Hotels Should Run Not Walk to Invest In Panic Buttons
The pandemic has exacerbated safety concerns as hotels are operating with fewer staff and more staff members are required to work alone, which has the potential to further contribute to an unsafe environment. Employees who work in guest rooms are especially vulnerable as they are often isolated from the rest of their teams, almost 90% of room attendants are women and they are more likely to be harassed and assaulted while at work. Ensuring the safety of hotel employees and guests is essential and hotels must be able to effectively respond to the numerous incidences that can take place on hotel property.
Continued High Turnover Rates
Hotel Effectiveness, a labor optimization technology provider released its Spring 2022 Hotel Labor Cost Index and Housekeeping Labor Analysis Report, which highlighted topics such as the hospitality labor shortage and rising wages within Hospitality. The report found that since the pandemic, the turnover rate within the Hospitality Industry has increased beyond pre-pandemic levels and employee wages have also increased.
Hospitality is well known for its high turnover rate, which is significantly higher than other industries. The report found that it has increased and now slightly exceeds pre-pandemic levels. Room attendant turnover is now over 103% annually, the average turnover for each room attendant is more than once per year.
Those working in Hospitality, work hard to ensure that guests’ needs are met and hotels are increasing wages as a means of luring employees back to the industry. Wages across hotel roles have increased by 7.6% year over year, with an average hourly rate of $16.51 per hour in March of 2022. The room attendant’s wage has increased by 11.3% year over year and is now $14.63 per hour.
Investing in Panic Buttons
The Hospitality Industry is suffering from a major labor shortage, turnover rates have always been higher than other industries but have increased beyond pre-pandemic levels and hotels must work hard to bring employees back. Some hotels have increased wages and are offering bonuses and other incentives as a means of bringing employees back. But investing in a panic button system will give employees that added level of protection to feel safe while at work.
There are numerous details that goes into ensuring the safety of hotel employees and guests and hotels must ensure that they can effectively respond to the various incidences that can potentially take place on the hotel’s property. Although some hotels rarely experience negative incidences, there is the potential for incidences to occur and hotels must be prepared to respond swiftly. Guests, as well as employees can have medical emergencies that require immediate attention. And during the course of their work, employees can be verbally or physically assaulted by guests, 9 out of 10 Hospitality workers have suffered some type of abuse during their dealings with guests. Hotels need to have a safety system in place that allows for an immediate response before incidences can escalate.
Panic Buttons vs Noise Makers
Many cities and states have passed hotel panic button laws that require hotel employees to be equipped with employee safety devices or panic buttons. As a response, some hotels have opted to purchase noise makers, which are devices that when pressed emit an ear-piercing sound. Although noise makers are extremely inexpensive when compared to other devices, they do not alert hotel security personnel or give the location of the employee in distress and the sound emitted can be drowned out by television or cleaning equipment noise.
Panic buttons are safety devices that when pressed sends out an emergency alert to designated hotel personnel and provides the location of the employee in distress, down to the precise floor and room number. Panic Buttons are designed to send alerts in real time and if the employee in distress changes location, updates are continuously sent, allowing responders to locate the employee within seconds or minutes. Panic buttons can also be configured to alert designated hotel security personnel or emergency responders in the event of a medical emergency. These workplace safety devices will continuously send out alerts until the issue has been resolved.
Panic Button Benefits for Hotels
Provide a Safe Environment for Guests and Employees
Hotel employees work hard and hotels have taken steps to increase wages, but employees also need to feel safe while at work. 96% of employees felt that hotel panic buttons would give them a sense of safety while at work. Panic button devices offer protection to all employees and help them to better respond to co-workers and guests who are in distress. Hotel panic buttons provide a sense of safety to employees who work late hours and who are often required to work alone.
Panic button technology works by the press of a button, employees who are in threatening or uncomfortable situations can receive help within minutes. Safety buttons are not only beneficial for guest room staff, but they are also beneficial for employees who work at hotel pools or who work in hotel spas. Equipping them with safety devices allows them to get assistance immediately in the event of an emergency.
Panic buttons are a worthy investment and can be very beneficial to hotels in the long run. The Hotel Industry is known for its very high turnover rate which is significantly higher than other industries. Investing in the safety of employees by providing panic buttons will give employees an increased sense of value and will create a better work culture. Employees are more likely to stay with hotels where they feel safe and supported.
Hep to Attract Prospective Employees
Travel demand is increasing but the Hospitality Industry is experiencing a major labor shortage, currently hotels need to hire enough employees to meet the travel demand. Investing in safety buttons will aid in the effort to attract more candidates, by offering prospective employees a safe work environment. Safety is important to employees and hotels that take employee safety seriously are more likely to stand out to prospective employees.
Meet Brand Standards and Legal Requirements
Many hotel brands have committed to providing their employees with employee safety devices/ panic buttons as a part of the AHLA’s 5-Star Promise. Almost 60 member companies representing 20,000 hotel properties have committed to prioritizing employee safety and equipping employees with safety devices. In addition to the 5-Star Promise, many states and cities have passed hotel panic button legislation requiring that hotels equip their employees with workplace safety devices or panic buttons with location capabilities.
Protect Your Hotel Brand
Negative incidences that are associated with your hotel have the potential to reach billions of people worldwide and can have an adverse effect on your hotel’s reputation. Negative reviews about your hotel will influence prospective guests, as 90% of consumers read reviews online before choosing a business. And 74% of consumers are more trusting of businesses with positive reviews. At least 50% of Americans google companies before conducting business with them, therefore investing in a safety device system can mitigate the risk of negative incidences being associated with your hotel.
Vendor Spotlight: RelayPro
Hotel panic buttons are a new requirement for hotels, but they don’t have to be a new expense. RelayPro was recently approved by Marriott, IHG and Choice Hotels and has been installed in nearly 2,000 properties. RelayPro is BOTH a 4G/Wi-Fi walkie talkie and a cutting-edge panic button with VOICE communication.