UniFocus Enhances its System for Measuring and Improving Hospitality Employee Satisfaction

Staff Attitude is the Most Important Factor in Guest Satisfaction

Feb 11, 2006 - 09:38
UniFocus, L.P., announced today it has launched course-setting enhancements to its employee attitude measurement system, STAFFScope (TM), one of the company's many hospitality Loyalty Management services. STAFFScope transforms employee attitude measurement programs into a comprehensive, ongoing process that moves organizations to real improvement. The system delivers to management teams a comprehensive understanding of what truly impacts employee loyalty. This is vital for the success of labor-intensive service organizations where frontline guest care directly impacts customer loyalty.

The new release of STAFFScope specifically creates ongoing dialogue between management and staff that is focused on areas where improvement will make the most difference. It does this through enhanced statistical analysis that yields automated identification of the most critical organizational issues. The system then establishes goals with action planning and result monitoring. STAFFScope helps organizations create the type of process-improvement culture and staff commitment that ultimately makes guests feel good about their contact with service providers and elevates consideration to stay again.

UniFocus believes that building a satisfied and valuable workforce is not a quick-fix procedure; it needs to be a focused and ongoing commitment. UniFocus research over the years has helped many organizations identify the reasons for low job satisfaction and poor frontline guest care attitudes. A study by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration on understanding the differences between switchers and loyal 'stayers' found that staff attitude was directly correlated the overall satisfaction level of guests, and therefore the propensity for loyalty.

Some hospitality industry sources state that turnover can range from between 100 and 150 percent annually, directly impacting the consistency of the guest experience. Poor staff attitude clearly eats away at bottom-line performance. This makes it critical for management to track and continuously improve the organizational climate.

'The cost of a single employee turning over ranges anywhere from $2,500 up to $8,000,' stated UniFocus' Chief Executive Officer, Mark Heymann. 'So, if you save one employee, with the cost-effectiveness of our new technology, that roughly equates to surveying between 225 and 700 employees. Given that managers need support, in terms of systems and practices to identify and address the important issues affecting employee satisfaction, our STAFFScope program is a high-value solution. We have repeatedly found that organizations can now afford and greatly benefit from multiple measurements throughout the year.'

STAFFScope features a Web-based, easy-to-use reporting platform that is comprehensive in its detail. It includes high-level executive summaries and comparative reports for multiple properties. To help set performance standards, it provides industry benchmarking by market segments, along with historical comparisons of the results. Additionally, the correlative statistical analysis yields the ability to ensure that precious resources are expended where they will truly make a difference. To make certain critical issues are acted upon, ACTIONScope (TM), an integrated on-line action-planning application, monitors the progress of follow-up and tracks the results.

The management benefits delivered by STAFFScope include a comprehensive understanding of employee loyalty and satisfaction levels periodically throughout the year. Through the systematic implementation of key goals derived from the findings of its organizational surveys, management teams can keenly focus on the creation of a positive organizational culture that fosters dedication, teamwork, actions and increased outcomes.

Meyer Jabara Hotels, a long-term user of STAFFScope, is a hotel company that values associate growth and learning. Each Meyer Jabara Hotel is guided by what it calls a 'living vision': Empowered associates delivering outstanding hospitality and themed destination experiences for guests. Its stated mission is, to create an environment whereby all associates accept empowerment and personal responsibility for providing superior customer service, memorable and distinctive experiences, and profitability.

'We regularly survey our associates in every level of the organization through the use of STAFFScope,' stated Meyer Jabara Hotels' Executive Vice President, Simon Sloman. 'This multi-level surveying helps our organization compare and correlate morale and operational effectiveness from the corporate level through each field property. The result is a culture where associates, managers and leaders hold each other to a high-level of accountability.'

Benchmark Hospitality International, another STAFFScope client, sets high standards for integrity, quality and service in management and marketing services for resorts, conference centers, conference hotels and golf clubs.

'In this competitive market, we must focus on the creating an environment where we can retain, train and motivate our employees - everyday,' said Sherry Uhrig, director of human resources for Benchmark. 'The employee opinion survey program we have established using STAFFScope is a great tool to do just that. It is important to us that the process is respected and is an integral part of our employee relations program.'

Another successful user of STAFFScope is Dolce International. They specialize in the meetings and conference segment of the hospitality industry. The company currently has over 3,000 employees who must remain passionate for hosting successful meetings. The company used to conduct employee surveys in-house and it would take as long as two to three weeks just to get the surveys completed, not to mention the time for tabulation, analysis, reporting, team reviews and action planning. In 2004 Dolce partnered with UniFocus and in doing so have realized remarkable results.

'We are proud to say that at Dolce our turnover rate now usually runs less than 35 percent annually,' reported Dolce's Vice-President for Human Resources, Debby Malen. 'We feel this is a direct result of using STAFFScope and being willing to listen and act when changes are needed.'

To Learn More About Organizational Improvement

UniFocus produces a quarterly newsletter called FocusED. It provides hospitality industry leaders with practical wisdom and best-practices insight. Its content is mined from UniFocus' daily involvement with business partners for over three decades. The latest edition focuses on employee feedback, hospitality corporate culture and creating positive organizational climates. A free copy can be obtained at www.unifocus.com.

About UniFocus, L.P.
Based in Dallas, UniFocus solely serves the hospitality industry in the U.S. and overseas. Its executives collectively bring over 100 years of direct hospitality experience to the table. UniFocus offers full-service operational analysis, financial and labor management applications, as well as staff, meeting planner and guest satisfaction measurement programs executable across a wide variety of technology platforms. The resulting database allows UniFocus to uniquely correlate and benchmark each client's performance to their particular competitive markets. Enhanced reporting capabilities allow hospitality executives to have a 'total picture' overview of their operations, set strategic actions and gain asset value.

UniFocus is a Microsoft(R) Certified Partner, an affinity partner of the International Association of Conference Centers, a business partner of the International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus, and an allied member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. For more information, visit www.unifocus.com.