Incorporating Hospitality Standards into Daily Routines
By Jesse Boles Executive Director of Operations, FreemanGroup | October 09, 2011
Imagine your business five minutes prior to your arrival tomorrow morning. Picture what everything looks like and what everyone on the premises is doing. Next, imagine what things would look like if you were to simply not show up. To take things a step further, imagine what things would look like if none of the managers showed up. The only people in their proper places are the hourly supervisors and line employees. Now, imagine you and your managers have been abducted by aliens, or that some equally wild event has occurred that will prevent you and your managers from returning to your business for quite some time. Assume that employee schedules will remain intact, and that there are enough supplies on hand to last for a good while.
What do you imagine would happen on the first day of your absence? What do you think your operation would look like after one week? How different would it look one month down the road?
On some level, it would be comforting to think that the place would be on fire or flooded within a few hours of your absence, but in all likelihood, for a fair amount of time things would be just fine.
Minus the alien abductions and other dramatics, I have seen the scenario described above play out many times in practice. I am frequently out of the office, working with clients and attending sales functions, etc., and yet, despite my absence, my office has not experienced any catastrophic events. How can this be?
Employees generally possess a healthy self-interest in the business in which they are engaged and a degree of competency that tends to be overlooked during normal, everyday operations. The reality is that your employees will continue to carry out the tasks of their jobs reasonably well even when you are not around. You don't need to stand behind your front desk agents in order for them to remember the procedures for checking in a guest. Why, then, are you needed?
You are needed because what tends to suffer in your absence are the standards to which employees' tasks are performed. In your absence, a front desk agent may continue a procedure, but be a bit slower about their work, a bit less thorough, or neglect to respond to guests in the manner that your standards dictate. What makes you valuable is your ability to focus on the standards that all employees should be meeting every day on the job. Success requires holding people accountable to the standards you have set while developing their skills so that they are able to become masters of their crafts. Hold your employees accountable to your standards, and your guests and employees will reap the benefits.