As the latest UK Best Companies league tables have just been announced, hotel groups appear to be taking many of the key positions in the Big Companies table. An industry where engaged employees at the customer interface makes a huge difference to the customer experience, hotel groups are looking to find ways to keep employees happy in an industry where notorious low paid, unsociable hours and a lack of long term career prospects are long gone. The guiding principle at Marriott Hotels is that “if you take care of your associates, they will take care of the customer, and the customer will keep coming back”. So what general lessons might there be from these hotels for other service organisations?
- Managers are accessible. Senior managers see a key part of their role as being visible to workers. Many travel to spend time with teams in situ in their hotels. Managers are seen to be accessible, part of the teams and act as role models for employees.
- Brand induction is an early priority. From day one, people receive inductions into the workings of their hotels. These Hotel groups are run on strong brand values and are clear about what makes a difference to their customers. People hear reasons about why they should be proud to work for these organisations. Good communication amongst team ensures collaboration around delivery to customers happens on a day-to-day basis.
- Training has become smarter in these hotels and career prospects are real and readily available. Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) scooped the award for Best Improver for Training and Development as learning has become embedded in their culture; whilst at Hilton has engaged with e-learning. At Whitbread, managers are appointed from within the business group and many move between brands to gain a broader career.
- Extensive use of non-financial recognition and rewards. IHG find ways to create more fun for people than a cash bonus – including ice creams and family BBQs.
- Focus on fun and wellbeing. At the Marriott, people get involved in voluntary activities during working hours and are encouraged to make a difference for people. Wellbeing is also encouraged as employees have access to hotel leisure facilities
Read more about the top performing hotels on the Best Companies website