Dear Hospitality Industry,
Might you spare a moment out of your busy schedule for a brief yet powerful intervention? It seems attending to your dysfunction superficially has been widely ineffective. A deeper approach is advised. But please don't lose heart, your prognosis is good.
Let us begin with a common definition of hospitality:
A lovely and noble definition! But do you notice anything missing? We speak of 'visitors and guests' but shouldn't the givers of hospitality (staff and management) also feel welcome? After all, how can we expect the delivery of authentic hospitality if we're not hospitable with our own people?
It seems hospitality is often lost in translation in the multi-billion dollar business of travel. Yet it's hospitality that makes travel so enjoyable! Travel without hospitality is just like moving from Point A to Point B... a transactional experience, not a transformative one.
What else happens when hospitality is not extended to our employees? Artificial/poor service. You've most likely experienced it both as a guest and as a hospitality professional at your own workplace... these telltale signs of neglect.
Now you may be a fabulous hospitality business that takes good care of its staff so this may not apply to you... but nevertheless, the malady is widespread and we must look out for our brethren. Remember, fake hospitality can be difficult to spot. For many hospitality employees, taking care of guests precludes self-interest, so they soldier on with a smile... but there may be suffering behind that forced smile.
Why you ask? Where does the conflict lie?
First the disclaimer. We know the hospitality business is highly rewarding yet also highly challenging and all consuming. Extremely long hours, on our feet, on call, encountering a range of emotions from guests, being kind to mean people, no matter if we're hurting, tired, stressed, or sick... all with relatively low pay. To add insult to injury, our industry frequently endures sky high costs and relatively low profit margins.
And, our industry is beholden to... and sometimes dies by the sword of... you guessed it, online review sites.
It doesn't always have to be this way. Let's look on the bright side. There are plenty of thriving hospitality establishments with sustained success. What's their secret, beyond a high-quality product?
They haven't lost sight of hospitality.
They haven't relinquished their soul to big business profits. They haven't spread themselves too thin. They haven't let their culture become toxic—fueled by egos and competition. They haven't hidden behind employee engagement "tactics", empty rhetoric and closed doors. They don't play favorites. They've put in the heart work to build a supportive, uplifting, team-oriented atmosphere. Much like organic gardening, their mindful efforts and good intent have immunized them against sickness, disease and wily predators.
Here, dear industry, is your prescription. Please don't hesitate to seek a second opinion—your staff may be the best place to start!
Please HEART and COMMENT if you're with us!