“We’re set out everyday to create amazing guest experiences. And we truly believe that if we have happy employees, we will get happy guests.” says Matthew Bell, director of hotel operations at CitizenM. Employee happiness plays a key role in customer satisfaction, but satisfied employees are also less absent and more productive. So the question is: how does CitizenM make sure that their employees are happy?
One way the international hotel chain tries to bring more happiness into their workforce is by democratising their scheduling. Giving employees the opportunity to better plan their lives alongside their work, has been one of the main objectives in CitizenM scheduling. Having personal preferences and being able to swap shifts are important parts of a happiness-inducing scheduling process – and there’s more. Fairer schedules, more work and plenty of time to recuperate are other factors among many that have a great impact on an employee’s happiness.
To be able to take all these factors into account and make the fairest schedules possible, CitizenM implemented Widget Brain’s workforce optimisation services to automate their scheduling process. In essence, this means that rosters are now primarily made by algorithms that automatically choose who works when. This sounds less democratic than you might think. In fact, this service allows CitizenM to provide their employees a better and fairer distribution of morning vs night shifts, more consecutive days off and longer shifts. It gives employees more schedule security and more room to better plan their personal lives around work.
The use of algorithm-driven scheduling started in April of 2019 at a handful of CitizenM locations. This quickly proved its worth as the schedules received great feedback from employees and planners. It did not only improve employee happiness and schedule acceptance, but rostering like this also ensured full compliance with local labour laws and regulations. A rostering process that normally would take 4 hours per week per location, is now reduced to just 15 minutes thanks to rostering automation. A small survey under employees even indicated a net promoter score of 80%, giving more reason to roll out further. Widget Brain also proved its scaling capabilities as the solution rolled out to and was actively being used at 13 CitizenM locations across 5 countries in just a week and a half.
As Bell says: “The level of guest satisfaction and commercial success has really been a result of that level of employee happiness and engagement that CitizenM has”. And we of Widget Brain are in return very happy to contribute to their workforce happiness.
Knowledge is power, particularly for algorithms. Understanding the basics of how algorithms need to be trained and managed will allow you to avoid scalability issues that can seriously affect your company. It will ultimately give you the edge over your competition who might not have read this article.
Are you using rule of thumb rostering techniques to roster for Christmas? This can be dangerous because it results in either over-coverage or under-coverage - leading to unnecessary labour costs, poor customer experience, revenue walking out the door and staff that are run off their feet. Learn more about what you could potentially be losing and gaining.
As more businesses collect data, opportunities for algorithms continue to increase - but only if they are built to scale. With algorithms built to scale, forecasts become more accurate, OEE improves, and profits increase for the user while other areas grow and develop.