When we talk of the hospitality industry - we focus on how to get customers, increase revenue and make more profits. Focusing on them is essential since these factors are required for running any business. However, there is one key ingredient, which is often ignored, which is employee satisfaction. Employee satisfaction is something companies neglect until it is absent. That’s why it is important to develop an employee-centric culture in hotels.
Why Do We Need Employee-Centric Culture In Hotels?
When you are cooking something, you put all the ingredients, mix everything well and even focus on food presentation. However, when you taste it, you realise - you have not added salt. While cooking, you have not noticed salt, but after a while, you did realise its absence. It is the same with employees.
That’s why having an employee-centric approach is important for all businesses. Especially for service-oriented industries such as hospitality, your employees can make or break your business. A dissatisfied employee will lead to a dissatisfied customer.
No matter how much you try, you will never be able to make a dissatisfied employee do more than the bare minimum, which does not cut for the hospitality industry. In fact, after a point of time, they will hardly be able to deliver anything at all. That’s why hotels shouldn’t ignore their employees. Developing an employee-centric culture in hotels will reap many benefits.
Benefits Of Employee-Centric Culture In Hotels?
Employees are the soul of any business, especially hospitality. You can have the best rooms, the best amenities and several unique experiences. However, if you don’t have a solid, motivated workforce, your business will not succeed. There are several benefits to having an employee-centric approach for hotels. Let us discuss them in detail.
1. Higher Productivity
Employee-centric culture in hotels leads to higher productivity. The employees feel content when their value is recognized and they are considered a part of the organization, rather than merely a tool. This leads to more engaged staff, that is personally engaged in the hotel’s growth and development. This is true, especially for hotels, where everything is service oriented.
You can hire housekeeping staff for cleaning rooms, amenities and the hotel infrastructure. However, if you don’t recognize their work, solve their grievances and give them proper direction, they will just do the bare minimum. They can even quit their job and find other opportunities.
2. Higher Profits
Every business wants to be profitable, the hotel industry is no exception to this. Hotels need higher revenue and profits because, without it, their business will not sustain. It has higher costs and hence requires higher margins to compensate.
An employee-centric culture in hotels is required to generate this type of profitability. Higher employee satisfaction leads to higher productivity. This in turn leads to better quality services, which in turn leads to more sales. Ultimately it converts to higher revenue and higher profits.
3. Smoother Communication
Employee-Centric culture in hotels allows employees to express their grievances, recommendations and suggestions freely. This leads to effective communication. Free flow of communication across the hierarchy is essential for a business. An Employee-centric leadership understands these facts.
If there is any hesitation on the part of employees, efficiency can take a hit because any grievance unaddressed is piled on. This will slowly demotivate employees and lead to a drop in performance.
4. Higher Retention
As they say, bringing an employee is easy, but keeping them can be challenging. Employees want a few things - monetary compensation, work satisfaction and a sense of achievement. High employee turnover and absenteeism are a disaster for hotels, and for any business for that matter.
Employees will not want to work in a company that has a bad reputation regarding work culture and environment. That’s why employee-centric companies have a better retention rate and higher recruitment as well.
People look for places that have a better workplace environment. Your existing employees are your representatives as well. They give word-of-mouth regarding the culture of the hotel.
Ways To Develop Your Hotel Into An Employee-Centric Company
How that we have discussed the reason for having an employee-centric culture in hotels, let us now discuss the ways by which you can increase employee satisfaction for higher efficiency and returns.
1. Share Your Vision
Every single business requires a vision. Without it, neither you nor your employees will know what are they doing and why they are doing it. Your employees should understand why they are working in the organization in the first place.
Without any sense of direction, they will do what they have been told to - that too half-heartedly. This will impact your revenue and sales because confused employees never deliver in a way a hotelier will expect them to.
2. Set Clear and Achievable Goals
‘Clear’ and ‘Achievable’ are both important keywords. Having clear goals is better than having vague goals. For example, in a meeting, You can tell your staff - “We need a 10% increase in monthly direct bookings the next month”. They will know what to do. They have a clear goal. However, if you say - “Increase bookings next month”. They will have many questions - “How much to increase?” and “From where to increase?”.
This is why having clear goals is important. Along with it, you need to set achievable and realistic goals as well. You can't suddenly increase monthly direct bookings by 300%, because:
You will not achieve that goal
Your employees will be stressed and demotivated
Decrease in employee satisfaction and higher turnover
Decrease in productivity and profitability
Hence, employee-centric hotels need to set out clear and achievable goals for their employees.
3. Constructive Criticism
You can provide constructive criticism to your hotel employees. An employee-centric culture in hotels requires hoteliers to ensure that the staff is delivering on expectations set by the organization. However, there is a thin line between constructive criticism and unnecessary criticism.
The aim should be the improve the employee's performance, not to demotivate them.
The criticism should be well-reasoned and geared towards the benefit of employees. The management should be open to taking feedback as well.
4. Job Ownership
The hotels also need to encourage a feeling of job ownership among their employees. Some employees believe in doing MDR or Minimum Daily Requirement Work and wrapping up for the day. An employee-centric leadership needs to remind them that they have ownership and responsibility over their work and that they should deliver the best performance for their good.
5. Monitor Performance And Progress
Hiring and giving feedback to employees isn't enough, you need to regularly monitor their performance as well. Check whether or not they are improving themselves and giving their best shot.
Employee-centric culture in hotels is a give-and-take relationship. Hoteliers care about their welfare and needs and in turn, you should expect them to perform their best. The performance should be measured based on different parameters. For each department, there should be different parameters, because each has unique purposes and tasks.
6. HR Department - An Integral Part
The department that deals with employees is known as the Human Resources, or HR department. The HR department should ideally be pro-employee so that employees have the confidence to deliver their best performance.
The HR department bridges the gap between the employee’s performance and the company's goals. Involving the HR department in your team will ensure higher employee engagement, job retention, satisfaction and will ensure an employee-centric culture in hotels.
7. Reward Hark Work (And Penalize Bad Performance)
As a hotelier, you need to appreciate your employee’s hard work and dedication. You can show your appreciation by rewarding their performance. The hotel industry is quite stressful and hence, your team will appreciate it if you show that their hard work matters and they will get appraisals and benefits.
On the other hand, you need to penalize bad performance as well, so that they don't get complacent. This will keep the workforce motivated and careful.
8. Empathy Will Come A Long Way
An employee-centric organization should look at things from their perspective as well. For example, don’t penalize your staff if they come 10 minutes late one day. It can be due to traffic, or delays in public transportation services.
If they make a mistake, try to understand why they made the mistake and ensure that they don’t commit these mistakes again. Establishing emphatic and mutually beneficial relationships with your employees will come a long way in making your hotel employee-centric.
With these, you will be able to develop an employee-centric culture in hotels and increase your team's satisfaction. Your hotel staff determines the quality of output delivered, and hence, you need to ensure that your employees are on board with you. An employee-centric approach will take your business to the next level.
Read our blogs to know more about the various concepts, challenges and trends of the hospitality industry.