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 February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.