Maintaining employee morale is one of the key challenges in managing a service business, particularly hotels. Team members who feel recognized are much more likely to pitch in and go the extra mile than are those who feel overlooked and unappreciated. Hence the adage: “Take good care of your associates and they’ll take good care of your guests.”
An effective way to recognize people is by promoting them. Last month, the truth of this was brought home when I signed off on two internal staff promotions. At our Days Inn Jamaica JFK Airport hotel in Queens, we were able to promote the assistant manager — a five-year employee who had moved up through a series of increasingly responsible positions — to general manager. At the Comfort Inn Midtown West in Manhattan, meanwhile, a guest services agent, a two-year veteran, was named rooms manager.
First and foremost, the associate who is recognized by the promotion benefits in several ways. Invariably, the new position comes with more responsibility but also the chance to learn new skills and interact with more senior people in the organization. And that’s not to mention an increase in salary, which always is welcome.
But co-workers benefit as well. Associates at our New York hotels tend to know each other. When news of a promotion is shared internally, the message is clear: they could be next. Promotions emphasize the notion of career and future possibilities versus simply a job and a dead end. Employees who see themselves in a career instead of a job mean everyone wins, including our guests and our company.