After several challenging years during the pandemic, the hotel industry is finally primed to make a full recovery in 2024. Yet despite this highly-anticipated comeback, ongoing hotel staffing shortages stand in the way of businesses being able to operate at pre-pandemic levels of service. According to a survey of hoteliers from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, 82% of respondents reported a staffing shortage; 26% severely so, meaning the lack of workers is impacting the hotel’s ability to operate.
How can you properly staff your hotel to ensure that your business succeeds and guests have a good experience? From the front desk to housekeeping, valet, and restaurant employees, each team member is an integral part of your hotel’s overall success. In order to keep them happy, you not only have to ensure you’re providing adequate compensation, but that you are also accelerating pay frequency for all staff members when possible. Let’s examine how you can do this for different team members, and why it’s so critical in the first place.
How (and why!) different forms of accelerated pay can benefit your staff
The push for faster payments stems from several factors, mainly the gigification of work—where more and more people are seeking out gig work for the flexibility and fast access to earnings it can provide. Ongoing talent shortages across several sectors have also led different industries to pursue accelerated pay as a way to incentivize staff members beyond pay raises or morale boosts; people want access to what they earned faster than the traditional, outdated two-week pay cycle. (In fact, a recent survey shows that 83% of employees believe they should be able to access their pay at the end of each day.)
From cashless tip payouts to earned wage access and more, let’s see how different accelerated payment solutions can benefit different hotel staff.
Cashless tips for bar/restaurant staff & valet attendants
All tipped industries have had to reckon with the steady decline in cash usage over the past several years. If consumers are no longer tipping in cash, it makes it that much harder to tip out your staff in cash, too.
Plus, the constant trips to the bank, potential for till theft and till discrepancies, and lack of audit trail all make cash tips a major headache. The other option is to put tips onto an employees’ paycheck, but making them wait two weeks for the money they’ve earned that night is a fast way to lose talent to the competition.
Switching to cashless tips for your hotel’s bar and restaurant staff is a win-win solution—one that eliminates operational headaches for you and accelerates pay to your team. Your employees go home with instant tips deposited into their accounts at the end of each shift, but you get to do away with cash handling and cash headaches.
Cashless tips can be seen as a major benefit to bar and restaurant staff, as well as valet attendants, too. Anyone who makes tips at your hotel can benefit from the streamlined experience of digital, same-day tip payouts.
EWA & paycard options for housekeeping & administrative staff
Hourly employees like housekeeping or janitorial staff, administrative and front desk employees are craving faster pay, too—and it’s up to you to deliver the incentives they demand. According to the same survey from American Hotel and Lodging Association, the most critical staffing need among respondents was housekeeping, with 40% of respondents ranking it as their top hiring need. We all know that without custodial staff, your hotel cannot provide an adequate level of guest service. In order to recruit more housekeeping staff—and keep them happy—offering faster access to wages can be an attractive benefit.
Options like earned wage access—where you can grant employees access to a portion of their earnings ahead of time if needed—or simply putting regular wages on a fee-free paycard so that unbanked or underbanked workers can access them, can provide a stepping stone to financial security and serve as a major incentive.
Instant payments for hotel staffing contractors
With today’s tough talent market, sometimes finding the right hotel staff means relying on outside staffing firms to help. In this case, you’ll likely be working with independent contractors, not W2 employees.
Independent contractors have largely driven the need for faster access to earnings; they typically seek out gig work because of the freedom and flexibility it can provide. If your staffing firm pays these contractors in instant digital disbursements (which many smart staffing firms do,) this will likely keep them happy—but you’ll want to reconcile any feelings of jealousy your other staff members may have at this accelerated pay. Even if these workers are technically contractors, your entire staff deserves faster access to pay in today’s world of high inflation and economic uncertainty.
This is indicative of a larger shift of high-turnover industries turning to accelerated pay in order to keep staff happy.
Keeping your hotel staff motivated with faster pay
In order to compete with other hotels for talent—and ensure your employees are granted the same fast, flexible payment options that all workers are asking for—it’s wise to implement an accelerated payments strategy for your entire staff. By leveraging different faster pay solutions like cashless tips, earned wage access, and instant digital payouts for your workforce, you can turn the tide on turnover and boost retention, allowing your hotel to not only bounce back from the past few years, but to thrive in those to come.