Employee engagement is important in all industries, but the hospitality industry in particular. The hospitality industry is customer-service driven, which means your employees are your sole brand ambassadors. One slip up could be the difference between a happy customer and an irate one. . Seasoned, trained employees are more experienced in easily providing customers the best experience possible, and the way to keep these employees around and satisfied with their workplace is to keep them engaged.
Hiring, training, and retaining great talent is critical for service companies. It takes time for a new staff member to reach such a high level of knowledge and performance. For example, a good wait staff will encourage guests to explore more menu items (the classic upsell), to further drive revenue, and a great desk person will be more helpful and encourage guests to return, further driving conversions and encouraging repeat business.
Customer-facing employees are in a position to bring personality to the company, and those who do it well help separate businesses from the competition. Your employees are your brand ambassadors, and keeping them happy is key to an upstanding reputation. As Bob Kelleher explains, customers are not a business’ first priority, their employees are. If the employer is committed to unlocking the potential of their staff, the staff is committed to helping the business succeed.
Employees who feel part of a team are proud to be associated with the company, and feel like they have a voice and purpose in the organization. These people are more motivated than others and thus share a common goal with the mission of the business.
In order to increase employee engagement in a hospitality setting:
- Make work a more fun environment, it will help employees love where they work
- Recognize your employees with rewards (like gifts or a points-based reward system).
- Let your employees know you value them. For example, stepping up for them in an event where they have an emergency, or a disrespectful customer, etc.
- Training should be ongoing. Being properly trained gives employees the confidence to do a good job, and even go the extra mile.
- Align individual goals with company goals; let them know their specific goal helps the company meet its goals, which will give employees a sense of achievement.
- Share the company’s success; let the employees know how the company is doing.
- Create a strong team environment through team events.
- Make sure your team has the tools they need to perform their best, which could be something as simple as extra pens at the reception desk.
As a customer service-centered industry, businesses in hospitality need to focus on employee engagement in order to be successful. Engagement allows companies to flourish by putting employees first, which will in turn benefit by giving customers the best service possible.