For most of us, the last weeks were really challenging. Panic buying, the shutdown of social life, and closed shops, restaurants as well as hotels – nobody would have imagined a situation like this not too long ago.

The economy suffers, especially the tourism industry is affected by the consequences of the coronavirus. As a hotelier, you can avoid a communication crisis and be the rock in the waves for your guests as well as for your team. 

Why is communication important?

Everybody will lose his job, no food is available any longer and there is a lack of toilet paper all over the country – in social media channels, you find a lot of information like this. Why? Everybody is insecure about the current situation and therefore, people speculate to explain the situation to themselves. How to avoid this? Clear communication and trusted communication channels are the answers. Give rumors no chance!

Why is internal communication important?

So you have informed your guests? Great to hear that! Besides your guests, the internal communication with your employees is essential to avoid panic. This is the hardest part because nobody can predict exactly what will happen in the next days and it differs from country to country. However, nothing is worse than not communicating with your employees at all. 

How to communicate with your team

  • Be honest with your employees. Everybody knows that the current situation is a tough one. Transparency is key.   
  • Use trustworthy communication channels like internal platforms such as hotelkit. Why? All employees are informed at the same time, information is available for everyone and your staff has the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Try to speak to all department or team leaders in person or via online communication tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts to avoid misunderstandings. 
  • Make sure to communicate regularly with your team. Fix dates for meetings so your employees will know what is going on and get direction. 
  • Don’t react to all statements from the authorities immediately. Take your time to think about the consequences for your hotel and prepare your answers.

Examples

The COVID-19 crisis also reached the Netherlands. Lots of hotels were closed in the last days as well as the Hotel Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam. Learning & Development Manager Nicolien Kamp has to face the challenge to stay in touch with her team although they are apart from each other. With hotelkit, she can communicate with all employees at the same time on any device. For example, the “news” and “handovers” tools are heavily used in those days. The whole team is still able to exchange thoughts about things that can be done in a time of crisis with the “ideas” tool. So they can stand together – just not physically. 

We closed outlets and employees are not in the hotel but we need to stay in touch with them to exchange the latest news and discuss our next steps. hotelkit is our most important communication tool at the moment.

Nicolien Kamps Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam