That time when you realize the sink has been broken for over a week, only because your staff didn’t communicate with each other to notify the maintenance.

Suddenly, you notice that many minor problems that appear at the hostel go without telling you.

Ahh…internal communication, task management – are these your hostel weak spots?

Where do your receptionists leave the critical information and to-do tasks for the upcoming shift?

Where do you save the manuals and standard operating procedures (SOP)? Are they all over the place on your computer or cloud?

Mover over paper logbooks – your times are over.

I’ve been through paper logs where we carefully scribbled down whatever was happening during the shifts. I bet we could turn these notebooks into great novels, full of gossip that could leave the “Anna Karenina” author Lev Tolstoy blushing.

Pssst! for the gossips and stuff check out this post on 21 things no one tells you about working in hostels.

Every time my shift was starting, I needed to decode my friend’s handwriting. His handwriting was similar to the doctor’s prescriptions:

doctor prescription meme
Yes, that’s how my colleague was writing sometimes

The rest of the hostels I worked for used Excel spreadsheets, shared by all the computers ….Gosh, where do I even begin. 

It’s easy to use – however, I couldn’t save it every time I wrote something when the original version of the file was opened on the other computer. Besides, to refresh it, you need to close the document and then open it again.

Such a waste of time. Plus, it’s not even visually friendly. Yet – still better than the paper logbook.

Now, there are plenty of solutions out there, hostels can use for task management, maintenance, lost & founds, and internal communication.

How do you communicate with staff members daily?  

Passing the information from shifts to shifts is extremely important. Even the small details count. You see, there are so many times that the team is solving guest problems through two different shifts (for example, the guest wasn’t in the hostel)

From my experience, we used WhatsApp to communicate internally between the reception department (between the front desk manager and the reception staff, to be more precise). 

The general manager will probably not share the same WhatsApp group with the reception team when your hostel is bigger. 

In this case, there’s often a WhatsApp group for the managers of each department.

But what happens when different departments need to communicate with each other? For example, the receptionist needs to leave a task for the restaurant or bar staff. Sure, you can call or go directly to the person on the shift at that moment. OR send an email.

Easy, right?

Despite all these easy solutions, so often, the message drains in the ether of unread messages. OR simply is overlooked. The worst is when you can’t really prove you passed the task when you did it by “word” instead of writing. Ups.

Fortunately, there is a better way: apps and tools created for internal communication and task management.

Why should you use communication and task management tools?

First of all, they make hostel life a lot easier, and they eliminate communication failures, thus leaving more time to get to know guests.

This is where you can save information, FAQs, rules, tour info, contact, SOPs, To-do lists, etc. 

They are an easy place for checking (and updating) information, as long as you learn how to use them.

The best tools for hostel internal communication and task management:

  • Google Drive (here you need to organize all the docs your way and create a structure)
  • ChartOK (startup build for hotel/hostel team communication and task management) – it’s free for up to 5 people
  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Asana

Ready to improve your hostel? Download the free Hostel Starter Pack: Essential tools to kick off your hostel!

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Posted by Ewa Gabara

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Founder of Don’t Mess With The Receptionist. I geek out on hostels and I’m a long-time receptionist turned into a copywriter. I help the hospitality and travel brands conquer the world with words.

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