Essential Staff Motivation and Retention

By Sanjay Nijhawan COO, Guoman Hotels (UK) | June 06, 2010

Fail to look after your people, be they staff or customers, and you won't be around for long - whether you're selling shoes, diamond watches or burgers. In the hospitality industry duty of care, at a premium standard, for both staff and guests is what makes the difference between a good hotel and a great one.

It is certainly true that the hotel business certainly has to go a step further when it comes to its 'people'. If anything, the emphasis on getting your employment and retention policies 'righter' than the rest is even more marked and important. Hotels are in a pretty unique position in that what they provide for customers in terms of experience is 100% in the hands of the team on the ground. And since you are running a 24-hour operation, it means genuine consistency of service is required throughout each guest's stay.

Putting aside the economic disadvantages of high staff churn (the advertising for new employees, the time spent interviewing and chasing up references and then the cost of getting them up to speed with your organisation), having a settled workforce automatically brings with it the seamless delivery of constant excellence. Of course, your hard assets count - the location, a well-furnished property and great conference facilities are important because they draw in the guests. But they'll only do that once. Mess up the service and you can kiss any return visit goodbye.

So how do we ensure are staff are satisfied? We're all very different animals, and respond to situations in myriad ways. What's right for one surely can't fit all?

While it's true that deciphering what makes us all tick is a centuries-old puzzle, there are certain traits that we all display. Understanding them is the key to unlocking the best performance. Perhaps the best way to understand is to appeal on an almost primeval level to the things that drive us all as human 'animals'.

1. Moving on up

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Coming up in March 2018...

Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.