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5 Tips to Unlocking Hotel Excellence

We recently sat down with Tatiana Vanvelzor, Head of Global Sales Nuvola at Sabre Hospitality and Mairead Hennessy, Vice President of Operations Advisory at Dragonfly Strategists, who are both experts in hotel operations to get their advice on how to manage operational challenges and ultimately, elevate hotel operation excellence and guest experiences. Here are five tips to providing and maintaining hotel operational excellence! 


Key Takeaways

  • Retain skilled staff with effective communication tools 
  • Use task management software for efficiency
  • Enhance guest experiences with innovative tech
  • Choose user-friendly, effective technology for improved workflow management

Tip 1:

Attract and Retain Skilled Workers

Attracting and retaining skilled staff remains a challenge in the hospitality industry. High turnover rates impact the hospitality sector, with 79% of U.S. hotels currently struggling with staffing shortages. Here’s how hoteliers can navigate through the recruitment challenges: 

  • Support operational teams with communication and collaboration 
  • Engage with local community 
  • Cultivate a positive work environment 

Regarding operational team success, Mairead stated, “the more efficiently hoteliers can work, the more we can remove obstacles that hinder them from doing their jobs well, resulting in a better labor situation for everyone.” Communication and collaboration are essential for hospitality operational teams to thrive. This can be seamlessly done with the support of automation tool such as a task management system. Sabre Hospitality’s task management and guest engagement product, Nuvola, enables hospitality staff to communicate effectively between front of house and back of house departments. It is also available in multiple languages, helping to break down language barriers across the team.

Starting with the local community is a strategic approach to attracting talent. By actively participating in local events and initiatives, your hotel can create connections and build a reputation within the community. But it doesn’t stop there. Engaging with the younger generation whether through internships, educational partnerships, or university recruiting provides an excellent opportunity to scout and attract fresh talent.

92% of workers believe cultivating a positive work environment is essential. It begins with a deep understanding of each staff member’s role within the business. When everyone knows their part and feels valued, it contributes to a harmonious workplace. Improving communication is equally crucial. Bringing staff together, whether through regular meetings or collaborative platforms, fosters teamwork and ensures that everyone is on the same page.

And here’s how task management truly shines; hoteliers gain insights into team performance. With tangible data at their fingertips, they can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions. This not only enhances operational excellence, but also empowers ownership to understand the business at a higher level. It also gives leaders the data to recognize staff for their contributions.


Tip 2:

Embrace Innovative Technologies

Despite it being 2024, there are hotels that still manage on-property operations with conventional and outdated systems. But there’s a better way, something that doesn’t depend on your radio being charged or the front desk noticing the request on the sticky note – task management software. Work with a task management solution that supports communication across devices for easy updates from mobile devices while staff moves around the property. Task management tools send alerts when a new task is assigned to your team, plus they enable you to schedule and track regular activities like cleaning the bathrooms by the pool, watering the plants in the lobby, and doing preventative maintenance on AC units to ensure unit longevity. In a customer survey we conducted last year, 80% of respondents said Nuvola allows them to action and track requests easier than if written on paper.  

If a guest asks the front desk for extra pillows the front desk can alert the housekeeping team or even assign it to a specific housekeeper who covers that floor. Other technology like virtual keycards and touchless check-in can also elevate the hotel guests’ experiences by allowing them to conveniently use their mobile devices throughout their hotel stay and ultimately, making their stay more secure. 


Tip 3:

Select Intuitive Technology

In today’s diverse workforce, generational differences impact communication styles. Gen Z, for instance, prefers texting over phone calls. So having a task management system with a staff application may be preferable for young staff members. Once you decide to use a task management solution on property, it’s important to select one that is user-friendly and has been designed with the user experience at top of mind. You want something your staff can learn quickly and will actually use!

In our customer survey last year 91% of respondents agreed that Nuvola is easy to use saying things like “practical, useful, and nice looking” and “It is very efficient and helpful and covers a range of requests.”

Whether it’s updating housekeeping status or addressing guest requests, this intuitive platform ensures efficient communication without disrupting workflow. When staff uses a task management system, fewer complaints arise, and the team feels impowered because they have the information they need to do their job and delight guests. Real-time updates, escalations, and reporting empower General Managers to stay informed and maintain exceptional service standards.


Tip 4:

Anticipate Guest Needs

As the guest expectations shift in the evolving market, Mairead and Tatiana stated that guests have “higher expectations.” With these expectations, guests are looking for a more personalized service and guest experiences that surprise and delight. Tatiana suggested that hoteliers should empower staff to be proactive and anticipate guests needs before problems arise. Adding a note to the guest profile can significantly enhance the guest experience.

For instance, Tatiana highlighted that when a specific guest frequents the hotel, the expectation is that hoteliers should automatically provide an extra pillow without the guest needing to request it. Knowing your guest and their preferences, such as adding an extra hotel towels, is what could set you apart from a competing franchise. As Tatiana said, “without technology, anticipating expectations is virtually impossible.”


Tip 5:

Ease Crisis Management

To maintain a competitive edge in today’s market, it’s important to respond when a guest doesn’t have a great experience. If a guest has already completed their stay and is sharing their negative experience in an online review, it’s necessary to respond. If they approach your team with an issue during their stay, ensure your team is coached on how to handle these interactions with sincerity and empathy. Even better than reacting to a guest issue is getting ahead of it and trying to establish processes to reduce common issues. Having a task management system can help you do that! You can track common issues and assign recurring tasks to the right to prevent those from happening. Nuvola offers a Glitch module that makes it easy to monitor guest incidents and issue room discounts, food & beverage discounts or other compensation to make the situation right. Plus, this visibility ensures the guest doesn’t go to multiple staff members and receive separate compensation from all of them!


Unlock Hotel Excellence with Nuvola

  • Attract and retaining skilled workers to elevate your hotel
  • Embrace innovative technologies with Nuvola
  • Ensure the technology, you select is user-friendly
  • Stay prepared by, anticipate guests’ needs
  • Ease crisis management with an effective task management system
  • Learn more about Nuvola and how this product can help hoteliers accomplish what their business demands

Written by Aariah Doggett

Nuvola

Nuvola™ is a task management and guest engagement platform built by hoteliers who deeply understand the daily challenges of operating hotels. With the Nuvola solution from Sabre Hospitality, you can Go Beyond by connecting teams and elevating service all at once.