Employee Appreciation Programs

By Zoe Connolly Co-Founder & Managing Director, Hospitality Spotlight | January 24, 2016

Appreciation programs can range in scale and cost. They can focus on recognizing individuals, promote teamwork and/or help employees achieve goals. Before implementing a program, hotel leadership should take time to identify the areas where they are hoping for improvement. To do so, they can consider a variety of quick (but effective) steps to make these programs more effective (and therefore, more impactful in terms of ROI). For smaller operations and corporations alike, the planning phase should start with hotel managers. It’s important to identify the improvement areas these key leaders believe are most critical. Is there a morale problem at their location? Are there regular personality clashes between staff members? Perhaps most importantly, what is the most common guest feedback?

For corporations, it’s important that this information be gathered and analyzed. Is morale a problem across the entire company, or an isolated concern at one or two locations? Is an inability to retain great employees hampering growth efforts and ultimately hurting shareholder value?

Following are some examples of different programs that can be implemented at individual properties and initiatives that can be launched across organizations. Some of these may seem simple, or like common sense. However, as you’re reading them, ask yourself how many of these “simple” programs your hotel has actually implemented. Oftentimes, a little appreciation goes a very, very long way.

Location by Location

There are obvious constraints implementing appreciation programs at each location. These range from the costs associated these types of programs to the reality that these programs are another checkbox on a team of employees’ to-do lists. However, here are a few simple programs that have very limited costs, and in some cases, allows employees to work on their to-do list on the schedule they’re most interested in:

  • Lunch With Another Employee - (a co-worker of the winner) and the boss- This
    is a perfect way to give your employee a nice meal but also chat about
    anything and everything. Bringing a colleague often allows people to be more
    forthcoming (it eliminates the awkward situation where an employee doesn’t
    feel comfortable being open). “Lunch on the boss” can be offered as a reward
    for an employee who’s done something exceptional. It can also be a perk in
    which employee names are drawn out of a hat once per month.

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.