The ROI of people: Employee engagement key to profitability

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A hotel’s employees often are the first defense in the profitability game. A lack of engagement in their respective roles or during guest interactions can lead to declining customer satisfaction, and in turn, decreasing profitability power. And in such a high-turnover industry as hospitality, successfully engaging with and retaining team members can prove challenging.

Employee engagement is defined as the emotional commitment an employee has to an organization and its goals, according to Forbes. Engagement allows hotels to reach their full potential by helping to create open communication channels, improve productivity and retain talented staff. However, Gallup reports that only 13 percent of employees are engaged at work worldwide, and 32 percent of workers in the United States feel involved and excited about their jobs.

And as the industry is plagued with labor issues, the data crunchers continue to do their parts in helping to find solutions via research. Following are some key points from recent reports that could shed light on some employee issues with possible solutions to keep your team in place and thriving.

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Productive Communication

A recent survey of 1,000 employees in the U.S. by Reflektive, a people-management platform, found that direct managers have the most significant role to play when it comes to engaging, growing and retaining talent. The data showed that employees who have productive one-on-one meetings with their managers are twice as engaged as those who don’t and three times more likely to stay at their companies during the next two years.

However, 45 percent of employees don’t think those meetings are productive. Additionally, while most employees want more feedback and career conversations with their managers, they don't know how or where to start. The researcher noted that fostering better communication and alignment between employees and managers—in addition to encouraging both to have consistent, structured and purposeful conversations—can have a significant effect on companywide engagement.

Related: Learn more about the Hotel ROI Chicago conference, Oct. 30, 2019 at the Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront.

Employee Engagement Crisis

A recent e-book published by StaffConnect delves into what is deemed the employee engagement crisis that the hospitality is facing today. According to a Gallup survey, businesses with higher employee engagement are 22 percent more profitable and 21 percent more productive as well as suffer much less turnover. The bottom line: Your team’s engagement directly affects the bottom line. What’s more, 65 percent of all lost customers can be traced back to a disengaged employee, according to research from Accumulate.

The research notes that improving employees’ engagement starts at the top. And part of the solution lies within the ability to harness two-way communication between employees and their employers, according to the research. If disengagement is an issue, the report calls out a few reasons that might be the case, including:

  • Poor reach with remote employees: Inadequate contact with team members offsite or deskless workers can lead to a gap in communication. A possible solution is to find a way to effectively communicate, such as using technology tools that offer a platform to help bring employees together as well as provide an outlet for employee-employer communication.
  • Disconnect from the mission: Employees who don’t understand the company’s mission or goals are often are not as engaged. Modern Survey found that employees who say their organization’s values are “known and understood” are 51 times more likely to be fully engaged.
  • Lack of inclusion: Employee diversity is common in the workplace, and especially so in the hospitality sector. Management needs to find a way to communicate with everyone on the team, even if there are cultural and language differences present.
Related Story: State of the U.S. hotel industry: Top trends that affect your wallet

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