Combatting Unpredictability: How Hotels Can Comply with Fair Scheduling Laws and Drive Employee Engagement in the Process
October 2, 2017 10:23am
By Mike Zorn
For hospitality organizations, sporadic demand is inevitable - it’s for this reason that many hotels have difficulty transitioning to fair scheduling laws.
Last month, Oregon passed Senate Bill 828 (the “Fair Work Week” law). The law requires hospitality, food service, and retail employers to comply with a number of requirements relating to hourly employee scheduling. Specifically, Oregon employers with 500 or more employees worldwide will now need to inform employees of their schedules one week in advance (and two weeks in advance after 2020). While this law is specific to companies in Oregon, a number of cities including New York City and Washington D.C. have implemented similar scheduling laws (indicating it’s likely that this trend will catch on across the United States).
The four main requirements from the law that hoteliers should know are:
Though hotels have time to prepare before the law goes into effect next July, banning on-call scheduling will have a significant impact on many companies. For hotels, jobs directly based on customer demand—such as housekeeping, food and catering services, and front desk agents—will likely be most affected by these laws. Of course, it will also impact managers, as they will now need to devote a significant amount of time to demand tracking and analysis in order to keep their hotels adequately-staffed throughout the year.
While these new laws may take some time to get used to, adherence is not impossible. Here are three strategies hoteliers can use to adjust to scheduling laws and better engage their workforce in the process:
While change is never easy, especially for hotel owners with firmly-established scheduling processes, a number of benefits can result from this law if employers react in the proper manner. Predictable schedules will likely draw applicants to the hotel industry, which could help address its current labor shortages. In addition, parts of the law can help employers gain their employees’ trust by providing them with consistent schedules and a better work-life balance. In all, the concept of giving employees advance notice of when they're working, allowing them to pick up shifts as needed, and mandating rest between shifts can help drive engaged workplace - it’s only a matter of whether hotel owners choose to proactively respond to these requirements with the right technology and mindset.
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Mike Zorn is the VP of Workplace Strategy for Workjam. Prior to joining Workjam Mike spent 30 plus years with Macy’s Inc. the last 15 as the Senior Vice President of Associate and Labor Relations. His responsibilities included culture and employee engagement development, internal branding and communications, employee and labor relations strategy for the Macy’s enterprise.
Contact: Katy Hoeper
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