Technology Transforming the Hospitality Workforce

Hospitality workforce technology

Technology will not just be at the core of digital transformation, but also play a key role in elevating the workforce experience as a whole, according to Workforce.

As we enter 2020, any business managing a workforce is going to be set for a year of challenges and change, and those in the hospitality industry are no exception. However, there is much to be positive about and there are three key trends that hospitality businesses should look out for over the next twelve months according to Bryce Davies, UK General Manager at Workforce.

Businesses will continue to invest in technology, but they need to be smart about it

Organisations will continue to embrace technology and invest in software in 2020, but they need to understand their needs before doing so.

Adopting new technology is only as good as how it is implemented and integrated into existing solutions. Investment in technology is wasted unless the basics are put in place initially and a thorough understanding of what is needed has been achieved. 2019 proved a struggle in this sense with 31 per cent of organisations struggling to find a workforce management platform that will meet their needs.

Replacing legacy technology that better suits an organisation’s needs will be key in 2020 in order to help both employee and customer experiences. The challenges facing companies that have existing technology include the following:

  • Manual errors – 48%
  • Seamless integration to core HR and payrolls – 40%
  • Demonstrating compliance with wage and hour laws – 19%
  • Preventing the use of unearned time off – 18%
  • The system is hard for employees to use or access – 17%

The hospitality sector will make better data-driven decisions

2019 was in many ways the year of data. Companies and consumers alike became more aware of the value of data, the importance of securing it and how it can help make key business decisions.

2020 will see a continuation of this trend with the hospitality sector empowered to make better decisions based on data. Those who embrace data and use it in their strategy will stand a better chance of success this year. Again, our research backs this up with 64 per cent of businesses confirming that labour analytics is a priority when evaluating any new software.

The same research also showed that organisations are using automation to capture labour analytics (49 per cent strongly agreed), diagnose issues or problems (43 per cent strongly agreed) and drive value in terms of productivity and strategy (38 per cent strongly agreed).

Flexibility and employee wellbeing will be elevated further in 2020

In 2020, we’ll see more flexibility in how work is carried out on a day-to-day basis. The stringent ways of working will come to an end for many. The ability to clock in off site for example will lead to a rise in remote workers, giving employees more choice in how and where they do their days work. Employers are very much aware of this expectation with 60 per cent saying they plan to prioritise the need for mobile capability in terms of workforce management.

This in turn will result in greater employee wellbeing – a key focus for businesses in 2020. We should expect to see employee experience given as much credence as customer experience has seen in 2019.

“2020 will see the market, somewhat ironically, use technology to help employees detach from technology,” claimed Bryce Davies, UK General Manager at Workforce. “Globally we are seeing businesses and governments begin to realise the danger of merging home and work life (see France’s decision to make it illegal to work after hours). Businesses are therefore going to be looking for technology that allows employees to switch between boundaries of work and home life without being disturbed after hours.

“Ensuring that you have a motivated, well managed and effective workforce is crucial in any industry, but particularly so for those in the hospitality sector. Using data to help ensure that this is the case and implement technology that actually fulfils an organisation’s need will be key in 2020. We are entering a period of significant change in the way we think about employment and what we expect employees to do. Using technology to help companies to not only get through this period of change, but thrive and come out stronger the other side, will hugely important.” concluded Davies.