Performance management for hotels

‘What gets measured gets done. What gets rewarded gets do well’ (Peter Drucker).

Performance must have consequences. Good and bad. The data that you collect about the performance of your employees through spreadsheets or online system such as www.HotelManagerOnline.com must be used to reward and discipline employees (see previous blogs). If not, they will realize that your performance appraisal system has no real meaning.

Every hotel recognizes its employees in a number of ways and this can often mean more than money. Rewards are either extrinsic (e.g. financial rewards) or intrinsic (satisfaction or a feeling of accomplishment).

There are many ways to recognize and reward people without necessarily handing over money. Research shows that non­financial rewards can be even more effective and powerful than monetary rewards.

This may include:

  • Pubic recognition,
  • Personal Thank You notes,
  • Extra time off,
  • Gifts,
  • Parties celebrating success, and
  • Just saying a sincere ‘Thank You’!

Here are some further tips on how to reward and recognize employees:

  • Celebrate success: Most organizations do not do this often enough.
  • Reward straight away: Do not delay the reward: studies show that the effect is greater if a person receives a reward immediately after doing something well.
  • Avoid routine-like rewards that people just take for granted: If you regularly reward the same behaviors, the rewards become a habit and lose its power.
  • Reward effort, not just success: Reward for the right efforts instead of waiting for a major objective has been reached.
  • Be careful about linking the performance of a number of specific measures with rewards. This may result in unwanted behaviors.
  • Incorporate both individual and corporate performance when rewarding employees: Rewarding only individual performance may lead to decreased team. My preferred option is to reward based on a three-way split: individual performance, departmental or group performance and hotel performance.

This is the eleventh article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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Where hotels go wrong when using data

‘I am a data man – I like to know what the facts are … [but] judgment is very important. Feel is very important. You can’t replace that with facts. But you can use data to guide you’ (William Perez, former CEO of Nike).

Data is cannot be looked at in a vacuum. Managers should apply good judgement to information provided through data analysis.

  • Analysis paralysis: Managers, in their search for appropriate information with which to make correct decisions, must be careful not fall into the ‘information paralysis’ trap. Managers should consider whether they have gathered the most useful information and whether it is worth gathering more information in order to improve the quality of their decisions. There is a time when management should decide that any additional data is not be worth gathering and that it is time for actions.
  • Bias: Managers should also be careful of looking only for the information that reinforces their hypothesis and support the decision they have already made based on their gut instinct.
  • Hording information: too often, employees are reluctant to share information with colleagues because they think that ‘knowledge’ is power and that by sharing information with others they will lose some of their power or influence.
  • Poor IT systems: even if employees want to share information, technology is often failing them. Knowledge management software tools, such as HotelManagerOnline.com are simply a powerful enabler.

 

This is the tenth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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Four steps to creating a knowledge-to-action culture

Hotels should ‘instill a companywide respect for measuring, testing, and evaluating quantitative evidence. Employees are urged to base decisions on hard facts’ (Davenport).

A company culture can be generally described as ‘that’s just the way things are done around here’. To create a culture based on making decisions and taking actions based on hard evidence, I suggest seven steps:

  1. Ensure leadership buy-in
  2. Use an appropriate system
  3. Share information
  4. Reward evidence-based management

Hotel employees are ‘GM watchers’: they pay attention to what the GM focuses his or her attention on. The most important step is therefore to obtain buy-in from senior management. If the hotel GM and the senior executive team don’t understand or appreciate the process of fact-based decision making, managers are going to be ignored and decisions will be based on guesswork and gut feel, not analytics.

It is therefore important for senior management to believe in evidence-based decision making. This means:

  • showing visible commitment to evidence-based decision making
  • explaining its role in their hotel-wide communications,
  • understanding what makes good analysis, and
  • being able and willing to act on the findings resulting from the analysis.

 

 

While the GM sets the example, it is up to the line managers who need to take insights from the analysis and turn them into actionable knowledge. But they also need a good system to make it work!

This is the ninth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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Turning knowledge about how to improve your hotel’s operations into actions consistent with that knowledge

Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody – either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action.

Drucker (2003)

How can we ensure that the information that you previously gathered (see previous articles) is used to make the best decisions? How do you create a knowing and doing culture?

