Guest Blog by Relay
Over the past incredibly tumultuous year, we've seen drastic changes in the collective work world. Industries that once operated staffing or operations models differing radically from the corporate world have become not only industry leaders, but their best practices led the way for the new normal. In the not-so-distant past, while hotels and resorts relied on distributed staff, their corporate counterparts generally gathered daily in offices, cubicles, or boardrooms to work together. The occasional business trip or remote workday meant taking advantage of communication and productivity tools and working together as needed.
With most of the workforce working from home over the past year (and into 2021, if Google and other tech leaders are anything to go by), there's been a massive shift in keeping teams operating smoothly. And that means that even for companies once running in a classic 9-5 space, crucial changes were implemented.
Running a tech communication company that creates integrated cellular networks using our Relay devices (think walkie talkies for the mobile generation) made me realize that the way we communicate changes daily, and smart companies will keep their staffs constantly connected no matter what. That made us think about some of the changes that any company – and especially the hospitality space – should be mindful of in the year ahead. From facilities management to food services, from hospitality to healthcare, it’s never been more urgent for us to be more connected even as we sometimes work apart. In our evolved work lives, even the most sophisticated businesses operate mostly remotely while utilizing a widely distributed staff. And for many that often can mean a new range of challenges.
We gathered some of our best tips for keeping your distributed staff on the same page for 2021 and beyond:
Create Standard Protocols: While we're still continuously figuring out the evolving rules of business on a daily basis, there's a lot that falls between the cracks. No matter how many years you've been in business or how much has been done by rote by your team members, there should be a universal company wide set of operating protocols for everyone to refer to. Not sure how to begin? Take stock of what's been working until now and set it down as company wide protocol. Do the same with what no longer works. And to keep your staff involved in the process, ask for their input along the way. If you need help, Relay gives managers the ability to set up workflows with reminders that keep everyone accountable so nothing falls through the cracks.
- Meet Daily: Whether or not you can still meet face-to-face, you should start every day with a meeting or check-in. In the same way restaurants meet with waitstaff to explain the day's specials, you and your team should find a way to connect and discuss the day's schedule, upcoming challenges, or even to share a companywide highlight some team members may have missed. Relay gives the option of setting daily huddle notes. Team members are easily able to stay up-to-date even if they start their shifts at different times of day.
- Set Up an Emergency System: While it can be easier to keep track of urgent issues in real-time, there's sometimes a disconnect when working remotely. One of the things we noticed over the past year is that many companies relying on distributed staff have been using our Relay devices to stay continuously connected and also to replace panic buttons across a wide variety of industries. If you're setting up your emergency system, the first thing to do is identify potential emergencies. Next, create a buddy system and communication plan so that you're all on the same page - no matter what happens.
- Solicit (And Pay Attention to) Feedback: Earlier, I mentioned creating specific protocols. It isn't enough to implement these new routines, you have to monitor them every step of the way. During your daily meetings, you can ask team members as part of the group – or individually – what they think is or isn't working. And if something is changed, be sure to give credit to the person who came up with (or shot down!) the idea.
- Take It to The Cloud: Many of us remember the good old days of having a tech person in the office, ensuring that everything operated smoothly. But a majority of industries no longer have the luxury of a single workspace, much less a single tech specialist available during work hours. Creating a cloud-based system for all communication means no matter how remote your team operates, there's always a central location for data, updates, or critical communication.
- Change as Needed: Here's the thing, the past few months have taught us that there is no longer a sense of certainty to even the most rigid workspaces – much less those with a distributed or ever-changing mobile staff. In the hospitality industry and elsewhere, it's crucial to keep changing as needed. What worked six months ago might be outdated even today. And while you may have been a hands-off boss until now, your team and clients might crave more of the human touch. It's not a sign of weakness to allow your brand to evolve; it's a sign of learning to thrive along with your entire staff and never taking your past success for granted.
Relay, is the first real time communications solution specifically designed for the deskless worker. Relay connects seamlessly to both nationwide 4G LTE and WiFi networks, and features enterprise-specific solutions to meet the needs of the 55 million-plus U.S. active workers in the US who require safe, eyes-up affordable unlimited, push-to-talk technology-enabled with national coverage. Relay is used by hotels, resorts, and event venues across the country. Contact us for more information or to set up a risk-free 30-day demo.