Tag Archives: managing hotel staff

How to achieve great customer service – Part 4

Recognition

Recognise and reward staff who go the extra mile and give exceptional customer service. Listen to your guests and acknowledge the feedback they give you and pass that on to your team. This helps both you and your team or to understand what your guests appreciate and value, and help identify where you may be falling short.

Encourage your team to come forward with their own ideas of how customer service can be improved and make every effort to take their ideas on board where appropriate. This gives the team a sense of ownership and pride which will inevitably have a positive knock-on effect on your guests.

 

Lead by example

Your personality is part of the business. Making yourself visible in your hotel and engaging with your guests not only builds rapport and trust with them, but sets the tone and example for your team to follow. If you hide yourself away in the office, or seldom even visit the hotel, this sends the message that it’s okay to hide away from guests.

Talking to your guests is far the best way to get feedback, and they may tell you things that they wouldn’t feedback to your team. Get to know your guests personally; their likes and dislikes, their routine, their suggestions, their network. All this not only builds rapport but makes it a lot easier for you to tailor your offer and service to meet your guests’ needs and expectations.

 

A team effort

Service should be seamless, and to achieve this, the whole team must support one another. Encourage staff to take ownership when necessary, rather than passing the buck. Allocate responsibilities to specific team members to conduct briefings, training, collate feedback and suggestions.  This spreads the responsibility, gets everyone involved, ensuring these happen even when you’re not there.

All this adds up ultimately to making your customer service memorable, and a potential point of differentiation – for the right reasons.


How to Build Your Team’s Confidence

Are you a glass half full or glass half empty type of person?

I’m sure we can all relate to the type of person who constantly looks at the downside of everything; the type of person who drains your energy and your enthusiasm the whole time; the ‘Mood Hoovers’ who suck the life out of everything. But have you ever stopped to think about whether or not you have this impact on your team?
We continually hear of managers complaining about the lack of engagement or enthusiasm from their team, but have they ever stopped to think about whether they are the cause of it?

To build for success we need to build the confidence of our team. We do this and when we make our stance on issues clear and when we celebrate our successes. Our leadership is demonstrated through these timely decisions and our commitment to the business. How we communicate our own belief in our ability to succeed will have a knock-on effect on building the confidence of our team.
The more we can build the confidence of our team the better they are able to tackle difficult issues and respond to change in a complex and dynamic environment.

Self belief
This starts with a belief in yourself. Are you clear and concise about your own position on issues? Do you tell your team what you really think. Make clear decisions and communicate your stance on issues, and be prepared to defend these when pressed or challenged. Accept that making difficult decisions will be necessary from time to time, and avoid hiding difficult issues under the carpet.

Do you take ownership of problems? Acknowledge and own up when you’re wrong but move on by seeking to put things right. This establishes a climate where it’s recognised that mistakes do happen, and is more likely to foster an environment where people will take responsibility (and risks) when necessary rather than having to lean too heavily on you and the management team all of the time.

Use your experience, knowledge, and strengths to build credibility and utilise this by giving direction guidance and assistance to others when it’s needed and help clarify the way forward.

It’s important you remain self-motivated even when things are not going well; are you prone to displaying your frustration, doubts or hesitation; and resort to using negative language, expressing doubt in your own or others’ ability? In short, do you act as a role model for your team to follow?

Tomorrow will about building confidence in others within the team.

Join me on the FREE recording from my recent tele seminar on how to get the best from your team


Who are your salesmen (and women)? – Part 1

Over the next few days you will read about how you can get the best from your staff and find out how they could improve sales within your business.

When I’m delivering customer service or sales training in hotels or hospitality businesses I often ask the question; “Who here has a responsibility for selling?” Obviously all the people with the word sales in their job title put their hands up, but they are usually the only ones. Surely everyone in your hotel or hospitality business will have an impact on sales, regardless of their role, and whether they are front or back of house.

 

First impressions

Guests’ and prospects’ first impressions will certainly  influence their level of spending. This is not just down to how the phone is answered or the welcome from reception on arrival, but it’s what your guests see and hear from behind the scenes. What response do they get from off-duty staff when they drive into your car park, or even down the high street close by. Wherever your staff are where they can be recognised as staff (because they are in uniform, or have already had dealings with your guests) they are bound to make an impression.

Picture the scene: you drive along the street approaching the hotel and you see two staff in uniform fooling around with loutish behaviour. You pull into the car park only to find that all the choice parking  spaces close to the hotel entrance are filled with (dirty) staff cars. You park at the far end of the car park and whilst struggling with your heavy suitcase you pass by another member of staff who does nothing to acknowledge you. Tucked away in a corner you see a little huddle of chefs and waiters puffing on their cigarettes. On entering the hotel a member of staff is leaving, but fails to hold the door for you, let alone greet you.

