Bill Healey

Workforce Management Systems in Integrated Resorts

In a market where customer service is paramount, a resort’s employees are its biggest competitive advantage. How the property’s directors manage and engage their employees has a significant impact on the level of customer satisfaction and retention. Happy and engaged employees are better able to deliver a high-level of service that differentiates one resort from another.

Advanced workforce management (WFM) systems provide key tools in addressing core functionality, such as scheduling, task management, time and attendance, controlling labor cost, etc. Though there are some WFM systems that don’t produce the desired results, advanced systems should enhance the productivity of the resort’s workforce with the ability to quickly address customer needs.

John Mizzi, CEO of MizziSoft, mentions that, “With the complexities of the integrated resorts we work with, the rostering system has been developed to address a diverse set of requirements across varied departments such as accomodation, dining, retail and casino. In essence, we provide a system that helps managers schedule the right staff with the right skill set at the right place and at the right time. Changing customer needs and expectations require organizations to better allocate their staff to meet those changing demands. With this functionality, managers can quickly respond to customer requests and maintain a happy client.”

Customer satisfaction matters. It matters not only to the customer, but more so to the resort because it affects the company’s profitability. Highly skilled employees who perform at a higher level are the key to providing a superior customer experience. Research shows that enhancing the employee experience makes them more productive and happy, leading to a positive interaction with customers.

Elise Steiner, industry manager for Kronos, said that, “Using a modern workforce management system allows casino managers to create accurate, cost-effective schedules, while taking into account employee preferences and skills, and ensures there are no compliance violations. Scheduling qualified people in the right place and at the right time to deliver flawless customer experiences is important to the bottom line because it helps to ensure you will have enough staff on hand to meet the needs of your guests.”

Enhancing the Employee Experience: A growing set of capabilities are designed into WFM systems to enhance the employee experience including flexible schedules, preferences, communications, learning, assessments, rewards and recognition. Studies show that organizations that have automated these functions have seen an increase in customer satisfaction near 10 percent.

Mizzi adds that, “It’s important to keep employees engaged in the process, which is done by offering mobile tools that allow them to view schedules, swap shifts and request time off. Giving staff the ability to easily engage in the process and allowing managers to understand staff preferences helps raise the level of employee retention and satisfaction. This reflects positively in their interactions with customers.”

Special events provide unique challenges where poorly managed staff schedules can result in bad service – such as long queues or even patrons not being served. The new advanced generation of WFM applications has the capability to transform and disrupt WFM, ensuring special events and all the resort’s activities are properly addressed.

Providing employees with flexibility in adjusting their schedules can have a positive impact on morale. With very little involvement by a supervisor, workers can resolve scheduling issues by trading/swapping shifts based on rules set within the resort’s WFM system.

Some WFM applications also allow the system to automatically approve or deny time-off requests without supervisor intervention. The system would ensure that the employee submitting a time-off request has accrued enough time off and that the time taken does not compromise shift coverage or compliance regulations.

WFM Systems help resort managers. With employees having varied tasks in hospitality, retail, dining and on the casino floor, resorts have unique and complicated scheduling requirements.

Steiner said, “It is imperative that casino managers have access to real-time visibility across every aspect of their organization, giving them the ability to track the performance of each department so they can efficiently budget and identify cost savings and productivity gains. More importantly, a modern workforce management system empowers casino managers to resolve problems as they’re happening, and not after the fact.“

Since employee costs represent a substantial line item in most organizational budgets, optimizing workforce utilization is vital in controlling costs. WFM technology allows organizations to have better strategic insight into the strength of their workforce and ensures a greater level of compliance to the IRS and Gaming Authorities. Applications ensure properly trained staff are working in the proper area, adhering to regulations set by gaming authorities.

Unscheduled absences can often create significant issues with the resort’s daily operations, having an impact on both cost and customer satisfaction. Advanced WFM applications aid managers in overcoming these issues by delivering a list of available and suitable replacements for the absent worker, minimizing the cost of a last-minute staffing change.

Feedback from resort departments such as operations, finance, procurement and HR can ensure that the resort’s WFM requirements reflect a holistic perspective that incorporates the needs of their workers, managers, administrative staff and executives – thereby having a positive impact on customer satisfaction and retention.

Based in Bali, Bill Healey has been consulting, installing, and supporting solutions in the global golf and leisure industry since 1982. He has been involved with over 1,000 systems installations in 40+ countries from North America to Africa to Asia and Australia. Contact Bill.