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Are you losing great employees and are not sure why?

Employee turnover can be scary and cost you money and here is what you need to do to stop it.

Welcome to another edition of Hospitality Property School.

I am your instructor, Gerry MacPherson.

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Introduction

For the next number of episodes, I will be talking about your employees. From where to for the best to firing those who don’t work out and everything in-between.

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Turnover can impact everything from staff morale to a property’s ability to deliver consistent guest experiences, to budget and overall profit margins. Click To Tweet

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While there are many factors that contribute to an employee’s decision to leave, it’s up to property owners and managers to take corrective action.

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Research has shown that owners, managers and executives polled believe an improved employee experience is important, only 22% reported that their properties excel in making this a priority.

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There are hospitality property owners and managers out there who are doing things the way it always has been done because that is the way it has always been done. Click To Tweet

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Over the years, these owners or managers might have driven their best people away and will continue to do so until they spot the connection between policies, passion, performance and profits.

This is what I mean:

  • The more policies, the less passion you’ll get from your team.

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  • The less passion, the less exciting the team’s performance will be.

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  • The less exciting the performance, the lower your profits will be.

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Make sense?

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Your Policies and Procedures

There may be policies and procedures you have in place that are causing more harm than good, restricting your employee’s performance and demeaning their state of mind. Click To Tweet

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Attendance Policies

Salaried people don’t need attendance policies. That’s why they’re on salary. If you’re still dinging people for getting to work ten minutes late when they commonly stay an hour late every day, you don’t deserve them on your property.

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Dress Code Rules

If you supply uniforms, this is not an issue but if not get rid of the insultingly detailed dress code policy and simply remind your employees to dress for business.

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You can add “If you’re on the fence about whether or not to wear a particular ensemble or article of clothing to work, err on the side of caution and don’t wear it.

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Bell Curve Performance Reviews

Performance reviews, in general, are a bureaucratic waste of time, but the ones that force managers to fit their teammates into pre-set slots on a bell curve are disgusting and unworthy of the brilliant people on your staff.

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If you truly don’t trust your managers to hire wonderful employees, why did you make them managers? Bell curve performance reviews only encourage the hiring and retention of so-so employees, or worse.

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Bereavement-Leave Policies

There are still employers that require their employees to bring in funeral notices in order to be eligible for a few days’ paid bereavement leave.

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That’s shocking and horrifying.

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No doubt some employee way back when falsified a family death to get some time off, and ever since then the company has been writing its policies to prevent such a fraud from re-occurring.

That’s idiotic and heartless. It’s never smart to write policies directed toward people you wish you hadn’t hired. Trust your employees, and they’ll trust you back.

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Approvals for Everything

Do we really need a manager’s written approval for an employee to replace their ID badge?

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We have taken nearly all the latitude away from the talented adults we hire. More bureaucracy only slows us down.

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Can we trust the people we chose to join our team to do simple things like taking care of customer issues on the spot without requiring a manager’s written permission? If not, can we call ourselves leaders?

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Disciplinary Rules

The idea of discipline comes from the military. We don’t think that it would ever be appropriate to put our kids’ piano teacher or our plumber on probation, so why would we do that to the employees on our teams? The idea of progressive discipline makes no sense in the knowledge economy we operate in now.

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We are all adults. If someone goofs up, we can have a conversation about it. We can figure out where things broke down and if we don’t trust a person to represent our brand, what good will probation or a written warning do?

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Feedback Mechanisms

Employee Engagement is a crock and a slap in the face to your teammates, most of whom would be happy to tell you to your face what your company is doing right and wrong. All you have to do is walk up to them and ask them, face to face, and listen to what they have to say.

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Annual employee engagement surveys are a paper-pushers answer to the question “How are we doing, and how’s the team?”

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Do you ask your husband or wife to fill out a survey and tell you how you’re doing as a partner? They’d have a sharp answer for you if you proposed that approach.

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Why should the valued collaborators you work with see things any differently? Lose the engagement survey and make it easy for your teammates to tell you what’s working and what isn’t, at the moment.

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Hiring Processes

It’s easy to fill job openings when you do these three things:

  • Write job descriptions in English or your local language rather than corporate zombie speak.

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  • Treat job applicants like valued collaborators rather than interchangeable machine parts or pieces of meat.

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  • Make the interview process fast and friendly, and remember that job candidates need to be sold as vigorously as your customers do.

Any employer that complains about talent shortages is barking up the wrong tree. Humanize your recruiting process and watch the talented people flow in!

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Forced Ranking

Forced ranking, sometimes call stack ranking, is a process of lining up your employees and comparing them to one another – Best to Worst. It’s easily the dumbest idea corporate and institutional paper pushers have ever come up with.

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You can’t stay and work for a company that treats like you like a two-by-four stacked up against other pieces of lumber, not when there are wonderful organizations that could use your help!

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Your teammates deserve better. People are unique and whole in themselves. There is nothing to compare between one person and another — thank goodness! Smart employers have always known this and any organization that doesn’t get it doesn’t deserve the talents of great employees.

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What can you do in making a happier, more engaged team?

I’ll look at three strategies that have shown to immediately improve your employee’s experience, productivity, and a brand’s bottom line.

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  • Connect with your employees the right way

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  • Empower employees with meaningful feedback

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  • Show the benefits of automation

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Connect with Your Employees the Right Way

One of the most damaging bi-products of turnover is employee detachment.

