Journey to Excellence: Creating Standards for Your Hotel Employees

By Stephen Hall Founder, Brandworks Distribution LLC | September 13, 2015

The definition of excellence is "consistently meeting right standards." The definition contains the inseparable union of quality and ethics. Aristotle suggests that there are three legs on the stool of excellence. They are ETHOS, LOGOS and PATHOS. Ethos refers to standards and logos refers we "right" standards. Pathos refers to the passion which we must have to ensure consistency. In the previous issue we discussed ethics. In this issue we will discuss the ways in which standards are created. As we begin however one point is absolutely crucial to our discussion.

The Standards Must be in Writing

Traditionally hoteliers have been reluctant to put standards in writing but there are four reasons why it is absolutely essential.

  • Written standards minimize ambiguity. When we have to put items in written
    form we tend to express more care in providing a clear and understandable
  • One of the biggest obstacles to consistently meet standards is that of
    turnover. Traditionally turnover has been extremely high in the hospitality
    industry which means that training is a major element in consistency.
    Written standards ensure that all employees are taught the same level of
    standards we demand.
  • Standards must undergo periodic fine-tuning. As excellence inculcates our
    organization we will be consistently raising our standards to new levels. In
    written form standards are easily disseminated and reviewable.
  • When a standard is not met re: what was intended versus what was executed
    the error must be absolutely clear. This is particularly helpful when
    dealing with unions.

Putting standards in writing is easily accomplished with today's popular word processing programs. It is done department by department. Let us now move on to the formation standards.

How to Set Standards

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. 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.