5 Ways to Turn Hotel Staff Into Brand Ambassadors

Today's outlook for the hospitality sector is vastly different from what it was pre-2020. The last two years have taught us that only hotels that offer distinguished experiences can survive downturns and global disruptions. One way you can stay a cut above the competition is by building your employer brand.

The way hotel staff and prospective employees think about you is crucial because:

  • Guests tend to remember human interactions with the hotel staff more than anything else. A structured hotel workforce often results in memorable service.
  • A strong employer brand can help you mitigate the risk of employee churn. The hospitality sector often struggles with high turnover rates in the industry and a strong brand image gives you leeway.
  • From prospecting to offering the job—hiring new employees costs money. If you have a strong employer brand, you can enjoy inbound leads that are cheaper to onboard.
  • When you have to attract new talent to your business, nothing works better than existing employees who act as employer brand ambassadors. This is particularly useful when companies are struggling to cater to the global workforce.

The last point is crucial because employees are leaving offices in droves, often forcing small businesses to shut shop. Severe burnouts, lack of recognition, and non-existent work-life balance have triggered great resignation across the globe and you, as an employer, have to think out of the box to not only attract talents but also retain them.

The average turnover across industries ranges from 10-15% but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hotel industry has a turnover of 73.8%! Having said that, the entire hospitality industry is facing staff shortages, including your competitors. This is the right time to use your existing resources and turn them into brand ambassadors.

Here are 5 ways you can use hotel staff as a brand differentiator in the market:

1. Start on the right foot

How you make an employee feel on day 1, goes a long way in staff retention. Communicate company values upfront and connect them with real-life impact. Kickstart mentorship and training periods with structured sessions, clear communication channels, and defined outcomes. More than training, mentors should engage with new hires and help them acclimatize to the new ecosystem. A rushed job here can increase your turnover in the long run.

2. Recalibrate company culture based on communication and recognition

According to a Great Place to Work survey, 37% of employees leave companies because of a lack of recognition. In order to tackle employee burnout, incentivize good work and show appreciation in public. Showing respect, either socially or financially, can encourage staff to feel a lot closer to the hotel they're working in and prevent them from switching abruptly.

Along with recognition, build a culture based on real-time communication. Managers and staff should have their roles clearly defined in order to serve guests better.

3. Use technology to empower hotel staff

As the pandemic has shown, thoughtful and smart technology not only attracts customers but also makes the job of employees much easier. For instance, the MyCONECT staff app allows hotel staff to offer contactless and superior services to their guests. This includes real-time check-in/check-out management, guest request updates, mobile keys, valet parking, and a bespoke PMS interface. Employees appreciate companies that offer them more flexibility and visibility with smart devices.

4. Flaunt your employees

Use employees in your recruitment strategy to help candidates visualize their careers. The new generation of talents loves working for companies that are proud of their staff and actually flaunt them. You can include employee testimonials, interviews on day-to-day work life, and the standout features employees appreciate about you. Since the hotel industry sees a lot of newcomers and casual workers, this can attract the right type of talent.

5. Create a referral program

Employee referral programs are effective in attracting quality talent while saving recruitment costs. According to a Zippia study, 45% of referral hires stay 4+ years in a company in comparison to only 25% of hires found on job boards.

Each successful referral should include financial rewards and you should have SOPs documented for the same. This encourages hotel staff to be your brand ambassadors and spread the word to candidates looking for work.

To learn how mobile guest apps can digitalize your hotel services, check out MyCONECT’s suite of products.