Your New Favorite Colleague
Microsoft StaffHub

Your New Favorite Colleague: Microsoft StaffHub

  • Thino Ullmann
  • Unified Communications, User Productivity
  • Microsoft, StaffHub

Hotels are a kind of second home for many people. To make sure guests enjoy their stay, hotels coordinate a vast array of staff members, from the receptionist to the facility manager. But what do you think happens when somebody is absent due to illness? That’s right: Administrative processes virtually grind to a halt. After all, while service and furnishings in most hotels are based on modern standards, HR planning and associated processes remain stuck in the middle ages. Complicated templates and Excel spreadsheets as far as the eye can see. Now, Microsoft StaffHub puts an end to clunky staff coordination. We’ll show you how the application can quickly become your most valuable staff member in the hotel business.

Microsoft claims that 80 percent of all employees can be classified as firstline workers. Let’s imagine for a minute a hotel with 50 staff members and 300 guests per night. Only around a third of the employees have their own computer workstation and telephone. These employees spend a lot of their time moving around the building, making it difficult to reach them at short notice. John works in room service, but has been on vacation the past week. Normally, his shift begins at 6 AM on Monday morning. Aware that plenty of people are coming down with the flu, he anticipates that the roster may be changed. But he hasn’t received an updated shift plan, and he wasn’t able to reach any of his colleagues on Sunday evening. So his premonition doesn’t come true until the following Monday: The roster on the pin board states that his shift begins at 8 AM – meaning he turned up at the hotel two hours too early. With many of his colleagues absent due to illness, their stand-ins simply forgot to inform him about the change.

Resolving Challenges in HR Planning with Microsoft StaffHub

All processes in a hotel need to run like clockwork 24/7 to make sure that guests enjoy a pleasant stay. In the past, this demand has meant that employees without their own stationary computer workstations – aka “Firstline Workers” – have needed to remain constantly in touch with the hotel manager. But the downside of this procedure was that the hotel manager spent half the time distributing and updating work rosters, which were then circulated with the changes to John and his colleagues. As in the case of John’s return from vacation, this procedure frequently led to substandard coordination and loss of information. Now the hotel has switched to Microsoft StaffHub to keep John and his colleagues from other departments and shifts closer together. In addition to running on a stationary computer, this application also runs on smartphones and tablets. This way, John and other firstline workers have all the information and tools they need to complete their tasks easily accessible on their mobile devices as they move through the hotel, and the manager finally has time to concentrate on more pressing concerns.

StaffHub functions for hotel employees:

  • Access the work roster on your mobile device (smartphone or tablet)
  • See which colleagues will be working the same shift
  • Place requests to exchange shifts
  • Post applications for vacations or report in sick
  • Post applications for vacations or report in sick

StaffHub functions for hotel managers:

  • Access the work roster on your mobile device (smartphone or tablet)
  • See which colleagues will be working the same shift
  • Place requests to exchange shifts
  • Post applications for vacations or report in sick
  • Post applications for vacations or report in sick

Microsoft StaffHub in Everyday Routines

The rollout of the new app could not have been smoother. The employees simply downloaded it from App Store or Google Play and used their authentication codes to register. Two months have now passed since StaffHub was introduced at the hotel. The app keeps things simple, focusing on relevant functions, so John and his colleagues got used to its operation quickly and without hiccups – now all the firstline workers at the hotel use the app. Therefore, when John got back from his next vacation, he simply opened StaffHub on his smartphone to check whether there had been changes to his roster.

Another cool feature of StaffHub is that it also provides a very clear overview of work days and days off. Previously, John had photographed his printed out roster and then entered the dates in the personal calendar app that he shares with his wife. Now, StaffHub makes coordination in the family a whole lot easier, because John can now synchronize the StaffHub calendar with his personal calendar app.

Microsoft  StaffHub all information at a glance
Fig. 1: Employees view all the important information at a glance and can request to swap a shift with a colleague (source: www.microsoft.com)

Recently while cleaning one of the hotel rooms, John noticed that the showerhead was damaged. So he accessed the Tasks function in StaffHub and photographed the defect, which he then sent Helen from Facility Management in just 30 seconds. Previously, he would have had to fill out a defective parts report and take it to Facility Management at the end of the day – only then would it have been possible to organize the repair, wasting valuable time in which the room could have been booked. At the moment, though, the hotel manager is the most frequent user of the Tasks function. For instance when it’s time to change the curtains. The manager simply posts the task and sends instructions to all room service employees.

StaffHub Puts an End to Complicated Processes

The improved coordination and announcement function on StaffHub permits monthly – instead of weekly – staff meetings. Short messages can be used conveniently to post staff changes or important company instructions.

Also vital: The document library. Which rooms need to be cleaned? When is the guest departing? Are there special wishes that have to be considered? Instead of printing out 12 A4 pages with this information every morning, hotel managers can simply use the app to access the latest booking plan. John and his colleagues are equally delighted at the easier application processes to exchange shifts or take a few days off. John is actually scheduled to work on his father-in-law’s birthday and would like to take the day off, so he just posts a question on StaffHub to see if someone in the team can take his shift. A colleague agrees, and so the application is simply forwarded to the line manager. All the manager needs to do is click on “Confirm”, as a stand-in is already available.

Microsoft StaffHub manage shifts
Fig.2: Managers create, update and manage shift schedules for the team (source: www.microsoft.com)

StaffHub is the Central platform for All

John is among the longest serving staff members at the hotel. Usually he will know the right answer to most any question. But new colleagues may still be finding their way around: Where do I find additional blankets? To what temperature should I set the room? Where’s the best place to spend my break? The app’s chat function allows new employees to ask their more experienced colleagues any questions that may come up - from day one. StaffHub comes with all the familiar private messenger services, with group chats too coordinate lunch meet-ups or solve problems without further ado.

With Microsoft StaffHub, the hotel has introduced a key tool to manage time, work and communication more efficiently. Firstline workers like John in particular can use Microsoft StaffHub to access rosters and documents and other relevant information during their shifts or at home. This saves time, simplifies collaboration and makes coordination far more convenient. Share, build networks and achieve more together: StaffHub provides ideal connection for Firstline Workers.

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  • Monday 28 May 2018

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Author

Thino Ullmann, Senior Technical Presales Executive

Thino Ullmann Go-To-Market Manager Central Europe

Microsoft products with a focus on Modern Workplace and Cloud Computing

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