How Can Hoteliers Strengthen Their Staff With Effective Management Tools
The hospitality industry is one of the challenging industries that works round the clock. Managing a hotel requires an innate ability to multitask and be flexible.
The golden rule of hotel industry says that the only thing that makes the guest keep coming back to the same destination is by making them feel special. However, what really creates that feeling? Is it the Michelin star restaurant or an Olympic sized swimming pool? Or the vast lobby with a collection of magazines to indulge in? Whenever someone puts a foot in the foyer of a luxurious hotel, the treatment that one receives creates a lasting impression. The welcoming smiles of the staff, the friendly greetings at the reception. As grand lobbies and majestic rooms create an impressive impact, it is just a few simple changes in the overall approach to customer service, which seals the deal. One can let each guest know that they are the focus when staying with you by creating a warm, professional environment, both your guests and the staff.
The hospitality industry is one of the challenging industries that works round the clock. Managing a hotel requires an innate ability to multitask and be flexible. One must quick enough to switch mechanisms from customer service to staff management to high-level marketing and event planning swiftly in short notice. Most of society is unaware of the hard work that goes behind successfully operating a hotel business. Nonetheless, the job thrives on making sure the customers are happy and safe during their stay at the hotel.
Challenge for Hotels - Collaboration of Different Departments
A hotel works like an orchestra band where every musical instrument needs to work in the perfect symphony so that it produces a beautiful melody. Hotels need to strengthen their different departments in a way that they can efficiently work together. It is because one department cannot work without the output from another department.
Like, it is the responsibility of the front desk to inform the housekeeping staff about the arrival of new guests and their special requirements so that they can prepare their rooms on time. If the front desk will not deliver information on time to the housekeeping department, then they will not be able to ready the rooms before the arrival of their guests. It is like a domino effect. If one department does not deliver, the entire operation tumbles.
Nevertheless, it is easier to say than done when thousands of different departmental employees working in the hotel plus shifts of teams change every eight hours. In this, it becomes a big challenge for hotel owners to put their different departments in harmony. It is a difficult task, but the smart use of technology and effective use of management skills has made it somehow simple.
Effective Management tips to strengthen the hospitality business
If anyone put on the goggles of a hotel business owner, then they will see an exotic hotel into a new light where micromanaging every last detail is crucial. Running a hotel is similar to a corporate organization where everything has been divided into different departments and sub-departments that are managed by separate floor managers and general managers.
A hotel manager plays an important role in the success of a fully functioning hotel. While each individual manager often finds their own techniques for success, the majority of those possess the following traits and qualities:
Hiring right: Know your priorities when assessing staff candidates. Your job will always run into difficulties if you are constantly picking up after someone else. That is why you need to hire dedicated, honest, and skilled employees from the start. There is no need to rush the hiring process, but ask the right behavioral questions to bring the best of the team onboard. When the employees know their work and are experienced at what they are doing, it will automatically ease out the extra load on a hectic day.
Communication: Regardless of the size and type of hotel a manager is operating, effective communication runs a long way in boosting the hotel brand, growing bookings and increasing revenue. Besides communicating with the guests, it is also important for the management to communicate with the staff members, distribution agents and marketing professionals. In a fast-paced world like ours, where there is growing competition at every corner, the management have to recognize their hotel brand and promote it to their target market segments. Using the best possible marketing strategies, proper dedicated PR team, social media campaigns, and constant feedbacks from guests will help to increase brand recognition, improve loyalty and boost bookings.
Delegate: Delegation is one key attribute that decides the fate of any successful business. Most managers across all industries accepts the idea that daily huddles helps in understanding what the duties of the day are. Managers oversees everything but the staffs needs to have a dedicated work plan to follow. For example, if there are conferences scheduled in a day, the kitchen department should have a proper idea of the footfall, the menu, and the timings. The security team should be briefed about the seminars that would be happening and what measures should be kept handy to handle the dignitaries. If the rooms and fully booked, the housekeeping staff members have to kept close and instructions should be laid out to work fasters so that no rooms remain unattended at the time of need. There is a tracking app developed by TrackOlap that helps in ensuring the proper distribution of work and tracking of the progress. Managers can use this or develop their own personalized app to keep an eye on progress of work from ground floor to 10th floor.