Many organizations are very poor at acting on facts. Common mistakes include:

  • doing what (seemed to have) worked in the past,
  • relying on ‘instinct’ or ‘gut reaction’ (which may indeed have led to previous successes) in spite of compelling evidence to the contrary.
  • repeating what has been done previously without considering changes in the customer, market or competitive dynamics.
  • Substituting talk for action
  • making decisions that change nothing

This is usually due to entrenched and outdated culture, fear of change, internal competition and measurements that lead nowhere. Eventually this leads to that leaders’ downfall and costs organizations billions of dollars and leads to a wide array of failures.

Howard Risher, a pay-for-performance expert, explained:

In an organization with a strong performance culture, employees know what they are expected to accomplish and are emotionally committed to organizational success. They believe in the mission and goals and are quick to put their energy into a task without being asked or monitored. Informal conversations with coworkers frequently focus on performance problems and recent organization results. They tend to celebrate successes as a team or group. The commitment to performance is a way of life in the organization.

In the next article, we will discuss how to create a knowledge-to-action culture.

This is the eighth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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How to turn data into actions to improve your hotel’s operations

Having gathered data about your employees’ job performance (see previous posts), you will be in possession of a collection of insightful information. But that is not enough; you are now faced with a further challenge. What do you do with all of this information?

Having collected, analyzed and interpreted data, and turned that data into information, all you now have to do is pass on these insights to the decision maker and move on to your next knowledge-creating exercise.

Contrary to popular wisdom, the data cannot speak for itself.  You need to present the information to the decision makers (if it’s not you) in a powerful and compelling way. Visual presentation tools must be clear as 70% of the sense receptors in the human body are dedicated to vision.

Managers should support the data they have gathered with an explanation in words, both written and verbal: the underlying messages and insights that the numbers generate is what really counts – not the numbers themselves.

This may be presenting the work performance or attendance record of your employees to your manager or to your HR department and explain any disciplinary actions you would like to take.

Time is often wasted struggling to understand the meaning and significance of the numbers – time that could be spent doing something about them.

This is the seventh article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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Moneyball for hotels

‘There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge . . . observation of nature, reflection and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.’ (Diderot)

A useful demonstration of the difference between evidence and scientific evidence-based analysis was provided by Michael Lewis in his book Moneyball: The art of winning an unfair game (Lewis, 2003). Lewis explains how the research efforts of celebrated baseball watcher and advisor Bill James had a dramatic impact on the sport.

James challenged the long-held notion that baseball experts and talent scouts could spot the best talent simply by watching them play. He questioned the conventional wisdom that the naked eye of an expert provided sufficient evidence of the ability level of a baseball player.

Instead, James created a data. The validity of this approach was shown when the general manager of the baseball team the Oakland As decided to work with James and track new talent based on hard evidence. This allowed the Oakland As to hire players who were not rated by traditional scouts, but who then proved to perform well.

How does this apply to hotels? Well, hotel can and should gather data on the performance of its employees. This would allow management to better reward and discipline their staff.

This is the sixth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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In God we trust. All others bring data

Data collection can often be seen as an administrative burden and a strain on resources. Therefore hotel managers should integrate any data collection into their daily routine and in the routine of their supervisors and make it as little additional work as possible.

Managers should:

  • Decide on the data collection method.
  • Decide on the source of the data.
  • Decide when the data will be collected, and in what sequence and frequency.
  • Decide who is responsible for collecting the data.
  • Decide who measures and reviews the data.

The simplest storage mechanism is through an online system such as www.HotelManagerOnline.com . This allows users to review data wherever and whenever they want. Other advantages include low cost and easy to use and free email support.

According to a survey, 88% of spreadsheets contain errors. Spreadsheets are not designed to handle large amounts of data, are time consuming to maintain and are prone to errors.

In addition, data analysis becomes very complicated when data is stored in spreadsheets.

This is the fifth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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The data you need to gather to run a better hotel

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), The Sign of Four, A Scandal in Bohemia

In today’s competitive environment where guests’ expectations are very high, it has become not only important but also essential to link the data that hotels collect to the most important drivers of performance. By doing so we can ensure that the data we generate is relevant to the hotel’s operations, support its greatest information needs and are not wasted on irrelevant information.

