Protect your Employees in Security Awareness Month — and every other month


Serving guests is what the hospitality industry does best. More and more, though, they are having to focus on protecting its employees from guests.

Hospitality leaders throughout the industry are finding ways to keep staff members secure and free from sexual harassment. As part of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s 5-Star Promise, executives and security experts have pledged to go the extra mile in protecting their staff.

How will they be doing this?

Employee safety devices.

CEOs of major brands, along with other lodging executives throughout the industry, are equipping their staffs with employee safety devices such as panic buttons fitted with GPS or devices that emit loud noises. Experts are working together to figure out what devices work best based on a property’s structure, design and layout, and Wi-Fi network capabilities.

More training.

Sexual harassment prevention training is no longer optional. Not only do properties have to prevent employees and managers from harassing other employees, they have to protect their staff from being harassed by guests. ServSafe Workplace offers training to help with this. The new “Sexual Harassment Prevention in the Hospitality Industry” trains managers and employees, including information on protecting employees from guests who are sexually harassing them.

Strong policies.

The industry is pushing for each property to have mandatory sexual harassment policies and to make sure they are available to all employees in multiple languages.

New resources.

The industry is reaching out to partner with national organizations that target sexual violence, assault, human trafficking, and workplace safety. AHLA is also retaining experts who can work with its members on workplace diversity and safety matters.

But while corporate commitment is crucial, the real work takes place at the property level. It is you — the hotel manager, department head, or supervisor — who is ultimately responsible for making sure your staff members are secure.

October is Security Awareness Month. Take the time to do at least one new thing to secure your property. Need some inspiration?

Here are some things your fellow hospitality managers are doing:

  • Make sure new employees are trained on sexual harassment prevention immediately after hiring.
  • Create a Code of Ethics that deals with sexual harassment, diversity, and anti-discrimination and have all your employees sign it.
  • Purchase employee safety devices for all employees who enter guestrooms or work alone and make their use mandatory.
  • Allow guestroom attendants to request the assistance of security personnel when performing their duties if they feel unsafe.
  • Conduct periodic, brief visual checks of rooms that have not been serviced or accessed by a team member for a period of time.
  • Set up an employee hotline and website that a third-party administers so that employees can anonymously report any incident.
  • Create a task force within your property that includes staff members, not just managers. Call upon them to help identify safety solutions that are specific to your property and its needs.

You have it in your power to make your property safe and secure — for guests and employees alike.