Success in the hospitality industry is by no means assured, even if the hotel is located in a prime location close to popular attractions, has beautifully furnished rooms and high-tech amenities that travelers appreciate such as Wi-Fi. The key ingredient to success is maintaining an exceptional level of guest experience -- customer satisfaction. Implementing a comprehensive training and development program for all staff greatly increases the chances of the hotel providing customer service that consistently meets guests' expectations.

The High Cost of Low Guest Satisfaction

Guests who are dissatisfied with a hotel have a much more powerful remedy than just complaining to the manager -- they can post a negative review of the hotel to one of many travel websites. Enough negative comments about a hotel can damage the hotel's reputation to the point that potential guests don't consider staying there. Hotel profitability depends to some extent on repeat business. The marketing cost to bring a guest back is lower than the cost of attracting a new guest to the hotel. Because of the extensive choices in lodging in metropolitan areas, a guest doesn't have to put up with a hotel whose staff members don't make guest satisfaction the highest priority -- she just books a room at a nearby hotel.

Employees with Limited Skills and Experience

Smaller hotels may depend on employees of lower skill and wage level. New hires for the hotel may not have strong enough people skills because they were not taught these skills in previous jobs they held. A training and development program fills this gap and gets employees ready to interact with guests and work with each other in a harmonious, cooperative way.

Reduce Turnover

The costs of high employee turnover include the time spent interviewing new people, the effort required to train them in the specific job requirements and the lost productivity as new people get up to speed. Employees may elect to leave because of low job satisfaction. For example a chef who uses bullying tactics with the kitchen staff may alienate them to the point that some of them quit. The hotel owner must require each staff member to learn and adhere to a written code of conduct, including members of the management team. Job satisfaction also depends on employees knowing what is expected of them so they can perform to their supervisor's expectations. Proper training helps them better do their jobs.

Launching a Lifelong Career

For individuals who enjoy contributing to people's travel experience, the hospitality industry is a rewarding career. An employee who starts out as a busboy can rise in the ranks until he is a manager of the hotel's restaurant. This kind of advancement can take place only if the owner of the hotel makes an effort to provide career development opportunities. An employee eager for advancement needs the opportunity to learn the systems and procedures involved in running various hotel departments. A front desk employee who is studying accounting may want to cross-train with the accounting department in hopes of being a hotel controller someday. The hotel owner savvy enough to develop his employees' skills finds he has his next generation of managers already on staff in lower-level positions.