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How To Foster Employee Engagement In The Hospitality Industry?

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In the fast-changing hospitality industry, the key ingredient for outstanding success is engaged employees who provide unforgettable guest experiences. This blog reveals the secrets to boosting engagement, empowering your workforce, and cultivating a culture of growth. Join us as we uncover how to unlock the immense potential of your people to drive excellence, satisfaction, and business results. It's time to transform your hospitality culture by putting employee fulfillment first - your staff and guests will thank you!

Key Takeaways

  1. How does employee engagement help the hospitality industry?
  2. Understand the challenges of employee engagement in the hospitality industry.
  3. 6 ideas to foster employee engagement in the hospitality industry.
  4. How Vantage Circle can help orchestrate your employee engagement strategy.

Before we proceed, let’s briefly understand:

What does the hospitality industry encompass?

The hospitality industry encompasses hotels and food establishments, forming an integral part of the broader service sector. Skilled individuals create unique service experiences, driving revenue and customer satisfaction.

The role of employee engagement in hospitality

In the ever-changing world of hospitality, where guest satisfaction reigns supreme, a pivotal ingredient takes center stage: employee engagement.

A simple trip to a boutique hotel in Bangkok during a rainy day unveiled the profound impact engaged employees can have on crafting unforgettable guest experiences.

I enjoyed an exceptional stay at a charming boutique hotel in Bangkok during my trip. Amidst unexpected heavy rain, I discovered the true essence of the hotel's genuine hospitality.

Upon entering, a considerate water bowl and warm welcome sign greeted me, extending hospitality even to pets.

The daily "Happy Hour" was a delight, as staff served local delicacies and drinks and connected individually with guests, sharing city tips and making everyone feel at home.

The reception staff's smiles and warm greetings made me feel valued as I passed through the lobby.

What truly left a mark was each hotel employee's genuine engagement and passion. Their enthusiasm was contagious, creating an atmosphere of authentic care.

This experience reinforced my belief that happy, engaged employees contribute to an unforgettable guest stay.

In renowned brands, exceptional customer service distinguishes leaders from competitors. In hospitality, this is paramount, where guest satisfaction defines success.

Employee engagement is pivotal here, elevating the guest experience. Enthusiastic and passionate employees create welcoming stays, fostering loyalty and ensuring long-term success.

So, basically:

  • Engaged employees will stay in the organization and care about its products and services.
  • They are well motivated towards hospitality and services.
  • Engaged employees create an emotional attachment with the guest, and the guest is also connected with the organization and comes again and again.
  • Engaged employees improve customer satisfaction and service levels.
  • Engaged employees provide a high-energy working environment.

While we now understand that employee engagement is critical in hospitality, there are also unique challenges that the industry faces in it. Understanding these obstacles is the first step in addressing engagement issues.

Understanding the challenges of employee engagement in the hospitality industry

High Turnover

The hospitality sector experiences one of the highest turnover rates across industries, exceeding 70 percent, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Such high turnover creates a "revolving door culture," which starkly contrasts an engaged and committed workforce.

Thus the sector is highly disruptive and costly, leading to inconsistent expertise and decreased satisfaction.

Communication Gap

Lack of clear and timely communication causing confusion and frustration.

Limited Career Growth

Few advancement opportunities, reducing motivation and engagement.

Inadequate Training

Insufficient support leads to feelings of inadequacy and frustration.

Especially in India, there is a noticeable deficiency in training and infrastructure facilities, coupled with insufficient financial support from the Government.

Poor Working Conditions

They often work in physically demanding environments causing fatigue and burnout.

Lack of Recognition

Feeling undervalued and unappreciated, leading to disconnection and resentment.

Limited Growth Opportunities

Few chances for career advancement leading to stagnation and lack of motivation.

High Customer Demands

Dealing with difficult customers leads to stress and challenges.

Work-Life Imbalance

Long and irregular hours affecting well-being and leading to burnout.

Unfair Treatment

Perception of unequal treatment causing resentment and decreased engagement.

Now that we've explored the key challenges, let's turn our focus to what strategies can these employers use to stay linked and promote employee engagement? Implementing targeted solutions will enable us to tap into the full potential of our people and elevate the guest experience.

6 ideas to foster employee engagement in the hospitality industry

1. Rewards and Recognition

In the hospitality industry, recognizing and rewarding employees in a personalized and tailored manner is essential. It’s because a one-size-fits-all approach may not resonate with all staff members. And some might find certain rewards more meaningful than others. To address this, organizations can implement various incentives, such as monetary bonuses, public appreciation ceremonies, or even non-monetary perks like spa treatments or restaurant vouchers.

