The Service Educator: A new role for the 21st Century Hotelier
By Marco Albarran Managing Director, Remarkable Hospitality, Inc. | November 20, 2011
Have you ever thought of having an outside hospitality professional conduct seminars, train or talk to your staff about innovative ideas to improve service levels? If so, are they involving a lot of the standards and culture dynamics from your brand? If not, have you thought of having someone assist you in developing and using as a tool to train your employees? Do you use outside trainers?
The reasons why we look into these questions is due to that hospitality service has been highly neglected in many establishments, given the current climate in the hospitality industry (and the economy). Traditional service training certainly may not work as expected. Hospitality entities are focusing on marketing to capture new customers but not as much in retaining these external customers, nor the team members (internal customers) that have a major influence on external customer retention. Additionally, even though time is not available for managers to perform ongoing trainings even if they do, it seems that employees may react better to an outside hospitality professional that can perhaps serve as a person of confidence. The analogy that best describes this is that of parenting. Why is it that children, especially after a few years, listen more to external influences (friends, Internet, TV) rather than parents? As this may be somewhat alarming, it may work for the positive to bring in someone from the outside to speak and engage your employees.
That said why not use hospitality and hospitality/service educators to execute this? While considering this, why not also incorporate hospitality and service theoretical concepts in your initial and ongoing training, thereby converting it into a class session? Do we think that perhaps this may motivate and retain employees, and also create a sense of career into the majority of employees? Perhaps we can seek to do this as the following ways:
1. Bring Managers Together with a Seasoned Expert
Why not bring managers together with a hospitality service trainer/educator and consultant to first have them seek a way to motivate their employees by communicating better hospitality terms that they can use with their line level employees? Would this help them realize that they are involved in the culture and lingo of the industry and perhaps feel more valued, rather than just being told what to do and moving forward? Should the managers and supervisors always approach situations as an opportunity to teach and also learn by listening to their line level employees about ideas and concepts that may potentially work in a specific establishment, in addition to any standards that have been in action already? Why is this a good "outside the box" way of thinking?
2. Measure Service Levels