Three Key Strategies in Communicating with Hotel Employees During a Crisis
By Andrada Paraschiv Head of Hospitality, Beekeeper | May 2020
With the coronavirus pandemic closing hotels and keeping employees and guests at home, communicating in real time with your entire staff has become even more important - and more difficult. For hotels that are continuing operations, it's crucial to communicate policy and process changes as soon as they develop. And once the situation begins to improve, everyone will need to receive the same information at the same time, regardless of where they are.
Even at the best of times, hotels without a solid communication plan that caters to frontline employees' needs run the risk of a chaotic internal environment, which ultimately leads to a negative guest experience. And when a crisis hits - like a natural disaster, a live shooter situation, or a virus outbreak - inconsistency or errors can have far more serious and tragic repercussions.
The Industry That Never Sleeps
In the hospitality industry, 80% of employees are deskless. That makes them difficult to reach by email, particularly if they work at night and rest during the day. Yes, you can usually call frontline or remote employees to reach them, but it's a massive effort for HR and an inefficient way of disseminating crucial information.
Plus, without a standardized process, it's easy for messages - and people - to get overlooked and fall through the cracks. Some managers are inherently better than others at communicating, causing problems with timing (some employees could hear news hours before others), message consistency (communications can become a game of "telephone" when left up to individuals), and depth (some managers will just give a few highlights versus the whole story). These inconsistencies can have extremely negative consequences in crisis situations, in which details and timing are absolutely critical.
Creating the Right Kind of Connectivity