Providing responsive and seamless services to customers and guests is, of course, the top priority for hotel and accommodation providers. But with such a broad range of services coupled with the mobile nature of employees who are often working unsociable hours, it can be a challenge in practice. If your hotel or motel is facing these sorts of issues, then a hotel intranet could well be the solution you are looking for. In this post, we examine the business benefits that an intranet has to offer hotels and accommodation providers. First though let’s define what an intranet is.
What Is A Hotel Intranet?
An intranet is a private, closed network that is only accessible to staff members. Think of it as an internal website. It contains a number of standard features, modules and tools that are designed to make the daily job of team members easier:
- news feeds
- company calendar highlighting key events such as conferences and weddings
- automated business processes
- staff directory with biographies
- document management and sharing
- knowledge management – a central directory of company policies and procedures as well as central and local government regulations.
What Business Benefits Will An Intranet Provide?
Companies that have deployed a hotel intranet report a number of business benefits. One of the most important is improved internal communications. The nature of the job means that communications in hotels and motels are difficult. Those working the night shift in particular often feel as though they are out of the loop.
A news feed featuring bite-sized team or hotel updates is accessed by all staff on logging in to the hotel intranet and so is a great platform for connecting with employees, no matter what their hours of work. What’s more, with a cloud-hosted intranet staff members can utilize the intranet at any time and from any location using a 3G/4G or Wi-Fi connection. This means that staff can check up on all the latest news at a time that suits them, whether it’s on the commute to work or while taking a coffee break.
Another significant business benefit is the intranet’s potential for automated business processes. Paper and email-based processes could become a thing of the past with the intranet’s intuitive form builder or the embedded Google Forms app. From booking holiday leave to food and beverage ordering and reporting a repair or an incident, the hotel intranet will make the process quicker and easier while also eliminating the potential for the errors often seen in paper or email systems.
Many hotel and accommodation providers have reported that onboarding of new staff members, as well as ongoing staff training, have been improved with the intranet. And with many employees working irregular hours, traditional forms of induction involving classroom-style learning are difficult to implement. The online training and induction offered by a hotel intranet is the perfect solution. And in the shape of quizzes, surveys, how-to-videos, webinars or podcasts, it also tends to be more engaging and interactive.
In addition, the hotel and accommodation industry tends to be subject to a whole raft of legislation and safety and health regulations, which are constantly changing. Instead of relying on paper filing systems to store important company knowledge, employees will be able to access the very latest data within just a few clicks of the mouse on the intranet’s shared files system and linked pages. The same applies to company policies and procedures. Say for instance a guest was subject to a medical emergency while staying at the hotel, staff can use the online checklist to ensure all company policies are adhered to and the correct protocols followed.
So now that we have a thorough understanding of what an intranet is and some of the business benefits that are available, let’s turn out attention to looking at the specifics. What practical ways will the intranet help my business?
This is a big area for hotel and accommodation providers and the intranet will make this a much smoother process to manage. Let’s say that a cleaner notices a tap is broken in room 214. The chances are that the cleaner makes a note of it and at the end of the shift (which may be some hours away) reports it to maintenance manager using a standard form. With a hotel intranet, the cleaner will instead be able to log on while still in the room and use a smartphone complete an online repair notification. They could, for example, take a photo, upload it to a custom intranet form that automatically sends it through to the relevant maintenance manager for action. And because the form is sent in real-time, the manager can have a technician attend to the repair straight away. In fact, using the form rules function an email can automatically be sent to an external plumbing contractor if so required.
Setting up staff rosters is often a logistical headache for hotel and accommodation managers. Everything is fine and dandy until employees start to request alternative shifts or swap shifts with colleagues without letting you know. The situation can quickly degenerate into chaos. The intranet can help with this problem too. Once the roster has been finalized, it can be published on the intranet with relevant staff having direct access to change or swap shifts as appropriate. This gives employees more control and allows managers to take a hands-off approach in relation to the day-to-day management of the roster. It also provides greater transparency as all the affected personnel can see for themselves exactly what’s happening.
Responding to requests for information, places of interest, tours and things to do is a fundamental service offered by all hotel and accommodation providers. With an intranet and embedded iframes and widgets, the concierge can have access to a database of preferred suppliers, including links to websites, information and pricing, videos, maps and printable brochures. All this information will be at the concierge’s fingertips so that the guest receives a speedy, responsive and knowledgeable service.
Better Integration Of Services
Perhaps the single most important benefit of the intranet is that all these tools and features are available on a single platform. There’s no need for multiple, and sometimes incompatible, systems across the business. Everything that employees need to do to get the job done is in a centralized, easy to use and easy to manage company intranet.
Are you looking to enhance your customer offering by providing better integrated services to your hotel guests? Then get in touch with the expert team at MyHub. We offer a free demo and 14-day trial so get started today and discover what a difference an intranet can make to your business.