Recipe for a Sustainable Service Culture: The Essential Ingredients

By Nigel Lobo Vice President of Resort Operations, Grand Pacific Resorts | May 28, 2010

To make a service culture a reality everyone needs to be on board. This includes the top level executives all the way down through all of the line level associates. Not only does everyone need to buy into the concept and implementation but also play a part in the development of the concept and processes. For, in fact, we with a passion for a service culture know that the process begins with the heart of our operation, the staff members who interact with our guests on an ongoing basis.

In order for a culture of Service Excellence to grow and thrive, the resort operations team must have a burning desire for it to be that way, and the energy to ensure that this desire spreads throughout the resort and kept alive.

Memorable Vacations are Created by Going Above and Beyond.

Our “Building Service Culture” process was rolled out in the last quarter of 2008. The development of the program was across all 14 of the resorts managed by Grand Pacific Resort Management. The course of action focused on specific Associate and Guest satisfaction strategies.

Associate Satisfaction strategies centered on providing associates with feedback and recognition, as well as getting them totally involved in the key elements, such as the development of their own resort credo and goals.

For instance, one resort team came up with “Building Friendships through Genuine Hospitality” as their motto. Another went for “All Hands on Deck”. This exercise got the ball rolling with everyone from housekeeping to the front desk providing their input and voting on the final outcome.

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Hotel Spa: Oasis Unplugged

The driving force in current hotel spa trends is the effort to manage unprecedented levels of stress experienced by their clients. Feeling increasingly overwhelmed by demanding careers and technology overload, people are craving places where they can go to momentarily escape the rigors of their daily lives. As a result, spas are positioning themselves as oases of unplugged human connection, where mindfulness and contemplation activities are becoming increasingly important. One leading hotel spa offers their clients the option to experience their treatments in total silence - no music, no talking, and no advice from the therapist - just pure unadulterated silence. Another leading hotel spa is working with a reputable medical clinic to develop a “digital detox” initiative, in which clients will be encouraged to unplug from their devices and engage in mindfulness activities to alleviate the stresses of excessive technology use. Similarly, other spas are counseling clients to resist allowing technology to monopolize their lives, and to engage in meditation and gratitude exercises in its place. The goal is to provide clients with a warm, inviting and tranquil sanctuary from the outside world, in addition to also providing genuine solutions for better sleep, proper nutrition, stress management and natural self-care. To accomplish this, some spas are incorporating a variety of new approaches - cryotherapy, Himalayan salt therapy and ayurveda treatments are becoming increasingly popular. Other spas are growing their own herbs and performing their treatments in lush outdoor gardens. Some spa therapists are being trained to assess a client's individual movement patterns to determine the most beneficial treatment specifically for them. The July issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these trends and developments and examine how some hotel spas are integrating them into their operations.