Deploying a Continuous Improvement programme for a leading London 5-star hotel group.
“Service excellence is no longer just a given; it’s extremely important that every interaction we have with our guests is really meaningful.” Performance Improvement Manager, 5-star luxury hotel group
Our client, a leading 5-star luxury hotel group in London, approached Catalyst Consulting as they were experiencing difficulties in their processes, and wished to further improve guest satisfaction. To drive performance improvement, we worked collaboratively with the hotel group to ensure a deeper understanding of business and its objectives. This collaborative relationship created a tailored and bespoke approach to this unique client, whose clientele demand the highest level of service expected from a 5-star luxury hotel group.
Working with the client, we deployed our Assess, Improve, Maintain (AIM) methodology to evaluate the current situation and to design and implement sustainable improvements to critical processes, utilising Lean Six Sigma principles in ‘live projects’.
Catalyst conducted a tailored organisational assessment to develop a comprehensive and holistic overview of the business. We were then able to determine the key processes in need of improvement and deploy improvement projects in line with key business objectives.
Catalyst worked with the luxury hotel group on a wide range of live process improvement projects, including:
Optimising restaurant procedures to increase efficiency
Aim – to further improve guest satisfaction and personable service throughout the entire experience and to enhance restaurant staff job satisfaction and team engagement.
Solution – involving all team members at critical stages in the project ensured that staff became engaged at every stage of this live project. We focused on increasing the speed of service for the guest and the ease of service for the team member. As a result, the reduction in process time enabled staff to forge enhanced personalised relationships with guests, providing them with an excellent service, every time.
Catalyst and the hotel group visualised how the work was initially delivered and assessed how each step was currently undertaken. These visual aids enabled the entire restaurant team to contribute to this assessment, including identifying areas of waste, such as duplicate and unnecessary steps, and opportunities for process enhancements. The process was then improved using the team’s knowledge and understanding of their day-to-day operations. Taking photos of these correct steps established a visualised understanding of ‘excellence’ in the restaurant and provided new staff with a catalogue of standardised processes.
Developing a process ‘eLibrary’ to streamline daily procedures
Aim – to establish an organic, online procedure manual, to be used by all employees as a work learning aid and continuous improvement tool. The luxury hotel group found that there was a need to develop a sustainable, engaging online process manual to enable all existing and new employees to deliver a seamless, consistent and excellent service for guests.
Solution – to enable the successful implementation of this project it was imperative that all staff be involved. Working with key staff representatives we observed how work was undertaken day-to-day. Capturing this work visually – using methods such as flowcharts and photographs of each process – was vital to map and analyse each step, enabling improvements to be made to each process with the relevant staff. We ensured that this information became easily accessible in the workplace at any time, using print and electronic formats for use on computers and mobile devices.
The new eLibrary includes an online form for staff to input process improvement suggestions, establishing an organic and continuously improving database of optimal processes accessible and utilised by all staff.
Having tailored procedures accessible to all relevant staff for reference, training, and improvement is vital to enabling and sustaining engagement and ensuring excellent guest service.
Aim – to provide a consistent and seamless guest arrival experience from the front door through to receiving their luggage in their room/suite.
Solution – We established an understanding of how the guest arrival procedure was currently undertaken. We used hotel CCTV footage to visualise this process, from guests entering the hotel to arriving in their room, and recorded the time it was taking to complete each step. Every phase was analysed and we worked with key staff in the Concierge team to identify best practice methodology, and replicated this across the full Concierge team. We then established a visual best practice procedure, involving the team at every stage to engage all staff, working with them to implement any necessary changes. As a result, the Concierge team developed a sense of ownership over the new processes, ensuring that these steps would be adopted, refined and further developed over time.
Through a collaborative-working approach, Catalyst and the luxury hotel group successfully implemented a culture of improvement and change. Through establishing an enhanced understanding of internal operations between staff, and a collaborative working environment, whereby all employees are working towards the same objective of further improving guest experience.