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 June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.