The Planday Blog sat down and spoke to Svenja Müller – HR Talent Partner – at Meininger Hotels, about how introducing Planday to its 800 employees was quick and painless. Switching to a scalable and adjustable online scheduling solution that fits every location has helped the hotel staff improve employee satisfaction and the hotel reach its goals of outstanding guest experiences.

The hotel chain aims to help so many types of travellers so they can explore and enjoy Europe’s cities and get the best value for their money.

Decades later Meininger Hotel has become a key player within the hybrid hotel market, counting with 29 hotels located across nine European countries and 17 cities around the world.

“We we’re looking for a scalable solution to cover all our international locations, a user-friendly system that is easy adaptable to country-specific labour regulations,” Svenja says.

“Our hotel managers needed a system that facilitates their jobs, not one that makes it harder, because everyone is super busy and working at a fast pace. That’s why we decided to go with Planday. It meets our requirements, and we get the best value for the money.”

Easy, adaptable and scalable staff management is vital as the business’ needs and goals change.

“There’s been a huge shift of importance when we talk about time and attendance. In April 2020 there was a change in furlough, we needed to be able to rely on the system to provide us with accurate data since a lot of people were sent on reduced working hours,” Svenja says. 

“It became even more important to have an overview of the worked hours, so we didn’t run into trouble with the authorities. When applying for government help, you need to apply for accurate numbers, so we needed to provide reliable and accurate data.” 

“The huge shift is when we need reliable data. Planday helps us provide this data. That has been one of our greatest successes this year which is one big thing we’ve enjoyed using Planday,” Svenja says.

Easy in app communication grows employee satisfaction

“Employee management is much easier when you’re able to see if the hours scheduled match the contracted hours. Employees can swap shifts and submit their availability beforehand,” Svenja says.

“It’s easy for managers to see who can take which shift, so there is a lot less back and forth between the managers and employees. Assigning the shifts to them immediately is a huge time saver. Everything is upfront so it’s easy to plan next week’s or month’s schedule.”

COVID has inevitably changed the expectations of people when they travel and book their stays at hotels now, but this also goes for the hotel staff expecting to be able to change and swap shifts as needed all the while communicating about work on the go is more important than ever. Planday’s app has made communication a lot easier at Meininger Hotels.

Communication around planning schedules is much easier and has been a huge help for managers. It makes it more flexible and reliable as the manager has a clear overview.”

“They post messages on the main home page for all employees to see and if they need to communicate something internally, they can easily do that,” Svenja says.

“It’s helpful as not all employees have a company email address, especially our service staff. It really has improved if not the happiness, then the employee satisfaction.

“We also appreciate the fact that we can store documents and guidelines. It’s handy when new employees join, the managers just let them know where to find the documents in Planday without further explanation. It’s a time saver so you don’t need to share the same information repeatedly.”

Online access to payslips is possible thanks to Planday

Introducing an online collaboration management tool at Meininger Hotels has been successful, with staff adapting quickly to doing scheduling, time-tracking and comms digitally.  

“This year – when it has become mandatory to track everything – it’s clearly very apparent how important it is that we have Planday,” Svenja says.

“Otherwise, we would have 29 hotels submitting their Excel sheets of time and attendance tracking, which in a situation like this (COVID-19) would have been a nightmare.

“Also, it would take a huge effort to consolidate all data, so having Planday as our central tool that everybody uses has been a massive help,” Svenja says.

Using Planday together with the HR and payroll system has helped managers make correct payments every time while employees can download their payslips in Planday.

“By integrating Planday to our HR and payroll system we can both import and export data from Planday. This gives us an accurate overview of the current staff situation, whereas before it was easy for people to slip through the cracks. Now we’re also sure that extra payments are paid correctly as we can see who is working on night shifts,” Svenja says.

“Usually everyone would come to the office to pick up their payslips in person. This year most of us have been encouraged to work from home, so it’s been great for the staff to have the opportunity to access their payslips remotely from home.

 “It’s a huge help because the employees often need access to their payslips for any business with the authorities. Now they can just access them from their computers or through the app.”

Want to know how you can make better experiences for your guests?

In an industry where constant digital changes dictate the future of guest experiences, having a streamlined staff scheduling system to manage communication and performance is what makes the difference.

Speak to a specialist and see how Planday can help you create the extraordinary experiences for your guests while keeping your staff happy with smarter communication, better staff management and easy payroll through integrations to the systems your hotel already uses

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