Hotel employees tend to go the extra mile in providing a great customer experience, when their supervisors step forward as role models and their employers invest in brand trainings and internal brand communications.
These are the findings of researchers that recently conducted a telephonic questionnaire amongst more than 300 hotel receptionists who work for the top 12 hotel chains in Spain.
In the research report “From internal brand management to organizational citizenship behaviours: Evidence from frontline employees in the hotel industry”, three researchers of the University of Zaragoza and Universat Ramon Llull conclude the following:
1. Brand training positively influences hotel employees' identification with the organization
Human resource managers apply brand trainings to align hotel employees with the organization's brand values. Think about practices such as recruitment policies, training and development of employees, evaluation of brand performance, and orientation programmes.
2. Internal brand communications positively influence hotel employees' identification with the organization
Hotels promoting brand values within their communication activities will be more likely to achieve a positive social identity amongst their employees.
→ As brand training and communications positively influence organizational identification, they also indirectly appear to influence engagement in a positive way. They help to create a sense of pride and affiliation towards the organization, which in turn contributes to leveraging favorable attitudes towards hotel employees' jobs.
3. Supervisors who step forward can create a strong sense of belonging and engagement
The behavior and communication of supervisors can potentially create a strong sense of belonging to the organization and commitment related to the work environment. If they claim a position as a role model, they have the ability to inspire and spread the brand vision and values. Hotel employees will then feel more connected to the organization.
→ As supervisors have the potential to positively influence the way hotel employees identify with the organization, they indirectly are also able to increase their engagement. When committed to their supervisors, they will show increased levels of engagement.
Additional learning: engaged hotel employees go the extra mile for all stakeholders
More engaged hotel employees manifest higher levels of citizenship behaviours, not only towards their own organization, but also towards customers and their colleagues. The report states: “In other words, engaged hotel employees will be prone to go beyond their stipulated job duties, with the aim of contributing to their employer's goals, for instance spreading positive word-of-mouth about the company or help other individuals.”