Solve staffing issues - make your staff your frontline ambassadors - Rezcontrol

Solve staffing issues – make your staff your frontline ambassadors

Hospitality staffing and you

Overcome HR challenges by making your staff your frontline ambassadors

It has been a tough few years for hospitality staffing and recruitment, with the combined economic fallout from Brexit, Covid and soaring inflation.

Around 70% of leaders in the industry say they are facing challenges which they expect to continue through 2024, according to the new Lumina Intelligence ‘Top of Mind’ report. However, a quarter are feeling reassured as interest rates reduce and consumers have more disposable income to spend on travel and eating out.

According to a survey by Lightspeed, the biggest staffing issue for UK hospitality firms is in regard to staffing numbers, with 43% reporting they are operating with fewer staff than needed – exactly average among all countries surveyed.

UK hospitality demonstrates a strong commitment to its staff

UK hospitality firms’ likelihood to have increased wages is comparable to every nation except the USA and the Netherlands. UK businesses are also finding it easier to retain staff than in many other countries, demonstrating a commitment to both staff and customers which, we hope, in the long term can only help to get things back on track.

Many hotels are also finding creative ways to bring in staff from overseas, while also making the most of technology to free up staff time to work with guests.

Issues facing staff working in hospitality

From the staff perspective, anxieties include the cost of living, zero hours contracts, the potential threat from AI to remove the need for certain jobs – all of which can contribute to a combination of mental health worries for staff, poor performance and a high level of churn for their employers.

“Recruit and retain – because your staff are your frontline ambassadors”

There are several things a hotel can do to both recruit and retain good staff – in the end, replacing staff is an expensive exercise which also leaves the hotel with a shortfall during recruitment – with a committed HR plan.

The quality of your customer services and staff responsiveness has a direct impact on the image and reputation of your hotel, as well as its bottom line. As frontline brand ambassadors, your employees have the capacity to be your biggest advocates and your strongest USP. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to attract, train, develop, and retain passionate, competent and accountable employees, and find ways to keep them engaged and motivated to perform their best.

In terms of management approach, therefore, it is vital to appreciate the value of your team and your recruitment and retention strategy, in order to develop high levels of customer-centricity – leading to optimum results.

Top 5 tips

Our top five examples showing how you can put your guests at the forefront of every decision include:

  • Leadership commitment: Hotel management must lead by example and promote customer satisfaction as a core value.
  • Guest-focused training: Comprehensive training programmes are essential for instilling a customer-centric mindset, focussing on effective communication, empathy and problem-solving.
  • Mystery shopping: hotels can gain valuable insights into their service quality, identify areas for improvement, and also monitor the extent to which customer-centric culture is working in practice.
  • Trust and empowerment: Empower staff to make decisions that prioritise guest satisfaction, such as resolving issues promptly and granting special requests when feasible.
  • Continuous feedback: Regular feedback is crucial for understanding guest expectations and identifying opportunities for improvement.

If the focus of the hotel management team is on creating a proactive culture where empathy reigns and best use is made of every personalisation opportunity, this will reap dividends in terms of customer satisfaction and loyalty. This in turn leads to repeat business, positive brand awareness, increased bookings and ultimately increased revenue.

Making best use of technology

The other area where hotel management can make a difference in terms of staffing practice is with best use of technology. Far from being a threat to jobs, hotel management technology can be used to both empower staff and make better, and more interesting use of their time.

A good PMS, for instance, will save hours of staff time on admin, whether this means adjusting pricing and rate management manually, generating invoices, tallying room and restaurant bills, redeeming vouchers, coordinating housekeeping, checking in guests or sending out personalised reminder and guest offer emails.

If all these functions are automated, your staff can rest assured that the details are being taken care of with accuracy and professionalism in the background, so they can spend more time actively engaging with guests – providing the personalised level of service you want your hotel to be remembered for.

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