Check-in is swift but you’ve booked a standard room on a room only basis, and you are given no other information about any of the services or facilities that the hotel has to offer.

So within the space of about five minutes just how many opportunities have been lost to create a great first impression and create the right mind-set for your guests to want to spend their hard earned cash?

 

What contributes?

Your staff’s ability to encourage sales will be dependent on a number of factors:

  • Their behaviours, conduct and appearance
  • A knowledge of your customers’ needs and
    expectations, and of the products and services
  • Their skills and confidence in the sales process
  • Being given the right incentives, support and
    recognition

Behaviours

Let’s just reflect back on the scenario described earlier.  Do you think any of this behaviour was a deliberate ploy to undermine the sales process? No; it’s far more likely that these members of staff are completely oblivious to the potential impact of their behaviours. Communicating your expectations of staff’s behaviour, both on and off duty, should form part of their induction. Bring this to life by getting them to put themselves in the guests’ position and to identify what impression they give, and what guests might expect.

 

Part 2 tomorrow, will be about how knowledge and skills all help towards better sales within your business.

 


Retain your Talent (part 4)

Keep talking

Give constructive feedback -what have they done well and how it has contributed; where they have fallen short and how this can be improved.

Communication is a two-way process, not only do people need to know what’s going on, they want to be heard. Daily briefings need to include what’s happening that could affect the operation or the customer experience in any way (e.g. maintenance, staff shortages, unavailable products or services), as well as any feedback from staff on their observations or ideas. Let your team know how the business is performing, and what this means to them.

Having a happy and motivated team will not only help you retain your talent and reduce staff turnover, but will lead to better productivity and customer service, maintaining sales and controlling costs.

If you want to retain your best people you need to give them what they want.

They say that “people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers“. Can you really afford to let that happen? This is what the Leading for Peak Performance 29 Day Challenge is all about, and starts on 29th February. Find out more here.


Give people a reason to stay (part 2)

Yesterday we looked at why staff leave. Today we focus on positive reasons to stay

Recognition and reward

If the reason they give is more money look to see how your rates compare with the competition (bearing in mind for some roles your competitor for staff may be in totally different industries). But also look at what benefits your staff are getting that they may not be getting elsewhere and ensure people are aware of everything that makes up their package.

What about the less tangible aspects of their package. Recognise and reward performance and achievements. Celebrate and share successes; identify and utilise people strengths, training, delegating and giving them control and ownership where appropriate. Be sure to recognise all departments, including back of house staff, e.g. housekeeping is often the most undervalued department, but is commonly the most profitable aspect of a hotel.

Encourage and reward loyalty by conducting regular pay/benefits reviews. Think about incentives that are within reach of any member of staff who performs well. This might mean focusing on a different theme each month so that everyone has an opportunity to be recognised for their particular skills or strengths.

 

Career and prospects

If they’re moving for career progression, is this something that you could have given them but just didn’t make them aware of the opportunities? What can you do in future to ensure that all your team get the recognition and development they need for their career progression?

Grow from within where possible, and give people the opportunity for career progression as well is enhancing the skills to do their existing job. Think also about life skills; for example offering English lessons. And make use of the training grants available through the tourist organisations, colleges, and government-funded schemes.

You won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s aspirations particularly if you’re a small hotel, but having some kind of succession plan in place does give people something to work towards. However, be careful you don’t make promises that you are unable to keep.

Make training a part of day-to-day management, so it’s not seen as something that is additional or optional. This goes for both staff and supervisors/managers. Identify those who have an interest in developing their CV and are willing to take on training responsibilities as part of their own development.

They say that “people don’t leave their jobs, they leave their managers“. Can you really afford to let that happen? This is what the Leading for Peak Performance 29 Day Challenge is all about, and starts on 29th February. Find out more here.


Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 5

Keep talking

Give constructive feedback -what have they done well and how it has contributed; where they have fallen short and how this can be improved.

Communication is a two-way process, not only do people need to know what’s going on, they want to be heard. Daily briefings need to include what’s happening that could affect the operation or the customer experience in any way (e.g. maintenance, staff shortages, unavailable products or services), as well as any feedback from staff on their observations or ideas. Let your team know how the business is performing, and what this means to them.

Having a happy and motivated team will not only help you retain your talent and reduce staff turnover, but will lead to better productivity and customer service, maintaining sales and controlling costs.

If you want to retain your best people you need to give them what they want.

Click here for more articles and resources


Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 4

What if you are the problem?

We may not want to admit it, but you or your management team may be the reason that people leave. Rather than hide your head in the sand, reflect on what you need to do to change. Find out what are the things that people find difficult or frustrating about working for you or with you, and then figure out a way to change your approach before others decide to jump ship.

