Hotel chains are complicated businesses with many moving parts that must work together to create seamless, welcoming experiences for hundreds of guests every day. They can span many cities, states, and even countries.

Employees in the human resource department in hotels are under tremendous pressure to keep up. The unique environment of a hotel means the HR team is contending with seasonal staffing issues while balancing staff maintenance and recruiting, as well as a myriad of labor laws, health codes, and union regulations they must adhere to. With so much responsibility, finding time for proactive programs and policies meant to better the workplace is challenging.

Professionals in the human resource department in the hotel industry are ideal candidates to benefit from human resource planning and effective document management. Here’s why.

Secure document storage frees up physical space

The number of documents a hotel’s HR department retains is enormous. Regional, national, and industry-specific compliance requirements mean adhering to multiple sets of documentation retention rules and regulations.

Additionally, employee files are a major problem because turnover in hospitality businesses is quite high. An average of 6% of employees across the industry will turn over each month, compared to a 3.7% average turnover rate across all industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The sheer volume of paperwork can lead to overstuffed file cabinets with unsightly banker boxes handling the overflow. Storing physical HR documents onsite can develop into a liability should regulators come calling or if a natural disaster hits.

Smart, off-site document management is a great way for an HR department in the hotel industry to declutter in a way that serves both their own employees and the company broadly. Records and information management partners who manage these documents for your company are experts in retention policies, regulatory compliance, and safe document destruction. The facilities are fire-safe, climate-controlled, and securely accessible. Smart, off-site storage is the first step to improving workflow and security. Decentralized environments and a need for quick access to information are causing many HR teams to move directly to digitization.

Digitization makes business across locations easier

An alternative to off-site document management – or a smart, strategic companion – is digitizing employment records, compliance documents, and other important forms, making them accessible to all the necessary parties across an organization.

Digital document management, like its physical counterpart, follows retention policies and federal, state, local, and industry regulations. It also allows the various teams within your business to “talk” to one another. Information related to scheduling, transfers, performance reviews, guest complaints and compliments, and more become consolidated in one secure place. This ease of access makes doing business more efficient and less stressful.

Automated document destruction protects hotels from regulatory issues

So what are all these regulations and why is it so important that HR departments in the hotel industry and their employees adhere to them? To understand this, you need to think about the complex operation of running a hotel.

Clerks and concierges welcome and assist guests throughout their stay. Housekeepers keep rooms tidy. Maintenance employees keep the lights, heat, and plumbing working as they should. Chefs, bartenders, wait staff, and bussers ensure guests are fed, and coordinate with event staff, to host weddings and business events.

Each hotel employee has documentation associated with them that must be maintained based on their job responsibilities, union associations, and government guidelines. Keeping these documents for too long is a strain on a company’s infrastructure, but not hanging onto a critical document long enough opens you up to potentially hefty fines or legal action.

From creation to destruction, document compliance or information governance experts are capable of executing a lifecycle for your company’s documents that meets state and federal guidelines and minimizes your risk. Whether that resource is internal or external, their knowledge and diligence is an important piece of good human resource planning.

Time is freed up for money-saving and morale-boosting programs and projects

Better organization and access to vital documents free the human resource department in a hotel to implement programs that attract and keep skilled talent.

Time to develop employee culture and programs is of key importance in the hotel and hospitality industry. The seasonal nature of the industry means that many employees are very aware of employment options at competing hotels. An HR department in the hotel industry that isn’t burdened with chasing paper can evaluate policies that are affecting staff turnover in order to better address employee needs.

A study by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration estimated the average cost of hotel turnover per employee to be $5,864. For a small hotel with 100 employees, that loss could equate to more than $35,000 per month, assuming monthly turnover meets industry norms. Being able to spend time on programs that keep employees under your roof isn’t just nice; it’s also good business.

Ready to make your HR team more effective? CartaHR can help you automate HR processes and maximize security. Learn more by attending a webinar.

Nicole Hart is a seasoned global HR leader with over twenty years of experience. She focuses on organizational design, change management and workforce planning at Access which has 1800 employees in over 50 locations.