When we think about hospitality, we often think about people and places. In many ways, hospitality brands are in the business of creating memories; it is an experiential offering, and it is carefully curated to delight travelers every step of the way.
Of course, the exceptional in-person service that defines great hospitality cannot be consistently achieved and effectively scaled without the support of digital technology. Platforms that aggregate data, derive insights, streamline operational processes and establish communication pathways help to maximize staff productivity and guest connections in increasingly meaningful ways. But if I were to ask you to identify the most critical technology platforms a hotel should have, what would your answer be?
While the hotel PMS, CRM, and RMS are all great examples of primary platforms that hotels rely on to drive their bottom line and enhance operational efficiency, there is one platform that is all too often forgotten, which I believe should be at the top of every hotelier's list: a hotel staff safety platform.
Staff Safety is a Need-To-Have, Not a Nice-To-Have
Let’s imagine a scenario that hospitality professionals have, unfortunately, become well accustomed to over the years. You work on the housekeeping team at a popular, large-scale hotel. Your shifts are long and rather labor-intensive, and each day you find yourself walking the length of countless floors while going from room to room, often by yourself. Of course, this is not unusual -- the property is large, and your team typically takes a “divide and conquer” approach to room cleaning. While cleaning room 748 to prepare for incoming guests, you accidentally slip and fall in the bathroom. You attempted to grab onto the counter on your way down but weren’t able to catch yourself, and, instead, you hit your head on the floor as you landed. You feel disoriented, and a dull, throbbing pain radiates from the back of your head. You’re not sure you can stand, but you’re also not sure how long it will take for someone to realize where you are and that you’ve been hurt. The property is large, after all -- how long will it be until one of your team members comes to your aid?
Unfortunately, this is a widespread experience, whether due to an incident/injury or an attack or assault by a guest. Many critical roles within a hotel require staff members to work relatively isolated, spread throughout a sprawling property. Moreover, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent hospitality staffing crisis, many hotels around the world are grappling with limited staff. In most cases, this means hotel staff has more ground to cover and more work to do to maintain brand standards and uphold the guest experience with limited support. So, hoteliers, let me ask you this -- what tool(s) do you have in place to support your staff and, more importantly, ensure their safety?
The Safety Platform of the Future
Fortunately, modern panic button safety platforms, such as TraknProtect’s best-in-class solution, have come a long way from their panic button predecessors. Today, dedicated staff safety platforms utilize a network of BLE/Wi-Fi hubs that continuously gather real-time data from their devices to triangulate and provide accurate, real-time location information. The applications and web portal display real-time location data on mobile, web, and desktop applications to ensure help is always within reach. Moreover, these products have been specifically designed to integrate easily and efficiently with a hotel’s existing back-of-the-house systems, providing effortless maintenance and convenient monitoring options, seamless communication, and an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
The best part? They are so much more than a safety button. The TraknProtect safety platform also offers inventory tracking, room tray tracking, and vendor tracking with increased functionality in mind. These features allow for real-time tracking for more efficient staff deployment and inventory utilization and a more secure on-property environment. For the post-pandemic world, this technology also helps to provide peace of mind to guests who are increasingly concerned about public health and safety. By creating an audit trail of date/time and duration of cleaning that is automatically documented within the platform, hotels are better equipped to ensure protocol compliance and maintain brand standards. Understandably, this is more important today than it ever has been.
Looking to the Future
Hoteliers, the writing is on the wall: it’s time to prioritize staff safety -- and a dedicated staff safety platform can do precisely that. When considering your technology stack and investing in the future, staff safety should be at the forefront of the discussion. Staff members who feel safe and supported within their roles are better equipped to do their jobs, maintain brand standards in a post-pandemic landscape, and, more importantly, remain as valuable team members well into the future.