Hotel Executives at Sea: How they get Top Ratings
By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | December 04, 2011
If you think being the General Manager of a hotel on land is challenging, imagine being a GM on a cruise ship where you are "on duty" almost 24/7, where your crew of thousands to take care of hundreds, sometimes over a thousand guests, is composed of mostly young people from all over the world---who also work long hours. Not only that, but your Gen-Yers speak several different languages and worship in a handful of faiths!
And on top of all that, your guest population is very demanding and highly discriminating. That's just what these brave executives are up against every day. Plus as if all these factors were not stacked against them enough, many receive bonuses based on the additional revenues generated in the bars, optional dining restaurants, and casinos onboard. They are on these floating hotels for several months at a time and rarely take breaks. How do they manage to keep both guests and team members happy, and keep their eyes on the goal of profitability? It's simple. They engage their employees on many levels and in many ways. This article shares with you those very effective best practices.
They Stack the Deck with an Effective Onboarding Program
Most cruise lines take great pains to hire only people who have the temperament and attitude to succeed in jobs at sea. They screen carefully for job fit, learning agility , and desire to succeed. This screening is vital to insuring that the rest of their investments in training and development are not in vain. Cruise lines also have to make sure they are not hiring any ticking time bombs.
A Great Start
Training is extensive. Holland America has training facilitates in Bangkok, Thailand and Manila, Philippines, while Cunard has its training facility in Kuala Lumpur. These cruise lines hire mostly from Southeast Asia, while other cruise lines hire from other parts of the world. They spend months training the young people to be stewards and kitchen assistants. It is critical for the companies to do this continuous training, because they only keep their team members for nine or ten months and they need high levels of productivity and efficiency to operate optimally.