Spring Cleaning: 5 Simple Steps to Cut Costs and Attract More Families

By Matthew Rosenberger Consultant & Publisher, ABC Travel Guides for Kids | April 30, 2010

My daughters enjoy playing soccer and I enjoy coaching them. My oldest daughter not only scores goals but she is a goalkeeper as well, she understands the game and is a leader. My younger daughter scores goals too, understands how the game is played, and plays to win. As a soccer coach my job is to prepare my daughters, and the rest of the team, for the spring soccer season so when they step on to the field, win or lose, they are able to compete. In putting together my "game plan" for our first practice, just weeks away, I decided to highlight my 5 simple steps to becoming a great goalkeeper. While working on the practice plan it was clear to me that the principles were also applicable to the work I do in the hospitality industry so I decided to modify them so I could share them HotelExecutive.com.

1. Understand How the Game is Played

Most goalies don't start out in the position they grow into it. Gaining experience in different positions on the field helps a player to understand the different responsibilities of each player on the team. It is no surprise that the ending point for many goalkeepers is coach or manager. The experience gained in playing different positions on the field prepared them to become a coach or manager. There are countless stories in our industry of individuals who have started their career in the hospitality industry at the lowest levels and ended up in high-level management or front office positions. Understanding the different jobs and responsibilities in a hotel enables relationships to form and respect to be won. To cut costs and trim the fat you must understand how the game is played much like the goalkeeper does as the field general and a team leader. On the soccer field it's not all about height or ability to punt a ball, its about athleticism, instincts and positioning. In the hospitality industry it's not all about college and advanced degrees, it's about experience in the trenches and learning the role of each tool in the toolbox. Understanding how the game is played, and valuing and respecting your employees will save you money and attract more families to your property.

2. Talk, Talk, Talk

Soccer goalies must never forget to constantly talk to their teammates. They see the field better than any other player on the team. They often understand the game better than any other player on the team does. They must constantly communicate with their teammates - which opponents to mark and make sure each player is in the right position. If their teammates don't mark the right opponent the opponent will be in a position to score. Great goalies encourage their teammates, they don't yell at them they teach them. It is this communication that allows a team to become successful. Players must understand that the goalie is the field general with one goal in mind, how can we win this game. Fundamentals are the key, mark the right player, be aggressive and win your ball, don't be caught out of position, and anticipate and know where my teammates are at every time. The only way to achieve these goals (no pun intended) is to talk to each other. The same is said within a hotel. It's all about fundamentals. The front office must talk to the back office. The sales team must coordinate with the marketing team. The food and beverage department must be on the same page with the direction of upper management and market trends. The concierge must talk to the marketing team. Failing to talk to each other results in wrong decisions that will cost your property money.

3. Know the Angles

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Coming up in March 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.