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Improve Onboarding at Your Hotel With These 5 Tips

Onboarding has always been the most essential component of your employee lifecycle, because there’s a strong correlation between effective onboarding and employee tenure. But during a global pandemic and talent shortage, a good onboarding program becomes even more critical to your retention and bottom line.

As we struggle with a hiring crisis and “the Great Resignation,” hotels all over the country are having a difficult time finding and maintaining a great team. So once you do find employees that you’re excited about, it’s important to do everything you can to keep them around — starting from the very moment they accept the offer.

Here are some tips on how to effectively onboard your new hotel staff and curb turnover long-term:

Start right away

A new employee’s first day shouldn’t be spent doing mundane paperwork. Send over any forms and documents that your employee will need to fill out virtually before day one so that they can focus on all of the excitement that comes with starting a new role. If you don’t already have a platform in place that can digitize the onboarding process, you’re behind the competition. According to Hireology’s 2021 State of Hiring report, 61% of new hires say they were able to begin their onboarding process digitally. 

Make their experience personal

While it’s best to provide the same baseline onboarding program for all new employees to ensure that everyone receives the same information, there are ways you can personalize the experience. In addition to getting basic information about working for your hotel, each new employee should feel welcome and excited to be a part of your team.

You can highlight your new hire in any all-staff meetings or create a personalized video of your team welcoming your new team member to the organization. Additionally, have your employees set up “get to know you” chats or lunches to get some one-on-one time. Or, host a happy hour where your team can get together casually after work. These are little and inexpensive ways to make your new employee feel like they made the right decision by coming on board. 

Get organized

The last thing you want is your new employee coming in on their first day ready to work, only to have nothing to do. Make an onboarding guide to help you and your new employee stay busy. You can create a checklist of all the essential things they’ll need to know, and a 30-60-90 day plan to give them a general outline of what their first few months will look like. Document all of the essential things they’ll need to know and where they can find important information, including things like your hotel’s core values and belief statement, or how to check their schedule and when they’ll be paid. 

Let them get to work

Employees want to know that they’re adding value, so let them get to work. That doesn’t mean set them free on their first day, but allow them the opportunity to learn as they go. Give them tasks and responsibilities, and check in on how they’re doing. This will establish trust and create a great avenue of communication between you and your new hire where they’ll feel comfortable asking you questions. If their role requires a bit more hands-on training, set them up with a mentor to help get them familiar with how your hotel operates. You can then schedule recurring meetings to check in on their progress and make sure that they’re getting a good grasp on their role and how your hotel functions. 

Celebrate their milestones

Recognition is really important, especially when an employee is new. Knowing that they’re doing a good job will build their confidence and make them feel appreciated, so make sure you shout them out in all-company meetings, on team calls, or in your office Slack channel. Acknowledging them publicly is a great way to let them know that they are directly contributing to your organization.

And don’t forget to mark your calendar for their anniversaries. Hireology has implemented a ceremony that all employees take part in at their six-month mark. Employees receive their white labcoat, and their manager delivers a speech about all of the progress they’ve made in their first six months at the company. It’s a great way to get newer employees excited about their career and for managers to share their appreciation for their team members.

Onboarding matters a lot to your employees, and in turn to your bottom line — since headcount replacement is one of the highest costs associated with running a hotel — so it’s better to put in the work now. For more tips on creating an outstanding onboarding process, check out our digital onboarding playbook

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