How Long Should Your Hotel’s Onboarding Last?

A recent survey indicates that 33% of new hires quit within the first six months of employment. Why? The top reasons reported were feeling neglected, overwhelmed, and unqualified. All of these factors underscore the importance of an onboarding process that keeps employees engaged, especially for a high-turnover industry like Hotels and Resorts.

Some hotel leaders believe that a quick onboarding process is a successful one, letting new hires get straight to work. But multiple studies suggest that a longer process (anywhere from three months to a year) is a better way to increase productivity and retention. While each property, department and role has unique onboarding needs, there are a few universal points to consider when creating any hotel onboarding timeline.

Day One is Too Late


If you wait until the first time an employee sets foot on the property to start the onboarding process, then you have waited too long. Today’s hectic hospitality job market can give some employees cold feet. Before they even start, give them a phone call or email letting them know how excited the company is to have them and what they can expect on their first day. Have them complete tedious paperwork at home so that they are up and running before they even set foot on the property.

Put Team Building Before Skill Building


You may be tempted to put all focus on formal training immediately and let them settle into the company culture later. But your new hires will be far more engaged and likely to stay long-term if they feel like a part of the team. Let employees rotate with different divisions to appreciate the scope of property and get to know each team. Take them out to lunch on the first day. Let them shadow a variety of supervisors and peers.

Mix in On the Job Experience


Of course, new hires will need to know certain operations immediately in order to perform their job. But mix in on-the-job experience between learning modules. This gives them more opportunities to ask questions about what they are learning. By spreading out training over a few months, they can apply what they learned and retain information better than if you gave them a two-week crash course.

Use Mentorships for Long-Term Success


Just because an employee finishes formal training, that does not mean onboarding should stop. Learning opportunities will continue to present themselves on the job, so assign a mentor to be their go-to when they need guidance. This mentorship could extend for months or even over a year past their start date.

Engage the Top Leadership at Every Step


Onboarding should not be left solely to a hotel’s HR department. Department leaders must actively engage new hires at every step. Partner with experienced hotel recruiters to not only find great new talent but also uncover what they need to stay engaged on the job. Contact us today to learn how.

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