AN innovative system at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium has cut the amount of time it takes for an employee to collect and return his or her uniform by more than half, and also reduced the manpower required to dispense the outfits.

Using Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) technology, the distribution system at the 508-room property in downtown Singapore has freed up three employees in the uniform section that can now be deployed to other areas in the hotel.

In another initiative, employees from the security department and bell desk are trained to cover each other's duties. Any gain resulting from this cross training is passed on to the employees in terms of wage adjustment.

Under the e2i Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) and STB Tourism Technology Fund, the company has completed 11 projects related to productivity. This has resulted in a host of benefits for the hotel, most significantly in the area of employee satisfaction.

Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium enjoys a high staff retention, with a turnover rate of just 3 per cent, compared with the industry average of 4 to 5 per cent. Employee engagement has also grown from 81 per cent in 2011 to 90 per cent in 2014.

Reflecting its success in this area, the organisation was the winner of the AON Hewitt Best Employer Award 2013.

"Staff engagement is the key in ensuring the success of each initiative. It is also important to encourage the team to continually upgrade themselves with new skills," said Anne Johnston, General Manager at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium, which is part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group.

Employees have to recognise that short-term investments are worth the financial commitment in long-term benefits, she added.

To encourage more ideas to boost productivity, the hotel adopts an open-door policy, where employees are welcome to share their ideas with the managers and department heads.

"The ideas come from all areas of the business. As we have been driving productivity for the past few years, employees in the hotel are more open to adopt new initiatives," said Ms Johnston.

Looking ahead, the hotel's management is looking at opportunities for further productivity improvement in areas such as food and beverage.