Staff are able to engage with Deputy and create their own schedules
Ability to achieve optimum levels of operating efficiently
No longer have to worry about staff scheduling hours and tasks
W. Short Hotel Group (WSHG) is one of Sydney’s leading hospitality groups with more than 30 years’ experience managing pubs and hotels throughout NSW. This family-run business owns and operates a number of iconic venues, including The Australian Heritage Hotel and The Glenmore in The Rocks, The Royal Hotel in Leichhardt, The Tudor Hotel in Redfern, as well as Scubar Downunder in Sydney Central. Beyond the Sydney Metropolitan area, WSHG runs The Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks on the Mid North Coast and The Toormina Hotel in Coffs Harbour.
The group’s venues attract an eclectic clientele, serving as many as 800 meals each day in their larger establishments. There are business executives looking for a great pub lunch or a vibrant place to socialise after work; locals wanting a beer and tasty pub fare; tourists and travelers sating their appetites and thirsts in landmark venues.
In all, WSHG manages more than 1000 shifts per week across all of its venues in the peak season and employs more than 350 hospitality workers, including General Managers, Operations Managers, Venue Managers, Bar Staff, Floor Staff, Kitchen Teams, Cleaning Teams and Office Personnel. Most of WSHG’s employees fall under the company’s Enterprise Agreement that encompasses seven levels of qualification and skill sets, each of which have four age brackets, plus a number of staff fall under industry standard awards.
With the mantra of creating the best possible experiences for customers and staff throughout its iconic venues, Shaun Chapman, People & Culture Manager at WSHG, says every day presents new opportunities. “It’s about surprising and delighting regular customers and giving travellers and tourists a true taste of Australia.” He adds, “It’s about providing an exceptional experience that customers will remember and share with others.”
“To achieve this exceptional level of customer service, we really look after our employees and give them every opportunity to succeed”, says Chapman, “In practice, this means everything from providing training and development opportunities, running staff recognition programs, as well as offering flexibility at work, which has been made so much easier since we moved to the Deputy platform.”
“Before Deputy, we ran a system that used a local server, which meant you had to be at work to create and manage, or even look at the roster. To make matters worse, the system only allowed one user at a time to access the information. Our staff had no way of accessing their duty roster until it was printed out and pinned up at the particular venue.
“This wasted an enormous amount of time. Staff members would have to ring a specific hotel manager to find out about their shifts. Changing and swapping of shifts was such a headache for everyone concerned. And whenever anyone called in sick, it was up to the hotel manager to get on the phone and find suitably skilled employees to cover last-minute shift changes.
“As you can imagine, more often than not, you couldn’t read the original printout of the roster as it would be covered in scribbles. For staff, it was like viewing a wall of hieroglyphics that was so hard to understand.
“In addition to this”, continues Chapman, “in some of our larger venues, we did not have full visibility into the various skill sets or qualifications attained by many of our staff. This made it difficult to ensure that we were running at optimum efficiency by only rostering and paying for the specific skills that we needed at any particular time. When you’re running more than 1000 shifts each week, this information is crucial to being able to run the business profitably.”
Since moving to Deputy, rostering for WSHG is a well-oiled machine. “We can now create the roster from anywhere, make changes on the run, swap shifts with ease, and it’s all instantly updated so that anyone looking at the roster knows who is coming in”, comments Chapman.
Our staff are actually engaged with their roster, which we send as a text message, and as an email, so everyone always knows where they should be, when they should be there and for how long. Using Deputy, there is never any confusion. No more hieroglyphics and we never hear excuses from our staff saying that they didn’t know they were working.
“In fact”, continues Chapman, “I think we’ve had fewer than 5 employees call a venue in three years to ask when they are working. And in each of these cases, it was only because they had lost their phones! This alone is a huge time saver. “Another major benefit of Deputy is the control it gives us over compliance and the ability to roster suitably trained staff in all areas of the business which helps us achieve optimum levels of operating efficiency.
“For instance, in our gaming rooms, only employees who have attained the Responsible Conduct of Gaming (RCG) certificate are eligible to take shifts in those spaces, so when we need to fill a shift in gaming rooms, Deputy shows us only the appropriately trained staff. This also helps us manage our compliance obligations around the responsible service of alcohol and food safety. At any time, we can assess any potential shortfall in the certificates and qualifications held by our staff members and prioritise training needs accordingly.”
WSHG also makes full use of the Tasking and Communication functions of the Deputy platform. “We allocate specific responsibilities to specific staff members for one-off tasks, and also have turned all of our paper checklists into recurring tasks, which are accessible from any POS with a web browser,” says Chapman.
“As a cloud-based platform, our senior managers can also easily tap into the platform to oversee work rosters from wherever they may be.”
“We all love the Deputy smartphone app”, enthuses Chapman, “For our staff members, it allows them to view their roster, clock in and out and fill in their availability when it’s convenient for them.”
“This same app, when used by a manager, allows the manager to approve timesheets, find available and suitably qualified staff for shifts that need to be filled. It allows them to create journal entries of staff performance, view the roster for the entire day, and assign tasks to staff.”
Chapman adds, “As a manager, you don’t need to go into the office to find staff phone numbers, or call five or six employees to find someone to cover a shift. It only takes a matter of a few clicks to send a message to all available staff members, who simply confirm availability by return message. Deputy alerts the person who can’t work that their shift has been covered, and the roster updates automatically. For managers, it means they have more time to run their venues instead of getting bogged down in rostering admin.”
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