No employees in the hotel today, due to the snow!

This week we have seen freezing weather conditions hitting most of the UK and with heavy snow forecast, most people will be thinking about working from home and not risking a treacherous journey to work.

But if you are managing a hotel your thought process is a little different!

  • How will my team get to work?
  • Will the guests be snowed in?
  • Will my deliveries arrive?

In most industries the simplest way to deal with this situation is for the employee to work from home, if they have the equipment.  In the hospitality industry this is not possible! We need to be there onsite to deliver a service for our guests.

So preparation is really key in these situations and keeping a few hotel rooms free for your employees can help. In an ideal world some of your team might stayover so that they are available for the guests the next day. However, do keep in mind team members who have children may need to stay at home if schools are closed.

It is important that you have a ‘bad weather’ policy in place that you can refer to in these rare situations. What should you do if an employee cannot get to work? The most important consideration is the member of staff’s welfare and safety.

Another consideration is whether some employees could make it to work but have chosen to stay at home. You should deal with these people on a case by case basis. Just always keep in mind that some people will use the weather as a good excuse to have an extra day off.

In terms of your guests, make sure you have some contingency supplies in case your food and drink cannot be delivered.  Prepare in advance and order in extra freezer items whilst you can.

So what should you do as a member of staff in these situations? Plan your travel arrangements in advance if possible. If the school is closed, can someone else look after your children? If you work for a large chain hotel, could you work from a closer hotel? Communication is key, so try to stay in contact with your manager and colleagues and update them on your circumstances.

As an experienced hotel manager, I offer my clients with commercial and practical HR advice and support relating to a whole host of day-to-day employment matters which supports the guest journey.

Claire Elston is a HR Consultant at Eagle HR, contact her on 01906 744 897 or email her at celston@eaglehr.co.uk