The 21st century has been an industrial revolution of its own in many ways, as we have witnessed a monumental shift in the ways in which we do business. As we explore the capabilities of a world more digitally connected than ever, it’s equally important to remember the unchanging power of the human touch, particularly in hospitality.
The hotel sector is one that constantly requires innovation as guests seek more from every touch point in their holiday experience – from searching online, to your arrival, to leaving your review when you return home. The same can also be said for a hotel’s operations: online reservation systems, digital communications and activity on Social Media to name a few. In these uncertain times, outdated cultures are being exposed for their slow response to modern ways of working and staff members are paying the price.
As we continue on this path of innovation, we are seeing that technology is directly impacting the demand for human skills. While companies save a margin on their labour costs, it is causing a widespread loss of demand for some skillsets, known as structural unemployment. You can see this in manufacturing, banks and in your local supermarkets. But is it also happening in Hospitality?
In a world where people are to welcome other people to destinations around the world, we mustn’t forget that the true value is in intelligent interactions and relationships that make the memories even more special. Your guests will be far more likely to make commends about an experience that touch them personally. So how do we free our staff to respond to the needs of our guests before the request is given, or to show true genuine care for the guest that surprises and is appreciated?
We have looked towards technology to help us improve our efficiency & replace repetitive tasks, freeing our time to apply our time and focus on guest relationships. There are systems that allow us to come out from behind the reception desks to welcome and respond the situation the guest finds themselves in. Technology allows for clearer and immediate communication between departments for real time and efficient responds to concerns and faults that guests are faced with. Critical thought, collaboration and adaptability in times of challenge are traits that cannot be replicated, and we have all witnessed how important our relationships are for our wellbeing over recent weeks. Hospitality is a people environment. It is a team of people reaching out to meet needs of others. This means that we are having to make difficult decisions every day to meet challenges that change regularly. We should aspire to make decisions born out of compassion, not just efficiency.
Written by Jon Orrells & Yona Heyward