The Importance of Culture During the Recovery

All signs are pointing in the direction of a recovery for the hospitality industry having begun. This is fabulous news.

Last month’s Strategic Hospitality Report focused on actions the sales and marketing team need to take to leverage the increase in demand during the recovery. Hand in hand with this is the need to re-energize the concept of taking care of employees as measured by the hotel’s culture or engagement. While this has always been a top priority of hotel leadership, the recovery requires even greater attention to a topic that is often talked about but usually ignored. That is, until the announcement of the date for the annual Engagement Survey.

Why Now?

In talking with hoteliers and asset managers around the country, I’ve identified a consistent theme of concern: hotel profitability. Declining revenues saw many hotels slashing expenses, and still there was continued negative cash flow. Investing time and money in employee satisfaction, is often the initiative that’s put on the back burner until better times.

I would argue that this is a dangerous precedent, since righting a shipped that is headed for destruction due to low employee morale is as difficult as changing the course of the Titanic to avoid an iceberg.

Many employees are fearful. If they were furloughed, they faced financial concerns; if they worked, they risked getting sick and bringing the virus home to their families. Some employees were alone and isolated during the lockdown, and now they long for a feeling of belonging and a sense of community. While a hotel employer may not be directly responsible for these emotions, hoteliers see their by-product. The more an organization can identify and fill these needs, the greater the commitment, loyalty, and dedication each employee will show to the organization and to their customers.

Benefits of a Positive Culture

In case you aren’t sold on the importance of a positive and healthy culture at your hotel, studies show that when employees are engaged, happy, and work together as a team, the hotel will generate higher revenues than without this attention. It’s quite a simple equation: Happy Employees = Happy Guests.

Happy guests will

  • Spend more while they are at the hotel.
  • Return more often (reducing the cost of finding new customers).
  • Tell all their friends about it (the best form of marketing).

Bottom Line

A positive, healthy culture is an important component in your hotel’s recovery. It’s one of the key points of differentiation from your competitor and means your hotel will experience financial recovery faster and easier, and it will be more fulfilling, both financially and emotionally.

What are you doing to focus on the culture of your organization? What are you doing to ensure your employees are happy?


If there was an employee survey right now, how would your hotel score?


"Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse." – Simon Sinek

"Protect your people, protect the core business and prepare for recovery." – Chris Nassetta’s Three P’s, from an interview with HNN’s Stephanie Ricca on February 4, 2021

Hire Jo-Anne to:

  • Improve employee happiness and engagement.
  • Remove barriers to getting things done.
  • Convert the organization to embrace constant change and to thrive in it.
  • Create a healthy organizational culture.
  • Engage a trusted advisor for consultation and recommendations.
  • Support your leaders with leadership executive coaching.
  • Develop a strategic plan to manage today’s uncertainty.
  • Conduct a deep-dive review of your sales and marketing organization.

If you would like to hear more, simply reach out to Jo-Anne at
[email protected].

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, the Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

Jo-Anne’s recently published book ‘Cultivating Leadership: How great leaders make a difference, one hotel at a time” dives deeper into the equation: happy staff = happy guests = more money revenue.

Jo-Anne's New Book Cultivating Leadership Buy Cultivating Leadership Book from Amazonnewsletter-footer.jpg

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