If the data collected is not appropriate or of poor quality, management will be wasting its time and limit its ability to make important decisions.

But before starting to collect data, hotels should first be clear about the purpose of the data, how it will be used and how it will support the hotel’s goals.

Hotels have long gathered information such as RevPar or other revenue and occupancy metrics, but what about operational data such as work performance of housekeepers? The processes in place to collect this data are often in place but are often not as rigorous or accurate.

So what should you, as a hotel manager, do?

  • Define the target audience (e.g. director of housekeeping)
  • What do they know about the issue (e.g. the aggregated cleanliness inspection scores for each room attendant)
  • What do they want to know (who are the best and worst performers)
  • What do they expect to see (summary of the inspection scores conducted by the housekeeping supervisors for each room attendant)
  • What will they do with the information (reward the best performers and discipline the worst)

Then you should ask what data do we need to meet our information needs and what is the best way to obtain that data. At HotelManagerOnline.com we help hotels do just that.

In the next article, we will discuss how to gather data.

This is the fourth article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

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The six questions you need to ask to improve the efficiency of your hotel’s housekeeping operations

  1. What goal are we trying to achieve? Clean rooms in a timely fashion and to the guests’ satisfaction)
  2. To achieve this goal, what do we need to know? Who needs to know what, when and why? Housekeeping managers to assess the cleanliness of the rooms assigned to each attendant on a daily basis.
  3. How will we acquire this knowledge? By conducting room cleanliness inspections and collecting inspections results.
  4. What will we do with this data? Fix the defects in the rooms that are not properly cleaned, determine training needs (i.e. what are the most common cleanliness issues), conduct staff training, reward the best housekeepers and discipline the worst performing ones.
  5. Who are the ‘stakeholders’ of such an operation, what do they know and what do they need to know? Housekeepers need to know their own inspection scores; Housekeeping managers need to know the inspection scores for all housekeepers; Operations managers/Rooms Directors/GMs need to be aware of the key issues with room cleanliness and HR needs to know whether some housekeepers are not performing in their jobs.
  6. When all the inspection scores have been collected, management can carry out their plan to improve rooms cleanliness and therefore guest satisfaction.

In the next article, we will discuss which data your hotel should be gathering.

This is the third article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The previous articles can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/2015/11/23/using-data-to-better-manage-your-hotel/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks.

 

Top 5 Reasons to use HotelManagerOnline.com:

  • Low cost and easy to use online tool.
  • Free email support: we’ll help you set up and answer any questions at any time!
  • Measure employees’ performance and identify common problems.
  • Discipline and reward employees fairly.
  • Ensure guests satisfaction!
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Evidence- based management in the hotel industry

Evidence-based management is an approach used by a number of leading organizations to ensure that they collect the most relevant information to support key management decisions.

This is not just about collecting and storing data, management needs to collect the right data and make use of it!

Information about your hotel employees’ work performance and attendance needs to be managed by front-line supervisors and managers. You should arm them with the best evidence and quantitative tools for making the best decisions, big and small, every day. This may include decisions about which employees should be rewarded for having excellent attendance records or which housekeepers should be commended for the cleanliness of their rooms.

    

The key aspects to making better use of information within your hotel are:

  • collecting relevant and reliable information;
  • finding relevant data among the overwhelming amount of data available to them; and
  • turning the data into information and knowledge that allows management to act on it.

 

Our online portal (HotelManagerOnline.com) to ensure that the evidence you collect is robust, reliable and useful. And once you have the insights, act upon them!

This is the second article in a series about using better data to better manage your hotel. The first article can be found here: http://hotelmanageronline.com/blog/2015/11/23/using-data-to-better-manage-your-hotel/

HotelManagerOnline.com will help you conduct effective room cleanliness inspection programs, improve your guest rooms cleanliness, and save some time on administrative tasks

Top 5 Reasons to use Hotel Manager Online:

  • Low cost and easy to use online tool.
  • Free email support: we’ll help you set up and answer any questions at any time!
  • Measure employees’ performance and identify common problems.
  • Discipline and reward employees fairly.
  • Ensure guests satisfaction!
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