Are Your Employees Memorable for the Right Reasons?

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson President, Matuson Consulting | June 02, 2013

I recently stayed at a hotel where my room happened to be right next to the ice machine. I imagine there were lots of other rooms available upon my check-in since I was staying in a downtown location on a weekend. Yet the front desk person chose that particular room for me. Here's what I remember about this hotel. I remember people speaking loudly outside my room as they walked to and from the ice machine. I remember the sounds of the ice hitting the bucket as I tossed and turned. I remember thinking I will never stay here again. I also remember that no one bothered to ask me how my stay was upon my checkout. Perhaps they knew the answer, and didn't really want to hear it from me.

All you are to a departing guest is a memory. What type of memories are your staff creating for your guests?

First impressions count

I recently called the toll-free reservation line for a major hotel chain in order to make a reservation. At the end of our conversation, the customer service representative asked for my e-mail address so she could send the confirmation to me. I'm used to being asked how to spell my last name, as it's a difficult name to pronounce, never mind an easy one to spell. However, you can imagine my surprise when the receptionist said, "Can you please spell consulting? I'm not really good at spelling."

"Seriously?" I thought as I rolled my eyeballs. Had my client not asked me to stay at this hotel, I would have hung up and dialed the hotel next door. Surely there are other ways for your staff to ensure that they have the correct spelling of someone's e-mail address that doesn't involve admitting they lack basic skills. What does this say about the rest of the people who work for your organization? Do they lack the skills required to do their jobs as well?

How your front line impacts your bottom line

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.