How Can Hotel Technology Impact the Labor Shortage?
The pandemic has accelerated the use of technology within the Hospitality Industry, as hotels turned to technology to create a safer environment for employees and guests. Hotels began investing in contactless technology in an effort to limit interaction and to minimize contact with high touch areas that could potentially spread the coronavirus. Contactless technology also gave guests a more convenient and enhanced hotel experience. The convenience of hotel technologies such as mobile check-in, mobile key, digital menus, mobile food ordering and contactless payments have become an expectation and an important part of the guest experience.
Labor Shortage in the Hospitality Industry
Now hotel technology has taken on another role, as the potential solver of the labor shortage currently affecting the Hospitality Industry. Technology has the ability to replace tedious job functions and transform them into more appealing roles that could attract potential candidates. There is a major labor shortage affecting the Hospitality Industry and many hotels are struggling to find workers. According to a Job Market Survey conducted by Joblist, hospitality workers who were changing fields were looking for higher salaries, better benefits and more flexible schedules. Some hotels have increased wages and are offering bonuses and other incentives as a means of luring employees back. But 70% of those that left Hospitality have no plans to return regardless of the incentives.
- 58% preferred to work in a different industry
- 37% felt that the pay was inadequate
- 20% felt their jobs lacked benefits
- 17% felt their schedules were not flexible
- 14% preferred to work from home
- 9% felt their jobs were a COVID-19 health risk
Need to Upgrade Your Hotel Technology!
How Can Hotel Technology Help?
Technology has transformed some of the traditional and mundane roles and can allow employees to focus more on the customer service aspect instead and that can lead to a more rewarding work experience. We are also in the midst of a major pandemic and hotel employees want to work in an environment that is taking steps to ensure their safety. Contactless solutions allow hotels to give guests a more personalized and convenient experience, while reducing the contact that would normally be associated with the guest and staff interaction. With contactless solutions such as mobile check-in, self-check-in using kiosks and mobile key, guests can skip the check in lines and go directly to their rooms. Digital menus, mobile payment options and guest messaging are being implemented by many hotels and can give employees the opportunity to focus their time on other areas.
Hotel Panic Buttons
Employees also want to feel safe while at work, 9 out of 10 hospitality employees have experienced some form of sexual harassment and 96% felt that hotel panic buttons would make them feel safe during the course of their jobs. Safety is important to employees and hotels that take employee safety seriously are more likely to stand out to prospective employees. Investing in the safety of employees by providing panic buttons will give employees an increased sense of value and will create a better company culture. Many states have passed panic button legislature requiring hotels to provide employee safety devices to their staff, deadlines are approaching and hotels need to take steps to ensure that they are in compliance.
AT&T Staff Alert IoT Solution
AT&T’s Staff Alert is an IoT solution that operates as a panic button that can be used by employees to send emergency alerts when they require assistance. The safety device uses a combination of Bluetooth and ultrasound technology to pinpoint precise locations of employees that are in distress.
That same location technology can be used to assist employees in monitoring hotel equipment. This solution makes life easier for employees by allowing them to track items, such as cribs and rollaway bed locations, room service trays, cleaning carts and kitchen equipment. The solution also acts as an environmental sensor that can be used to monitor certain building functions such as air conditioning based on the room activity, the lighting and the air quality. Sensors can also monitor hand sanitizer stations and cleaning and bathroom supplies.
TracknProtect Employee Safety Button and Location Tracking Technology
As a result of the pandemic, hotels are operating with fewer staff and staff that are working alone, which has the potential to create an unsafe environment. TraknProtect’s safety button/ panic buttons are designed to provide alerts when an employee requires immediate assistance. Panic buttons show the employee’s precise location and sends real time updates in the event the employee’s location changes. Hotels can invest in panic buttons to offer employees a sense of safety while at work and also to adhere to panic button laws that have been passed by many states.
TracknProtect’s location tracking technology is designed to help hotels operate more efficiently during employment shortages by integrating location data into their safety and operations systems. The TraknProtect’s inventory tracking solution lets hotels keep track of and know the exact location of guest requested items such as rollaway beds, refrigerators and cribs.
TraknProtect’s room tray tracking solution allow hotels to offer room service but eliminates the need for hotel employees to walk through halls to locate used room trays. The tray tracking solution automates the process by sending an alert when trays are in the hallway, allowing staff to remove them quickly. The room tray tracking solution uses Bluetooth Low Energy tracking to keep hotel corridors and public spaces free of clutter.
The TraknKleen system monitors housekeeping progress through location data that shows the date, the time and the duration of cleaning and helps hotels to identify available rooms and rooms that require additional cleaning. TraknKleen keeps track of which areas were cleaned and hotels can utilize the solution to improve housekeeping in guest rooms, elevators, hotel gyms and lobby areas.
Employee Priorities Have Changed
In April of 2021 4 million Americans quit their jobs and many are in search of more fulfilling and better paying employment. The pandemic has resulted in massive job losses within the Hospitality Industry and has caused many to consider other career options and some are choosing to pursue higher paying and less demanding jobs. The Industry is transforming due to the use of contactless and other hospitality technology that is making the overall hotel operations more efficient. Technology has the ability to replace tedious job functions and transform them into more appealing roles, but time will tell if employees will be more eager to return once they’ve seen the changes that technology has brought about so far.
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.