Thursday, 2 June 2011

Why is employee turnover so high in the Hotel industry when each candidate is interviewed thoroughly by multiple panelists?

The era of diplomatic, sugar-coated answers in an interview to impress potential employers has just gone. We need to define new avenues of recruitment in this interconnected world of service industry.

Employee retention is a sum total of the ‘Management approach’ to work and the ability of senior management to translate into easy words ‘the dawn of a new era of service’ to a mass of very young people who think saying ‘hello’ is some kind of curtsy.

‘Mindset change’ is the first hurdle that every senior manager faces and that is the first hurdle that a prospective employee needs to pass with flying colors too.

Menu for the perfect candidate 
The moment of truth is that the industry has to redefine its recruitment biases.  The old ‘model questions’ need to be chucked in the dustbin and prospective employees should be tested at the altar of:
1.      Personality
2.      Articulation
3.      Openness
4.      Versatility
5.      Adaptability to change
6.      Academic interest to grow
7.      Team player

The above seems to be the menu/requirement for a big man, but these qualities are widely available in the larger catchment of the talent pool. The industry has to recruit from outside the limited ‘profile’ raised by hospitality schools; a lot of people out there with plenty of ambition can be attracted to the industry if we create the right environment and sell them the big picture.

Hospitality industry will have to move forward and accept that the training grounds for skill are not the schools alone but their own organizations. Great hotels have produced great managers who started as bellboys.

 The ideal symphony
‘Exponential high curve of learning’ is what employees should be trained in by the ‘high and mighty sitting in the offices.’  Employers should recognize that an employee must understand his role as an integral part of the orchestra with the General Manager as the conductor. A GM who is not out and about and not part of the daily chores but locks himself up in his posh office is partly responsible for a high turnover. The whole idea of perks and more perks for the GM is sickening.  It is his role as a conductor to reach out to all and sundry to share his vast experience, teach the nuances of the fine trade to everyone in what is a very difficulty industry to survive.

Hero worship is out.  And those with a dynamic profile, which most are gifted with, reaching out should be given the top chance, even if we have to train them for bigger challenges. No single hand is ever responsible for the big trading numbers; it is all about the team work.  You need to search for a conductor who can compose his ‘music’ well in the song of global connectivity and changing requirements of new global service/travel industry. Anyone unable to give credit to the team is not a good team player.

Socially responsible ethics at Rafayel 
Yes ‘Hospitality’ is often a stepping stone and there will always be a high turnover, but it is all about training employees in different departments and setting them a schedule to learn the whole set of skills in the next few years that they will hang around.  The first thing any youth is interested in is his career and future – give him hope and arm him with knowledge, bring education and training in the forefront of your whole management and corporate style. That is the ethic we work at Rafayel.

Hotel industry – no room for loners or introverts
Hospitality is about service and about exceeding expectations. One should be a ‘peoples’ person to be successful in this industry; if one is a loner and doesn’t have much desire for interaction any number of degrees or diplomas will not help. One should love meeting people and enjoy learning new skills and styles every day; service and hospitality is an ever-changing chameleon. Either you are born a successful hotelier or not fit for the job.

Hospitality schools teach management skills, one thing they should now teach is the ever-changing panorama to master the craft of serving with distinction in a connected global village. Dealing with global set of citizenry who are interested to pen reviews about ‘one employee’ actions that can destroy even the best of properties is the new challenge. 

The art of connection 
The disconnect between employers and employees’ reality and expectations in a much regimented industry is growing huge day by day. Living in the mighty bygone days of majestic hotel standards without realising that the world around has changed is a self-serving and destructive approach. 

The new rules of the game
It is absolutely required to address every customer complaint. The hurdle of satisfaction and survival rate of good properties will just move a tag higher; far more concentration is required by the employers and employees.  The industry will need new kind of MBAs with great emphasis on skill training, interpersonal skills, reaching out, technical and software awareness. 

Some effective suggestions would be:
1. Continuous Communication between employer and employee is most important.
2. Teaching them new skills should be the goal.
3. Keep an eye on over-ambitious internal power strugglers.
4. Teach them the whole hospitality not a part of it.
5. Recruiting the "hospitality mindset" is more important than any number of degrees. Technicalities can be taught, but being a "hospitable mind" cannot.
6. Any employer who cannot empower people to take decisions when they are required will fail to keep employees. Costumer complaints needs big decisions to be taken at the spur of a moment, an employer who does not empower its front office staff to write-offs when they deem it necessary will make them feel miserable.
7. Time to listen and learn about philosophy of service industry - do you really want to work for satisfaction of others or just fill in hours?
8. Customer service should be your pride and a career path you choose with sincerity.  Those who think it as ‘servants work’ and below them will hurt the industry and themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment