Ten Reasons Why Small Hotel Employees Should Think Like An Owner - And How To Get Them Thinking That

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

Small hotel owners know that every bit of material waste, every unoccupied room, every inefficient process, and every negative guest experience has a direct impact on the bottom line. While some owners are involved in managing the hotel on a daily basis, others rely almost solely on their managers and employees to operate the hotels around the clock. In the owner's absence, it becomes incumbent upon the onsite manager and hotel employees to carry the ownership flag - you trust them to share your values, implement best practices, and conduct themselves in a manner that creates the best guest experience. Undoubtedly, your hotel employees play the most visible role in making or breaking a positive guest experience, and in turn, making or breaking your profitability.

In short, you need your employees to think like you do. Below, I've listed what I believe to be the 10 most important reasons why you want your employees to think like an owner, and a few tips on how to get them thinking that way.

1) Your employees make the difference, good or bad, from the hotel next door. Employees who take pride of ownership will go that extra mile for your guests, and as we all know, happy guests ensure return guests. The attitude and mindset of your employees make all the difference.

2) Employees who think like an owner understand the importance of being dependable and on time to begin their duties. Poor performance in this area affects employee morale, which in turn will affect guest satisfaction.

3) Employees with an ownership mentality present themselves in a professional manner and take pride that the property always looks clean, fresh, and is in excellent working order. Conscientious employees and return guests directly impact the bottom line.

4) Versatile, well trained employees who take their jobs seriously, are capable of making decisions in the best interest of guests, fellow employees, and the owner. For example, the lone front desk clerk must be trained and prepared to deal with any emergency. If the fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night, the well trained employee could literally save lives.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.