Bridging the gap between the operations staff and the marketing team is an age-old problem that has faced many hotels. In this episode of the award-winning Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast, we tap into the brain of a bonafide hotel operator, Wil Slickers, and discuss some ideas that may help you to get every team member into alignment and eliminate the silos so that you can better serve your guest.
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1. Hire The Right People
- Hire for emotional intelligence and hospitality traits. What I mean is that we need to be more intentional with our interviews and how we interview to pick up if they are a good fit for the brand, guest, team, and company as a whole.
- I usually ask the question “Are you FAT?” (Faithful, Available, and Teachable) and I know it’s a little bit of a different question but it’s something that will show on their resume. You can see how long they have stayed at other jobs, etc. Also, the available aspect is hard because a lot of new hires who really just want a job will say they are available whenever but then once they’re hired, they have one of the most complicated schedules. I am sure most employers see this. Now when it comes to teachable, is this person willing to be mentored and absorb the knowledge that either yourself or the company has to offer? Are they willing to learn from their mistakes and maybe take a little bit of criticism?
- By being intentional with our interview questions, we can see if they have hospitality traits. This means by seeing if they are really wanting to serve others before themselves. I like to ask “if you had 6 months to live, what would you do?” and see if they involve answers like “spend the time traveling with my closest friends and family” or if they give a more selfish answer like “I would go blow all my money, go skydiving, eat all the food I could…” and whatever else they list off not involving friends and family or loved ones. (I learned this from a guest on my show, Scott Stanfield “ The Restaurant GM Coach)
2. Define Your Why & Give Your Team A Unified Purpose
- When you define your Why & Unified Purpose, it gives you and your team a tool and guide to follow but also to use to empower them to make decisions that best serve the guest and also the team/company. I also love “Mission Statements” because it gives everyone something to be accountable to and to believe in. When this happens then you will see that each department has the same goal and mission and their own part in playing a successful part in that achievement of this mission.
- Aligning the team behind a single vision is easier when you have a single scoresheet.
3. Invest In Ongoing Training For All Team Members
- We have seen in many places and studies that when you invest in ongoing training, your team and leadership will become more and more involved in the continued growth of the brand. Plus as an owner or manager knows, turnover costs in employment is very costly, so why not invest in them? It will most likely keep them around longer and you won’t have to worry about the constant costs in having to re-train. I think Ongoing training is one of the best moves a company can make. Also, let’s be honest… my generation is HUNGRY for mentorship and constant growth and value. The more you pour into them, the more value they will bring and provide to you and hopefully do the same with someone else down the line.
4. Ensure Effective Communication & Hold Cross-Departmental Meetings
- We get so stuck in our heads and what we do as a property. The front desk does check-ins and check-outs and housekeeping only cleans rooms or common areas. Well, it’s time to leave that behind for independent brand. Cross-training will benefit your property so much! It ties in with ongoing training. They get to see the whole picture and become equipped to serve the guest and their team in a more effective way that also builds community between everyone. Our front desk team spends almost a week in housekeeping when they are first hired.
5. Lead By Example
- When you’re in the trenches with them and leading by example, you will see all of these aspects start to flow together. When you’re intentional with interviews and hiring, define your mission, invest in the team to continually grow in their knowledge and experience so they can better execute the mission, properly communicate this with all departments and form a unified bond for the whole property, and you lead by example, your flow between Operations and Marketing will be seamless. Marketing strategies should always incorporate operations and vise Versa.
Check out the Slick Talk Hospitality Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/slick-talk-the-hospitality-podcast/id1365110128
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