellent. Through the mobile app, the hotel staff will be able to coordinate on tasks without staying close to each other.
- A dedicated revenue manager: ZEN eManager also includes a dedicated revenue manager straight from ZEN Headquarters. The assigned revenue manager applies the most advanced pricing algorithm, the ZEN Pricing Model, to ensure that hotel owners get maximum revenue no matter the season.
Book a free demo of ZEN eManager at www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting to find out more.