Developing your employees is one of the best ways to both attract and retain top people in your industry. But some companies get so busy with the day-to-day running of their brand that they let employee training and improvement fall to the wayside. If your goal is to improve the overall service at your hotel or resort, creating world-class employees should be your first step in the journey.
In a recent survey, about 93% of respondents indicated they’d stay in their current positions longer if the company invested in employee development. In addition to better serving your guests, focusing on better-trained employees may result in lower turnover rates and save your business the cost of finding and developing new workers. Here are five key factors for better employee development.
You don’t have to wait for a workshop leader to come to town or send your employees on expensive trips to get them trained in skills such as serving guests with disabilities or managing your unconscious biases. Online training allows employees to learn a single skill or provides a complete training solution for on-boarding new employees. There is still a place for in-person training, but online training supplements other types of workshops. Instead of limiting your employees to learning about the hotel industry, train them in areas such as how to relate to other people and in developing problem-solving skills.
Professional certification puts your employees through some rigorous testing and creates standards in your business. You’ll find certifications from line-level on through general manager. There are even certifications for hotel owner-operators. As a brand, you can mandate certification, or you can encourage employees to seek it on their own and create a system recognizing those who’ve put in the extra effort to complete the steps needed for certification.
Some employees seem determined to grow and learn, even if you haven’t made it a requirement. Create a system that rewards extra effort with gift cards, raises or promotions. Encourage employees to let you know what they’re doing in their spare time, such as books they are reading for improvement or online classes they take. Some efforts are easier to see, such as receiving a certification or finishing a college degree, but you should recognize others as well. If you offer a regular review process, check back in with employees and see if they need additional guidance growing in specific areas.
Use a performance support system, or PSS, to ensure guests receive the best service possible. The system monitors events such as check-in and check-out and instantly reports to the employee while providing feedback on how to improve the process and keep customers happy. A PSS offers ongoing training, rather than a single workshop or training event people might forget if they don’t immediately use what they’ve learned.
You can also use reports from your PSS to figure out where your entire staff needs additional training, then offer in-house workshops or encourage online learning on those topics.
Send your employees to industry conferences. Since most trade events offer multiple workshops as well as a variety of networking activities, it would be impossible for one person to attend all of them. However, employees can split up and get ideas from most of the workshops by employing a divide-and-conquer tactic. For hospitality professionals who hold industry certifications, conference attendance provides points toward recertification. Encourage your employees to seek relationships with others in the industry so they can learn from their knowledge, and encourage your managers to become mentors for rising hospitality professionals they may meet at industry events.
Keep the Engine Running
Your employees are the engine that drives your company toward success. If you invest in optimum performance, you’ll be able to go anywhere you need to without worries about stalling. Treat your employees like the asset they are. Build them up and encourage them to embrace your organization’s philosophies. By developing a strong company culture, your employees are more likely to stay with you for years.