Enhance your Talent Management and Increase Retention with an Employee Engagement Survey

By Peter Stark Principal, Peter Barron Stark Companies | March 04, 2018

The good news is the hospitality industry is growing. The bad news is that employee turnover in the industry is also growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hospitality industry turnover rate topped 70 percent for the second year in a row. The average hotelier spends 33 percent of their revenues on labor costs alone. Employee turnover can impact you with costs in recruiting, pre-departure costs, selection of new team members, training and the overall loss of productivity. Some studies estimate the cost of replacing an employee can range from thousands of dollars to 1.5 to 2.0 times the cost of higher level leader's salary. While even the strongest organizations seldom have 100% retention, you have something in your talent management toolbox to help significantly reduce or prevent wandering eyes: an Employee Engagement Survey.

An Employee Engagement Survey will help you determine the EKG of the overall health of your individual properties. When morale is low, there is something called the contagion effect. This is when the culture gets so bad and the turnover rate is so high that is impossible to continue to ignore the problem. You concede you are losing the talent war.

After 25 years of conducting Employee Engagement and Opinion Surveys for organizations, we are more convinced than ever that these surveys are critical tools in assessing the effectiveness of your leadership team and the health of your properties. Organizations that administer a customized survey anonymously and then take action based on the results, most often tend to improve the culture of their organization with each survey.

Why Surveys Fail

But, it is important to acknowledge the thousands of employees and managers who believe the whole survey process is a big waste of time. And, it is important to note that we are in agreement with this group of people and how they think. In many organizations the Employee Opinion or Engagement Survey is a waste of everyone's time and the organization's money. Here are the top 6 reasons that we have uncovered in why employee surveys fail.

1. Senior Management is not in full support

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Coming up in April 2019...

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.