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5 Steps to Creating a Great Hospitality Team

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Hotel managers are tasked with handling a multitude of obstacles in order to create a business model with sustainable yield potential. There would be no use of such a model if the people behind its implementation are only half on board or not even there. Your team is the driving force behind your hotel’s success or failure which is why it is so important to understand how to work for them, so that they may work for you.

1. A Team That Lasts

Even the most dedicated and loyal of your staff members are unlikely to remain in your employ for life. In fact the very opposite is true, hospitality is one of the industries with the highest employee turnover rates, while simultaneously being among the services with the highest demand for consistency in the quality of the service provided. This contradiction is at the core of much of the expense accounted for in running an establishment, making employee retention a top managerial priority.

Setting realistic goals for the duration of a staff member’s lifetime with your establishment could help you prevent staffing droughts, where you may suddenly find yourself short of hand after a succession of resignations. The parameters for what makes an employee stay can vary vastly. Many low-pay employees might have a long run with your company if the tipping in your establishment makes up for the difference in income. Traditionally many of these employees are also college students looking for jobs with odd working hours, so shift allotment would play a greater role in keeping them on your team.

Retaining specialists comes with a different set of challenges as they are experts in their given field and wish to be treated as such. An example of that would be attracting a chef for your hotel’s restaurant, such a person would effectively be another manager running their own team in your establishment. You are more likely to keep them in your employ if they are treated as an equal who is allowed to make decisions on the contents of the menu and who can give input on how to improve the quality of their service.

Under the right conditions this collaboration could make up for much of your establishment’s revenue in the off-season, as restaurant culture has blown up in recent years, and many travellers who identify as foodies would be willing to book a stay with you or call and make a reservation just for the opportunity to dine at your establishment.

2. Know Your Values

Understanding the nature of your relationship with your hotel staff is the starting point for building a great team. What are your hotel’s core values? Think about how you treat your staff and how they treat each other. This attitude will reflect on the service they provide your guests which will eventually affect your bottom line.

Properly communicating your core values to your team will help create a lasting structure bigger than the sum of its parts. Emphasising on how each employee’s contribution affects the guest’s experience and as such the guests’ contribution to the establishment as well as giving recognition for the efforts of each staff member, affects both employee performance and retention rate in the long run.

Your hotel’s company culture will be the result of the effective implementation of your values and if it is successfully established, then it would not matter if an employee remains with you for 2 or 5 years, you will have built a structure that would allow for new recruits to perform on par with more seasoned employees. In this way, you can provide guests with a consistent quality of services, which will in turn easily translate into guest loyalty.

3. Micromanaging vs. Duty Distribution

Micromanaging is a pit trap that even the most seasoned of hoteliers may fall into. The fact is, it’s easy to assume incompetence when you are faced with uncertainty on the part of your employees. If left unaddressed any existing issues within your team will lead to its dissolution sooner than you think. You might think that you’re just doing your due diligence but micromanaging might actually be the reason behind your employees’ lacklustre performance.

Allowing your staff real responsibility by allotting them individual tasks that they are each in charge of will both motivate them and give them the courage to resolve issues on their own, therefore increasing their value to the establishment. Duty distribution is also a great way of identifying employees you might wish to keep in the long run who can handle the challenges thrown in their direction and still request additional duties.

4. Handling Customer Demands and Complaints

Hospitality follows customer demand and no one knows better than your staff what the guest truly wants. Some requests might be well into the realms of your business’s expectations, others might simply be looking for a way to get out of paying for a service or their room. Sadly the latter is more prevalent now with the advent of online reviews.

You should strive to build a team of employees whose opinion you can trust on these matters. After all, when a guest asks for you personally you might not be fully in the know of what to expect, so having people you can trust by your side would prove invaluable in these situations.

5. Investing in the Right Technology

Many of the conventional issues posed in hospitality such as the stress of the check-in process on busy days, or the loss of revenue resulting from unbalanced room rates, late cancellations and OTA bookings, now have easy and accessible solutions. Hospitality software has been around for decades but never has it been more flexible and attuned to the demands of your staff and your guests.

An integrated property management system (PMS) would allow you and your team to select the hotel management solutions best suited to your business’ needs and use them across any of your locations. This will allow you to build a stronger relationship between your teams across all sites, by allowing them to share information on room rates and guest loyalty programs. By giving your team the right tools for the job they will bring more value to your establishment than ever before.

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