Create an Innovative Culture with Your Hotel's Guest Service Team

By Scott Hale Chief Experience Officer, Brand New Stay | April 08, 2018

What's a 'speed bump?' A speed bump is anything that stops or slows your progress. Speed bumps can be anywhere. You may have even installed a few. However, when assessing the speed bumps across your organization, and throughout your guests' and team's experience, it's important to keep an open mind.

If you don't think that your spot has any speed bumps, go ahead and ask your team what they think. Ask them what frustrates them. What they feel like is unnecessary, or confusing, or both. Find out what derails them from offering your guests an otherwise awesome experience. Let them be honest with you, and be sure to be honest with them.

You may even have some speed bumps in your way. What's stopping you from getting your team and your guests what they need to be successful?

Recruiting Speed Bumps

  • Your Referrals

Before locking-in on your team and operation, take a look at your welcome mat from an employment candidate's perspective. To attract the right talent to your open positions, you've got to take a close look at how you're attracting applicants. If you're like most employers, word-of-mouth is your number-one referral source for new applicants.

What's the biggest speed bump to a successful word-of-mouth referral campaign? The team that you're attempting to add to. If your existing team isn't over-the-moon about their employment experience with you, they won't recommend one of their qualified pals or acquaintances to join the party. The lack of current-team referrals could be a major barrier to your recruiting success, and indicative of even bigger organizational challenges.

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.