5 ways your hotels can improve employee engagement

Engagement. An overused word these days, but definitely still an important one when it comes to your hotels.

More specifically, we’re talking about employee engagement. Because the level to which your employees are engaged in your hotels' work is going to have a very real impact. On your staff turnover rate. On your guest satisfaction. And yes, most definitely on your bottom line.

Despite this, employee engagement is too often neglected by hospitality management. Here's some ways to address it in 2022.

What is employee engagement?

Let’s define our terms. Employee engagement sounds similar to employee happiness or satisfaction, but it’s its own beast.

According to Forbes, an engaged employee has an emotional commitment to an organisation and its goals. They believe in the work they’re doing, and their motivations stretch way beyond a monthly paycheque.

Employees with this level of investment tend to go the extra mile. Volunteering for extra shifts, giving stellar customer service. They want to succeed for themselves, but also for you.

Hotel staff changing bed sheets

Why is employee engagement in hospitality important?

When employees are engaged, they’re more enthusiastic, productive and focused. And this brings a whole bunch of benefits for your hotels.

Improved customer relations

Good service is synonymous with quality. Fillip Boyen, the CEO of Forbes Travel Guide, says that 75% of the standards he uses to review luxury hotels are based on service.

Engaged employees have a stake in the way your hotel is perceived. So naturally, they’re going give the best service they can. This in turn makes for happier customers, increasing the likelihood of positive reviews, repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Reduced staff turnover

Employee turnover rate is the scourge of hotels. In the US, the hospitality sector’s turnover is by far the largest of any industry. Constantly replacing employees is costly and drains your business of expertise.

Tackling employee engagement can help. Hilton Hotels made a concerted effort to do just that, addressing everything from paternal leave benefits to giving staff rooms a makeover. They estimated their efforts produced a 6% drop in turnover.

Greater productivity

For hotels, productivity can be measured many ways: number of rooms cleaned, average spend per guest, etc. Whatever the metric, your employees are the key to success.

There’s a clear connection between productivity and engagement. Gallup conducted a study of over 2.7 million employees worldwide. And zeroing in on sales, they showed that highly engaged employees were 18% more productive.

Increased revenue

The three previous benefits we’ve touched on feed directly into a fourth — more money coming in. Employee engagement and profitability go hand-in-hand.

Any studies to back that up? Gallup found that organisations enjoy 26% higher revenue per employee when staff are highly engaged. While Towers Perrin concluded that an engaged workforce correlates to 6% higher net profit margins.

Hotel staff looking at a tablet

5 ways to improve employee engagement in your hotel

Ok, you’re raring to make some changes for your staff. Here’s five areas to concentrate on.

1. Provide regular feedback and praise

If you’re hotel employees are doing great work, let them know. And if they’re not, it could be because they’re missing constructive advice on how to improve.

Statistically speaking, 43% of highly engaged employees get feedback at least once a week. That’s compared to only 18% of disengaged employees.

Here’s some tips for providing feedback to your team:

  • Don’t use a blanket approach. Make your feedback personal by taking an employee’s strengths and weaknesses into account.
  • Whether it’s a handwritten thank you note, or a thoughtful gift, tokens of gratitude go a long way.
  • Be considerate but honest. If something needs to change, be clear about it. Ignoring an issue won’t make it go away.

2. Focus on direct managerial relationships

Employee engagement is not just the responsibility of HR. Far from it. It’s a responsibility for all levels of management too.

Because positive relationships between staff and their supervisors is crucial — accounting for up to a 70% variance in team engagement.

To take your initiatives hotel-wide, you can:

  • Offer training programs for managers, assistant managers and shift leaders, reframing their roles from bosses to career coach.
  • Give managers employee engagement goals too.
  • Foster an atmosphere of transparency, where employees feel empowered to speak up.

3. Enable career development

“Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” It’s a classic interview question for a reason — employers want to hire motivated, driven employees. But management have to keep up their side of the bargain, by offering staff the chance to move up the ladder.

Hotels bring together dozens of different types of jobs, from busboys to chefs. Each with their own unique career development paths.

You can help these paths along in a number of ways:
  • Talk to staff individually and find out what their ultimate career goal is.
  • Work together to create an action plan for their development.
  • Set aside a budget for training workshops and programmes.


4. Make your values clear

Your business's values don’t just belong on your ‘About’ page. They’re your guiding principles. And they give staff a feeling of working towards something bigger.

Unfortunately, only 40% of employees say they’re well informed on where their company is headed and why.

How to reinforce your values:

  • Offer one-on-one meetings to check in on employees. This gives you a chance to relate their work to the hotel’s ongoing mission.
  • Make your company culture a part of your employees’ day-to-day. This can be through team meetings and training sessions, or simple things, like posters in the staff room.
  • Celebrate milestones together. Nights out, freebies, discounts on stays – there’s lots of options.

5. Use technology 

Workforce management (WFM) solutions like tamigo empower your staff to do what they do best. It’s one app that covers time-registration, holiday booking and more. It's used by hotels across Europe, like Germany's Hotel des Nordens

How tamigo can help with growing employee engagement in your hospitality business:

  • Automate scheduling and forecasting. Ensure your staff have the team members around them they need when peak season hits.
  • Give employees autonomy to swap shifts or request time off, right from the app. 
  • Make tamigo your central staff communication hub. Keep everyone updated on your goals and achievements - per establishment or company-wide.


Thinking a workforce management solution may be right for your hotel group? Get in touch to book your free tamigo demo.

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