Resetting the Burnout Clock

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | August 01, 2013

With non-traditional workweeks, night shifts, and difficult guests, hotel employees have very taxing jobs. On top of that, the demanding responsibilities and long hours often lead to the condition known as "burnout". Often hotel executives think of this state as irreparable, however wise hospitality leaders know that they can help the employee and retain a valued team member with a few very strategic moves.

Recognizing the Signs

Most hotel executives become aware of a burned out employee, when they see that productivity is dropping and there is less attention to detail. Other signs of burnout are reduced energy, higher absenteeism, higher levels of irritability, increased use of food, drugs, or alcohol to "feel better", and unexplained headaches, backaches, or other physical complaints. They may even feel "lost" or "beaten down"

Whatever the symptom, it is important to catch this condition early. The earlier you take action, the more likely you will have a positive result. Employee turnover is very expensive—for you, as well as the company.

Saving an employee is truly a win–win-win. The employee wins, because they get to keep their job; the supervisor and executive win, because they do not have to train a replacement employee; and the employer wins, because it drives more profit to the bottom line by saving the costs of advertising, interviewing, onboarding, training, and more.

"Some people simply can't shake off burnout", said Linda Fulayter, General Manager of the Hampton Inn and Suites Flagstaff West in Arizona. "I teach them to ask for help," she continued. "They need to come talk with me to discuss what happened so that we may address the situation together."

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Coming up in July 2018...

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.