How much direction do you provide? Do people know exactly what’s expected of them, and have the tools, time and resources to deliver? Lead by example so there are no mixed messages.

Ensure that you and your management team are approachable. Provide support when it’s needed, and be receptive to when this is required. Not everyone will be confident enough to ask for help. Consult staff and listen to their ideas; they may be able to offer better ways of doing things.

Take time to talk to staff to build relationships and show an interest in them as individuals. Listen to and act quickly on any concerns. Identify what’s important to them recognising that with the varied cultures and backgrounds of your staff that their values and priorities may sometimes be different to your own.

In the final part tomorrow will discuss the impact good communication with your team.

Click here for more articles and resources


Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 3

Insecurity

I’ve worked with a number of businesses recently who have had to make cuts and changes. This makes people uncomfortable, and so when another opportunity comes along, they jump at the chance if they feel it has better long term security.

Communicate any changes that are happening in the business before they happen, and how this might affect them.

Set standards so that people know what’s expected of them, and can measure their own performance, and not left in doubt about their contribution.  Be consistent, ensuring the same ‘rules’ apply to everyone. Focus on telling people what you want to achieve, i.e. the end result, rather than dictating how to do it.  This gives people flexibility to adopt their own style (you’ll be surprised how often they end up improving the process) rather than living in fear of not being able to comply with strict processes.  And make sure you provide the appropriate tools, resources and training to do the job effectively.

Training your staff in the mechanics of the business operation puts them in a better position to contribute to cost control and income generation. If people understand how the business makes its money they are then in a position to contribute to this and put forward their own ideas. A win-win for both.

Tomorrow we’ll look at whether you or your management team may be the reason that people leave your hotel.

Click here for more articles and resources


Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 2

Recognition and reward

When staff leave, if the reason they give is more money look to see how your rates compare with the competition (bearing in mind for some roles your competitor for staff may be in totally different industries). But also look at what benefits your staff are getting that they may not be getting elsewhere and ensure people are aware of everything that makes up their package.

What about the less tangible aspects of their package. Recognise and reward performance and achievements. Celebrate and share successes; identify and utilise people strengths, training, delegating and giving them control and ownership where appropriate. Be sure to recognise all departments, including back of house staff, e.g. housekeeping is often the most undervalued department, but is commonly the most profitable aspect of a hotel.

Encourage and reward loyalty by conducting regular pay/benefits reviews. Think about incentives that are within reach of any member of staff who performs well. This might mean focusing on a different theme each month so that everyone has an opportunity to be recognised for their particular skills or strengths.

Career and prospects

If they’re moving for career progression, is this something that you could have given them but just didn’t make them aware of the opportunities? What can you do in future to ensure that all your team get the recognition and development they need for their career progression?

Grow from within where possible, and give people the opportunity for career progression as well is enhancing the skills to do their existing job. Think also about life skills; for example offering English lessons. And make use of the training grants available through the tourist organisations, colleges, and government-funded schemes.

You won’t be able to accommodate everyone’s aspirations particularly if you’re a small hotel, but having some kind of succession plan in place does give people something to work towards. However, be careful you don’t make promises that you are unable to keep.

Make training a part of day-to-day management, so it’s not seen as something that is additional or optional. This goes for both staff and supervisors/managers. Identify those who have an interest in developing their CV and are willing to take on training responsibilities as part of their own development.

Tomorrow will look at the impact of changes in your hotel business and how to minimise the disruption this brings.

Click here for more articles and resources


Hanging onto Talent ~ Part 1

We already know that there is a lack of new talent entering the industry so it’s important that we hang on to our best people. The hospitality industry has always had one of the highest labour turnover rates in all sectors of the economy, so are we just deluding ourselves if we think we can beat that trend? Well maybe there are a few things we can all be doing to tip the balance in our favour.

Each day this week I’ll be posting steps you can take to hang on to your hotel’s talent.

Why do they quit?

Staff turnover can be infectious, the more people come and go, the easier it is for others to make the decision to leave. Unless we understand why staff leave it’s unlikely we’ll reverse the trend.

In an ideal world some kind of confidential exit interview should be conducted and wherever possible this is best done by someone other than a line manager. Let’s face it, if the reason is it’s poor management or leadership that has prompted the move, it’s unlikely that you’re going to learn the whole truth if the line manager is asking the question! The saying goes people don’t quit jobs they quit bosses. But even if your staff structure doesn’t allow for this it is important to find out as much as possible about people’s motives for leaving.

Tomorrow we look at how we can use recognition and reward, and career prospects to help retain our best people.

Click here For more articles and resources