5 most common causes of hotel employee disengagement
Employee disengagement is rampant in many industries today, including hospitality. According to one recent poll, 51 percent of U.S. employees report they are ‘not engaged’ in their work. Nearly 18 percent categorize themselves as ‘actively disengaged.’ To say this is bad for business would be an understatement. Disengaged employees cannot take pride in (or find joy in) their work. Instead, the best they can manage is to go through the motions. As a result, they’re less productive, make more mistakes and miss shifts more often than engaged workers do.
They’re also a major contributor to the hotel industry’s high turnover rate because they don’t hesitate to move on the moment a new opportunity comes along. Fortunately, understanding the most common causes of disengagement is the first step in reducing it at your hotel.
1. Disengaged employees don’t trust your hotel management team
Perhaps they’ve noticed managers engaging in unethical behavior for which other employees would be punished. Or they often see their supervisor behaving in ways that are contrary to the hotel’s values. Trust can even be damaged by rumors of layoffs or other negative news that you fail to address. If you want to combat this cause of disengagement, you must build a management team that leads by example. You should also be as transparent as possible with your employees—including giving them regular updates on how the hotel is doing financially and what that will mean for the future.
2. Disengaged employees don’t feel like they are respected
You cannot expect hotel employees who are treated like nameless, faceless cogs in a wheel to be engaged in their positions. Micromanagement and a lack of autonomy will quickly crush their spirit, as will treating them as though they are easily replaceable and ultimately inconsequential. Instead, take the time to get to know each worker’s talents and find ways for them to use those abilities in their position. Give them the freedom to exercise judgement when problem-solving and make sure they understand how their role is vital to the hotel’s success.
Respect is important when recruiting new workers as well. Learn more about why it’s important to be nice to hospitality candidates here.
3. Disengaged employees don’t feel like their contributions matter
Do you encourage your team to express their ideas and opinions? Do you ask them to actively look for ways to make their jobs easier, the customer experience better, and the hotel more successful? Do you regularly thank them for their hard work and acknowledge their contributions publicly? If you cannot answer yes to every single one of these questions, you’ve most likely been making your hotel’s disengagement problem worse.
4. Disengaged employees don’t understand what is expected of them
It’s hard to be successful at any hotel job—whether it requires working directly with visitors or making sure things run smoothly behind the scenes—if you don’t understand what is expected of you. If your management team is failing to clearly define goals for each department and individual, communicate those goals in an encouraging fashion, and provide useful and constructive feedback on a regular basis, you’re going to have a lot of disengaged employees on your staff.
5. Disengaged employees don’t feel like you care about their future
No one wants to work a dead-end job, and it’s understandably difficult for any employee to care about a hotel’s future if they don’t feel their employer cares about theirs. Make sure your workers have plenty of opportunities to cross train in other functions and take on additional responsibilities. Provide them with continuing education, mentorship and coaching opportunities. Promote from within whenever possible and outline clear paths for advancement when your workers express an interest in moving up.