The New Year is a time to set new goals. I recommend preparing now to ensure that everyone on your team kick starts January full of energy and vigor.
In order for your team to embrace the goals you and your ownership/management team have identified for the year ahead, you must ensure everyone is well-informed and understands the path outlined to achieve financial and service goals.
Here are four steps we employ at The DoubleTree by Hilton and the Inn of Chicago to prepare our teams for a successful New Year.
1. Communicate clear expectations
Share both the financial and service goals set for 2012. We clearly define the hotel’s financial goals and obligations, as well as the service goals we are striving to meet during the coming year. We also define how each department can impact our budgetary and service goals and clearly communicate this at regular intervals.
When you identify how each department’s contributions affect the whole organization, then individual employees take pride in their ability to affect results.
For instance, in a non-revenue generating department such as housekeeping, employees understand that by providing excellent guest service and maintaining the cleanliness and quality of rooms and public spaces makes the difference between gaining repeat clientele or not, with results impacting the bottom line.
Financial goals can sometimes be daunting, so I am a proponent of ensuring every employee also understands the marketing plan and the activities (advertising, trade show participation, sales trips, PR) put in place to assist in achieving the goals set forth. This provides clarity and understanding that reaching our goals is a combined effort and that we are all pushing to achieve success.
When employees comprehend how their actions impact the entire hotel’s success and know the proper procedures and steps to follow to ensure a positive contribution to that success, they feel more empowered to do what’s necessary to help achieve these objectives.
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2. Identify measurable goals
Providing measurable short-term and long-term goals ensures there is a clear understanding of the current status versus financial and service expectations.
At both The DoubleTree by Hilton and the Inn of Chicago, we share profit and loss reports and compilations of guest experience surveys in pre-planned monthly meetings. We meet weekly to reevaluate the sales and rate strategies that allow us to stay nimble and make changes and adjustments to activities as fluctuations in business occurs.
Employees appreciate knowing they each have a role in the overall success of the hotel. Reviewing the shortcomings and successes and then adjusting action plans accordingly allows everyone to understand how they can help keep the property on target.
Complementing these monthly/weekly reviews with quarterly all-employee rallies provides an opportunity to mark achieved targets while identifying adjustments that will keep the momentum moving in a positive direction.
3. Create incentives for all departments
Incentives help inspire and engage a team. They can include a variety of rewards ranging from pizza parties for the department with the top score improvements month-over-month, to awarding a US$20 bonus to the front desk employee who achieves a 100% perfect sell. Perks tied to clear objectives can provide friendly competition and improved results. And transparency in those incentive programs helps promote a team atmosphere. Goals and incentives should be rolled out and shared at the beginning of the year.
From a practical standpoint, employees who contribute to the viability and success of the hotel also help ensure their own employment security in a challenging business environment.
4. Celebrate results
Recognizing every employee’s impact on a hotel’s success will lead to well-deserved toasts at year end and will build a team that looks toward the following year’s goals with eagerness.
As a member of the Kokua Hospitality, LLC’s management organization team, Birgit Radin serves as the managing director for two properties in Chicago, The Doubletree Chicago Magnificent Mile and the Inn of Chicago. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Kokua Hospitality, LLC, visit www.kokuahospitality.com.
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