Hotel Human Resources' Five Greatest Challenges - and what to do about them
By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 25, 2012
Recently, we had the unfortunate experience of staying at a limited service property in North Carolina. The service levels were deplorable―broken commitments, an ice bucket left full of water for three days; one day housekeeping even skipped cleaning the room. On top of all of that, no one who knew what they were doing had ever inspected the rooms. Otherwise, they would have seen that towels had been hung backwards.
When I talked with the general manager, he mentioned low occupancy, high turnover, and his reduced staff. All this turmoil resulted in his having to work maintenance for two days. If there were ever an opportunity for a hotel version of Gordon Ramsey, this property would be an ideal prospect!
Clearly, that property was caught in an "unstoppable downward spiral": low occupancy leads to reductions in staff, which translates to lower service levels, which results in still lower percentages of occupancy, and the beat goes on.
I made some clear suggestions to this GM, though I would be very surprised if any were ever implemented. The suggestions I made to him are in the first four Challenge/Solutions detailed in this article for you.
Challenge #1: Hiring Right
Though with the current state of unemployment, frontline workers should be easier to a recruit, it is vital that you make sure of a few key elements. First, you need to make sure that they are a good "fit" for the job itself. Their temperament must be well suited for the particular position. If the job is not a good fit to the person, the person will be unhappy and leave. For instance, we want a housekeeper who will be a good team player, someone who is somewhat people-oriented, and someone who will stick to the task until it is completed.