The open-for-all-hours nature of the hospitality industry makes internal communication a challenging process. Add to this the casual, transient workforce and it’s easy to see how the hospitality industry often struggles to find a solution that enables them to communicate and connect with employees. If you own a bar, restaurant, hotel or motel and you are grappling with these issues, then this post is essential reading. We make the case for a hospitality intranets and demonstrate the benefits by looking at a number of common scenarios encountered in the hospitality industry.
Shift Work & Difficulties In Sharing Information
Almost by definition the hospitality industry involves working unusual hours and so rarely are all your staff members in the building at the same time. This makes it very difficult to hold those team meetings that other organizations rely on to share information and to keep staff updated on key company news and events. Hospitality intranets, however, offers a solution to this problem. By logging on to the intranet, employees can access all the latest news and updates on the news feed. In much the same way that Facebook or Twitter presents you with a news digest when you log on, so the hospitality intranet will automatically display the latest news. And just like the social media feeds that we are all so familiar with, news can be presented in bite-sized chunks with the option to click for more information.
What’s more, with a cloud hosted intranet your staff will be able to remotely access the news feed anywhere and at any time via a Wi-Fi connection or a smartphone. And so your employees can be keeping up to date from their living rooms, while commuting on the bus or while waiting for a take-out coffee on their way into work. This will particularly appeal to the younger demographic that makes up the majority of hospitality industry workers. These digital natives already have an expectation of being connected and are also more likely to embrace the intranet technology.
Dealing With Regulations
The hospitality industry is perhaps one of the most heavily regulated industries. A plethora of guidelines and policies govern its operations from health and safety to hotel liability laws and food safety regulations. Employees need to be aware of the most important ones that affect their jobs and they need to be able to quickly and easily access them. Rather than having a closet full of volumes of policies and procedures that are simply gathering dust, with a hospitality intranet all the relevant information is stored in a central online database. An advanced search functionality means that it’s a straightforward process for staff to find the information they’re after.
In addition, it’s vitally important that staff members are accessing the very latest information. The old method of keeping all the documents in a closet often leads to employees referring to outdated data simply because the system isn’t adequately maintained. The hospitality intranet, however, is a failsafe way to ensure staff only access the most recent guidelines thereby negating the potential for costly errors.
Induction And Ongoing Training
As we’ve seen, typically hospitality employees are working long hours often late at night or early in the morning. Traditional forms of onboarding or induction and training involving classroom-style seminars are therefore impractical. The hospitality intranet provides an easy alternative in the shape of online training and induction. From checklists and questionnaires through to wikis and how-to videos, the intranet offers employees a self-service approach to completing their induction and training. Once again the cloud nature of the intranet means that staff can complete these programs remotely at their own pace and in their own time. The intranet will automatically notify the manager once each module or step is completed so that progress is recorded and easily tracked.
What’s more, if there is a requirement for all staff to update their knowledge in relation to a key change on, for example, food safety regulations then the intranet will keep a record of which staff members have completed the training and which haven’t. This gives management a greater level of oversight that would be harder to achieve with traditional paper or email-based systems.
Changes In Rosters
This is a perennial problem for hospitality managers. You spend hours each month setting up a staff roster only for it to fall apart when employees try to swap shifts. Keeping tabs on who has swapped what shift is a logistical nightmare and it’s not uncommon for you to be short staffed on a shift because of a mix up offer the roster.
The intranet will do away with this annoying problem for good. All staff rosters can be published on the intranet and employees communicate directly with each other if they want to swap shifts. Publishing such information on the intranet makes for an entirely transparent process, gives staff members more direct control and allows managers to take more of a back seat on the day-to-day management of the roster.
Reporting Of Incidents
Have you ever had a post-it note stuck to your desk informing you of a maintenance issue that occurred overnight? Well, the intranet offers a mechanism for the formal reporting of incidents or issues to management. Using the intranet’s intuitive forms builder or Google Forms from the embedded Google Apps suite, at the end of the shift, at say midnight, the duty manager can advise management of any incidents or issues that have occurred. The intranet will automatically route the form to the appropriate manager for action who will be notified as soon as they log in. It’s a much more simplified and streamlined process and eliminates the possibility of notes or post-its going missing.
Sharing Information On Events Or Promotions
You can use the intranet’s calendar feature to inform staff of upcoming special events such as weddings, live gigs or promotions. At a glance, staff can see what’s happening. There’s no need to bombard staff with lots of emails to update them as all the information is instead held in one central location.
Hospitality Intranets Improve Communications
The bottom line is that internal communications is a simpler and more failsafe process with an intranet. Hospitality providers that have already implemented an intranet have quickly found it to be an indispensable management tool. What’s more, better informed and more involved staff will offer a higher standard of service to your customers, ensuring repeat business and customer loyalty.
If you’re considering a hospitality intranet, then get in touch with the helpful team at MyHub for an informal chat. Better still take advantage of our 14-day trial and free online demo/requirements session to see for yourself what a difference a hospitality intranet can make to your business.