As it might seem that with the hospitality industry moving towards providing a digital guest experience, inside communication in hotels is no longer an essential point of attention. The truth is with all of the recent changes towards digitalisation and focusing on guest experience, communication in the hospitality industry is more crucial than ever, and now even on a larger scale. Your job now is to provide effective communication inside your company on multiple channels to create the best experience for your guests.
What is effective communication in the hospitality industry?
Effective communication in the hotel business is a two-way process of exchanging opinions, knowledge, ideas, findings and data between the management and employees in a way that the message is received and understood clearly.
Two-way communication is absolutely crucial to
- keep employees engaged and increase morale to keep the employees connected to the company
- solve problems better and faster
- encourage the free flow of information in both directions
- facilitate constant growth of both management and employees.
The goal of effective communication in your hotel is to provide working communication channels and to convey clear information amongst your team to create a better customer experience.
An important factor in delivering information effectively is to use the types of communication and the medium in the right way. This increases the odds of the receiver getting the message, understanding it correctly and remembering it.
The types of communication in a workplace are:
- Verbal and non-verbal communication.
Verbal communication is the use of words to share information and is also the most used type of communication in hotels. This is the easiest way to share ideas and when done right you can avoid misunderstandings easily.
Non-verbal covers pretty much everything else: body language, tone of voice, eye contact, intonation and facial expressions. It is an important addition to verbal communication if congruent to get your point through. When used correctly, good non-verbal communication leads to better communication with less confusion, and better rapport.
- Formal and informal communication.
The purpose of formal communication is to get the information across in a professional business manner. Use formal communication when communicating with people outside your company, sending the first email to someone and communicating certain types of official information with your staff.
Informal communication is a casual conversation between coworkers or depending on your company, also between you and your staff. It is important to get to know your employees and always communicating formally is not the way to get there. Often an informal conversation is the best way to get two-way communication going, and build trust and company culture. But do keep in mind that you are still at work and it is crucial to keep a balance between formal and informal communication.
- Horizontal and vertical communication.
Horizontal communication is the communication between individuals, teams, groups, or departments in an organisation at the same hierarchical level. You can benefit from it by having a more open discussion and better collaboration which leads to less duplication of work where responsibilities may overlay and better innovation. Conflicts and issues are solved more quickly. The only downside of this form is that it slows things down as everything needs to get checked and confirmed by management.
Vertical communication happens between people, teams, or departments of a company at different hierarchical levels. For example, between you and your staff members. It works both ways, it is the exchange of information between all members of the company. Vertical communication is essentially two-way communication.
- Written and visual communication.
Written communication is anything that involves writing it on paper or typing it into a message. It includes emails, Slack, texts, PowerPoint presentations or notes for references, info sheets on the wall and so on. It is a great way to do follow-up, explain a process step-by-step, provide status updates or just have some long-term information (for example goals for each month) provided in the staff room for the team to go over when needed.
Visual communication handles more than just words, it is images, graphs, videos and other visual displays to get the message across. Visual communication is a great way to get the audience’s attention and deliver the message across using a mixture of communication styles. Use visual aids in your presentations, when trying to explain difficult topics or sharing a large amount of data. Showing visual data and graphs is also a strong tool to be clear and factual in your message.
5 Key Elements For Hotels To Improve Communication
1. Set up channels for communication. Sending information via different channels is an important way to deliver the information right and get the staff more engaged. Set up digital and mobile channels to reach all employees, also the non-desk ones. Deliver big news or changes first verbally to create trust and openness. Send in the documentation or other formal stuff via email, so it doesn’t get lost in the chat. There’s information that’s not urgent but needs to be seen and understood by all the staff members – put it on a board in the staff room. Choosing the right medium for each piece of information you need to deliver is a crucial point of effective communication.
2. Understand and know your staff members. Getting to know your staff members and how they operate is a must to deliver information. People are different and that’s why you have to individualise, not only your guests but also your staff members. Understand your staff, know their professional goals, how they interact and how they engage the best. In addition to being fundamental to leadership, knowing your employees is also a way to more effective internal communication.
3. Make sure your communications are well-timed. Deliver the information, both urgent and non-urgent on time. Non-urgent information is not something that has to be found out last minute, it is information that doesn’t need immediate action but still needs attention and time to prepare. Not being able to deliver timely communication will lead to staff having low morale and being incapable of providing a good guest experience.
4. Get feedback and follow up. Encouraging your employees to share their feedback creates stronger two-way communication and establishes company culture. By asking for feedback you are letting your team know that they are involved and heard which as a result helps with building trust and higher work morale. Letting your employees communicate with you also gives insight into any issues that the management might not be aware of.Hold weekly informal meetings to follow up with last week’s events, goals, and problems and find out your employee’s views and feedback on them.
5. Emphasise the importance of communication with your staff. Make sure your team knows that communication is the number one priority at work. Encourage them to take time weekly or even daily to inform themselves about any news or updates within the company. Strong internal and external communication is the key tool to success and needs to be at the core of each staff member to be effective.
There are several types of communication and different ways to improve each one of them. Work out a plan and challenge yourself and your staff to start setting up communication. Prioritising communication in your hotel will benefit you in multiple ways. It increases the performance and morale of your employees. It allows you to have better results at every level of the organisation and make better use of resources. It favours making quicker and clearer decisions and therefore gives you more time to focus on your job.