Empathy: Hotel managers must be empathetic and supportive, not only to their guests but to their staff members too. It is important for the management to listen to the woes of its workforce who are the key to a successful operation of the business, and take proper actions and provide solutions. Incorporate tools that would help the staff. For example, walkie-talkie is an age-old effective gadget that ensures timely communication is sent to all employees no matter which floor they are on. It not only saves time but also ultimately improve guests experience with the hotel brand.
Monthly Trainings: The world is changing rapidly in everyday life. In order to be able to catch up the paces, upgradation of the personnel’s abilities is of tremendous significance in the businesses. Employees training is an indispensable part. The level of service quality depends on the qualities of employees. The qualities are about knowledge, skills and thoughts, which lead to aHotel’s survival and development. Therefore, staff training is essential as it increases the productivity when the employees have professional knowledge, experienced skills and valid thoughts. It in a way motivates and inspires workers by providing them all needed information in work as well as help them to recognize how important their jobs are.
Rewards and Recognition: Let us be clear on one thing that hotels cannot be run by a single individual. You need your teams in place to ensure smooth running of the day-to-day operations. All hard work and no reward makes Jack a dull employee! Lack of timely praises and rewards for someone’s hard work and easily demotivate the team, which in a way can hamper the business. We also have to agree that hotels do have a lot of blue colored employees which does not require a certain educational degree or industry training but their contribution in keeping the rooms clean, the toilets properly sanitized, the floors shiny, or quick fixes of the AC, lights, TV, goes a long way in making everyone’s life easier. Develop a reward system where the top-performing teams, individuals gets recognized among the entire workforce and is praised. The rewards does not always needs to be huge (feel free to splurge too depending on your budget), but a small financial contribution towards someone’s exceptional hard work will keep the entire work force motivated and loyal to perform better.
App to maintain employee record: When there are different departments are working on the parallel line, then it is very difficult for departmental managers to keep attendance and performance records of their employees. Moreover, the work of the housekeeping department is scattered on different floors and parts of the hotel, which makes it difficult for managers to ensure when an employee has started and ended his shift.This is where technology comes handy. Develop a dedicated app for your workforce and get it installed on your employee's mobile phone, so that they can punch in and out their attendance from their phone. The concerned department's manager will get the geotagged attendance of their employees. As per the strength of people he has at his disposal, workload can be divided likewise. Proper mechanism to track leaves/absence of the employees are also important to be maintained to understand what would be the capacity of a hotel on a busy day.
Use of technology to enhance productivity: Science and technology have developed in recent times to ease out our lives in ways we never thought was possible. Though hospitality industry is probably one of the oldest industry to exist, not updating the business to be at par with the recent times can slow down the overall progress.With the help of employee efficiency tools, hoteliers can strengthen their every department and establish coordination between them. The custom apps ensure that workflow in the hotel stays smooth and brings efficiency, ease, and productivity in the departments. One can also develop customer feedback online forms that would not only save paper (being eco-friendly is the key to survival today) but also will help to digitally store the feedbacks and use it to improve the service. Instant alert systems can be installed in phones, where managers can send out push notifications to the staffs in time of emergencies. Instant alerts can also help the departments to speed up their work when they will have a real time update. Task allotments can be done by department managers through the app and send the employees a timely reminders as well. They can even broadcast task to the entire team or send to a particular employee via chat. Such as the front desk can send the details of daily guests to check-ins along with the special requirements for the rooms to the housekeeping team and ensure that rooms are ready before the arrival of guests at all that from one simple tool.Other tools for email tracking, online payment system, giving out seasonal offers to guests on social media, online bookings, online travel agents are some additional but necessary means to maximize business for a greater haul.
Hotels always face the challenge of high staff turnover; increased competition and changing expectations of the customer. In light of these, it is important to treat all your employees well and create a healthy work environment for them. While we all try to make every effort to develop service standards that highlights exceptional service for every customer, consistency separates good service from truly exceptional service. If we know how to be consistent with our approach to solve every guest and staff issues, have the needed confidence to handle any situation, necessary knowledge on how to respond and react in any given day, hotels can thrive and create a legacy of its own which is every hotelier's dream!
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