Inspiring and Engaging Your Team: Five methods to getting the most from your employees

By Caroline Cooper President, Zeal Coaching | December 11, 2011

People are often referred to as a business’s most valued asset and in the hotel industry more than any your team can make or break the customers’ experience. They are certainly also one of your biggest overheads. Are you unwittingly de-motivating them by treating them as just another disposable asset?

Keeping your team inspired and engaged can be challenging. But a demotivated team can lead to poor performance, poor customer service, poor attendance and ultimately to losing not only your best people, but also losing your valued guests.

Here are five ways to get the most from your employees.

1. Set your expectations

People need to know what is expected of them and how this will be measured, so they can keep track of their own performance and know how they are doing, and not be left in any doubt if they are pulling their weight. A lack of direction can be confusing and leads to uncertainty. Lead by example, so there are no mixed messages.
Setting standards and having systems and processes in place gives a framework for consistency. This includes ensuring the same rules apply to everyone and that the rest of your management team are consistent with their expectations.

Focus on telling people what you want to achieve i.e. the end result, rather than dictating how to do it. This gives people flexibility to adopt their own style (you'll be surprised how often they end up improving the process) rather than living in fear of not being able to comply with strict processes. And once you've set your expectations make it possible for your team to reach these by providing the appropriate tools, resources and training to do the job effectively.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.