Employee Engagement Equals Profitability

By Ken Edwards Owner and CEO, HMBookstore and Tristar Hotel Group | April 24, 2016

Hiring and retaining great talent is by far one of the most challenging aspects facing businesses today. Hotel owners or operators know all too well that employee turnover in hospitality is high – and it can cost your property 100-200% of an employee's total compensation. In fact, the U.S. Bureau for National Affairs estimates employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $11 billion annually. So, what can you do to lessen turnover and keep those dollars flowing through to your bottom line? Focus on employee engagement.

Employee engagement is the practice of influencing employees to be fully involved in performing their job and contributing to business success. It entails creating a corporate culture and work environment where employees think and feel positively about their role, duties and the organization. Enthusiastic employees care more about their employer and are naturally inclined to perform their duties better and interact with people in an uplifting, optimistic way. According to the Corporate Leadership Council, highly engaged employees were 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts. It's proven that engaged employees are more apt to go above and beyond what's required of them, more pleasant to work with, tend to inspire those around them and are equipped to act in line with the best practices for providing top experiences for guests while also considering business implications. In hospitality, great talent who loves what they do leads to what owners and operators seek in their staff: an increased quality and level of guest service that ultimately leads to the holy grail of creating a greater amount of revenue that flows through to net profit. In fact, a recent study from the Hay Group estimated companies with engaged employees made 2.5 times more revenue than those with low engagement levels.

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Tips for Creating a Win-Win Corporate Environment

For any employee engagement movement to make traction within your hotel property, everyone from the top of the management chain and throughout the organization must recognize value of engagement. Working together is a win-win relationship - the organization wins through enhanced organizational performance, and the employee wins through heightened personal well-being. While increasing opportunities for engagement, organizations need to educate employees highlighting the benefits while offering incentives for training and engagement activities.

Key conditions for creating engagement include capability, the big picture, and employee motivation.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.