Time management is a critical aspect of any business, especially within the fast-paced world of hospitality. The prevalence of shift work and high staff turnover rate – 70% annually according to a study by YouGov – means managers and rota planners have a complex job on their hands.
Planning the schedules of revolving staff, avoiding clashes and maintaining compliance is a lot to ask of any manager – or spreadsheet. Plus, this leaves little resource to think about and prioritise customer satisfaction and a business’s bottom line.
Time management software can provide support by digitising and automating processes related to time tracking, absences and shift organisation. In this article, we’ll look at some crucial ways this software can assist hospitality managers, improve employee experience and boost business success, including:
- Improved Scheduling and Rota Management
- Increased Accuracy and Reliability
- Support Compliance
- Improved Time Tracking and Billing
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For hospitality managers, rotas and headaches go hand in hand. Stitching together shifts is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Factor in absences, clashes and different staff locations and it’s like piecing together a jigsaw – blindfolded.
So it’s no wonder that employers across the country aren’t getting it right. Research carried out by The Living Wage Foundation revealed that nearly two-fifths of UK workers are given short notice of their working hours. This can throw off the work-life balance of employees and results in high stress and decreased motivation to perform well at work.
A key benefit of time management software is how easy it is to notify employees of shift changes. Notifications can be sent with one click so staff have plenty of notice. More generally, it allows businesses to easily manage employee schedules and shifts, ensuring that they are always fully staffed during busy periods. It also helps to eliminate scheduling conflicts and ensure that staff are not overworked, reducing the risk of burnout and improving employee morale.
The sanity of the managers overseeing them is just as important. Software can increase visibility with a ‘calendar view’, displaying absences and holidays in different colours to help with forward planning. With real-time updates and notifications of shift change requests and cancellations, managers can quickly make changes to the schedule as needed, ensuring that their business runs like a well-oiled machine.
Using software can also make records more accurate and reliable. Traditional methods of tracking employee time, such as manual timecards and spreadsheets, are prone to inconsistencies.
With time management software, businesses can track employee hours in real-time, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring that they are always up-to-date on employee hours and pay. Managers can create timesheets they can trust with the click of a button and know that they’re reviewing precise information.
This extends to agency staff, too. Temporary employee hours can also be tracked and monitored, so if you’ve hired a few extra people to help over a busy period, their shifts can be monitored from the same place.
It’s 9pm on a Friday night and your bar is rammed with people waiting to be served. Or perhaps it’s the middle of Sunday lunch service at your pub, or there’s an event at your hotel this weekend and the whole place is fully booked.
Each of these are pulse-raising situations for any manager. It’s likely your staff will be on their feet for hours on end working ‘non-stop’ – but it’s crucial that they do. If not, you could be in breach of the Working Time Regulations which could result in fines and possible jail time.
These laws determine the working hours of employees over a working week and give workers the legal right to paid leave and specified rest breaks. They stipulate that employees are:
- Not allowed to work over 48 hours a week over a reference period, unless they opt out.
- Not allowed to exceed an average of eight hours work in 24 hours (for night workers)
- Entitled to 11 hours of rest between working days
- Allowed a 20 minute minimum rest break (defined below) if the working day is longer than six hours
- Entitled to 28 days paid time off for full-time workers per year
- Permitted a minimum of one day off per week.
- Restricted to eight hours per day or 40 hours per week (if over the compulsory school leaving age and up to 18 years).
Time tracking software ensures employees are taking the minimum amount of break-time per shift required by law. Staff can clock in and out of breaks, allowing everyone to keep track of rest periods. By digitising this process, managers gain increased visibility of breaks and total hours worked per day/week, empowering them to stay compliant.
Legal obligation isn’t the only incentive here. Enforcing breaks and sufficient time off improves employee wellbeing and brand reputation. Hospitality businesses have a bad rep for mistreating and overworking staff – don’t let your company be one of them!
The hospitality industry and its workers are usually busiest during what are considered ‘anti-social hours’, i.e. outside of the standard 9-5 realm. Shifts can start and end at completely different times depending on the employee, making it difficult to monitor punctuality and shift fulfilment.
Time tracking software can help businesses keep track of employee hours, overtime and other time-related expenses. Managers can easily tell which employees have fulfilled their working shifts and compare this to the expected amount. In doing so, you can cut costs by identifying and combating ‘time theft’, i.e. when employees are paid for hours they didn’t work.
Time-related data can then be used to generate invoices, pay employees and manage expenses, reducing the risk of errors and improving the accuracy of payroll and financial reporting.
Not to mention that time is of the essence in the relentlessly fast-moving world of hospitality. By automating and digitising these manual tasks associated with time management, managers gain valuable hours that can be spent on prioritising customer satisfaction. Focus can also be directed towards improving workplace efficiency to reduce operating costs and boost bottom line.
Find out how you can optimise your time management with Factorial: