From scheduling to time clocks, automation can unlock labor costs.

The hospitality industry faces some of the greatest challenges when it comes to time and attendance management for their employees. With so many employees spread out throughout the business, in many different departments doing many different jobs at different times of the day, it’s hard to not only plan for and deploy the adequate workforce, but to manage, monitor, and compensate properly.

Restaurants, hotels and other businesses within the industry have been faced with these challenges for years. As technology advanced over the last 20 years or so, the ability for managers to predict the correct staffing for certain times of the year or certain times of the day has gotten easier, as has the ability to track the production and whereabouts of each employee. However, a truly robust, integrated cloud based system of employee management in the hospitality industry has been sorely lacking.

Restaurants are now looking for automated solutions to track their employee time card and tips information, when they clock-in and out, as well as help track vacation or sick time. Supervisors need a system that will also help with scheduling, with the ability to place employees in different store locations if needed. This system should be web-based and have mobile capabilities, specifically the ability for mobile clock-in functions.

That’s where time clock management software can help businesses in the hospitality industry propel forward. All-in-one time and attendance platforms can track employee productivity, achieve payroll accuracy, eliminate manual rostering, streamline compliance, provide intelligent forecasting, and, ultimately, reduce staffing costs and at the same time serve as a central repository of employee data, contract details, benefits, compensation, training, and qualifications.

How Software Helps with Shift Scheduling

One of the biggest challenges the hospitality industry faces is scheduling. Staffing their business at the appropriate levels with the right employees in the right places is difficult, if not at times impossible.

Hotels, for example, have to cover shifts around the clock. Depending on the location of the hotel, managers will have to deal with the fluctuations of both busy times and down times, depending on the season.

In addition, they have to manage and balance staff in a number of departments – from customer service reps answering phone calls and greeting guests at check-in, to bellhops delivering luggage and parking cars, to cleaning staff responsible for quickly turning over and cleaning rooms, to activities consultants handling amenities, to food and beverage staff who handle the meals.

The traditional way of planning and tracking all these employees in all these departments was to use a spreadsheet, manually typed out by a manager who spent hours putting the right pieces in the right spots of the puzzle. Not surprisingly, this not only takes an inordinate amount of time and needs to be repeated each week, it is very susceptible to mistakes from human error that could result into catastrophe.

Powerful employee scheduling software can help you get the right people with the correct set of skills in the right place at the right time – and at the right cost. The software allows managers to easily create complex, complicated schedules based around need and deploy that schedule to employees.

Managers can communicate this schedule to their employees easily and effectively, and then manage the schedule in real-time as changes are needed – such as when an employee calls in sick, doesn’t show up for work or schedules a paid-time-off day in advance.

Perhaps the best part about employee management software is it allows for easy and clear communication between managers and their employees. The schedule can be easily sent to all employees via the software, and email and text communications back from employees can be recorded and tracked through the software as well.

All the data is collected and stored in the software for easy export into robust reports so managers can forecast needs throughout the business in all departments.

What Else Can Employee Management Software Do?

While employee scheduling may be the most important—and most time consuming and difficult—aspect of managing a business in the hospitality industry, it’s not the only aspect of employee management. That’s what makes employee management software so powerful for the hospitality industry—it streamlines every aspect of the management experience.

The software allows managers to not only create robust schedules for their employees, but also provide an easy solution for employees to clock into work, which in the end will help achieve payroll simplicity and accuracy. Gone are the days of manual clock-ins or written timesheets. Time Clock software allows employees to check into and out of work remotely.

In addition, it allows managers to track their employees’ time, attendance and productivity from not only anywhere on the premises, but anywhere they have access to the software. This removes a difficult, if not impossible, task from managers who can’t be in multiple places at the same time, and also makes a dull task easy for employees.

When the payroll period is over, the software allows these managers to significantly reduce the amount of time they normally spend collecting, gathering and wading through manual timesheets to prepare information for payroll. Since all employees clocked in and out through the software, that information will already be in the system, ready for a quick review and export to payroll management.

By streamlining all these processes, employee management software not only makes it easier for businesses in the hospitality industry to deploy and manage their workforce, it frees up managers’ time to do the important tasks they are truly being paid to do, ultimately resulting in a more effective and profitable operation.

Expert Takes, Feature, Sustainability