Great Employee Experiences Drive Bottom Line Profits

By Joyce Gioia CEO, Employer of Choice International, Inc. | March 18, 2018

Worldwide, labor markets are tightening for top-notch hospitality professionals and for the lower levels and front-line as well. When you are recruiting a new team member, do you take steps to make that person feel valued? Do you and your team treat the applicant as an honored guest? Do you introduce the applicant to all of your people---not just folks s/he will be working with? Do you offer a tour of your property? When you do these things in the recruiting process, it will go a long way towards helping you win the war for talent.

How to Onboard Your Recruits

Once the new recruit is onsite, welcome the person the first day with a small gift. For housekeepers, the perfect small gift is clip-on picture frame they may use to keep pictures of loved ones with them on their carts. For office workers, including front desk and sales, it might be a mug of candy. Always consider a "welcome card" signed by the other members of the department or if you have a very small property, have it signed by everyone.

Orientation Is an Important Time

Orientation is often a make or break experience. Send the paperwork home so that people may review it with their spouses or significant others, ahead of time. In a small property, the orientation will frequently be conducted by the general manager or one of the department heads. That orientation must include showing the new recruit the Big Picture of the property, including what happens with guests when they arrive to check-in. When you show people that Big Picture, they are better able to understand the value that they bring and what is lost/missing, when they do not show up for work.

Interestingly, this small addition to your onboarding procedure will result in lower absenteeism and typically a higher level of engagement. When we conducted our research for the book How to Become an Employer of Choice (Oakhill Press, 2000), we discovered that the number one driver to employee engagement and retention was seeing how their job contributed to the organization.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.