Your Guide to an Effective Shift Handover
The management of a hotel requires 24/7 operations across multiple different departments with numerous staff members. Depending on your hotel size this could be hundreds of employees all working various shift patterns within their departments. It is therefore vital to have effective shift handover procedures in place to ensure all members of staff within the hotel are kept up to date and understand what is required of them during their shift. Read this recent blog to learn how to improve your hotel’s shift handover process.
Hotel shift handovers
Each department within your hotel will benefit from an individual shift handover within their team. This can be given by the team leader or duty manager on shift. Equally as important as a one-to-on handover, it is also necessary to have a daily overall handover for the whole hotel, whereby each department can be informed of any important updates relating to broader aspects within the hotel. Keep reading to discover why shift handovers are important, what information is required, and our top tips on how to execute an effective shift handover.
Why are shift handovers important?
Shift handovers are important within any industry. In some businesses, this may just be a quick chat within a small team. However, within the hotel industry, the shift handover needs to be a central aspect of everyday operations. This is because it is an opportunity for outgoing staff to pass on any important information to the incoming staff. Employees who are just starting their shift will need to know how the previous shift went and if there are any outstanding complaints that need to be dealt with or anything happening within the hotel that they need to be aware of. Having a shift handover procedure in place helps hotels to avoid any unexpected situations, provides greater safety and improves productivity. It will ensure your staff are prepared and understand what their role entails for the day, consequently, helping to maintain excellent customer service across departments.
What details are required for an effective shift handover?
To accomplish an effective shift handover, it is necessary to understand what key details will need to be relayed to the incoming staff at the beginning of their shift. These details will differ slightly across the hotel departments, and it is important for each team to know what information needs to be reported. Keep reading to discover the details required from each hotel department.
- Arrivals and departures expected
- Any guests who are changing rooms
- Maintenance issues
- Special requirements – eg. baby cot to be put in room
- Special occasions – eg. anniversaries, congratulations and any gifts/extras required
- Complaints from the previous service
- Number of tables booked
- Large group booking details
- Dietary or allergy requirements
- Special occasions
- Regular guests booked in
- Feedback from any functions on previous shift
- Events taking place and any necessary details
- Any meetings scheduled
- Arrivals and departures
- Any guest requirements
- Early check-ins/late check-outs
How to execute an effective shift handover
1. Create a handover report
A crucial step to help achieve an effective shift handover is by creating a handover report – a log that includes a section for each individual department and which can be filled out by senior staff members. A handover report will inform hotel employees of any important information or incidents which occurred during the shift. It should have all the necessary details written in a simple format so it can be fully understood and any miscommunication avoided. It is also useful to note on the log who is the duty manager on-site that day, so that they can be contacted if necessary.
Any accidents which have occurred can be recorded in this log. For example, if a guest tripped on the stairs during the night and hurt themselves this would need to be reported in the log by the night porter. The following morning when a duty manager reads the report, they will know to check on this guest and follow up as required.
2. Communicate efficiently
Communication is key to delivering an effective shift handover. Without communication between staff members, important information and specific details can be lost or misinterpreted. Verbal and written communication are equally important. It is necessary to always provide a written report as discussed above but in addition to this a face-to-face discussion will help the shift handover process further. Speaking in person is often a quicker and more personal approach and provides the opportunity to ensure all information is effectively relayed to incoming staff and any questions or concerns can be answered directly by outgoing staff. A verbal handover can be held in a quick meeting with a duty manager, whether it’s with new member of staff or seven.
3. Hold regular team meetings
A simple way to ensure effective shift handovers is to have regular meetings in place which are scheduled at the same time and place. This will help to make the procedure a part of the hotel’s daily routine and staff will know to expect this as part of their shift. One meeting could be a daily morning meeting with heads of departments or the duty managers for that shift. This provides an opportunity for each department to inform their colleagues of what is happening within their team that day and allows any issues reported in the handover log to be discussed and dealt with in person. Other regular meetings which are important to schedule are within the individual departments between the duty manager and their team. This allows management to pass on any vital information to their team and go over what is to be expected during their shift. It is also a great way to build a relationship between management and staff and develop two way communication.
4. Encourage feedback
Employees are key to an effective shift handover as they are the ones who can relay significant information and comments directly from guests. Therefore, it is vital to encourage feedback from staff and ensure they feel comfortable enough to report incidents – good or bad – to their shift manager. By taking on feedback from customers the overall operations and running of a hotel can be developed and improved. Staff members who are on the floor, whether that is front office, house keeping or food and beverage, all have direct contact with hotel guests and can see firsthand how a shift is going and if customers are happy. Therefore their knowledge and opinions are a crucial part of the handover process and it will be highly beneficial to acknowledge and utilise their feedback.
5. Implement shift handover software
New technologies can help to improve the efficiency of your shift handover process within a hotel. Using shift handover software will help to streamline and simplify the process and ensure information is easily accessible. Some software works with automated notifications which ensure outgoing and incoming staff involved in the handover procedure are informed and notified at every stage. Having all reports and shift information in one place means handover intel can be retrieved quickly for audit or performance reviews. Have a look around for some shift handover software that works for your hotel, or speak with 1834 Hotels.
How can 1834 Hotels help you to improve your hotel’s procedures?
1834 Hotels is an evolutionary one stop hotel, motel, resort and pub management solution. We take the essential and crucial tasks of hotel operations and adapt them to the tools and systems and automation of today. To speak with 1834 Hotels or to simply as a question click here.