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 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.