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Is it Time to Press the Reset Button on Your Hotel Employee Experience? 3 Questions to Ask

Written by Robert Reitknecht

Your associates look happy on the job, but on the inside they might be wondering how much more they can take. There’s a reason why hospitality consultants like me exist and why we’re pulled in by companies of all kinds to evaluate their employee experience. From front desk workers to housekeepers, maintenance workers to valets and every position in-between, people are overwhelmed, overworked, and looking for more managerial support. 

We’ve seen an incredible resurgence of the industry post-COVID, but employee experience remains a sore spot. Any of your employees could be just one bad shift away from calling it quits. Go through these questions and consider if now might be the time to strip your employee experience down to the studs and rebuild. 

Question #1: Are You Recruiting the Right Way?

Let’s look at one of the best examples of team recruitment out there: Disney. Disney is one of the world’s most successful companies that also consistently ranks as one of the world’s top companies to work for. 

For decades, the organization has maintained a tradition of creating magical, memorable experiences. How? In large part by selecting the right people and retaining them. High-performing companies have a deep understanding of high-performing employees: how they job search, where they look for jobs, and what attracts them to a company (for the record, the top three drivers for hotel job applicants include pay, work/life balance, and role descriptions).  

Here’s how you can improve the way you recruit:

  • Digital channels are the way to go: 69% of hotel employees search online for new jobs and 41% use social media.

  • Don’t forget word of mouth: 30% of hotel employees have used recommendations from family or friends to find work and 21% have used networking.

Imagine the power of a single social post from one of your high performers sharing that your hotel is hiring. You’d cast a much wider net with a greater chance of reeling in like-minded top candidates. But to do so, you need to ensure your people feel truly satisfied and committed for the long term. You want the best of the best to work for you – what do you provide in return?  

Question #2: Do You Understand – Really Understand – the concept of Employee Engagement? 

Engaged employees are 12% more productive than disengaged team members. In fact, companies have reported productivity increases as high as 40% as a direct result of improving employee engagement. 

What makes an employee engaged at work? That is, genuinely enthusiastic about and dedicated to the work they do? Some employees are just fine coasting, but most really need to enjoy their job or find some level of challenge to be engaged and committed. Of course, they also want to feel taken care of. If you’ve ever had an incredible experience – be it as a customer, employee, or a friend – you know there’s no reason to look elsewhere for that kind of unwavering care and support. 

When all is said and done, this comes down to one question: do companies understand how to actually engage their employees? The biggest lesson I can offer here is simple in nature but difficult in practice: what one person finds engaging may not be the same as every other person. You should celebrate each employee for the individual they are. Right now, only 30% of companies have this kind of engagement program that’s customized to specific employee needs. 

Understanding this need for personalization can catapult your strategy at a time when most companies are still in the “crawl” phase of activating an employee engagement program.  

Question #3: What’s Your Retention Rate?

The dreaded “r” word: retention. It’s arguably the single greatest indicator of a positive employee experience and overall business success. Once you find people who are right for your organization, how can you keep them? I’ve already mentioned some fast facts about what job applicants are looking for in their ideal place of work. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Employee development: A recent study found that 40% of hotel employees who did not receive good job training left the position within a year. Personally, I like the term “employee development” more than training. You’re assessing an employee’s current state (their skills, personality, interests) and using that to map out their growth (the skills you’d like them to obtain, the role you’d like to see them in) in alignment with your company’s desired future state (corporate trajectory, measurable objectives, etc.). 

  • Look within: It’s true what they say: people leave managers, not companies. Not just anybody can become a good manager. It takes concerted effort and long-term experience, plus a fair amount of trial and error. In one study, 69% of people who identify as “engaged at work” said their manager plays a critical role. 

Book a free consultation with HospitalityRenu to see how you can take charge of your hotel’s employee experience. 

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