7 Ways to Boost Hotel Employee Engagement with HR Technology

By Linda Ginac President & CEO, TalentGuard | October 14, 2018

The hospitality industry has experienced sweeping shifts in the way business is done much like other sectors over the past decade. The introduction of advanced technology tools has created an environment of constant change which some have dubbed as disruptive. Whether the addition of tech-infused processes and systems is perceived as a positive or negative is of little concern to the customers who rely on top-notch service and a memorable experience with each hotel stay they complete.

Without satisfied customers, hotels find it challenging to maintain a competitive edge in a saturated marketplace. Because of this reality, hospitality management,  and the human resources departments that keep personnel issues at bay, have no choice but to keep up with the ever-changing times in the industry.

And that means embracing new technology on several different levels.

Part of these necessary changes in technology throughout hotels worldwide has hinged on the promise of increased hotel employee engagement. A recent survey conducted by Best Western Hotels in partnership with UniFocus revealed the powerful impact of high hotel employee engagement on customer satisfaction results. The data collected in the survey highlighted the stark truth that a 0.4 correlation between hotel employee engagement scores and a guest's willingness to recommend the property to others exists.

Applying this correlation in real-life business potential means a 10% increase in employee engagement could lead to a 4% increase in recommendations from guests. For the majority of properties, this seemingly insignificant increase translates to an additional two to three rooms booked each night. Over the course of a year, higher employee engagement offers the opportunity to generate an additional $70,000 to $100,000 in revenue annually.

Given these promising figures, it is no surprise that hotels across the board are embracing employee engagement solutions. Technology makes this far easier, but only when both HR departments and management understand what is available and how it impacts bottom line business. Here are the top seven ways HR tech is transforming the realm of employee engagement throughout the hotel industry today.

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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.