There is no doubt that there are many elements that go into the planning, coordination and execution of a successful event. While we often see praise for venues, organisers and brands, there is one element that is often overlooked and that is the venue staff. When you organize an event, you rely on venue staff to provide a great experience to your customers and attendees. Venue staff include waiters, chefs, bartenders, parking attendants, security and so much more. So, how can you effectively manage venue staff to ensure event success?
There are two possible scenarios when it comes to managing venue staff. First, you work internally at the venue, and you’re directly responsible for the staff and event success. Second, you are simply using the venue for your event, meaning you don’t have as much direct input into the management of the venue staff. For this article, we will assume you work internally at the venue, with direct influence on the management of the venue staff themselves.
Here are 5 steps for venue staff management for event success!
- Lock down a recruitment strategy
- Create a solid employee onboarding & training process
- Use effective workforce management tools
- Ensure communication is continuous and effective
- Follow up and review performance post-events
Lock down a recruitment strategy
Of course, one of the first touch points of managing venue staff is recruiting them! Everything from the job description to the interview needs to be considered, as they are opportunity to identify strong candidates.
First off, creating a clear and defined job description is the best way to ensure you only receive applications for those who are suitable. Clarify roles and responsibilities and be sure to detail what experience you’d like candidates to have. These details include
- Role titles
- Common tasks & activities
- The minimum and average hours to be committed
- The required skills, experience and qualifications if necessary
- Working conditions
- Details of common events they will be working
- Highlight any job benefits, perks and of course, pay rates
Then, you have to distribute the job description to get it in front of the right people. Of course, there are the common places such as LinkedIn, Indeed and other job boards. However, it’s important to consider where your target applicants spend their time. For venue staff, this might include Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
When it comes to interviewing, it can help to develop scenario-based questions that might be common for venue staff. These should include dealing with last minute emergencies, handling difficult customers and other common scenarios. This will help you choose candidates with the right tools and mindset for the job.
Create a solid Employee Onboarding & Training Process
Now that you’ve found the right venue staff for your events, it’s time to onboard and train them. It is always helpful to set standards early on in the process so that employees know exactly what you expect.
If you want to take a deep dive into employee onboarding best practices, check out our dedicated blog post!
Specifically, when it comes to venue staff, a great way to onboard and train them is to create and provide them with Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs. There are likely a number of procedures that happen for every event at your venue. These might be in relation to guest seating, ticket checking, bar stocking or food prep/presentation etc.
Another great way to train venue staff is to pair them up with a senior staff member who can show them the ropes during a real-life event. Often, the best way to learn is to do, right? However, simply throwing new venue staff in at the deep end of a large event can lead to poor customer experience which is far from ideal. By pairing them with experienced staff members, they learn how to handle everything in practice.
Use Effective Workforce Management Tools
If you’re managing a large team of event staff, it can help to have some tools that make life easier. Workforce management software is a great resource for venue staff as it can solve common headaches for venue managers. Lets go through some of the great tools that Workforce Management software like Celayix can offer to help manage venue staff.
When it comes to running a successful event, it can be difficult to find the right staffing levels that also come in under budget. When it comes to creating a great employee schedule for your event, Celayix lets you use event templates. Event templates can be configured based on typical events you run, and configured based on the number of attendees. With these templates, you can create event staffing schedules much quicker, and with greater accuracy.
With Celayix, you can also define roles and qualifications to ensure that all of your bases are covered, with staff that are qualified to do the job assigned to them. A great example of this is bartenders versus floor staff. Celayix will ensure that any employees you assign to work in the bar area have valid alcohol serving training. If you happen to assign an underqualified employee to the area, it will be flagged as an error.
It’s pretty common for venue staff to go into overtime, which is far from ideal for the venue and their budget. With Celayix’s rules-based engine for scheduling, you can create rules that flag any shifts that might send staff into overtime. This can again, help streamline the employee scheduling process while also saving money.
Time and Attendance Tracking
When it comes to tracking time and attendance for venue staff, it’s never easy. Employees are scheduled at different times, some arrive early, some arrive late, and some don’t show up at all. All of these variances can lead to discrepancies when it comes to payroll, which you always want to avoid. Of course, it can cost you money, but payroll errors also lead to unhappy staff. In fact, 49% of American workers will start a new job search after experiencing only two problems with their pay check, according to research.
Celayix has a range of functions that can streamline time and attendance tracking for your venue staff. Employees can check in/out of their shifts directly from their smartphone. With our powerful GPS geofencing, they can only check in when they are actually on site, which reduces the likelihood of time fraud. Managers can also receive real-time notifications when an employee misses a shift check in, highlighting if they are late, or don’t show up at all. Theses notifications allow managers to take action instantly to avoid a staffing emergency that could ruin an event. Our find replacement feature allows managers to view a list of available and qualified staff that can fill in for sick calls or no shows in a matter of minutes.
Not only does time tracking become easier with Celayix, but so does attendance matching. Our software automatically matches hours worked to the schedule, to update it with real information. This information can then be exported or sent directly to your payroll provider to ensure error free, accurate payroll in no time at all! These are just some of the workforce management tools that Celayix can provide to managers of venue staff. If you’d like to learn more, sign up for a free demo here!
Ensure Communication is Continuous & Effective
Communication is absolutely essential when it comes to event success. Departments need to communicate with each other, supervisors need to communicate to venue staff, and of course, employees need to have open communication too. Communication is essential before, during and even after every event to ensure success.
Each team might have their own method of communication, which is great. However, it is your responsibility as manager to ensure that communication is clear, instant and effective. While Celayix does offer great communication tools for pre & post event communications, you might need other tools for during events. Walkie talkies are a great investment for larger venues to enable all employees to communicate regardless of where they are.
Follow up and Review Performance Post Events
Finally, one of the key steps to effectively managing venue staff is to follow up and review performance after your events. What went right? What could have gone better? What must you avoid moving forward? All of these questions are essential to ensure that your staff understand what constitutes a successful event. While venue staff might be happy with smiling customers, they still need to understand how operations might be improved for the next event. Create a standard review process that includes all venue staff, and make it part of your regular operations. It might surprise you to see how quickly things improve once your employees are aware!
Running a successful event can be tricky. Make life easier by investing time into your venue staff which are the core of any successful event. If you’d like to learn more about how Celayix can help you manage your venue staff effectively, get in touch today!