It should come as no surprise that many hotels employ housekeeping staff members for whom English is a second language. Particularly in the State of Florida, we attract experienced men and women from Central and South America, many of whom speak Spanish. These members of your staff are talented and hardworking, but without proper systems in place you may be missing out on opportunities to communicate with them.
Clear, Visual Signage
If language is a barrier to communicating with each other, consider adding signage that pairs verbal instructions with images. This can help your new employees to learn the language cues that you use most often and ensure that they are getting your most important instructions. For instance, if there is a particular way you want a bed made, rather than depending on your ability to translate English into Spanish, a video or diagram would make your point much more clearly.
Hiring staff members who speak other languages is a great way to communicate with your guests who are visiting from outside the country. It’s also key to ensuring clear communication between staff members and their managers. Make sure when you are setting your schedule that there is always at least one person working who can speak whichever language is most often prevalent at your hotel.
In departments like housekeeping and janitorial, it is wise to hire managers who are multilingual. If many of your housekeepers speak Spanish, their manager should have at least some experience with the language. Managers speaking the same language as their employees are more efficient and are better able to create a positive environment for staff in their departments and therefore also for guests visiting your hotel.
In addition, we recommend that you provide access to language education for your staff wanting to learn English as well as managers who want to learn Spanish, or any other language widely spoken by your staff members. The better your team members are able to communicate with one another, the more positive an environment you will create within your organization.
Florida is an attractive landing spot for hardworking people who immigrate from Central and South America and all over the world. With our access to theme parks and entertainment, we become an excellent first stop for people leaving their home-country for the first time. Often these professionals speak little or no English when they first arrive and so it is up to your hotel management team to make communication across languages as easy as possible.
If you’re looking to add more multi-lingual staff to your hotel team, contact us today. We take pride in finding the right people for the right jobs in your business.