5 steps to Employee Engagement

Laura Derricott, General Manager at Holiday Inn Chester-South, gives her five tips for keeping your Hotel team engaged.

“Employee engagement throughout my career is something I have always felt passionate about, so I hope that you enjoy reading my top 5 tips just as much as I enjoy working with my team.”

Be Present

Walk by their side, feel their struggles, gage their emotions, know what is important to your team members and be present with them on a daily basis. Show them that they are not just a number on the payroll, they are crucial to the hotel’s success, and that their opinion counts. Inspire them to look after the guest as much as you look after them, and celebrate every success no matter how small. More importantly, have FUN! Make the hotel a great and fun environment to be in, we want everyone to enjoy coming to work.

Be The Boss

Your team want you to be in control… and they understand that we can’t please everyone, all of the time. They want to see you challenging negative behaviours and encouraging the outstanding behaviours. Ultimately it is not about being the nice guy, it is about having the difficult conversations and being transparent around your standards, vision and aspirations for them and the business. Give them an opportunity to give feedback and that gives you a chance to explain rationale and reasoning to your decision.

They also want solutions, for you to have a plan for every situation so that they feel secure in the face of change and unbeatable in the most challenging times.

Be Flexible

Some of our team members are managing personal situations that we fail to comprehend.  Sometimes our best team members are dealing with challenging family situations, cash-flow, or mental health issues.  We demand our team to be flexible, work long hours, difficult shift patterns and most public holidays, so when they need you to be flexible, ensure that you consider their request and return their flexibility wherever possible.

They will be loyal forever if they are allowed to shine in a place of work where they can be the best that they can be, are cared for, and not made to feel guilty about sacrificing their work life balance.

Be Humble

No one is perfect, allow the team to know that you make mistakes too. Protect your integrity by holding your hands up when ideas and plans do not work out, allow them to laugh at your past poor decisions and the chaos of your world. If you if have had a bad meeting share that with them, allow them to help. It is reassuring to them to know you are human and if they are part of the solution, they will own your success just as much as they own their own.

Treat your support teams like your own employees

They may sit somewhere else but they are crucial to your success, engage them in your hotel’s journey, speak to them not just when you need something but just to have a chat. Build that relationship, allow them to challenge you and the team daily. Inspire them and tell them how important they are to the success and trust them to help you do the right thing.