Consistency and Communication: Give employees the tools, information, and feedback they need to get

By Jed Heller President, The Providence Group | October 28, 2008

Have you read reviews of your property on the Internet? If you haven't, the experience may be a real eye-opener. At even the finest resorts and hotels, reviewers (past guests) often complain about rude or inefficient service from hotel staff. But at resorts where staff is friendly and welcoming, reviewers will often dismiss dated furnishings or other concerns to rave about the people who made their stay special.

What does this mean to you? It means that your staff members really are your most important asset. And if that's true, shouldn't that be where you're investing your time and energy? Developing and maintaining an effective employee communication and training protocol may be the highest yielding management effort you can make. You just need to give employees the tools, information, and feedback they need to get the job done.

As a consultant, it's easy to see where employee communication has been ineffective when I make resort visits. In these cases, employees frequently demonstrate frustration with their inability to perform their work. They're not following policies and proper procedures. In speaking to employees, I hear the same concerns over and over again. Resolving the situation requires making employee communication a constant priority.

Tools and Information

Employees need the proper tools to be effective in their jobs. Yes, maintenance staff members need screwdrivers and housekeepers need cleaning solutions, but all employees need information. Your orientation program is your chance to provide that information, showing employees the expectations for their specific job and also for your organization. A recent survey by the International Association of Business Communicators revealed that almost half of the companies surveyed had failed to effectively explain to employees the purpose of their jobs and the mission and strategy of their businesses. Those companies are missing a vital opportunity to engage employees.

Beginning with orientation, explain exactly what the job responsibilities are to each employee, including the standards that will be used to assess their performance. In addition, explain what the mission and goals are for your organization and how you assess if your organization is reaching those goals. If your resort is periodically reviewed by your franchiser, show new employees how your resort will be rated and explain how their work fits into the big picture.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.