Why Protection of Your Staff and Guests Should Be a High Priority
By Victoria Lim, Freelance Lifestyle Writer
A hotel business is an industry in which people, experiences, and sensations are the key. This is why your ability to help people feel safe is something completely indispensable. Still, as you already saw, this takes place on several different planes. First, you have to make people feel physically safe and the only way to do so is with adequate emergency management. Second, you need to be able to guarantee the safety of their assets for as long as they are your guests. Finally, it is about assertiveness, competence, and people-skills of your team. The key to the last one lies in motivating your team to put in that extra effort; go that extra mile.
Adequate emergency management
The first thing you need to know about running a restaurant is the fact that the greatest touristic hotspots commonly get hit by all sorts of disasters. Floods, fires and even hurricanes occur with a disturbing frequency, which is why you need to find a way to do something about this and do it fast. Evacuating a hotel is not the same thing as evacuating a residential home and having an adequate plan is paramount.
Apart from this, most accidents are caused by a human factor (according to some estimates between 50 and 95 percent), which means that the more guests and staff you have, the higher the probability that something will go wrong. To avoid this, you need to heavily invest in your emergency systems like fire alarms and smoke detectors, as well as to make sure that the expiry date on your extinguishers is far off.
Finally, things like drills and cooperation with various government agencies are something you simply can't afford to ignore. Overall, this is one of those things where you're acquiring skill and prowess you sincerely hope you'll never get a chance to apply.
The next major issue you need to focus on is the issue of theft prevention. This is particularly troublesome when it comes to hotel management, due to the fact that the danger sometimes comes from the staff themselves. Keep in mind that these are the people who have an access to your room, which means that merely locking the doors is futile. Therefore, as a hotel manager, you need to do a thorough background check on every single person you bring into your employ. Sure, some may argue that you can't be picky, seeing as how most of these jobs are entry-level and are paid as such, still, bringing an unreliable individual on your staff can horribly backfire.
Another way to make your hotel much safer is to invest in a high-end security system. In the 21st century, this usually involves things like access control, CCTV monitoring and a gateway control. It is also possible to minimize the effort of maintaining a high-end security and completely automating your hotel's security. This can allow you a complete insight into all that's taking place at your hotel, as well as allow you to work with a bit smaller staff. The importance of the latter was discussed in the previous paragraph.
Protecting your staff
In the past, there was a misconception that the customer is always right, which led a lot of businesses (from various industries) along with a dark path. The greatest problem with this doctrine is that it usually involves abandoning your staff members to be abused by obnoxious clients in hopes of retaining them. Needless to say, this is an idea with a potential to horribly backfire in more than several ways.
First of all, we can't stress out enough just how important it is to create and maintain a productive, well-motivated staff. People you can rely on are indispensable, yet, if you show them day in and day out that they are not your top priority, you will likely face a high talent abandonment rate. In other words, as soon as someone becomes experienced and reliable, they will quit and force you to bring in someone new to fill in their gap. This is a problem that every single industry out there faces, yet, in the hotel business, it is an even greater deal, seeing as how your staff determines 100 percent of your brand's effectiveness and even its brand identity.
At the end of the day, by raising the overall level of safety in your hotel (from all of these three aspects) you can improve the overall ambiance in the place and create a much more pleasant environment. In turn, you will improve the overall business model within your organization and set your hotel on a path towards growth, expansion and inevitable success.