In normal times, competition in the hospitality industry is fierce. As hotels begin to reopen to full capacity again after the dramatic plunge in travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, that competition will begin to ramp up again. it’s no surprise that excellent guest satisfaction is the top priority of any hotel. But with all the attention on guests, companies often overlook the people that provide the guest experiences themselves. There is a direct correlation between the attitudes of hotel staff and the guests’ impressions of your hotel.
According to Darci Reisenhuber, Hilton Embassy Suites’ director of brand culture and communications, the main reason guests don’t return to a hotel is that they feel the staff doesn’t care. The happiness of your hotel staff is paramount. Here are the top reasons why happy employees translate to happy guests in the hospitality industry.
1. Happiness is contagious.
Studies prove that happiness is contagious. Nicholas A. Christakis, a medical sociologist at Harvard University, notes that happiness can depend on “choices and actions and experiences of other people, including people to whom you are not directly connected.” Thus, the emotional health of your employees makes a big impression on your guests. Happy employees exude happiness, and guests can catch it. In fact, it’s part of what guests expect in a hotel experience today.
2. Happy employees are more productive.
A recent study found that happiness increases employee productivity by 12%. Why? A happy, cooperative staff tends to be willing to go above and beyond for their guests, and so team productivity goes up.
An excellent example of this was when employees at the Ritz Carlton went the extra mile for a child’s stuffed animal. After a family had checked out, they reported their little boy had left his stuffed giraffe, Joshie, behind. Not only did the Ritz Carlton Loss Prevention Team find Joshie, but they also gave him an extended vacation that included photos of Joshie receiving spa treatments, hanging out by the pool, and even working the night shift with some hotel staff. When they sent Joshie home, they returned him with gifts and a binder that documented his stay. That made an impression that family will never forget.
3. Happy employees become tenured mentors.
Before the pandemic, high turnover rates were a major issue in the hospitality industry, but not just for financial reasons. Employee churn also means that you’re always training new hires, and new trainees are bound to make mistakes and lower team productivity. Whether that’s giving a guest bad directions or not following hotel policies, these mistakes negatively affect their experience and make it difficult to produce a consistent level of guest service. It’s a pitfall hotels can avoid as they return to business as usual as the pandemic subsides.
Happy employees are more likely to stay with your company for the long haul. With years of service, veteran employees have the advantage of earned wisdom and the ability to mentor new hires. This translates into a knowledgeable and tight-knit workforce that can better provide memorable experiences for your guests.
Given all this, how should hotels invest in the happiness of their employees? Communication apps like Beekeeper not streamline communication, but also increase employee engagement and improve retention. Utilizing communication apps will allow employees to see what goes on throughout the entire organization and increases their emotional commitment to the hotel and to each other. They then become happier on the job and contribute more, thus boosting team productivity.