From engaging in marketing efforts to navigating ever-changing industry trends, managing a hotel involves handling a number of wide-ranging responsibilities. Perhaps no part of hotel management is more important, however, than developing a quality staff.
In order for a property to be successful, employees must provide guests with a positive experience. In essence, your team members should function as part as your hotel’s marketing department, eliciting recommendations and referrals that succeed in attracting more business.
Maintaining this level of service is difficult without a solid staff. Unfortunately, at more than 50 percent turnover, hotels average a higher rate of personnel turnover than nearly every other industry in the world. This constant shuffling of employees can put your property in a position where it can lose customers and, consequently, profits.
Hiring team members is among the most challenging tasks that a hotelier must undertake. So, where should you begin with creating a staff that helps your hotel to achieve success? Following are four tips.
Know Whom to Hire in the First Place
Your first priority in the hiring process should be to understand what to look for in candidates. Keep in mind that while you can always teach essential skills, you can’t teach attitude. During the interview process, you should try to get a sense of a prospective employee’s attitude. Does he or she have positive energy and seem enthusiastic about the position? Is there evidence that the person has a strong work ethic and a desire to learn?
Conducting thorough background and reference checks will help you to answer these questions. That said, you should also consider the applicants’ appearance and how well they interact with you. Remember that an employee who lacks key service traits will be less likely to offer consistently friendly and helpful assistance to your guests. As a hotelier, this is the last thing you want.
During the interview process, it’s also important to determine candidates’ interest in the hospitality industry and how long they would stay with your hotel, if hired. Individuals without a passion for their work will be more inclined to leave their jobs, while those with career goals outside of the hospitality industry are probably only using your hotel as a bridge to another position.
Focus on Recruitment
If you find yourself unable to attract quality candidates, don’t settle. Instead, consider changing your recruitment methods. For instance, if a particular job board consistently brings in unqualified applicants, try posting on social networks or other websites.
Alternatively, you should use your existing personnel as recruiting aids. Distribute business cards to high-performing staff members and encourage them to refer prospective employees to you. Given their intimate familiarity with your company culture, your team members may ultimately provide you with applicants who are a better fit.
Conduct Thorough Initiations
Even the most energetic, well-intentioned new hires will only perform so well in their positions if they lack the proper training. Ultimately, as the hotel manager, the task of instilling the necessary skills and mindset in employees falls on you.
Before allowing new staff members to assume the full weight of their duties, you should ensure that they complete comprehensive training. Since everyone absorbs information differently, the training should consist of hands-on learning experiences, job shadowing, and independent study. By incorporating each of these methods, you can account for a variety of learning styles.
However, your initiation process should not consist entirely of skills training. In preparing new hires for their job, you should also teach them about your company’s culture and values. Every hotel has a unique personality, and you cannot expect new team members to develop a comprehensive understanding of yours all on its own. So, take the time to teach them. When doing so, instruct them on how they can demonstrate your company’s culture and values in all of their interactions with guests.
Team members who consistently excel in their positions deserve recognition from you as a manager. If you can offer pay raises or bonuses, consider doing so. In addition to motivating employees to continue delivering strong results, this type of recognition increases the odds of staff members remaining with your hotel in the long term.
If you cannot afford such rewards, try to find other ways to highlight exceptional performance. For instance, you might consider offering a preferred shift or give praise in the form of a public thank you. Whichever type of recognition you choose, your goal should be to make your best employees realize that you notice their contributions.
Provide Opportunities for Growth
While recognition can go a long way toward maintaining a motivated workforce, your employees ultimately need to know that they have opportunities to grow at your hotel. Awarding promotions is one way to go about doing so. Another is to help staff members to hone and expand their skills.
As a hotelier, you might consider sending employees to workshops and seminars, providing mentoring, or offering work placement opportunities. You could even suggest that they listen to certain helpful podcasts. By demonstrating interest in their professional growth, you can show them that you care about their success. In the end, this will lead to a happier and more productive hospitality team.