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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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.