Best Practices and up to the minute news on Customer Experience Management and Service Excellence

How to Keep Hotel Staff Happy and Engaged for a Better Guest Experience

Having a friendly, helpful hotel staff lets guests know they’re in good hands during their stay.

A happy hotel staff is typically a friendly staff that creates a positive guest experience. That’s always been the case with hospitality, but post-pandemic travelers have higher expectations of good customer service than in the past, says hospitality software company Amadeus.

“A surge in hotel bookings and elevated guest expectations, combined with limited staff due to labor shortages, presents new challenges that threaten the hospitality industry’s potential for an accelerated recovery,” says Amadeus.

“A pandemic-related shortage of workers also threatens our global industry’s potential for success, as travelers arrive to properties with elevated expectations and a critical eye, sharply attuned to imperfections.”

A friendly and approachable staff makes a “huge difference” in creating a positive guest experience, according to hotel software company Preno:

“You need staff that can make decisions when needed and will go the extra mile for a guest without thinking twice about it. Keeping guests happy is a team effort and a friendly attitude can change a negative review into a positive review.”

“Happy hotel staff means happy guests, which means a better reputation and more success for your hotel, according to hospitality platform HelloShift. “According to research, happy employees can lead to a 12% increase in hotel profitability and 24% less turnover.”

Want to build a happy, engaged staff that guests feel are approachable and helpful?

Here are six tips for having a happy, engaged and more productive hotel staff.

1. Take steps to reduce staff member tasks

As demand and occupancy return, they’re accompanied by increased hotel maintenance, room cleaning and guest requests, says Amadeus.

“Faced with these challenges along with reduced staffing levels, hotels should consider tools to help orchestrate tasks such as automating room assignments, managing housekeeping opt-out programs, and proactively scheduling maintenance checks to help give limited time back to already scaled-down teams.”

2. Check in on your company culture

HelloShift recommends taking a close look at your hotel’s company culture to make sure staff members feel that their opinions matter. According to HelloShift, traits of a positive company culture include:

  • Employees feel like they can openly share ideas with management and other staff members.
  • Staff members feel like they’re part of a cohesive team.
  • Company core values are clear and shared by employees.
  • Employees feel safe and comfortable in their work environment.

3. Make communication easier with technology

Improving internal communication with a digital hotel management system is one of the simplest ways to boost staff happiness, according to HelloShift:

“Do away with clunky, outdated technology like walkie-talkies, and go digital—your staff will thank you for it. Digitizing your hotel means that daily tasks are completed with greater ease, speed, and quality. The smoother your employee’s jobs are, the happier they are.”

4. Offer anonymous employee surveys

Asking staff members what they really think about their jobs can be scary, but it’s the best way to find out staff satisfaction levels and what management can do to improve and maintain employee satisfaction. However, many staffers don’t feel comfortable or fear retaliation when it comes to face-to-face, honest workplace assessments.

Offer regular, anonymous online surveys that staff can submit with complete honesty. Also make employee suggestion boxes available.

“Encourage your staff to always air any grievances or pain points that they may encounter while doing their job — and be open with them in return,” recommends HelloShift. “Fostering a feeling of transparency is essential for gaining a real understanding of staff happiness levels.”

5. Offer advancement opportunities

To keep employees interested in learning more about their jobs and optimistic about their careers, provide opportunities for advancement.

“If you want to keep your turnover costs low, keep promotions and opportunities on the table for every single employee. Show them that working hard and being successful in their roles can lead to new opportunities within your business,” says HelloShift.

“This could include a pledge to fill new roles from within the company, fixed pay raises each year, or partial tuition for hospitality degrees for long-term employees.”

6. Say thank you

In the rush of doing business and managing a hotel, it’s easy to overlook thanking staff members for doing a great job. If you’re impressed with the way an employee handled a guest complaint for a satisfactory resolution, let that worker know. If you appreciate the reliability of a staffer who’s always at work 15 minutes early for each shift, point it out.

Employees who feel appreciated will feel better about themselves, which translates into better interactions with guests and a better guest experience.