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 – their financial power. It's 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. That's 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." - 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 don't 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 it's 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 it's 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. It's 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 it's 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 we're in the hospitality business so we don't need to worry too much about being nice. Actually, that's 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 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.