The success of any business depends on the people that work in it. When you are managing a business where employees deal with customers every day, such as the ones in the hospitality industry, this is even more prominent.
Let’s consider some examples.
The odds of a customer rating your hotel highly after dealing with an unprofessional reception employee are very low. If your cleaning lady didn’t do her job well, how do you expect the guests to come back to your villa again? If the guests waited half an hour for the waiter to take their order, won’t they leave or never come back to your restaurant?
If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to hire the right people. That’s the first step. The second step is to create the conditions that will enable and empower these people to do their job well.
That’s precisely what we’ll discuss in this article – the best ways to empower your team in the hospitality industry.
1. Implement an employee assistance program (EAP)
Your team’s health should come first. Most job seekers nowadays look for health benefits as one of the most important factors in their employment decisions. This is even more frequent since the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to their physical health, good employee also cares about their mental health. One great way to empower your teams in any industry is to promote mental well-being in the workplace. To do this, you can launch a quality EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and help your team beat any issues that might be impacting their work.
Perkbox, a platform used to create all kinds of benefit programs can assist you in working on a personalized EAP for your team. An EAP would normally include things like an assessment, counseling, and other things that promote your team’s health.
Due to the growth of psychological health issues such as depression and anxiety, the popularity of such programs has grown tremendously. Perkbox points out research data of 68% growth since 2008, which demonstrates the growth of awareness of businesses of the importance of good health.
Nowadays, EAPs are more versatile than ever. They assist workers with counseling and similar services but also cover a broader range of issues such as financial or legal problems, childcare problems, etc. They can come at no cost and be delivered with absolute confidentiality – even online and on the phone!
If there are any workplace or personal issues that are stressing out your employees and harming their mental or physical health, such programs will help you tackle and resolve them. Not only will your employees be happier with such a program, but you’ll also reap the benefits. Taking care of a person’s mental health can be very empowering.
2. Identify your employee’s strengths and weaknesses
You’ve selected each employee for a reason. Every person on your hospitality business’ payroll has a certain talent. It is your job to discover what their strengths are, and use those strengths to empower the individual.
If you keep track of your employee’s work, listen to them and get feedback for their work, you can determine what role they are best for, and what they shouldn’t do. A person is most motivated to work if they do something they are good at.
Even if an employee is not amazing in their job, you can notice their strengths and support their growth. This can be done through advice and encouragement, as well as proper training.
3. Invest in good travel software
People that work in the hospitality industry often need to travel. Whether they do this to make some deals, work in a different location, attend meetings and events, or for other business reasons – how you handle this is very important.
TravelPerk, one of the best Egencias competitors and a tool with the biggest travel database can help you greatly with this. This is a business travel platform that manages everything from online bookings to risk management to trip cancellations to VAT recovery.
Thanks to travel software solutions like this one, you can manage multiple travels for every member of your team. You can keep track of your budget and enforce travel policies, as well as resolve any unexpected travel issues thanks to their 24/7 support.
TravelPerk currently scores higher than Egencia, which makes it the people’s choice. This is due to their fast support and better reporting features, as well as the affordable pricing.
4. Define the service standards clearly
Your hospitality team won’t be able to make effective decisions and take the right approach if they don’t know what the service standards are. One of the biggest mistakes that managers make in this business is not spending enough time or effort to clarify what is expected of the employees.
Yes, some of the employees will have the necessary experience to do the job as it should be done in this industry. Others will need some guidance. You’ll also have your specific requirements in terms of how you want them to deal with customers, serve customers, prepare their rooms or meals, etc.
If you want to empower your employees to do their job properly, they must know what is expected of them. Make this a part of your onboarding process – and make the information available to your team at any time.
Creating a guide with specific service standards can be very helpful.
According to a McKinsey study, 70% of purchase experiences are based on how your company makes the customer feel i.e. how your employees treat them. Knowing this, your guide should tell your team how to welcome, communicate with, and treat customers. It will define exceptional service and tell them that you expect it from them.
5. Reward quality work and good decisions
In this industry, it is highly important to track the work of your employees. When you notice that an employee follows your service guidelines and treats customers properly, you should acknowledge their good work.
We aren’t just talking about praise, but also a good rewards program that will motivate and empower your team to work harder.
The same applies to situations where your employee makes a good call. Dealing with customers in the hospitality industry can often be tricky. If your employee made a good call in a difficult situation, you should acknowledge, praise, and reward them because this leads to a good customer experience.
If not, you should train and guide them for the next situations where this happens. By praising the good decisions in difficult situations, you’ll also be making an example out of a good employee, and showing others how to do their job better.
Your rewards don’t have to be grand every time you do this, but always do something to acknowledge the good work of an employee.
6. Provide opportunities for development and growth
Chances are, your employees won’t know what exactly you want and what your business needs the day they are hired. You need to tell them, show them, and even more importantly – train them. If you fail to provide them with a path for growth, their skills will remain stagnant. In return, you can expect lesser productivity, lower revenue, and an unhappy team.
Invest in development and training for your team. There are tons of options to train people in the hospitality industry. There’s the traditional training through courses and classes, but also practical opportunities such as role-playing.
For example, you can create various scenarios where employees will need to handle hypothetical customer complaints. This will show you how they’ll work and help you guide them toward proper service resolution.
7. Listen to your employees
The best way to empower your employees is to listen to what they tell you. In the end, it is you who will decide what is best for your business. However, the people that work in it deal with customers every day and can give you an insight into what can be done to improve the work of the company.
Remember that these people are professionals in their field. This means that they might have some useful information for you, so give them a voice in the business.
Not only can you come up with great ideas with their help, but this will also make them feel valued and included, which is a great motivator.
8. Invest in a quality hotel management system
Long gone are the days when hotel and restaurant reservations were written on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet. Technology today is so enriched that this is made very easy – and far more effective.
If you want to empower your team, it is your job to provide them with the tools that make their work easier and more efficient. This is why you should consider investing in a management system. One such example is Cloudbeds, a centralized system that offers features like contactless check-in, channel managers, booking engine, payment processor, etc.
Want to succeed in the hospitality world? It starts with your employees!
The success of a business in this industry starts with the employees. If you want people to be happy with your business and your team to work at full force, you need to take measures such as the ones above to empower and motivate them!
Over to you
The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.
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Related article: 5 Cost-effective Steps to Start a New Innovative Digital Transformation Shift for Hotels
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About Are Morch
Are Morch is a digital transformation coach helping hotels open their digital gateways, reimagine their processes and culture, and transform experiences in a fast-paced world while earning more direct bookings without competing with the OTA!