For the past two weeks, I have been in China and the hotels are starting to drive me nuts.
The problem is that all the chains have expanded extremely fast over here and the employee training (talent development) has not been adequate.
Just couple of days ago, I went to check out at the club lounge and the lady working on the desk had the hopeless face. She didn’t understand even the most basic words in English.
Today, I took a taxi from one IHG property to a specific InterContinental hotel here in Shanghai and I was extremely clear to the bellman that he should make it clear with the taxi. Apparently, he directed the taxi to take me to a wrong one (Expo instead of Pudong).
I could go on and on.
When I choose to stay at any of the branded properties, I do expect that the employees are qualified and trained adequately to deal with foreign guests.
For the record, I am not blaming the employees but rather the hotel management that has not spend enough to hire more qualified staff and/or has not provided adequate training.
I don’t expect most of the employees to be able to carry a conversation, but if checking in/out is an uphill battle there is something inherently wrong.
The management always blames high turn over and difficulty of retaining qualified employees. If the turn over is high, it usually implies low job satisfaction or inadequate pay. Both of these are under management’s control.