Managing a hotel is far from easy. We recently spoke to a hotel operator who was so desperate for people to fill their open positions, that they waited outside a bus stop near their competitor to recruit staff. The operator asked each hourly employee how much they currently made, then offered to pay them several dollars more than their current wage if they were willing to work for their hotel instead.
While there’s much to unpack in this story, it’s a classic example of how to motivate employees in the hotel industry. When your hiring process feels stressful, sometimes it’s worthwhile to return to the basics. Refresh your memory — and maybe even learn something new — on how to successfully manage a hotel, even during a labor crisis. Plus, learn why top brands choose our hiring solution to boost 90-day employee retention by an average of 43%.
How to Manage Hotel Staff
Effective hotel management starts with the hiring process. You can’t just hire anyone that applies. Rather, you need the right people who are willing to go above and beyond their job description to provide a wonderful guest experience.
“Motivate them, train them, care about them, and make winners out of them… they’ll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they’ll come back.”
– J. Willard Marriott, founder of the Marriott Corporation
Hire for Coachability Then Train Hotel Staff for Skills
Especially in customer-facing roles, the key to retaining high-quality hotel staff is hiring for coachability and training for skills. Why? Coachable people are often open-minded, eager to learn, and take constructive criticism well. They’re able to pivot when unexpected situations like the COVID-19 pandemic or labor crisis arise.
It’s easy to teach someone how to greet guests, operate the front desk, or clean a hotel room. The hard part is finding coachable people with soft skills specific to your location. To evaluate an applicant’s soft skills, adjust your interview questions accordingly. For example, if you are looking for a job seeker with strong adaptability, you might ask: “Tell us about something you were asked to do that you have never done before. How did you react, and what did you learn?”
Implement Employee Engagement Initiatives
Only 15% of employees (worldwide!) are engaged in their workplace, according to a recent study from Gallup. Conducting employee engagement activities in the hotel industry is crucial if you want to motivate your staff. Highly engaged teams are more productive, which makes teams happier and hotels more profitable.
Consider scheduling regular check-ins with each employee to further develop a professional relationship and instill trust. Employee surveys are another effective way to gauge how your staff is feeling about their work, management, and company as a whole. In fact, 89% of hiring professionals say ongoing feedback leads to success. Finally, team-building exercises like sharing a company meal or going out for happy hour also foster a positive company culture and high employee engagement.
Use Hospitality Technology
If you aren’t using technology by now, you’re likely wasting time and other valuable resources. We understand some hospitality professionals may be hesitant to implement tech solutions as they don’t want to risk a security breach — that fear may be heightened due to current events. Technology, however, is actually a key success factor in the hotel industry. Recent innovations like SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions keep operations running smoothly, so employees can focus on the guest experience.
“Despite being one of the largest and most dynamic segments of the US and global economy, penetration of cloud-based technologies in the segment remains incredibly low, and the vendor landscape remains tremendously fragmented on a global basis.”
– Matt Melymuka, co-founder and partner at PeakSpan Capital.
For more helpful tips, check out our free guide: Why Your Hiring Process is Broken and How to Fix It.
Hire More People Like Your Best Hotel Staff Members
Do you ever find yourself wishing you could find more people like your current top performers? It’s possible and easy with Sprockets! Our Applicant Matching System identifies what makes your best employees so successful based on the answers to three simple questions. Their resulting score is used as a benchmark to analyze the mental makeup of incoming applicants who take the same survey. Sprockets’ one-through-ten scoring system makes it easy to see which potential hires will succeed like your top-performing employees.