Fostering a Positive Professional Environment for Hotel Management & Employees

By Eliezer Quinones General Manager, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences | June 24, 2018

In the world of hospitality and hotel management, sports analogies are a dime a dozen but when you're a former professional athlete there is great depth and meaning in these comparisons. For me, these metaphors are more than tired phrases about "scoring" or "there is no I in team." Instead they are rich in experience and built on themes of teamwork and motivation, aimed at instilling a sense of purpose and to form a collective team in the workplace. The metaphors communicate a workplace structure where the greatest message is human synergy. It's that type of collective thinking that allows hotels and resorts to create a desirable workplace environment and achieve true success… or taking home the trophy, if you will.

Pre-Season: Tryouts and Spring Training

Imagine you are the coach tasked with building a stellar team from scratch. As the General Manager of any resort that is essentially one of the most vital assignment, scouting the best talented prospects and recruiting individuals that aspire to accomplish a goal. You have to take both a focused and holistic approach, identifying each individual's talents and then determining where they fit into the larger team. Each individual prospect must offer a synergy that relates to the team and recognizing that is crucial because acknowledging and appreciating their talents will allow them to learn, develop, and grow together. Once you have a team in place the next step is the training program where every individual will systematically continue to practice their skills, sharpen their toolset, and fine-tune their execution strategies; until it becomes part of their muscle memory.

It's in this phase that you want to build confidence through motivation, a crucial step in creating long-term value for the company and for the individual. So how do you motivate and encourage individuals towards achieving excellent execution with technical and service aspects of the job? You develop their mental game with discipline and constant training!

One of the best things a leader in the hospitality arena can do is to motivate their employees by highlighting the team´s strength and celebrating the accomplishments while working towards a common goal. This can be achieved by reinforcing positive behavior with daily execution, continuing to develop their talents (both preexisting and newly honed), acknowledging their contributions, and underscoring the individual's participation within the cohesive unit. A highly motivated team is going to be more committed to achieving the company's ultimate goal. A supported team is going to be focused on carrying out the job's daily requirements and challenge themselves to perform at the highest level.

For example, finding creative ways to personalize a guest's experience at the resort whether it's celebrating a birthday in a unique way or arranging a thoughtful gesture to mark an anniversary. It is in these moments that first-time guests become loyal customers; which is an excellent formula for success in hotel management.

The mental game is crucial as these practices will set the tone for what is expected throughout the year and help ensure continued success. The General Manager must remain dedicated to narrowing in on the best way to perfect the team's mental game; whether that is providing an open space for feedback, encouraging constant communication, varying motivational efforts, etc. Every team will have their own formula and it is the role of the General Manager to tweak that formula, creating a methodology that works for everyone on the team and adjusting as needed.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.