Talent, Turnover, and Technology
Are concerns around workforce talent, employee retention, and turnover keeping you up at night? If so, you’re in good company. Our team had the good fortune to sit down with a group Chief Revenue Officer’s (CROs) to discuss various hospitality topics – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and this idea of employee talent and retention was top of mind for many.
In this blog, we’ll dive into the struggle many hospitality leaders are facing when it comes to their workforce and offer a potentially surprising solution: technology.
The CROs we spoke to all support a unique portfolio of hotels, but the issues they are facing are remarkably similar. Common themes included:
- It’s gotten harder to find good talent
- The talent we do have is getting burned out and leaving
- Employees are spending time on manual tasks instead of strategy
- Managing turnover is especially challenging when training is complex
Hiring good people is hard. Keeping them happy is hard. Training and developing new employees is hard.
But what if, with the right systems in place, we could make it just a little bit easier?
Too good to be true?
Our team posed this question to the group: What if you could give your team 50 hours back each month? How would they react? How would you want them to use the time?
After a few laughs and “that-will-never-happen” eye rolls, the group offered up some really insightful answers.
- Focusing on Commercial Strategy instead of manual tasks. If Revenue Managers (RMs) can break the cycle of button-pushing and manual tasks – tasks that technology should be doing for them – then they can focus on more important things, like big-picture Commercial Strategy.
- Collaboration with cross-functional teams. RMs have access to valuable data and insights that other teams would benefit from. Plus, more partnership with teams like marketing and sales will give RMs better context into industry trends and overall business performance. Having time back to work with other stakeholders, dig into data analysis, and do research would really widen the scope of an RM’s job.
- Continuing education. Many RMs are hungry to learn more and grow. One CRO noted that his team is eager to dive into expense analytics; they want to understand how to read a P&L and be more educated and well-rounded in the overall business.
All of these are worthwhile pursuits, and an obvious upside to having more time back. But the answer that really struck us was this: “Better work-life balance – which we all joke about, and say we should have, but then we get burnt out – that’s what I want for my team. To use those 50 hours for themselves.” This seasoned CRO truly believes that giving their team time back to actually pursue work-life balance – whatever that looks like for them – is the key to unlocking happy, productive employees who will stick around.
Now you may be thinking: 50 hours a month back? How? It seems too good to be true. But it doesn’t have to be.
Make technology your ally
The secret to unlocking this extra time? The right technology. Your team is short on time because they are buried in repetitive, manual tasks. They’re struggling to use complicated systems that don’t talk to one another. RMs are too busy trying to figure out the price at one hotel for next Tuesday to be able to step back and see the bigger picture.
But with modern technology that is intuitive, automated, and built for the way RMs actually work today, all of that can change. The right technology can unlock their time, allowing them to pursue the things that make them better, happier, more well-rounded employees.
So now for the final hurdle: how do you get them to actually use the technology you’ve invested in? There’s a long history of RMs and General Managers lacking confidence in or feeling that they know better than the system, and either not using it or constantly overriding it. This perpetuates the cycle of employees stuck in an endless loop of manual tasks, increasing the likelihood of burnout.
The key to getting them to embrace the systems you have in place is instilling confidence that they can trust those systems. So how do we get there?
- Reliable tech. Is the system buggy? Does it produce an unreliable forecast? Does it consistently have issues communicating with other systems? If so, you can’t blame users for not trusting it, and you probably need to look for an alternative option.
- Transparency. A black box is a hard thing to trust. If a user can’t understand why certain values were produced, it’s fair to assume they won’t trust the results. The system should offer at-a-glance data points to support what it’s producing, giving the user the ability to agree or disagree with confidence, and to make changes as needed.
- No all-or-nothing automation. Users who are used to doing things a certain way or having control over processes are understandably nervous when things are taken completely out of their hands. If their options are A) no automation or B) everything is automated with no oversight, they’re going to choose option A every time. A system that recognizes that the combination of human + machine produces the best results is key!
- The right partner. You deserve a partner who truly understands your business. A partner that is willing to work alongside you to make sure that your system is properly configured and is producing business reasonable results. If they aren’t willing to run sanity checks, tweak inputs, or grow alongside you, then they’re not the right partner – and a lack of trust is inevitable.
Take our N2Pricing™ RMS. N2 is built on a foundation of powerful analytics & transparency, it is designed to support the modern above-property revenue manager. RMs can feel confident in the price recommendations produced because they can see exactly how and why the recommendations were produced. Instead of burying users in data, a few key points are highlighted, providing RMs with the context they need to accept price recommendations and tell the right stories to their stakeholders. The user controls the level of automation, increasing the threshold as they grow comfortable with the system. The more they trust the system, the more they utilize automation, and the more time they get back – up to 50 hours a month, to be exact. Time to learn, develop, and grow; time to collaborate with cross-functional teams; or time for work-life balance.
The transition to a more strategic approach – and to happier, more productive employees with more longevity – requires a combination of an organizational mindset shift, collaboration, improved technology, and trust in that technology. With the right systems and the right partners, it’s possible.
Don’t let concerns around your workforce keep you up at night. We see the struggle hoteliers are facing to find and retain good talent, and we can help. To learn more about how N2Pricing can unlock your team’s time and help address the workforce challenges you are facing, connect with an expert on our team.