Can your staff run your hotel without you there?

Sometimes, I remember to not be stupid on purpose.

Here's lesson #1752 on why we document "how-to's" and SOPs for every process at the lodge:

We had a power outage yesterday.

No big storm. It just went out.

This happens a few times every year (despite what the previous owners claimed).

Luckily, we have a generator that powers the critical parts of the lodge.

Problem, meet solution.

When the power goes out, a staff member just has to hook it up and turn it on. Relatively simple, but it's not obvious if no one has shown you how or where to hook it up, and it's especially not obvious if there aren't any instructions documented. Someday, we'll get one of those bigger, automatic ones, but we're not there yet.

Yesterday, we realized the staff on-site hadn't seen how or where to hook up the generator. This would have been okay if we had instructions and documentation in an easy place for them to reference.

Unfortunately, these instructions lived only in our heads and in the heads of employees who no longer worked there! Not good!

This was our fault for not having a "how-to" in our handbook for when the power goes out.

After a few phone calls and messages, it got sorted. But that precious time lost from not having SOPs written down could have seriously hindered the guest experience.

Two lessons here:

  1. Document everything. We're not on-site all the time (and we don't want to be). Your documentation and SOPs have to be able to instruct your staff to do just about anything within their means. This goes for any industry.
  2. And have that documentation live in one, easy-to-access place. For us, our digital Employee Handbook in Comfortly is where everything important like this lives. That way, it's accessible to every employee, all the time.

Like I said, I try to not be stupid on purpose. Not documenting an important process like how and where to hook up the generator when the power goes out was pretty stupid. But now, we're better for it.