Additionally, hospitality organizations should consider linking rewards and recognition to specific performance achievements or milestones, creating a clear connection between exceptional efforts and the acknowledgment received.

Furthermore, soliciting employee feedback about their preferred rewards and recognition methods can be invaluable. It ensures that the rewards are meaningful to the recipients and fosters a sense of empowerment and involvement among the staff.

Never miss a birthday or work anniversary! Instead, wish them customized, timely, and automatic rewards delivered right to employee accounts.

2. Freebies

In the hospitality industry, it's essential to remember efforts at all work levels. Right from housekeeping to the front desk, making them feel special is vital. It’s always a good idea to provide them freebies like fresh fruits, coffee, or soft drinks throughout the day. It will keep your employees energized and refreshed. And it is quite an inexpensive idea too!

3. Compensatory Time

The hospitality industry depends on customer's disposable income and leisure time. So, customer satisfaction is its topmost priority. As a result, there is constant work, which can affect these workers' lives. Therefore, a little break is often the best thing you can offer a hospitality employee. Long hours become bearable if you know you'll be able to rest for a day or a few hours soon.

4. Friendly Competitions

Friendly competition among employees can benefit organizational sales, employee productivity, and employee engagement. Incentivize your employees for achieving their targets and sometimes, for giving their best.

5. Development Opportunities

The hospitality industry employs a diverse workforce with a wide range of jobs. Clerks, suppliers, and managers have different requirements than cleaning staff and restaurant servers. But, since your workforce reflects the hotel's hospitality culture, you must train everyone. Many people who work in the hospitality industry start at the bottom and work their way up. Thus, in the hospitality industry, employee training and development are essential. It helps to have a consistency about how they act and how they do things.

The hospitality industry can offer a wide range of training opportunities. Good workplace communication skills are an essential asset for employers and employees. Like, every hotel employee must know how to communicate with their guests. Your staff may not know your guest's background. So, learning to work with people from different backgrounds is essential. Also, visitors view the workforce as a single entity. That calls for teamwork and diversity training.

Also read: Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace: A Guide

Also, prepare your employees in case of natural disasters or possible terrorist activity. Train them with basic safety procedures like first aid.

6. Communication Opportunities

You can help your employees work together by cultivating a sense of connectivity. A successful employee scheduling tool will also provide a team communication function better. It allows employees to connect and coordinate with their coworkers from their smartphones.

Remember, employees would be more dedicated to their jobs if they can connect both on and off the clock. So make team meals a tradition, organize social, team-building activities for employees outside of work. You can also plan holiday parties to foster a sense of community among your employees.

How Can Vantage Circle Help Orchestrate Your Employee Engagement Strategy?

The elements of your company’s employee engagement strategy must be specific to your business. Still, technology in the form of employee engagement apps and platforms can make implementing the strategy significantly more effective.

Especially with AI-supported platforms like Vantage Circle, you can develop a highly customized employee engagement program that will become an indispensable part of your overall employee engagement strategy.

Vantage Circle offers a fully customizable employee engagement plan for the hospitality and travel industry that lets you add your brand elements, customize your user interface, and offer functionalities known to improve employee engagement.

Reward & recognize employees with Vantage Rewards
Ensure employee wellness with Vantage Fit
Get real-time anonymous employee feedback with Vantage Pulse
Offer exclusive corporate perks and discounts with Vantage Perks

To see firsthand how Vantage Circle can transform your organization, schedule a free demo!


As the hospitality industry undergoes constant transformation, it becomes evident that the triumphs are intricately tied to the human connections we forge. The intangible link between motivated employees and delighted guests truly distinguishes the industry. Nurturing employee engagement and purpose and promoting ongoing development unlocks the full capabilities of our teams, allowing them to reach their true potential.

FAQs about employee engagement in the hospitality industry

1. How does employee engagement impact the bottom line of hospitality businesses?

Answer: Engaged employees reduce turnover costs, improve service quality, and increase guest loyalty, ultimately leading to higher revenue and profitability.

2. What role does leadership play in fostering employee engagement in the hospitality sector?

Answer: Effective leadership that values and supports employees' growth, recognizes their contributions, and encourages open communication is essential in driving employee engagement.

3. How can small and medium-sized hospitality businesses promote employee engagement on a limited budget?

Answer: SMEs can focus on creating a positive work environment, offering non-financial incentives like flexible scheduling and staff recognition, and encouraging employee feedback to boost engagement without significant financial investments.

This article is written by Susmita Sarma, a digital marketer at Vantage Circle. She was involved with media relations before shifting her interest to research and creative writing. Apart from being a classical music buff, she keeps a keen interest in anchoring and cooking. For any related queries, contact editor@vantagecircle.com

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