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 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.