Of all industries, the hospitality industry experiences some of the highest turnover rates. According to Consultants of Hospitality Administrators, the turnover rate for hotel employees is 25 percent for management and 50 percent for non-management in the United States. Hotels lose money in turnover when they must invest in training new staff members. Improving employee job satisfaction not only decreases turnover, it also provides guests with better service from the employees.
A good work environment and positive relationships with coworkers are significant factors in job satisfaction. Hotels employ individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds, so it is important that management creates an environment where employees work effectively as a team and respect each other. A harmonious relationship between management and workers also improves satisfaction. One way to achieve this is for the managers to demonstrate passion and energy in their jobs. Managers at many hotels lead by example when they dress impeccably, treat employees with respect, and greet everyone enthusiastically.
Recognition and Rewards
Feeling appreciated at work increases job satisfaction. Management can recognize an entire group through activities such as pizza parties or holiday parties. Individual recognition is also important and may include awards, public recognition or even monetary bonuses. The Ritz-Carlton hotel does this by sharing "wow stories" at staff meetings. When a staff member provides exceptional customer service, such as finding special food for a guest with allergies, the employee is publicly recognized for his efforts. The Walt Disney World Resort's Contemporary Hotel runs a competition in the areas of safety, the environment and energy. The department with the best performance receives a statue of Mickey, Ludwig Von Drake or Jiminy Cricket. The departments with the lowest performance receive "non-awards" such as a burned-out light bulb or rubber chicken. The non-award is taken back if the department improves its performance. Employee recognition also contributes to a positive work environment and increases employee morale.
Employees who are micro-managed and do not feel that they can make even basic decisions without checking with a supervisor feel stifled and dissatisfied with their work. When employees receive the proper training, they should be able to handle many situations on their own. Exercising responsibility has shown to increase an employee's pride in his work and satisfaction with his job. One way to do this is to teach employees how to apply the values of the company to their position. In addition, supervisors should give employees a voice to discuss what is working and what needs improvement in the department. Supervisors at the Ritz-Carlton listen to employees concerns even about which cleaner should be used.
When employees perceive themselves to be in a dead-end job, they will often look for one with more opportunities. Making employees aware of advancement opportunities, and criteria for achieving advancement, gives employees incentive to stay in their job. If an employee needs to improve a certain area of responsibility before being considered for further advancement, managers should discuss the issue respectfully with the employee. Criticism should be given in private and include praise for the parts of the job in which the employee excels. Investing in employees and promoting from within improves the relationship and satisfaction hotel employees have with their employer.
Most employees pursue interests outside of work and many have families. Providing a work schedule that allows balance between work and personal life is important for employees. While hotels must be staffed 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays, giving employees preferred shifts and days off when possible will increase satisfaction. Some hotels, such as the Hilton, improve employee satisfaction with work at home programs for reservations and customer care phone staff. Working from home eliminates commute time and provides greater independence and scheduling flexibility for employees.