Following the last week post about staff formation, let’s continue with its motivation.

Why it is important to motivate your staff?

Employee motivation is a critical aspect of each workplace. As far as I’m concerned it should be a regular routine.

Each of us likes to be part of something meaningful. Hostels can be a fun, creative work environment. Being all the time in the international environment broadens the mind, encourage ideas and tolerance.

Motivating shouldn’t be only the way to sell things to your guests. Overall it always helps to change your place for the better (including your revenues). Because creating a place where your staff is happy and motivated influence the atmosphere of your hostel and the guests that are staying with you.

It is as simple as that.

my badge of the speaker during the Hostelskills conference in Cracow

However, there are many more reasons that should MOTIVATE YOU to motivate your staff:

  • It helps you to meet the hostel’s goals

Motivated staff can lead to increased productivity and sells. And allow your hostel to achieve a higher level of results. Better reviews because they have a positive aura which they pass to the guests.

  • You increase their commitment

When we are motivated we put more effort into our tasks. And more effort to make sure that the guests feel welcome and entertained.

  • You improve their and yours satisfaction

When we feel satisfied we give a more positive attitude.

  • You encourage them so stay longer

Let’s face it. In the hostel reception, there is always a big staff rotation. That’s the price for hiring travellers, students and in general talented multilingual people. But if you will motivate your staff, create a fine workplace and give the possibility to develop and grow within the company than they might stick around longer.

Ideas on how to increase the staff motivation

  • Be there and be a team

How many of you in the amount of work stays the whole day in an office? Well, it’s still good to show your face even if for 10 minutes. I think this way you show them you are there  (and you watch them). Ask if there was anything important. If you spend the day out, give a call and ask if everything is ok and if there was no problem.

Show your face, let them know you are there as a manager.

  • Create a weekly/monthly meetings

Communicate with your team, create weekly or monthly meetings to talk about hostel performance, their performance. Give them tips during such meetings and listen to their ideas. Make them feel that they create this place too and have an influence on the hostel

  • Every month give your staff the reachable targets

It can be anything. From the staff ratings, amount of the breakfast sold or upsells made. It also can be a number of extended nights. If they reach the monthly goal, praise them. It can be an economical price (like 50 euro extra) or it can be even a ticket to the cinema.

  • Economical incentives

If you want to sell you extras, the best way to encourage your staff to actually sell them is by showing them that they will gain something from it. It can be a percentage of selling the tickets for the touristic bus, organized trips, taxis. In some cities, there are companies (in Barcelona, for example, it is Ticketin) that offers the sell of tickets, events, trips etc. They have the programs for the hotels/hostels that if you book something through their website for the clients, each person of the staff receives a visa card which can use for things she/he wants.

  • Staff parties and going outs

It’s good to organize some parties. Because it is staff bonding and an opportunity to get to know each other better. If you have a small hostel then create it together. Invite the guests and share the fun moment together. Afterall work should be also fun.

pub full of attendees of Hostelskills conference
Hostelskills Conference 2018, Kraków
  • Create contests

It can be more a fun game than a contest. If there is a carnival encourage your team to dress up and a person with the best costume wins, for example, a dinner for 2 in some of your hostel’s favourite restaurant or a simple bottle of good wine.

Another idea is making a lottery for the Christmas Eve with some nice prizes.

You could also make an employee of the month and each month thank them for the good work.

  • Encourage your team to develop their ideas and passions

Maybe there is a person who has idea on how to improve things in your hostel – give them a space to implement it and be there in case they need your advice.

Maybe you have a social media lover – ask them to manage your social media accounts. If there is a sports lover in your team and there is a marathon in town. Pay the entrance fee, give the tshirt and ask if they would like to represent your hostel (or even make a team that will represent the hostel).

  • Give them an opportunity to develop inside the company

Give the possibility to develop. Of course, it’s harder for the smaller hostel to create a career path. But maybe you have a really faithful worker that you trust and don’t want to lose him or her. You can invest in this person and in their education.

You can send your staff to travel/hospitality conferences or events to represent you.

It’s a way to say thank you for their work and showing to them your gratitude and that you see their work and you appreciate it.

Not only the reception staff

Last but not least I wanted to add the importance of motivating not only the front desk staff. It is important to incentivize other people who create your hostel and your team.

I think that cleanliness or prevention of your things to fall apart are really important ingredients that influence your reviews. As for the housekeeping, you might have the outsourced company or not, you can give this part of the team a monthly goal of reaching the certain punctuation for cleaning in the reviews. And if they achieve it or are even better give them an extra to their basic salary or some other way of compensation.

It is always worth to look up to your competition or get inspired by others…not only hostels but also boutique hotels, hotels etc., conferences: How they motivate their teams?

And how do you keep your hostel staff motivated? Do you also agree that your staff is your gold?

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Posted by Ewa Gabara

Founder of Don’t Mess With The Receptionist. I geek out on hostels and I’m a long-time receptionist turned into a copywriter. I help the hospitality and travel brands conquer the world with words.

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