In our line of work, we meet people from the hotel industry a lot – Marketing Managers, Rooms Managers, Housekeeping staff, F&B staff… and while people in this industry are generally more exuberant, it is actually by no surprise that more often than not, they speak of their lethargy, unhappiness and lack of motivation too. And why is that so? Because only they are unsung heroes working hard behind the scenes. Their working hours are longer than usual, weekends and public holidays are always sacrificed; on the corporate side, promotions can be slow and remuneration is not very much better.
So what it takes to stay on is the sheer passion and love for the industry. But everyone gets worn out someday, somewhere. And can employers improve the situation for these staff, and up their happiness level to improve the overall productivity and sense of satisfaction?
Yes. They can. They sure can. Today, we look at five simple ways Hoteliers can refer to and reflect upon, to be better employers and to create a better workplace so as to keep your employees happy at work, and to attract more talents in to your property:
1. LISTEN TO YOUR EMPLOYEES
The first and most important point – listen. Always take the effort to interact with and listen to your staff. Human resource is your vital asset, and they are not just mere employees. They are the ones who front your property, who serve your guests, who host your medias, who feel and work your daily functions – both back end and frontline. And they are the ones who can tell you exactly just how your property is faring; guests would share their experiences with the operations staff, and media would respond to your marketing efforts.
Four Seasons Resorts Jimbaran Bali did just that, by speaking to their porters to find out peak periods where porters need extra hands on deck to fetch guests to different locations within their large compound. The hotel arranged for additional porters on duty during these peak periods so that each porter would not be pressurized to rush through their work and compromise on safety during chauffeuring guests, which made both employee and guest experiences much more pleasant.
Take time out to sit down with your staff, for it is a rewarding journey that you should embark on to suss out avenues to improve on and to better the property on a holistic level.
2. ALWAYS GIVE DUE RECOGNITION AND REWARDS
On top of being heard, your staff needs to feel belonged and recognised – Esteem and Self-actualisation, Maslow would call it. You do not want to have your staff feel like they are simply here on a job; you want them to know that they have careers with your property, you want them to understand that all of you are there to cross-pollinate and to grow together as one, because when the company prospers, the staff reaps benefits too.
Do not be stingy with praises. If a staff has done well, acknowledge his/her hard work and give them the due credits. If possible, a little monetary reward would be ideal. Remember that a smile and a praise can greatly touch lives and work wonders. When staff morale goes up, so does their productivity.
For example, the spa at Kayumanis Villa, Ubud implemented a Progressive Wage Model to map out a clear career ladder with fair wages for their staff based on productivity, skills and job responsibilities, ensuring staff feel duly recognised and rewarded at work.
3. ORGANISE REGULAR TEAM-BUILDING ACTIVITIES
To boost morale, to improve communications, to instil motivation and confidence, to learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and to strategise how to work together better… these are but a few to speak of. As long as they are fun and challenging, it will benefit one and all.
Channel a budget for team-building activities, for this investment goes a long way. Plan for day outs and retreats, or simple tea parties. Inculcate games and exercises in accordance to the objective. They can be done once a month, or once every quarter – whichever you are comfortable with.
4. IMPLEMENT A JOB ROTATION SYSTEM
We may love ice-cream, but eating it every day can be quite a bore too. Similarly, doing the same task five days a week can result in a lack of motivation and ultimate stifling of creativity.
Job rotation is a management technique that vastly boosts staffs’ morale and staff efficacy. So it is always good to allow your staff to maximise their potential by assigning them different roles or to change their designations once in a while.
Offering opportunities for job rotation can even attract talented workers to your organisation, just like how The Spa Artisan at the Fullerton Hotel attracted one of their spa consultants to work for them.
5. PROVIDE EMPLOYEES WITH MORE TRAININGS AND UPGRADING OPPORTUNITIES
Similarly, with opportunities to grow and to develop, the staff feels valued and important.
Sheraton Towers not only trained their staff to use 3 new technologies to increase productivity, which helped guests check in faster and receive their ironed clothes sooner, but this hotel was even able to give their staff a pay raise and let them go off earlier if they finished their jobs for the day.
Pairing training/upgrading with innovative tools and systems helps to make employees’ work become easier, smarter and safer. In turn you will win your staff over and make them more productive, loyal and engaged in their work – which translates to better profits numbers for you, of course.
Being a better employer is simply about learning to bring out the best in every worker and treating them better.
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.