Most people do not associate teamwork with traditional businesses like hospitality. The general assumption is that hotel operations are so cut-and-dry that collaboration is minimal compared to more innovative sectors.
As anyone in hospitality can tell you, there is nothing further from the truth. Collaboration and teamwork are even more central to hospitality. Without these attributes, the hotel experience breaks down and guests start to see different individual departments at their worst.
Housekeeping delivers room service late. Maintenance forgets to clean up an unsightly spill in the lobby. Front desk is unable to placate a disgruntled customer. While these may seem like failings of individual departments, they are symptomatic of a deeper breakdown in workflows between teams.
Technology can address these issues. Aiello’s Task Management System, TMS Pro, facilitates collaboration hotel-wide, and ultimately, improves productivity.
Centralizes interdepartmental workflows
There are many hospitality solutions that boast about how they can integrate across different departments. This approach is misguided. Hotels do not need a complex bridge between silo after silo, which only helps the problem minimally.
What hotels need is a solution that truly centralizes all tasks. Take the common scenario of a guest ordering late night room service. With TMS Pro, the front desk can receive the request, assign it to the kitchen, which can turn it over to housekeeping for delivery once finished. At any point in this workflow, front desk and hotel management can check the status of a task in real-time.
There are other value-added features that make TMS Pro ideal for interdepartmental collaboration. The first is multimedia. Unlike walkie-talkies or pen-and-paper, users can take photos relevant to a task, such as a picture of where a spill is located. This ability saves employees the hassle of having to verbally explain every detail. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The second is the ability to schedule tasks. A hotel manager may want to assign tasks at a future date. For example, a celebrity may be checking-in after business hours to avoid a commotion in the lobby. This task can likewise be assigned to the front desk, so they can plan and execute the task on time.
Successful collaboration across the hotel hinges on centralized workflows, ideally enhanced by multimedia support and task scheduling.
Drives smarter collaboration and teamwork
Most providers of hotel software claim that their solution helps organizations become “data driven”. When prospective clients dig into the solution, however, they will likely see that this word is generously thrown about.
Perhaps the software will indeed provide some data, but it will not be useful for improving operations. This kind of data is counter-productive because it only adds more noise to the decision-making process. For example, one hotel software might provide data on how long a person remains logged into the software. While this might be an indicator of technological buy-in and compliance, it is only a vague one – there are much better metrics a software can provide and focus on.
The right solution will provide data that has a clear relevance to operations. For example, TMS Pro provides two significant metrics. The first is execution time analysis, which is the time spent on each subtask, including the actual working time. For example, in the workflow for room service, the hotel might see that the longest subtask is not actually the cooking, but the delivery. Identifying this bottleneck will help improve operational decision-making. The hotel may want to put more housekeeping staff on duty during peak hours like lunch or dinnertime.
TMS Pro also details any abnormal ratio. These are tasks that have an abnormal status. For example, perhaps a maintenance task takes far longer than other comparable tasks. Highlighting this anomaly can again help hotels improve decision-making. One abnormally long or delayed task might point to an under-trained employee, who needs more coaching to efficiently perform core functions.
When choosing software, hotels should not just give blanket preference to data – they should care about actionable data.
Document important conversations for greater individual and team accountability
When a deadline is missed or a deliverable is overlooked, a common saying in business is that “it fell through the cracks.” This idiom is meant to absolve everyone of blame, instead faulting the hustle and bustle of work life for the error.
But this saying is always false. No deadline or deliverable ever just falls through the cracks – organizations only lose sight for who should have been responsible for them. The reason for this is that there is poor documentation. Hotel leadership cannot point to whether Bob or Jane from housekeeping was assigned to decorate the honeymoon suite.
TMS Pro can help hotels improve their documentation, and in turn, their productivity. People will no longer feel lax in letting tasks slip by, knowing that such issues will be linked to them. TMS Pro integrates with a wide variety of technologies, including Vocol.ai, a voice collaboration platform.
Vocol.ai provides transcribed conversations of important conversations, such as a call between agents and prospective hotel guests. It also produces a summary of these conversations, along with action items. Hotels can use this documentation to look for communication pitfalls. For example, agents may routinely forget to attempt upselling larger suites to guests. Hotel management can correct the issue with more feedback and training.
Does teamwork make the dream work?
Every hotel wants to improve collaboration, but they go about it the wrong way. They usually emphasize activities like team building, the use of motivational slogans, or even occasional workshops from collaboration experts.
While all these tools have their place, the highest leverage activity a hotel can do is acquiring the right technology. Because technology can function as a foundational layer for a hotel’s operations, smartly chosen software can provide immediate value hotel-wide.
Such is the case with Aiello’s TMS Pro. This solution can centralize workflows across the hotel through improved task management, improve decision-making through relevant metrics such as execution time analysis, and even enhance accountability through greater documentation via an integration with Vocol.ai.
Technology, in short, is tantamount to teamwork. With TMS Pro, hotels get more productive, agile, and collaborative teams.