Successfully Managing Today's Shorter-Term Hotel Workforce

By Cara Silletto Founder, Crescendo Strategies | March 25, 2018

An imminent danger is threatening many companies and their future profitability: short-term workers. Unfortunately, the decrease in average tenure of today's workforce cannot be avoided completely. But fortunately, it is a situation leaders can prepare for and manage successfully, mitigating much of the long-term risk to the organization and its bottom line.

While many blame Millennial workers (born 1981-2000) for their lack of traditional loyalty, a perfect storm situation has caused the revolving door of turnover to speed up over the last decade, including a competitive market for talent and the lack of loyalty from both employers and employees.

The Perfect Storm of Staffing Instability

First, everyone is hiring – inside and outside the hospitality industry. Since the recession lifted, we have remained in an employees' market where applicants and staff have an advantage over employers. They know everyone else in the area is also looking for talent, so if they are unhappy with their schedule, their uniform, or their boss, they are likely to walk away.

Additionally, most companies have cut long-term benefits such as pensions, and there is no guarantee of long-term employment when everyone knows layoffs occur to combat the competitive hotel environment. Employees know their loyalty will mean nothing if the company needs to downsize, so why should the company expect loyalty to go in the other direction either?

So, what should organizations do about it? Plan for shorter-term workers, extend their tenure as much as possible, and maximize the time you have with each worker. More specifically:

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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.