Travel Trade Journal

Employee Efficiency

Key to Guest Happiness at Hyatt

- Prashant Nayak

Every hotel guest remembers personalis­ed experience­s, which connect with them. That is why it is essential for hoteliers to give their best when it comes to the guest experience. Shrikant Wakharkar, Area Vice President of Hyatt Hotels, North and General Manager, Hyatt Regency Delhi reflects on topics like empowering and upskilling employees, engaging trade partners, and effective guest communicat­ion, which are some of the ways to enhance the guest experience to another level.

According to industry players, India’s G20 presidency is boosting the domestic travel and hospitalit­y industry, with hotels seeing increased bookings and a substantia­l surge in hotel room pricing. Indian hospitalit­y also stands to benefit from increased visibility and exposure on a global stage. This is the biggest boost to India’s hospitalit­y sector since it has come at a good time when all are getting out of the pandemic impact. However, at this time, when business is picking up, hotels are also dealing with staff shortages.

“This year is very crucial for the Indian hospitalit­y industry at large. India’s G20 presidency has presented us with a unique opportunit­y to change the narrative around inbound tourism. We must rise to the occasion and extend the highest levels of services and exceptiona­l hospitalit­y to all visitors so that each of them is a spokespers­on for our tourism industry. To achieve this, it is imperative to address the fissures in the skill-gap requiremen­t in the hospitalit­y industry rather than focusing on increasing the strength of the staff. The intent is to optimise resources to increase efficiency and quality standards. Therefore, it is necessary to cultivate a culture of continuous learning so that the associates are continuous­ly skilled, reskilled and up-skilled to carry out crossfunct­ions and multiple tasks more deftly. We, at Hyatt Regency Delhi, lay great emphasis on training our employees regularly so that they are well–equipped to extend the best possible care to the guests,” shares Shrikant.

Empowering employees to drive the guest experience has also been a very important part of Hyatt’s purpose of care, and it is a key element of Hyatt’s employee engagement strategy. Hyatt’s culture empowers every individual to be his or her best, and such authentic connection­s inspire the way they care for each other and the guests. For them, the most important facet is training and upskilling their people so that they are well-equipped to deal with all kinds of hurdles, make decisions and further provide the best possible care to all guests.

Shrikant further adds, “Another way that we nurture and motivate key talent here is by giving them adequate recognitio­n. We understand that recognitio­n is a critical aspect for which we have a comprehens­ive recognitio­n program in place called the HYstar in which associates at all levels are recognised and suitably rewarded for all their hard work and notable contributi­ons. This has helped us control attrition to a large extent and has also given a great impetus to our employees to drive the guest experience. It goes without saying that empowering employees starts with meeting their foundation­al needs, hence we try our best to provide them with a conducive work environmen­t, ample learning opportunit­ies and knowledge tools which help them become more adept at extending exceptiona­l hospitalit­y to all our guests.”

Hospitalit­y is a people-oriented business. In the last decade, Hyatt has been focusing on building and strengthen­ing their relationsh­ips directly with customers to drive most of their revenue and customise their offerings. “We are happy to share that today, we see a lot of our business is through direct bookings via our website, and through leads secured by our sales team at corporate rates. This is due to our heavy investment­s in hiring the best talent to promote our offline and digital initiative­s of direct bookings, which drive potential guests to reach out to us directly. Our robust loyalty program, World of Hyatt, has further boosted the rate of direct bookings received, thereby increasing revenue and enhancing the overall guest experience,” shares Shrikant.

At the same time, Hyatt deeply values the business they get through OTAs and travel agents who enable them to reach out to many untapped segments and add to the overall revenue. “Through reviews and photos shared on OTA platforms, we have been able to connect and engage with customers more personally. This has helped us garner more trust among travellers from around the world. The bulk bookings received through travel agents and travel partners have also helped the hotel drive its revenue in a post-pandemic era and continue to be an important medium for driving revenue,” affirms Shrikant. They are also working on garnering greater engagement across various social media platforms to gather deeper insights into the dynamic needs of their diverse customer segments. It has always been important for them to deliver meaningful and integrated experience­s for moments that matter to their guests.

 ?? ?? ▲ Shrikant Wakharkar
▲ Shrikant Wakharkar

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