Those of us who have an operations background know that controlling costs is important, expected and demanded. In the Hospitality Industry, over the last 30 years, we have become masters of cutting.
We have also become masters of managing revenue and getting as much out of our products as possible. In the hotel business, revenue management has become as common as beds…everyone is managing revenue.
With nothing left to cut out of the middle and revenue being maximized it only goes to reason that in a labor-intensive industry – hours and jobs were next.
The trend these days is to ask employees to do even more work, take on a larger workload, take on more responsibilities, wear more hats… and do all this with the same pay and hours.
I read many comments that support this trend and have over the last 10 years… “I have been here for 7 years and I now do more work than ever at the same pay rate”, “I am now doing the job of three people and have not had a raise”, “I used to have to clean 14 rooms a day, now they want me to clean 18 in the same amount of time”. These are examples of typical comments – your employees are watching this trend and they are a bit upset.
Things that you can do to minimize the negative impact on employee engagement
I would say the most important thing to do is communicate to your employees the true reason behind such requests, let them know why you are asking and why you have been asked to operate in this fashion. Another thing you can do is recognize your employees for their extra effort. It is very easy to just say, “It’s your job”, but that is somewhat disrespectful and will do more harm than good. You need to let them know that this trend is probably here to stay and you appreciate all the extra effort they give.
Since your labor costs are probably your highest, your budget will more than likely not allow for significant increases. This is where leaders become creative and find ways to continue to grow employee engagement.
You can’t lead your employees from your office, you have to get out there and get to know them and their jobs. Leaders spend time with the people they lead!
You need to understand how your employees operate on a daily basis so you can lead them. You will gain so much from spending a few minutes a day with your employees…in fact, you will probably get to like it so much that it will be difficult to go back into the office.
Sincere recognition builds people up and it gives them a sense of belonging, pride and commitment. When you master the art of recognition you will begin to see improvements in all areas of your operation.
Employees will be working harder and harder for years to come – but this doesn’t necessarily have to lead to burnout and turnover. Instead, it can be used as an opportunity for management to increase employee engagement and build a competitive advantage for their businesses.