Every day, independent hotel operators are pulled in dozes of directions and juggle countless responsibilities, all in an effort to deliver memorable experiences for their guests. Guests will always be operators’ top priority, but there is another important group that needs ongoing attention and guidance – hotel staff members. Whether it’s a team of 5 or 50, if managers want their hotels to achieve goals like increasing reservations and RevPAR, they must provide the faces of their properties with the coaching needed to maximize their potential.
For operators who are already stretched thin, devoting more time to their teams may seem impossible. However, ignoring staff development can lead to issues that are much harder to solve, like poor service, unhappy guests and, ultimately, a nose-diving hotel business. Developing a structure for internal communications and staff development is critical for maximizing employee talents, as well as ensuring the long-term health of the hotel.
Communicating openly and often is the best way for leaders to keep their finger on the pulse of their hotel. Scheduling regular department check-ins, leadership team meetings and all-staff forums may seem like a lot, but they are great tools for providing a platform for team members to ask questions and exchange ideas.
During these staff check-ins, sharing non-proprietary performance results allows the entire staff to share in the hotel’s success and remain aware of opportunities for improvement. Additionally, asking for suggestions that will help enhance the business, anything from marketing tactics to housekeeping tips, is way to achieve greater buy-in from staff members. While every suggestion won’t be implemented, taking feedback seriously lets them know their voice is valued.
Opening the lines of communication also provides managers with opportunities to identify future leaders within the organization. Cultivating and retaining top talent is challenging for all business leaders, but discovering potential leaders early allows managers to invest the resources needed to keep key employees around for a long time. Tactics like improving job titles, increasing responsibilities and encouraging independent decision making are excellent ways to measure a future leader’s readiness and prepare them for a long and successful future in the hotel business.
The tips above are just a few of the ways hoteliers can enhance their properties and develop leaders within their organizations, so we’d love to hear your ideas for improving internal communications. Leave us a comment below and subscribe to the innRoad blog to receive more tips for managing independent hotels.