8 Steps Towards Effective Hotel Staff Rota Management

Improve employee attendance

Staff is the heart of any hospitality business, which makes hotel staff rota management the touchstone of business profitability and success. Unfortunately, many hospitality businesses face staff scheduling mistakes, unauthorized absences, low job satisfaction and high turnover rates. The good news is that effective hotel staff rota management eliminates most of these issues. Read on to learn how.

Hotel Staff Rota Management is Tough

Hospitality staff scheduling is one of the trickiest across the industries. Staff work different hours and schedules, some of them are part-time, some are temporary or seasonal – it’s no easy task to book them effectively. Let’s see what other common challenges hospitality businesses face with hotel staff rota management.

  • Poorly balanced shifts. Given the diverse nature of hospitality staff, it’s hard to maintain the right balance of skills and expertise across the shifts.
  • Ineffective communication. Most businesses still hold on to messengers for sharing shift updates and promote shift trading, which is unreliable and clunky and often result in missed shifts.
  • Little to no account for staff preference. Staff rota management is usually rigid and little to no workers’ opinion on whether they are happy with their shifts is taken into account.
  • Shift trading is not welcome. If businesses use old-school tools managing hotel staff rota, shift trading has a high chance to bring chaos into the schedule. In its turn, lack of flexibility makes workers less satisfied with their jobs.
  • Traditional staff scheduling tools don’t work. Due to different types of staff involved in the business, spreadsheets and other manual tools make staff rota unmanageable. The same can be said about employee scheduling tools – hardly any of them are tailored for such intricate employee management processes.

How to Make Hotel Staff Rota Planning Effective

1. Introduce hotel rota planning software

Implement centralized online rota software where you can plan shifts and employees can access their rotas. Create custom shift types, assign them across the staff, manage employees by departments and types of employment, set up their system permissions and you are ready to go. Run reports to analyse staff allocation, calculate compensations and make better shift management decisions.

Hotel staff rota management in actiPLANS

Shift scheduling in actiPLANS – create shift types, assign them across your team and review them on a visual timeline

2. Build a hotel staff rota template schedule

To see if your rota scheduling matches your staffing requirements, create a staff rota template schedule right in the system. You can use spreadsheets and paper for this cause, but creating a rita schedule directly in the software will allow you to share it with your staff, make adjustments and save a lot of time. Staff rota template schedule is your starting point for employee scheduling.

Hotel staff rota schedule in actiPLANS
Hotel staff rota template schedule in actiPLANS

3. Sort rotas by roles, locations and departments

Another reason why staff rota software has a clear edge over traditional shift scheduling tools is that software allows you to sort staff and their rotas by roles, locations, departments and other parameters. Sorting helps to make sure that there’s little to no overlap in roles, no under- and overstaffing issues and compensations are calculated accurately across roles and locations.

Hotel staff rota analytics in actiPLANS

Hotel staff rota reporting in actiPLANS – review scheduled working hours
across staff to make sure that no one is under- or overbooked

4. Ensure full staff coverage

Staff rota software that visualizes shifts also promotes full staff coverage. For example, you need to make sure that your hotel reception works 24 hours and your receptionists are properly scheduled. Define shift lengths, number of contracted hours and use visual work schedules to make them work.

5. Manage split shifts

A split shift refers to a type of schedule where your staff has two or more shifts during the day with unpaid time off in between. Most staff dislike split shifts because they are required to stick around work without being paid. Hotel staff rota software allows you to plan split shifts effectively by planning staff that works not far from work to these shifts, previously discussing this possibility with them and adjusting the schedule in case they can’t or refuse to take it. Visual leave schedules also allow you to identify and manage overlapping leave requests and ensure staff availability.

Leave management in actiPLANS

Leave management in actiPLANS – approve, modify or reject leave requests and leave comments

6. Take scheduled leaves into account

Give access to your staff rota schedule to your staff in advance to make sure that scheduled shifts are in everyone’s interests. Effective hotel staff rota software also provides interfaces for leave management where workers can request their time off and vacations, which you can use for rota scheduling. Such systems also provide leave balance management tools and display time off and sick leave time available to employees, which helps employees feel in control of their time off and be more satisfied with their jobs.

PTO management in actiPLANS

PTO calculation settings in actiPLANS where you can specify accrual rules and adjust balances manually

7. Allow for shift trading

To manage hotel staff rota in a way that boosts employee satisfaction, introduce the possibility of shift trading. Allow staff to arrange shift swaps and manage them in the software that supports notifications. Whenever someone swaps their shifts with the other and changes are made to the schedule, employees are notified about them right away. Spreadsheets don’t support this functionality, which makes hotel staff rota software the best pick for this purpose.

8. Update staff rota management policy

To avoid confusion and minimize mistakes, all staff rota management processes should be documented and included in the employee handbook for quick reference. Here are some of the key points that need to be documented:

  • How far in advance the staff rota schedule is published?
  • How is the rota distributed?
  • How do employees submit their time off and sick leave requests?
  • In which cases leave requests can be denied?
  • How do staff rota schedule changes are communicated?

Ready to Introduce Effective Hotel Staff Rota Management?

Hospitality staff scheduling is never easy: you need to ensure full staff coverage, account for leaves, make sure that no employee is under- or overbooked. Spreadsheets and paper tools fail to ensure simple and effective means to handle all of that. That’s where hotel staff rota management software comes to the aid.

For example, actiPLANS is work and leave management software that covers all hospitality staff scheduling needs. Get two integrated interfaces for hotel staff rota planning and leave management, which allow you to grant employees different system permissions, sort staff, manage time off balances, review shift and leave management analytics.

Try actiPLANS with a free 30-day trial (no credit card required).

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