Get 'em While They're Hot: Begin Engagement and Retention with Onboarding

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | November 28, 2010

When human resource professionals attend my workshops, both in the US and worldwide, the section on "Onboarding" is a real eye-opener. Invariably, they find a number of ways they can improve their processes. The onboarding period presents one of the best opportunities for hotel human resource professionals to begin their process of connecting and engaging the new employee, so that s/he will stay.

When we start a new job, we are often excited and feel very positively about starting our new positions. If we receive positive reinforcement for those feelings, they will grow stronger; if we are discouraged from having those feelings, it is sometimes the beginning of a long, slow, and painful downhill trip, ending with voluntary turnover.

So it just makes sense to capitalize and build on that early excitement, but how can we make sure we are really connecting with our new employees so that we may tap into their reservoir of energy and effort?

Onboarding―a longer process than most people think

Most people believe that onboarding begins with their first day of work. We take a different view: we believe that onboarding starts with their very first contact with the organization and doesn't end until the close of their first year of employment. How you handle the critical bonding opportunities will determine the level of engagement and the longevity of tenure of your new employee.

Every contact with the suspect who hopefully becomes a prospect, who hopefully becomes a candidate, who hopefully becomes a team member, is important. However that first contact is critically important. Whether it is an online job position or a newspaper advertisement or an inbound telephone call, how the individual feels at the end of the contact is crucial.

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.