Ensuring staff engagement during managerial transitions
Ensuring staff engagement during managerial transitions
07 JUNE 2017 8:31 AM

With all of the changes recently in the C-suite, as well as in management at the property level, it’s important to remember that employees who are engaged in the transitions will be more invested in the outcomes. 

Simon Sinek, a renowned author, motivational speaker and marketing advisor stated that “the responsibility of leadership is not to come up with all the ideas, but to create an environment in which great ideas thrive.” Sinek fully embraces the concept of involving each employee in the planning of work and strategies that will affect them directly in order to build a healthy work environment.

It is well known that the hospitality industry has witnessed notable and significant upper management, executive and C-suite leadership changes this past year. Such changes are commonly present at the property level as well.

Ensuring that employees, in all positions, maintain their sense of engagement and motivation during these times is critical. Hoteliers, or anyone in the service industry during transitional periods, must allow their employees to be a part of the dialogue, secure a healthy flow of communication, take action on discussions and reinforce progress after implementation of changes has begun.

When an employee is not personally immersed in the devising of a plan for change, which would eventually affect their work, they should not be expected to give full support towards the transition.

Recognize that employees need time to adjust to the news of any upcoming changes. Grant employees the opportunity to express their inputs on what they think this managerial change should mean for them and the property or company in general. Not only will an open dialogue allow for a more welcoming environment, but it will also allow for an easier adjustment. Most people don’t mind changes once they have allowed themselves time to acclimate to them, while also knowing that they were able to have an impact on their direction.

Along with keeping a dialogue throughout this period, be sure there is a strong open line of communication among all levels of staff. Conducting regular staff meetings as well as any necessary one-on-one meetings with employees is a great way to discuss issues and progress. Furthermore, share periodic memos or emails with updates during this managerial transition to allow employees to feel informed and knowledgeable about their surroundings.

You are not obligated to implement all of the recommendations suggested by employees. But never giving the employee a voice in the change around them is more detrimental than asking for their opinion and then choosing a different direction later on. Giving employees the opportunity to be a part of change instills a tremendous sense of empowerment, which is a key characteristic for those looking to become a more confident and influential leader in the future.

Following the effects of the managerial transition, make sure to frequently visit the subject again with employees and listen to their feedback. Continue to keep the line of communication open and adhere to any concerns that may be coming up. By following this process, the manager will also more comfortably transition into the new company and position.

Change is a constant no matter which industry you are in. We can be resistant to change because we often focus on what we may have to lose rather than on what we can gain. Make sure your employees are informed of anything coming their way, allowing constant flows of communication and taking action on discussions being held. This will allow employees to feel progress and an upward future, which will ultimately inspire employee engagement and motivation.

Allen Fusco is owner and operator of both ANABRA Associates and Plainview Associates, which operate the Holiday Inn Express Horseheads, New York and the Holiday Inn in Elmira, New York, respectively. Allen serves as the 2017 Chair of the IHG Owners Association. Allen can be contacted at allen.fusco@ihgowners.org.

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