Succession Planning in Volatile Times

How prepared are you to retain your work force in these volatile times?

By S. Lakshmi Narasimhan Founder, Ignite Insight LLC | September 02, 2018

One of the most common challenges faced by a hospitality organization is that of maintaining a steady work force to perform all the services offered by them. In other words, ensuring that employee turnover is kept to the minimum is a paramount target for organizations. While the phenomenon of attrition, as it is known in the industry cannot be avoided, retaining employees for as long as possible is key. Attrition is simply the natural process of an employee coming into the company and another leaving. This is unavoidable. But in general, companies aim to keep most of the work force happy and motivated.

Employee turnover is a highly disruptive phenomenon. It strikes at the culture of the company and motivation of the employees themselves. Hotel companies by the nature of their business, hire a major complement of their employees in rank and file positions or what are known as line positions. This is particularly so in the restaurants and housekeeping departments of a hotel. Keeping this chunk of the work force which happens to be at lower levels of the hierarchy happy and motivated will mean consistent levels of service to customers. Nothing is more challenging to a hotel enterprise than the constant movement in and out of employees due to turnover. It disrupts service levels, erodes brand standards, demotivates existing employees and worst of all annoys the customer. It is a surefire way to lose business and erode profitability.

Succession Planning

How do hospitality organizations tackle the issue of employee turnover? One of the most powerful approaches to mitigating employee turnover is a strategic succession planning process in place. What is succession planning?

Succession Planning is a strategy which aims to pre-empt movement in employees and address any perceived grievances even before they have a chance to get entrenched. Succession Planning could be considered a big part of what is commonly known as Career Planning for employees. It is a process which by being strategic is a long-term measure to consistently address employee welfare, growth and development. So, what does this strategic process entail?


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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.