Six Tips to Welcoming New Hotel Employees and Building a Loyal and Gratified Team

By Shannon Colbert Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Endeavor Hospitality Group | November 04, 2018

There's no place like home. And when your career is in hospitality, top priority is creating a welcoming sense of home for your employees, a place where they feel they belong. Hotels provide a space that is both inviting and an escape from your home routine, a place where you can experience a new city and get a taste of a lifestyle different than their own.

Having spent the last 20 years in this industry, I've had a front row seat to experience a myriad of hospitality functions – from front of house customer service and back of house staff positions to hotel operations and executive leadership, and everything in between. The overarching theme I've learned in a career spent amongst countless hospitality workers and guests is the importance of taking impeccable care of employees and treating them with the same level of intention and attention provided to guests.

Ensuring guests have the best possible experience starts with making employees feel at home and treating them like dear family. Having a staff that feels wholly welcomed and connected to one another provides the atmosphere for our guests to recharge and explore their destination with a sense of ease. 

Below are six tips and best practices for onboarding new team members and keeping them happy and engaged. 

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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.