Rooms101: The Event, Part Two

Here is our second round-up of the best bits of Rooms101, the people-focused hotel conference held at the Hard Rock Hotel in London’s Marble Arch on a sunny March Tuesday. Organised by EXP101 and proudly sponsored by Harri, the event brought together a collection of industry experts to examine the hottest topics facing the hotel sector in 2022.

You can read our first article on the event here.

For the highlights of the afternoon session, exploring how to get the best out of your staff, read on…

Strategies for staff satisfaction

Getting the right people on board to work in your hotel is only half the battle – it’s how you treat those new recruits to get the best out of them that needs equal attention. Ben Drury, a “culture speaker” and author, shared his strategy with hoteliers at Rooms101, starting with the principle that you need to “find passionate people to journey with, give them something to be excited about and proud of, and then cut them loose to do their job”.

In order for the strategy to be successful, Ben said staff need to be given structure, not control. “You need to teach them this is our way, but don’t get confused with this is how it’s always done – they are not the same. Allow them to understand what it is you are trying to build, but don’t try and control them,” he said. Building trust into your organisation, while also being prepared for some people to make mistakes, is also fundamental, according to Ben.

“You cannot just assume everybody is on the take, everybody is out for themselves. Most people want to come to work and do a good job, they want to put their shoulder to something that matters,” he said.

Being open and sharing, being forward-thinking and being humble are all key to successful staff engagement and retention too, Drury suggested. “Get different groups of people talking to each other to share best practices across functions in your organisation. We’ve got to start being more humble and realising we don’t know everything. Learn from each other and maybe amazing things will happen,” he advised.

Drury also suggested that rewards for staff should be more personal rather than across the board; he advised that managers get to know their staff, so they can make those rewards more tailored to the individual.

“Think outside the box, think personally what will impact that person, not blanket across your organisation,” he added.

Staff can be your best advocates

Jane Sunley, founder of workplace specialists Purple Cubed, shared the results of the latest Best Places to Work in Hospitality survey; when asked ‘what makes the best place to work’, top of the list was team respect, followed by work/life balance, a positive working environment, working as a team to produce results, paid overtime and, lastly, communication.

The survey also found that to be happy in their jobs, employees want purpose and contribution, cultural alignment, communication, contemporary leadership and fairness and progression.  Jane said if you can offer all of those things to your staff you will create a great place to work, and if employees spread the word, recruitment should become an easy task.

“The best way to recruit right now is employee advocacy. How powerful is it if you have got people saying this is the best place I have ever worked? Bad news travels but good news travels as well,” said Sunley.

She advised that “getting the board on board” is the first essential step towards creating a good workplace culture, and that it’s vital to have “a really clear purpose and values”.

“You need to think what are we here for and it’s got to have an emotional connection that people can be inspired by. Values are an absolute waste of time unless you can articulate them.”

She also advised that when promoting people you must give them ample support so that you “set every single person up to succeed not to fail”, while good communication means making sure staff can easily access the information they need in one place when they need it, rather than sending out hundreds of emails which people often don’t read. She concluded by saying that investing in the right tech is a “no brainer”.

“There’s so much innovative stuff around and people expect good tech these days. You have to get HR tech in that works, and once it’s underpinned by all the right tools and processes and you are measuring things, guess what, it all comes right.

“The thing to remember is, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Where Harri can help

The need for good communication comes up time and again in staff satisfaction surveys, and that’s one area where Harri has the perfect solution.

CommsHub is Harri’s new, all-encompassing, customisable communications platform designed specifically for hospitality businesses.

With CommsHub you can end the practice of teams communicating on work matters through the likes of WhatsApp and Facebook; they can do all their messaging through CommsHub, thereby keeping work and personal communications separate, thus improving employees’ work/life balance.

CommsHub is also an extremely agile solution, enabling communications between top-level management and frontline staff, across multiple locations and/or multiple teams, as well as at a more local level. It enables management to connect with frontline employees using pictures, videos, voice messages, @mentions, message reactions and read receipts.

Familiar, frontline-friendly messaging features encourage mass-employee adoption and are easy to use from any device. What’s more, CommsHub integrates with the existing Harri technology teams are using on a daily basis, including timeclock and scheduling tools.

You can customise communication flows and availability across locations, job functions, and more, while targeted messages ensure all team members have instant access to the information they need to successfully perform their jobs.

Want to find out how Harri can support your hiring and retention strategy? Book a demo below. 

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