Keeping Front Line Employees: Solutions for every hotelier's biggest problem
By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | June 19, 2011
As my profession of speaking and training takes me around the world, I ask the General Managers of hotel properties, "Where does it hurt?" Where in your organization do you experience the greatest challenges? A few, whom you will read about in subsequent columns, are such enlightened leaders that they have none to speak of. The majority, without hesitation, answer "Employee turnover in my front line: housekeepers/room attendants, bell staff, kitchen help, and often switchboard". Invariably, I make suggestions some of which you will read in this article.
One Size Does Not Fit All
First, it's important to remember that "one size does not fit all". People are individuals. What works with some won't necessarily work with others. What you will read here is a series of tips and tactics that have worked for hoteliers and restaurateurs around the world.
Understand that your employee is a person, not just a work machine. People want be treated for who they are¨Dunique and special. Wonder why the younger generations are so keen on body armor, including tattoos and piercings? It's the only way they know to express their uniqueness.
Create your Own Certifications.
Taking a page from the Ritz Carlton playbook, create your own certifications for front line employees, complete with curricula and tests (not necessarily formal). Here's an example: A First Level Housekeeper will know how to clean rooms sufficiently that s/he can work unsupervised and the room will pass inspection. Not only does this individual know how to clean each item, but s/he understands "the why" as well as the consequences of lack of attention to detail.