Quick – what’s the most important ingredient for a successful hotel property? The location? The architecture? The amenities?
Those certainly play a role, but you must look deeper to find the truth. The most important ingredient to success is the team behind the brand. What’s more, it’s the amount of creativity they can bring to bear and their freedom to exercise that creativity.
Why is creativity important? How does it tie into building a thriving hotel brand or problem-solving in the hospitality industry? Let’s take a deeper look.
Why Do Creative People Matter in the Hospitality Sector?
There isn’t an obvious connection between the hotel industry in the USA and creative people. After all, there are many rules and limitations here that dictate what you can and cannot do. The truth is that creativity is vital.
Creative people birth ideas that matter – ideas that can transform a hotel and accelerate brand growth. It’s all about thinking outside the box and coming up with unique ideas and answers to problems. Creative people are dreamers and visionaries.
Important Qualities of Creative People
To really explore why creative people matter so much in the hospitality industry, let’s look at a few of the important qualities they embody. Creative people tend to be:
- Excellent problem solvers who arrive at unique answers to challenges that would not be apparent to others
- Personally responsible when it comes to tasks and duties within the hotel
- Open to new ideas and inspiration from all sources
- Able to take new information and glean insights that others would not see
- Open to new roles and responsibilities within the hotel
- Able to face challenges with an optimistic attitude
- Able to find the positives in even less-than-ideal situations
- Able to empathize with others, including guests and other staff members
Now, how might those qualities fit into your hiring plan for the property? You need to hire employees who are dedicated to satisfying your guests, right? You also need to hire people who have innate leadership capabilities and great communication skills. Finally, you need people who can keep your hotel competitive and move it forward.
Creative people fit the bill.
Why Is Creativity More Important Than Ever Before in the Hotel Industry?
Why is creativity in such high demand within the hotel industry today? There are a few factors at play. One of those is the pandemic and the lingering effects it’s had on hotels in the US and around the world. Another is the increasingly competitive nature of the industry, in which hotels of all types and sizes are forced to compete for the same guests.
It takes creativity to envision answers to these challenges. It’s about innovation, vision, and the ability to think around corners. As such, creativity has a role to play in both guest-facing situations and behind the scenes.
With the right team (one comprised of creative people free to ideate), it becomes possible to devise a creative hotel strategy. This can drive the creation of unique services, deals, and experiences that act as key differentiators between your hotel and competitors. It’s the difference between a guest booking a room and a guest seeking out an experience with your hotel specifically.
Creative people can envision any number of ways to create unique stays and experiences for guests. It could be something simple, such as leaving a flower on the pillow each day. On the other hand, it could be something more substantive, such as the creation of unique guest experiences that include things not found at other properties. Think themed dinners in the room, exclusive tours through local partners, tickets to events and festivals, and other examples.
Behind the Scenes Solutions
To enable amazing guest experiences, you need the right team in place and your hotel must run smoothly. Creative people can help you build the strongest team through unique solutions that not only help you find the right team members but streamline the hiring process itself.
For instance, a creative person could help you conduct interviews faster by moving to an open interview format in which several applicants are interviewed at the same time or in quick succession. They could also implement referral programs that encourage your current team members to refer others (and earn a bonus for doing so if their referrals stay with the hotel for a specific amount of time). They could devise ways to encourage your team to perform better and even increase employee retention through recognition and reward programs, too.
How to Attract Creative People to Your Property
As you can see, having creative people on your team is crucial. How do you attract them, though? How do you convey the idea that your property is a great place for those who like to dream big and have the vision necessary to change things for the better?
First, make sure they’re not already there. Encourage your existing employees to share ideas on how to improve the guest experience. Solicit suggestions on developing packages and experiences that make your hotel stand out. Ask for their help in building your brand so that it attracts guests.
Often, you’ll find that when you let your current employees be free to exercise their creativity, it has a transformative effect. Not only will your existing staff become invaluable resources, but your culture will change, as well. That drives better hiring – creative people seek out environments where they feel comfortable and they know their ideas will be welcomed. A culture of creativity and innovation goes a long way toward attracting those types of people.
Make sure to take this stance when hiring at all levels. Creativity matters as much in your front desk staff and housekeeping team as it does with management. And make sure that you’re open to ideas from all corners – the most important vision may come from the most unexpected source.
Set your team members free to exercise their creativity. Identify key skills and characteristics that you want to see in new applicants that point to their creativity and then actively use those metrics in your hiring process. Change your culture, embrace innovation, and you might be surprised at not only the calibre of the people you attract, but at the hidden strengths within your own team, and the impact these changes have on your hotel’s success.