The next time you stay at a good hotel, watch the staff there going about their work closely. For anyone wanting to get insights on team work, the marquee hotels are fertile ground. Working as a team, in such places – is not just a choice, but a way of life.
Individual performance while being recognized and appreciated, is always seen in the context of the team – as a way to inspire everyone to higher standards & nothing more. The belief being that – an individual might take you out of a critical situation some times, but good teamwork will never let you get into a critical situation, in the first place.
From the moment a guest arrives at the hotel, till the time he checks out – different parts of the hotel organization have to work like a well-oiled engine, to deliver a seamless experience. All the different parts of this engine need to work perfectly and in sync to deliver that WOW experience. Conversely, it just takes one of these many different parts to misfire, for the customer to have a BAD experience. This in turn puts a lot of onus on every single employee of a hotel, to ensure that they don’t let the baton fall.
Let us draw the curtains aside and take a peek at what makes the great hotels, so good in their execution
Here are a few things that are common to such hotels:
From the General Manager of the hotel up till the Gatekeeper, there is only one overarching goal every one works for, which is GUEST SATISFACTION. The financials while being important are seen as a consequence of a job well done. This clarity of purpose ensures that every single employee of a hotel is aligned in a single direction. Whenever any decision needs to be taken, with or without a supervisor being around – every employee instinctively knows which is the right course of action to adopt.Think about it & try this out in your organization – get a bunch of your people together and pose the question: “What is the one single, foremost goal for all of us ?” Do you get one answer?
Respect amongst each other, regardless of the job each individual performs (be it chef or front desk or bartender or any one of the myriad roles…) is something that is strictly followed. Respecting each other’s ideas, culture, language and rituals holds great importance in a hotel environment, which is often a melting pot of these various diversities. Like in any other healthy team, respecting a teammate not just helps in jelling better & understanding their point of view, but also helps in resolving differences and conflicts quickly without any heart burns.
Demand situations in hotel show wide fluctuations. It is economically unviable for a hotel to staff for peak demand. Hence in hotels, every employee is trained to perform different roles. So whenever one department of the hotel is facing peak load, employees from other departments step up and join in to help. This builds a terrific sense of camaraderie between members.
Hotels instinctively seem to understand the importance of having more leaders in the ranks. Leadership in hotels however, is not about leading or giving instructions to a team below. Rather, it is about taking a team along – towards that one goal needs to be achieved. To encourage this, hotels do cross training all the time. This not only makes an employee understand the working methods of different departments, but also aids in mixing up with each other well, something that helps when situations call for it.
Since hotels are a service industry, different teams often face situations where they require help, during phases of increased demand. At times like this, employees are encouraged to put up their hands and ask for more hands to help. Asking for help is not seen in any negative light, but rather as a good thing that helps deliver the ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. They take this as an opportunity to jell with other outlets and perform as a team.
Are there lessons for your team from hotels? Do share your thoughts!