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If employees are not invested in a hospitality property mission and brand, they can’t provide a memorable experience. They need the right tools to remain involved and to feel empowered to do what they do best.

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On average, only 3 in 10 hospitality industry employees feel they have the right tools to be productive. But with the right investment, if you double your employee count to 6 in 10, you could easily realize a 27% increase in overall employee work quality and an 11% increase in profitability. An investment in the right tools would pay for itself in no time.

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To establish what’s most valuable to your employee in their daily lives, you need an effective feedback loop.

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  1. Your employees need to believe their job has purpose and value and to do this you have to provide a genuine and relatable explanation about the importance of your company goals.

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  1. You have to get to know your employees and learn their pain points. Give them a chance to voice what they believe the solutions are. They might have the solutions.

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  1. Study and document in your operations manual, each job on your property, so you can find benchmarks to measure against.

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  1. Observe your property’s top-performing employees and leverage their talent and insight into your training. Ask them to help you develop best practices you can immediately apply.

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  1. From there, research and invest in the right tools and materials that would be most effective in raising each benchmark you identify.

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What is the next step?

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Repeat steps 1 – 5.

If you can maintain this cycle, your employees will be happier and feel motivated to put forth their best efforts for you.

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I will share with you more about the other two strategies.

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Empower Employees with Meaningful Feedback

Another strategy for increasing staff engagement is through meaningful feedback. There are two key ways of feedback you can use to better engage your staff.

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  • Recognize excellence

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  • Improve performance reviews

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Recognize Excellence

In a recent poll, 70% of employees up say they don’t feel sufficiently recognized for good work. This is a huge mistake that can quickly present moral problems into your property. Click To Tweet

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Recognizing hard work and commitment is important to building engagement.

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Here are 3 easy ways to celebrate success

Markers and Badges: These are a well-known feature of gaming and social media, but they’re nothing new. For centuries, they have proven their worth in recognizing progress and conveying expertise.

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You set goals and easily track the progress of your employees. The value of these markers or badges is not only to recognize your employee’s achievement but in identifying that employee to others as an expert or authority in a certain field or skill. Becoming known as the go-to person or resident expert.

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Friendly Competitions:  Organize competitive events to give your staff a chance to show off their unique talents with others. Competitions like this have grown in areas to even include participants from other properties.

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Recognition Proclamations:  Initiate a monthly or quarterly recognition program to highlight an employee’s or employee’s achievements. This can even include a rewards system to encourage others. Just make sure leadership is involved in the process to bring credibility and further engage your staff.

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Is this making sense? Let me know by leaving a comment

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Improve Performance Reviews

Like most employees, hospitality property employees tend to dread performance reviews, with many saying they don’t feel like their reviews help them. This is usually due to a lack of meaningful data around their day to day performance.

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One of the easiest ways to collect data around your team’s performance is to inspect what you expect.

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For example:

Room Cleanliness: Room cleanliness is one of the most impactful pieces of the guest experience. Room inspectors are highly effective at the understanding the quality of work, and areas of opportunity to lessen repeat problems.

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Guest Interactions: Guest personalization is becoming a strategic foundation within the hospitality industry. This means the interactions between your staff and your guests are essential to observe.

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The more meaningful and actionable the feedback is for your staff, the more engaged they will become. By adding positive recognition and continuous feedback, as mentioned before, you can achieve 27% less turnover, and increase your profitability by 11%.

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Create a Case for Automation

Today, guests expect service faster than ever before, saying the top quality to an exceptional experience is fast response time to their needs and issues. In order for your employees to meet or exceed expectations like this, they need to be able to react quickly and have the right knowledge at their fingertips. Automation technology, when used the right way, is vital to delivering a positive experience that will keep guests coming back.

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While adopting new software sounds great in theory, many owners and managers are not prepared to overcome the hurdles associated with making the switch. While admitting automation is important to enhance productivity, only a third said they were prepared to implement these new technologies.

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It is important to choose a technology partner with the experience and resources to assist your implementation and provide ongoing support for the technology you invest in. Trust is key, so take your time in choosing the right fit.

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In Conclusion

Trust your employees & watch what happens!

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As leaders, we have many pathways to help our team members. What is the best approach? That may depend on the individual. Regardless of the path, we choose to be helpful, when we believe in the people with whom we work, it can be magical.

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Leaders are signal senders. We can foster the confidence of individuals and teams through our trust and belief in them.

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As leaders, let’s be aware of the beauty and power of our signal of trust.

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Let’s empower them. They will respond with a strong desire to live up to your belief in them and they will do their very best. And that is highly effective leadership!

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Connecting with your employees the right way, empower your employees with meaningful feedback and showing them the benefits of automation are three ways that have proven successful in lowering employee turnover and increasing your profit.

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You can’t afford to ignore these practices.

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Do you empower your employees? If so, let me know how in the comments.

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You will have access to this post for six weeks before it gets locked in the “vault” for Hospitality Property School Group members only. When you see that we have something new, don’t mark it “Unread” or file it away in the belief you’ll read it later because you might miss your chance.

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To see all the other valuable material you’d have access to as a member of the Hospitality Property School Group, check out this short video.

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Employee Turnover Can be Scary | Ep. #210
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In the next episode, I will talk about how to find great employees and hire them.

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That’s it for today’s episode,

Until next time, have a fun day.

 

ps. Make sure you’re signed up for INNsider Tips? You can find the link in the show notes.

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TO READ OR LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE ON KEYSTONE HOSPITALITY PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT:

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