How to keep hospitality staff happy

E Hotelier – A happy hospitality staff will increase your hotel’s overall productivity. The bottom line of any hotel or hospitality-oriented business is customer service excellence and subsequently, profitability. And at the heart of this business is its staff. These customer-facing employees represent the establishment and set an impression, which can either contribute to a company’s success or create challenges that undermine success.

These challenges can affect a business’ bottom line, from poor customer service and decreased operational efficiency to a negative working environment and increased turnover.

In fact, the U.S. National Restaurant Association reports that the turnover rate for the restaurants and accommodations sector grew to 72.1 percent in 2015, an increase of 66.7 percent in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is also the fifth consecutive year that the turnover rate has risen.

Hotels can overcome or prevent these challenges by maintaining a satisfied hospitality staff. Here’s how.

1. Establish working culture of learning and development

The nature of the hospitality industry is that employees may see their job position as short term. Invest in developing these job positions into long-term careers for employees. These opportunities can include advanced education or training programs focusing on customer services, best practices, management skills and cultural training, recommends Hospitality Magazine.

Mentorship, coaching, guest speakers and sending employees to hospitality conferences or workshops can further help them develop their skill sets and advance their job into a career. Address the wants and needs of your employees as a top priority. By investing in the careers of your employees through ongoing learning opportunities, they’ll invest in your company in return.

2. Recognize and reward staff for performance

To keep motivation high, acknowledge staff members for great performance. A sense of accomplishment can motivate an employee to not only continue his or her work ethic, but strive to be better. Follow up with a recognition by offering a training program opportunity or set them on the track toward management. Opportunities for promotions may create positive energy, improve staff-to-customer engagement and promote a driven, hard-working environment. For staff who may be underperforming, take the time to address their weakness, value, and potential. Help them set goals to improve their performance and make a greater impact on the company.

3. Develop an environment of accountability

Support and a high level of accountability serve as the backbone of a successful work environment, but remember, it shouldn’t be forced compliance, says business coach MyWorkNinja. Meeting team expectations can boost an employee’s motivation and drive to perform well since their work affects others and poor work lets others down.

Also, necessary solutions like security cameras and surveillance videos can ensure employees work in an environment of accountability, which further secures the hotel premise and guest safety. Even freedom can create a sense of employee ownership. Allow employees to practice independent decision-making skills and offer solutions. Employees may thrive off the additional responsibility, which builds workplace confidence.

4. Communicate the company vision

An engaged employee understands and is a part of the company’s vision, suggests Horizon Hospitality Associates, Inc. Involvement in the greater picture helps employees feel like they serve a purpose beyond just their everyday tasks and responsibilities. Let them know that they play a role in achieving overall business goals and that they contribute to successes.

Companies can communicate these messages through department meetings, one-on-one evaluations and even incentives with messages from management. For example, thank employees with a gift card or lunch outing while mentioning that their efforts impact a certain department goal or the company mission.

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