Using Staffs' Hidden Talents Can Cut Operating Costs, Raise Guest Satisfaction

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With the economy in a slump, hoteliers everywhere are eager to slash operating costs. One solution that can cut costs, raise occupancy levels and enhance guest satisfaction is to utilize a hotel staff's alternate but varied skills, talents and hobbies.

Many hotels have a reservoir of untapped talent that's often buried deep in resumes and not part of any official job description. Here are some suggestions offered by Diana Driscoll, CEO, LEED-AP at Ridgeline Hospitality that can help you tap into these hidden talents and skills.

For starters, some staff may be just itching to try their hand at solving computer issues—so consider turning them loose on IT updates and enhancements. Other staff may be quite handy with simple repairs. Such talents can be particularly useful for those costly "off-hours" fixes that can't be put off.

You might also invite artistically talented staff members to display some of their paintings, photographs or other artwork on hallways (the artwork should reflect positively on the hotel's brand). Likewise, if any staff are musically talented, they could be invited to perform on an occasional basis.

Staff members who are skilled writers could be turned loose on a regular hotel blog, supplemented with photos taken by the hotel's in-house photographer. Those with a natural gift for socializing can be encouraged to reach out and maintain relationships with guests, especially corporate contacts. Bilingual staff can be particularly useful and should be placed near the front desk when possible.

Giving staff the opportunity to showcase their extracurricular talents rewards them with a sense of empowerment and ownership.

On a personal note, I once stayed at a hotel where the restaurant waiter actually helped me with a problem I was having with my laptop. I gave him a big tip.

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.

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