Giving Leadership - The Best Return on Investment for Your Hotel

By David Lund Hospitality & Leadership Expert, The Hotel Financial Coach | October 02, 2016

Hospitality Financial leadership is about making a new connection to the skills, talents and passion that managers have with guest service and college engagement and attaching that connection directly to their third power Ė their financial power. Itís true what we say in our industry, look after the guests and the money will look after itself but only when we invest in financial leadership does this really ring true. Today we want financially engaged leadership teams across the board and building the team that has all three skills is paramount to your business success. Thatís Hospitality Financial Leadership, a management style that embraces guest service, colleague engagement and a superior return on investment by letting the team develop and use their natural financial talents.†††

"It is every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.Ē - Albert Einstein

When we give as a leader we create two things. Both of these creations are the keys to being an effective business leader and having more fun being that leader. This occurs at any level, you donít have to be the General Manager to enjoy the results and it works best when practiced by everyone. Imagine being more effective and having more fun! and itís free! In addition to having fun and being more effective it is hands down the best strategy to grow your business and its value. When you lead with the kind of caring and engagement that is possible your team will follow your direction and itís a familiar story from there.

Building the kind of team that cares about each other translates into colleagues and managers that care about their guests. This is the way to build an amazing team that will propel your business forward on all measures, especially financially. Itís a tried and true method and what makes it difficult is how busy and how wired our lives have become. The secret to making this style of leadership come alive in your hotel is slow things down to the next person you encounter, slow it down to the next conversation. One at a time, slow and meaningful, making every human interaction stand on its own as a building block for your team and its leadership.†

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When we think about leveraging our business and managing and enhancing the bottom line we often think about more rate, higher occupancy, lower costs, fewer OTA bookings, better weather, the list goes on and on. The one thing we often miss is, who are we being as the leader of the business?† The real question is who are we being and what are we doing inside our organization. Doing and being are the key to establishing your leadership in such a strong and personal way that your team will want to follow. Your colleagues and managers will follow because they like the experience as its warm and natural. Your team will build itself on this doing and being. Doing amazing things for each other and your guests and being a thoughtful and caring leader. Recruiting will be easy because you have such a high bar and a clear mission.

Serving others first is the hallmark of your style and the members of your team emulate this culture.† We have all been in the opposite position inside a business or organization. The opposite being the kind of place where itís all about the money, the bottom line.† The greed and lack of any personal commitment to each other and the missing mission of service is all too apparent.† The good news for everyone here is weíre in the hospitality business so we donít need to worry too much about being nice. Actually, thatís what people want and giving your customers what they want and lots of it is good for business. It keeps your customers coming back and it creates wild raving fans. You develop this incredibly valuable leadership style by following the simple and ancient giving formula.†

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Coming up in April 2018...

Guest Service: Empowering People

Excellent customer service is vitally important in all businesses but it is especially important for hotels where customer service is the lifeblood of the business. Outstanding customer service is essential in creating new customers, retaining existing customers, and cultivating referrals for future customers. Employees who meet and exceed guest expectations are critical to a hotel's success, and it begins with the hiring process. It is imperative for HR personnel to screen for and hire people who inherently possess customer-friendly traits - empathy, warmth and conscientiousness - which allow them to serve guests naturally and authentically. Trait-based hiring means considering more than just a candidate's technical skills and background; it means looking for and selecting employees who naturally desire to take care of people, who derive satisfaction and pleasure from fulfilling guests' needs, and who don't consider customer service to be a chore. Without the presence of these specific traits and attributes, it is difficult for an employee to provide genuine hospitality. Once that kind of employee has been hired, it is necessary to empower them. Some forward-thinking hotels empower their employees to proactively fix customer problems without having to wait for management approval. This employee empowerment—the permission to be creative, and even having the authority to spend money on a customer's behalf - is a resourceful way to resolve guest problems quickly and efficiently. When management places their faith in an employee's good judgment, it inspires a sense of trust and provides a sense of higher purpose beyond a simple paycheck. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.