First and foremost, the hospitality industry is a people business. All of the technology in the world cannot replace those crucial face to face interactions, which often literally make or break a guests experience and a hotel’s bottom line. You’ve worked diligently to attract, recruit, and train your team of all star players, and they’ve been able to turn frowns upside down left and right. Imagine how devastating it would be for your hotel to lose them, especially if it’s due to a variety of reasons that can be easily remedied. Investing in and improving recruitment was the first step, and learning how to protect your investment is the next step. After the NFL teams battle it out to get the most talented players, you better believe they do everything they can to keep them there.
Training, in-house policies, salary, incentives, work culture, leadership, and so much more all influence retention. There isn’t a perfect recipe for retention, and different strategies and tactics will work better or worse in different environments. The key is to self-analyze and determine where improvements can be made. Revenue and reputation are both at stake if your hotel has high turnover, so take note of the following suggestions, and perhaps you’ll discover how to hold onto your star quarterback.
Embrace and Support Diversity
Diversity in hospitality is crucial, and if you’ve already achieved a diversified team, be sure to protect it. It’s one thing to have diversity-friendly policies in place, but it can be a lot trickier to make sure that a disconnect between the policies and the day-to-day atmosphere doesn’t arise. If team members feel a disconnect regarding diversity, that could prove to be a key component in any retention issues you may be facing. A solution is to constantly receive feedback from your team, in such a way that no one fears backlash or punishment based on their responses. Have a liberal open door policy, and be sure to make each team member feel heard. The better management listens to the team, the stronger and more supported the team will be.
Don’t Discourage Fun
Work culture is everything. Frankly, no one wants to work somewhere that has a stifling, un-fun, boring, or un-friendly environment. Have fun at work. Yes, productivity is key to profit, but that doesn’t mean you should discourage fun, and/or times of relaxation. News flash, breaks are essential to replenishing the mind, and fun is crucial to replenishing the spirit. Organize healthy work challenges, host outside-of-work social events, and make sure the break room is a pleasant space to be in, with lots of goodies to keep the team going.
Illuminate the Path to Upward Mobility
Motivated team members are going to want to have the opportunity to reach for the stars, and you should let them. Find out where your team members want to go, what their goals are, and help them get there. Provide training, support, and development. Team members that advance within your company, are much more likely to stay loyal, and will continue to want to be a part of your company for years to come. Allow for cross training, if you have curious and intelligent team members who want to know more about the industry, teach them! A well-rounded
Everyone Loves A Good Perk or Two
Not only do you want your team members to be satisfied and happy, but you want them to rave about their job. Why? Because then you won’t have to invest as much in recruitment later on. Top candidates will always strive to find a position in the best work environments, and if it’s well known that you hotel offers that, then you’re all set! One way to retain current talent, while attracting new, is to offer work perks. Offer team members deep discounts at the hotel spa or restaurants. Is your hotel part of a chain or family of hotels? Give your team a certain number of free nights at the other locations. Provide a monthly outing to explore the city = fun for the team, while also giving everyone knowledge they can later share with the guests. Get creative!
Finding and acquiring talent is only half the battle, it’s up to you and your team to ensure that those investments are protected and cherished. The more you invest in your team, the more your team will invest in the company/hotel. Be the hotel everyone wants to work at. Be the hotel whose team has been rockin’ it for years. Be the hotel that guests return to over and over again, just so they can say hi and receive a smile from their favorite hospitality staff.
It’s your time to shine, the new year has just begun and you can set the foundation for a fantastic year and bright future for years to come. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help, HMG Hospitality is ready and available to share their expertise and coach you to success. Contact Young Yoon, corporate director of development for HMG Hospitality. He can be reached at 858.673.1534.
Rick Skinner brings extensive history in hotel management to HMG Hospitality including time spent as a senior operations executive. He has played a key role in successfully building 48 properties from initial planning to opening, and in developing high-occupancy entities. During his career history, Rick was selected by senior management to oversee all company-owned and managed properties under eight franchise brands including Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites, Marriott TownePlace Suites, Marriott SpringHill Suites, Hampton Inn and Suites, Hilton Garden Inns, and Holiday Inn Express and Suites. Rick has been responsible for full strategic planning, operations, marketing, business development, as well as profit and loss management for a portfolio of 34 focused service hotels with over 600 employees. He is experienced in establishing an effective chain of command. Educated at the University of Wyoming, his affiliations include membership in Vistage.
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