There’s an adage that reads, “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself.” There is, perhaps, no better example of this sentiment at work than the hospitality industry. It is the primary responsibility of hospitality staff to take care of guests and anticipate their needs and, on the flip side, it is the primary responsibility of hospitality management to take care of their staff by providing a safe, connected, and support-driven workplace. The idea is quite simple; the more supported hoteliers feel within their roles, the more empowered they are to consistently meet and – better yet – exceed guest demands. So, you might be wondering, what exactly does a safe, connected and support-driven hospitality workplace look like? As hotels embark on a new year of exceptional guest service, in the wake of a pandemic which brought our industry to a grinding halt for almost two years, how can hospitality leaders usher in an era of great workplace culture and improved morale? While there are a number of factors and practices which inform workplace culture in today’s landscape, there is one often underlooked element of the staff experience that hoteliers cannot afford to neglect in the post-pandemic world: staff safety. A Long-Time Issue Meets a Modern Solution Before the onset of the pandemic, the conversation surrounding staff safety within the hospitality industry had already reached a fever pitch. For hospitality workers, safety concerns have always been, at best, an industry “boogeyman” of sorts and, at worst, a cautionary tale splashed across headlines and whispered about amongst staff. The risk of injury, whether due to the physical demands of hospitality labour or harassment/assault at the hands of a guest, is omnipresent. Hospitality work is, after all, often isolated in nature, as staff members make their way across sprawling hotel properties to attend to guest needs, clean rooms, perform repairs, manage amenities, and deliver food and beverages to guests. In many instances, hotel staff will find themselves alone while performing a duty that could result in an injury or a private area with a guest, where physical or verbal harassment could ensue. If disaster strikes, will that employee have easy (and more importantly, quick) access to help? How can they communicate their distress to other members of their team and recruit assistance or support?
Specifically, in the post-pandemic world, we have to consider the limitations of a workforce plagued by a staffing crisis. Many hotels are currently struggling to bring back staff members who were furloughed during the pandemic or, in many cases, sought out careers in industries perceived as more stable. As hotels work to address this issue and rebuild their respective rosters of hospitality talent, existing hotel staff will be expected to do more with less. From a staff safety perspective, this means staff members will have more ground to cover while performing their daily duties, which creates opportunity for increasingly vulnerable scenarios. The best way to mitigate this risk and ensure hospitality staff are safe from accidents, falls, harassment or abuse is to implement panic buttons.
More than just a ‘noisemaker,’ modern panic buttons utilize a network of BLE/Wi-Fi hubs that continuously gather real-time data to triangulate and provide accurate location of those devices in a hotel. They are convenient, discreet, user-friendly, and integrate easily and efficiently with a hotel’s existing back-of-the-house systems to provide effortless maintenance and convenient monitoring options. If a staff member has an accident or runs into trouble, they can simply trigger the handheld button to transmit their real-time location information to other team members.
Not only does the use of panic buttons ensure staff members feel safe and supported while performing their duties, but a comprehensive staff safety platform helps to reinforce a hotel’s reputation at a time when guests and employees are especially mindful of bad press. Whether an employee issues an alert due to medical distress, an attack, or a guest concern, help is always just a click away.
In a post-pandemic world, the use of panic button technology can effectively transform the high-risk nature of the hospitality workplace into a safer and more connected environment for guests and staff alike. As the world continues to commit to enhanced safety protocols, panic buttons and enhanced staff safety protocols aren’t just a ‘nice to have’ – they’re a must-have.