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7 Top Tips for Hotel Managers to Encourage Employee Retention

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You have most probably heard it said before that the hotel industry has a huge turnover rate. It is estimated to be around a staggering 73% annually. However, that does not necessarily mean that it has to stay that way forever. Excellent hotel management can play a huge role in retaining the workforce.

Remember, managerial skills are not just simply about ensuring customer satisfaction, as managers also must keep their employees motivated and happy. This makes economic sense too as it is quite expensive to continually hire and train new employees.

If you are a hotel manager, consider incorporating these strategies into your approach to create a supportive, sustainable environment that employees will want to work in.

1. Hire Smart

When recruiting, be honest about what the job entails. This is the only way to attract candidates that are truly prepared to take on its responsibilities. You may wish to ask your most loyal employees for referrals. Studies show that referred employees tend to stay longer.

Look for candidates with the right attitude and a desire to develop a career in the industry. You want someone who will fit in with your company culture, who shows enthusiasm for their work, and who is committed to the role as opposed to someone who is applying as a last resort.

The hotel should already have a comprehensive training process that teaches new recruits all they need to know. Something that cannot be taught is attitude. Someone who is proactive and willing to learn is often a better employee than a “know-it-all” who is rigid in their approach.

2. Offer Development Opportunities

The people that work for you need to be able to envision a clear future in your hotel or you will find that you lose your most driven and ambitious employees. Remember that professional development does not just benefit employees, but that it also improves their performance at work.

During one-to-one meetings, show a sincere interest in the career plans of those who work for you. Find ways to support these plans through mentoring, training, and further education. This will help employees feel seen and valued.

As an additional bonus, you may discover that your team has hidden talents and knowledge to contribute. If your part-time receptionist is studying marketing, could they help handle the hotel’s social media? By honoring your employees’ individual interests and efforts, you can make them feel personally invested in the hotel.

3. Communicate Efficiently

Are you the kind of manager that turns every little issue into a long meeting? You could be wasting company time and losing the attention of your employees. Instead, try to communicate in different ways for different kinds of issues. If meetings are only held for serious discussions, you will find that your team arrives at them with a greater level of focus.

For everyday communication, consider developing an employee app instead. This keeps everyone on the same page by allowing you to send a single, short message to everybody at once. Rather than respond to the same question repeatedly, you can address everyone simultaneously to clarify concerns.

4. Understand Your Employees

Employees often report feeling disconnected from managers who fail to realize exactly what their role entails. To avoid this, take the time to spend a day in the shoes of each member of your team. Perform their work just as they would and take notes throughout. You can even ask them to train you. 

This has the positive effect of allowing you to get to know your employees and their workloads at a deeper level. Communication will also be improved as you have a shared experience to refer back to. While discussing the experience together afterwards, you may find that you can develop and design more effective approaches.

5. Foster Community

Building a strong team means nurturing the bonds between colleagues. As the manager of the hotel, you have a role to play in this. Providing fun opportunities for socializing out of working hours is certainly one effective way to develop camaraderie. Another is to ensure that every team member’s birthday is celebrated.

Encourage employees to nominate one another for awards when they perform at a high level or do something extraordinary. A monthly “awards night” where individual and team achievements are celebrated is a great way to boost morale and show appreciation.

6. Encourage Creativity

Show your employees that their opinion is valued. Facilitate team brainstorming sessions to generate positive suggestions to improve the hotel. Employees will show more motivation when they feel they have stakes in their workplace.

Experiment with unusual incentives. You could offer employees a one-night stay in your hotel or that of a competitor in exchange for their comprehensive feedback about the experience. This would be mutually beneficial, and it would also help them to better empathize with guests’ perspective.

7. Delegate Responsibility

If you find yourself spending all day dealing with issues at every level, it is most definitely time for you to implement a clear chain of command in your hotel. You may feel like it makes you a better manager to handle everything yourself, but in reality, no one person has the time or resources to provide their full attention to every minor and major complaint.

Build strong relationships with department heads that you can trust and develop protocols that they are able to follow in the event of recurring incidents. When employees feel confident that their superiors can assist them, they are less likely to involve you.

Delegating is difficult as it requires the ability to let go, but you will be able to do your own work to a higher standard if you are not undertaking the responsibility of juggling additional responsibilities. To make yourself feel more comfortable with the situation, write up a list of scenarios in which you should always be the first point of contact.

By implementing these strategies at your hotel, you will create a warmer and more nurturing work environment, encouraging your best employees to stay and build their careers with you.

More good news? Customers are likely to notice these changes too. When staff feel motivated and supported, this tends to positively impact the hotel’s general performance. Sounds like a recipe for a five-star review!


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