|Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson, June 2001
One dictionary defines aptitude as “natural tendency or talent; ability."
The same dictionary defines attitude as “a way of thinking, acting, or
feeling." I interpret this to mean that aptitude enables a
person to perform a task while attitude determines how well
the person performs that task. Which is more important? Is
one more important than the other?
What about the opposite? Can a positive attitude compensate for less aptitude? I think it can, at least partially. As a “professional guest," I am far more tolerant of a genuinely cordial and guest-oriented employee who may not be a technical wizard than I am of the super efficient desk clerk who does not smile, or even look at me during check in. Surveys indicate that many of your guests share my tolerance.
A prospective employee’s aptitude is often tested as part of the recruitment and hiring process. What about attitude after the applicant is employed and dealing with your guests every day?
How can you assess your employees’ attitude? What can you do about poor attitude? In my opinion, assuring that communication channels are always open is an excellent way to evaluate your staff’s attitude. The communication must be two-way. If you keep your employees informed and make them feel comfortable in keeping you informed, you can more accurately assess their attitude. I do not suggest “gripe” sessions as I do not think they are productive. I suggest property-wide discussion or focus groups. The groups should be small enough to permit and encourage maximum participation.
A suggestion program is another way to get feedback from your staff. You can tell a lot about attitude from suggestions and comments. I do recommend that all suggestions received be answered. An unanswered suggestion can send the message that management is not really serious and just going through the motions.
I also think you should reward suggestions that are adopted, and explain why others cannot be implemented.
Mystery shopping can also help you assess employee attitude. Experienced
and insightful shoppers can tell you a lot about how employees are interacting
with your guests, and what attitude they are projecting. Mystery
shopping can also
If you identify the existence of poor attitude at your property, there are some things you do to correct the problem. Some suggestions next time. Please contact us if you have comments or questions.
|Also See:||Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001|
|Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001|
|Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001|
|AAA Standards vs Guests' Expectations / May 2001|
|Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001|
|Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001|
|The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001|
|Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001|
|How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000|
|Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000|
|Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000|
|The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000|
|What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000|
|If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000|
|Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000|
|Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000|
|What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999|
|Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999|
|Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult? / Oct 1999|
|Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999|
|Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999|
|Who Should Train Your Employees / Aug 2000|
|Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998|
|Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000|
|The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999|