EP #5 – New Employee On-boarding with GM Scott Sisk

General Manager, Scott Sisk of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Alvarado, TX is here for episode 5 of Hospitality Academy to discuss that very topic. On this episode he shares how using a well thought out onboarding checklist for new front desk agents has helped him to dramatically reduce turnover at his hotel.

Employee turnover is an issue all of us in the hospitality industry face. An effective method for reducing it is streamlining your onboarding process with each new employee.

Listen in for all of that and more on today’s show.

Essential Learning Points From This Show:

  • What does Scott do during his first hour at his hotel, and why does it matter?
  • Why having the right support for you and your team is so vital.
  • Why empowering your new hires is not enough.
  • What’s the best leadership advice he has ever received?
  • How to handle and help a team member who is having a bad day.
  • And so much more!

Scott Sisk has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years and has held various roles including housekeeping, food and beverage and now general manager. I asked him to be on the show not only for his varied and deep experience but for how generously he shares his wisdom. We connected through a Facebook group we are both in for hospitality industry members, and I was struck by how often he provides answers and advice in the group.

On this episode, he continues his generous nature and expands on his onboarding process, his 9-day training checklist for front desk members, the best leadership advice he’s ever received and why it matters to you.

When Scott originally joined his current hotel as general manager he found out exactly how key it is to invest time in new hires. He says in the first year of his role as GM he went through a complete staff turnover not once, not twice but three times! It was exhausting and he admits to feeling like he was banging his head against a wall.

But out of that exhaustion and frustration came a new onboarding process including his 9-day training checklist for the front desk. He discovered the new checklist gave his staff the confidence and empowerment to deal with whatever came up. And with newfound confidence, they gained greater satisfaction in their work, and that led to a decrease in turnover. As you might imagine the guests were happier as well!

Today he spells out exactly what is entailed in that new onboarding experience and he generously provided a copy of his 9-day training checklist (linked below). But we also talk about another important piece of his success and his hotel’s success: how he spends the first hour of his day.

Scott is not a general manager who hides in his office, in fact, he believes being out there with your team is one of the most important things anyone can do as a general manager.

Because of that, he is out among his staff and his guests ensuring things are running smoothly and everyone can reach out to him if they need help. When he first arrives in the morning he does a check of the curb appeal of his property: what do his guests see when they arrive and is it pleasant for them?

After that, he drops by the front desk to make sure he has an attendant on duty, and then he heads to the breakfast area, followed by the hallways and finally the public spaces. He wraps up by spending 30 minutes or so in the guests’ areas: wherever they are dining and in the lobby.

That hour he invests pays dividends in team satisfaction and customer happiness. And so does the time and attention he gives to staff development, a topic we dive into on this show. Scott also shares his biggest challenges at the moment, his top personal habit that contributes to his success plus his favorite resources.

Scott is a true expert in our field and an incredibly generous one at that! Listen in to hear his expertise and generosity on this edition of Hospitality Academy.

Important Links & Mentions From This Episode:

Thank You for Tuning In!

There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, but you chose mine, and I’m grateful for that. If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons you see at the side of this page.

Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes, they’re extremely helpful when it comes to the ranking of the show and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live!