Turning Talent Turnover Into Revenue Retention

Today’s hotels face off in fiercely competitive markets to capture the best business at the best rates, often focusing strategically on building brand loyalty with their guests. The competition extends well beyond simply enticing guests to book reservations; hotel operation teams are working exponentially harder to deliver top notch service – from the industry’s top notch talent.

This kind of intense competition means that it is even more imperative that hotels are not only hiring, but also retaining properly trained, engaged and talented staff members within their hotel ranks.

Recently, the Deloitte 2015 Hospitality Report indicated something that has (unfortunately) been long recognized in the industry: Hospitality industry turnover rates are “nearly twice the average rate for all other sectors.” Further, the report showed that 52% of the true cost of turnover is due to productivity losses, with 14% associated with orientations and training.

Losing team members is extremely costly for organizations, with highly-skilled revenue managers and members of the wider sales team playing a significant role in driving relationships with clients and guests for a hotel. The impacts of talent loss often have a prolonged, negative impact on the financial viability of a hotel.

So what are some of the ways that hotels can negate talent loss and nurture it instead? Below are several considerations that can help hotels focus on retaining their top talent.

Implement an overall staff engagement strategy

Many revenue management and sales individuals play an important role in the design and implementation of different pricing strategies that chart the revenue outcomes for their hotels. Implementing an engagement strategy from the beginning of employment – and continuing that engagement throughout employment – is key to career development and growth.

Engaging staff members with the overall commercial planning and direction can also glean highly valuable insights and alternative approach methodology from team members that have in-depth experience from their previous properties.

Ongoing guidance & support

Revenue management personnel should be provided with ongoing guidance and support to meet their personal and team goals. It is also important that they can review the tools and processes that allow them to achieve these set goals. When sales and revenue work together to achieve business success, there is typically an increase in worker morale and an improvement in staff retention.

The ongoing financial viability of a hotel can often be determined by how pricing decisions are implemented and embraced by staff members. Hotels that invest in the staff, processes and tools that drive these decisions ensure that this process is done with as much preparation as possible.

Embracing the role of today’s technology

The average hotel team member touches a diverse range of systems within their role: reputation management, channel management, rate shopping, revenue management, sales and catering, property management and central reservations systems. One of the daunting, time consuming and costly parts of the on-boarding process is making sure that each employee uses these systems properly – and in adherence of the hotel’s standard operating procedures.

This is an excellent example of where the advancements of today’s technology systems have become an integral source of employee support. With a stronger focus on improving the interaction between the system and the employee, advanced technology systems now push helpful information out to users at the moment they need to perform an unfamiliar task. This helps transition employees away from focusing solely on system specifics, and focus instead on processing information and solving business problems.

Moving past the point of training handouts, screenshots and procedural steps engages employees with real situations, providing the ability to practice solving these problems. Learning platforms that incorporate gamification that solve for real situations further helps hotels train and retrain their employees – both of which are huge advantages in the high turnover hospitality industry.

For hotel owners and managers focused on winning the talent war, not only should the workplace be productive and profitable, but revenue and sales teams should become involved in the short and long term tactics, tools and technologies that drive the hotel’s overall revenue strategy.

With the right technology, the right staff and the right culture at the forefront of strategic decision-making, hotels can effectually turn costly talent turnover into profitable revenue retention.

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