What’s the potential HR value in contact tracing apps?

Yesterday I checked into a cafe. It was my first time, I was going to stay. The sun was out and I was going to bask in it with a coffee while I wrote my blog. No takeaway coffee.

The process of checking in with the app was OK. Next time, however, I will not have both hands full with other things like keys and bag so I can get to my phone easier and not be in the way of others while I dig around in my bag for my phone. Have you experienced this too?

This was my 3rd coffee since lockdown began (the reason for this is a story for another day). My back was warm. Coffee and blog were finished.

As I went to checkout on the app, I stopped and pondered, where is the value in this information if there are no Covid cases to trace?

Also ticking the box that says I agree to the privacy policy triggered a few questions along the same lines. But that will be another post for another day too.

Let’s consider this first question – where is the value in this information? Few apps are free. There is usually a hook somewhere and it could be another expense for the cafe owner.

My educated assumption is yes there is value because the data collated could assist with understanding how your people use your premises. You could use the information (personal details excluded) to answer the following questions:

What is the average length of stay for a customer?
– What is the average size of a group?
– When are our busy times by group size?

You could then analyse your sales to determine when scones are in high demand vs when muffins are in high demand and then match that against the data collated from the contact tracing.

It could help paint a story such as – Thursdays between 10-11.30 our average group size is 1 person. With most orders consisting of a coffee and a scone. Scones win out on a 3:1 ratio. Then from 11.30 to 1pm, our average group size is 5 people and the most frequently ordered product is a chicken wrap followed closely behind with berry smoothie.

Why do you want to know this story?

It makes organising and planning your workload easier. For example:

If you have many tables taken up by 1 person and the table must have the same server, you may need to review your roster and the layout of your cafe for short period. Can your tables be split up to smaller ones temporarily and then put back together for your groups at 11.30am?

Having worked in a cafe/restaurant during my uni days, I know coffees and smoothies will take a minimum of 2 people off the floor when they are in demand. Plus you need someone to run them out to customers. So that is 3 people off the floor.

Our Sunday mornings were chaos until we figured out what the norms were and tested these. Then we adapted how we were organised so our service could be consistent and our team was prepared. We had a game plan.

Based on your new insights, using contact tracing data, do you need to create specific roles and training for your front of house team so there is consistency in their service and products?

You also may need to equip your manager with different skills and knowledge so they can plan and deploy the team into these new roles for short bursts before the team get overwhelmed.

Think of it like a military exercise. Build up skills in your people, give them the information so they can be deployed at will and do a great job without direct supervision.

By the way, if you didn’t know already, all of this is what HR is about. We work with you and your key advisors like your accountant, business coach or people like Rob Bull to achieve your goals. It is more than just numbers and processes on paper. It requires a team effort and the insights to identify where to start.

Having a business that operates smoothly and efficiently with minimal stress IS POSSIBLE. I have been there and enjoyed it. The day just flows.

If you think your business could benefit from a better flow, get in touch and we’ll set up a time to have a chat about how Stapleton Consulting can help you.

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