Are You Nurturing Your Rising Stars?

A recent survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association found that 87 percent of hotels are dealing with staffing shortages. Even more profound is that 36 percent of hotels reported that the situation was severe, potentially impacting their entire operation.

The obvious first place to look to fill a vacancy is internally, which not only reduces recruitment costs but also prevents culture misfit if the new employee doesn’t embrace the ethos and values of the organization. This is especially important for middle and senior leaders who will impart their way of doing things and their values to the team.

How are you preparing the organization’s next level of leaders and managers to be ready?

In times of crisis, the “baptism-by-fire” training approach for new managers has dangerous repercussions. While it may get the job done temporarily, it often has a longer-term impact: team members leaving because their boss is not adequately prepared and trained. What seems like a solution only exacerbates the problem.

If you aren’t convinced that training the organization’s rising stars is critical to future operations, consider what current employees want from their employer. Learning and development is among the top requests from staff and is a top motivator for employees at almost all stages of their career. It’s challenging to remember this during a staffing crisis, yet ignoring it carries the risk of losing even more staff to the competition that offers just what they are looking for.

After committing to make learning and development a priority, the next step is identifying the rising stars throughout the organization. Be sure to meet with them to understand their goals, then develop a plan together. Be relentless with follow-up to fulfill your end of the responsibilities.


Being “too busy” is a dangerous excuse to avoid preparing the next level of leaders. Cultivate your rising stars to be ready by prioritizing learning and development. It will guarantee that future staffing shortages are less painful for everyone—employees, guests, and owners.


"I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." – Ralph Nader

Take the Next Step Now

Would you like to learn more about learning and development for your rising stars? Contact 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 revenue.

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