Empowering Your Hotel Staff as a Leadership Style
By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotel Company | September 2018
Many outstanding leaders believe in not asking of their subordinates something they would not do-or be able to do-themselves. Managing a rush of guests arriving on scene all at once with aplomb. Sure thing. Light bulb goes out in a room just as the engineering staff goes off duty. No problem. We all know how to change a light bulb, and know where to find one in the first place. A staff member has to leave the property due to a family emergency and we must cover for them, without losing a beat. Been there, done that. Think of this principle as one of the Golden Rules of Leadership.
Among these Golden Rules, another key element of leadership is in having the intent, skills and confidence to empower our staff-assigning responsibilities, but, also, giving individuals defined authority to solve issues, internally or with guests and our professional partners.
In this article, we will talk about how good leaders understand why and how to empower their staff, giving them the tools to think creatively and purposely in a variety of settings. We will also provide some practical examples of empowerment in action; and talk about how this leadership style contributes to and enhances a hospitality organization's overall culture of quality and value.
In simplest terms, empowerment means that staff members, when faced with an "out of the box" situation, can do more than just say: "I'm sorry."
When we ourselves are customers, is there anything more frustrating than having a problem and the associate that you are dealing with is unable to make a decision to resolve the problem-no matter how small the issue is? A typical response is: "Do I really have to wait for a supervisor…?"