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5 Ways Gamified Service Optimization is Attracting/Retaining Hotel Employees

The right workforce-management tools encourage professional growth and success and help hospitality — a profession where guests and workers come first — rebuild for a stronger future.
3/28/2023
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Gamification: A strategic approach to improve a business’ operations, efficiency, and worker satisfaction by drawing on natural inclination to complete tasks that can be tracked and subsequently rewarded. Gamification strategies are more effective than traditional workforce management tactics because they provide an equal sense of levity and control to the work environment. When used properly, both workers and managers benefit from their availability.

Here are five ways hotels can benefit from adopting gamified systems and strategies today:

1. Increased Productivity

Hoteliers may think that greater accountability will lead to greater productivity, but providing proper motivators that can be tracked over time are even more effective. While hotels are correct to offer competitive compensation and benefits as proper motivation, it’s also valuable to consider daily motivations and their impact on worker morale and retention.

For example, gamifying a housekeeping worker’s shift may involve ranking their time to clean a room or the number of rooms they complete across several shifts, giving them rewards for reaching specific milestones. Housekeepers can access a dashboard directly on their mobile phones, which will display their progress toward one of these goals, attached to a corresponding reward. This information can be updated and tracked directly from the hotel property-management system, enabling any department to build toward unique long-term goals no matter the size of the property.

Gamification is often infectious. It is not uncommon for one department’s success with gamification to spill into others. When this happens, an entire property can benefit from a unified improvement process that benefits everyone through individual growth.

2. Improved Understanding of Worker Goals and Interests

Workforce motivation is about providing the right incentives to the right workers, particularly if a hotel wants to interest its workers in self-motivation and long-term improvement. Offering the proper monetary compensation is just part of the mixture, and it can be worth it to encourage team members to aim for weekly or monthly goals.

These may include small bonuses, but the gamification process shows its true worth when used to learn what your workers value most. At many properties, operators can leverage existing amenities and services as rewards. Free spa packages for workers or their family members, complimentary meals at the hotel restaurant, and comped stays at partner hotels are all valuable rewards hotel workers love.

Hotel managers who are clued into their workers on a personal level may be able to leverage offerings in the local area or get even more creative to meet their workers’ needs. When operators go the extra mile in this manner, hotels can create lasting bonds with their best employees.

3. Greater Worker Engagement with the Property

While every hotel can benefit from gamification practices, these tools are most effective at creating worker engagement in properties with disconnected staff. These hotels may struggle initially to increase the utilization of these tools among employees, but when they do, the results quickly manifest themselves. This is even more impactful when management embraces gamification platforms, using them to learn more about their workers and support their individual growth.

When hotel workers embrace gamification and its rewards, they bond closely with their property. This is because they can look back on what it took for them to reach a goal, as well as the recognition of a reward, and identify these successes directly with the hotel and its team. This will be a difficult feeling to replicate in hotels that do not offer gamification and can also raise the competitive advantage of your hotel from a hiring standpoint.

4. Reduced Employee Turnover

Gamification is more than a reward system. It is a tool for constantly refreshing the core lessons that support hospitality while creating a more enjoyable work environment for hotel employees. Gamification helps associate a positive work environment with positive employee performance and goes a long way toward retaining workers in the long term. This is even more true when hotel managers use gamification platforms to get instant feedback on worker performance and provide instant recognition.

This technology is one of the biggest steps the industry has ever taken toward improving the hotel worker experience. It allows managers to use a third party for performance verification, creating opportunities for them to work with and not against hotel workers on their path of professional growth. It also lays bare your hotel’s standout performers and sets them up for easy recognition. This all leads to a continuous improvement loop where longer retention creates better trainers, more impactful operational examples for new team members, and stronger bonds at the property level.

5. Higher Guest Satisfaction

Happy workers lead to happy guests. This simple equation is often lost in the scramble to maximize revenue and do more with less, but it rings true no matter the year. When your hotel’s workers are happy, they will put their best foot forward in every encounter with guests. Creating an environment where positive guest interactions are incentivized, recognized, and rewarded is an invaluable benefit to hotels.

Operators often tout that they can train workers to learn new skills, but they can’t train the hospitality mindset. Aptitudes for service must be supported wherever they flourish. If hospitality can provide tools that encourage this type of growth, the industry can rebuild itself as a profession where guests – and workers – come first.

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