News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, June 27, 2008|
Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager
Part two: Motivating the team
|By Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS
July 18, 2008
"People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why
not try and see
In our careers as hoteliers managing a wide range of people, we have all been exposed to people who enjoy being part of the “team” and others who are viewed as or seem to regularly act contrarian. While most of us as managers and supervisors would rather avoid conflict and confrontation, reality has shown us repeatedly that we need the “team” in a business that is open to the public 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
In part one - Understanding the Organization – we outlined some of the differences between leaders and managers and the need for both. While leaders often may seem inspirational, they often do not have the interest or stamina to be involved in the every day necessity of managing the process of delivering results through other people.
Managers are the ones often responsible for handling, directing, organizing, monitoring and yes, motivating the team . Each of the above global leaders in hospitality had a group of managers who assisted them in immense ways to launch the vision and thereby change the industry.
Part two: Motivating the Team
1. Understand what motivating really means
A key responsibility for today’s hotel supervisor and manager is to get the team as a unit and as individuals to regularly excel at what they do – every day!
This means recognizing that people are generally self-motivated to earn something they want or to preserve something they already have. Focusing on the positive in any economic cycle is less stressful for all parties – threats are basically bullying tactics.
People work in hotels for different reasons, including:
a. “Love” of the business – the art of hospitalityThere are many other potential reasons, but there are usually tangible goals. Abraham Maslow, the well-known behavioral analyst, identified two generations ago a foundation of human needs that remain relevant today.
1. the need for physical things#1 – physical things are the basics – food, shelter, and clothing. #5 - self actualization – is more complex because it recognizes the maturing of the individual and what they are seeking from life. We all move up and down the hierarchy at different points in our lives and managers who understand that “one size does not fit all” in their strategies to motivate their team will evolve into consistent winners.
2. Recognize that money is not the answer to everything
Statistics within the hospitality industry from the Cornell University Hotel School web site and other industry sources place turnover at a range of incredibly high percentages.
We have often thought the reason for this turnover was less than desirable pay, benefits, job security and working conditions. While the hotel industry is not always the highest paying, it seldom ranks at the bottom of the rung any more. Dr. Frederick Herzberg identified that people work their best when their work is interesting and when they are recognized for their contributions.
The more that managers and supervisors can provide their team with the latitude to do their job without the negative of constant supervision, the more that staff is likely to respond positively and with results.
3. Provide meaningful work, not errands
Even in the most sophisticated of hotels and restaurants, people accept
the reality that the manager or supervisor has the right and responsibility
to provide direction and overall supervision. Focused companies
like Gaylord and Marriott that provide the training to ensure their teams
are prepared have proven track records of both lower turnover and measurable
successes. Yes, we all have to complete “grunt work” at times, but
reflect on allowing your team to fine tune the details of the menial tasks
rather than giving them minute details of how to accomplish it.
4. Set and communicate team goals
We all use road maps in unfamiliar territory to get us from one point to our destination. Goals make the every day business more interesting and they provide a target to shoot for.
To be effective:
For more than 12 years, I maintained a consulting/training practice. I was responsible for literally everything. If I paid attention to the appropriate details, my success rate was much higher than if I did not. As a sole practitioner, I was the team except when I added subcontractors or unless I worked as part of a consulting team for another group.
Very few of our hotels use single workers – we are all part of a team, yet we still want to be recognized for our individual contributions.
There are many good resources available online that can offer templates and “how-to” approaches to creating meaningful scorecards. These can be done for every department and individual.
They must be:
For some managers, giving praise can be quite challenging, but it is essential for motivation.
Disconnect combining the praise with the criticism whenever possible. The “but” that comes after the praise comes is often diluted when it is followed by criticism.
Both are needed in hospitality and every business. If they must
be combined, offer the positive feedback after the harsh material has been
How much am I really worth? This is a legitimate question facing
us all, as managers or a member of the team.
An option is to provide EVERY team member the opportunity of earning a merit increase because they participated in hotel sponsored or approved training that has the potential of improving the success of both the hotel and the individual. Taking the training alone is not enough – there needs to be a measurable skill or gained competency.
If a front desk agent learns how to forecast, then the person now doing the forecasts might be able to advance to another task. If a breakfast cook learns how to work the banquet prep line, everyone has the potential for advancement.
Seriously think about this one…………it works!
8. Coach your team as a strong way to help them reach beyond where they are
Coaching is a way to develop and fine tune skills. This means we as managers need to consider some guidelines for effective coaching, including:
Counseling can be the opposite side to coaching. Rather than addressing a skill set that needs development or refinement, counseling often aims at the manifestation of poor attitudes that are displayed in the application of skills.
You notice the housekeeping supervisor, who has been quite competent at her/his job, over a few weeks has begun to stop paying attention to timely reordering of supplies necessary to meet quality standards. In addition, this same person has become abrupt with other team members.
You may not know what has happened, but you cannot allow it to continue. Counseling actions steps might include:
This approach will not solve their problem, but it will show them you care about them as an individual. Counseling can be used both in correcting problems and in developing and maintaining positive attitudes.
10. Commit to a goal of 100% quality – every day!
Many of the major brands today are reducing the number of corporate staff conducting pure, on site “inspections” . This does not mean they are lowering standards, but are using the benefits of technology. Services from AAA assessments, guest feedback at TRIP ADVISOR and other sites combined with email guest surveys are providing everyone with likely giest experience at a hotel.
Today’s successful hotel managers train and then trust their staff to
self monitor their own area, especially with the team goals and individual
scorecards goals to keep their staff focused on what is important.
Commitment to quality has to be part of everyone’s responsibility.
This is a five part series that will tackle areas of concern and interest for today’s manager. The next three segments will address:
All rights reserved by John Hogan. This column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management.
John Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20 year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his ongoing involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,100 workshops and seminars in his career. He served as senior vice president for a client in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He has published more than 350 articles & columns on the hotel industry and is co-author (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from a range of industry sources and AMAZON.com. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and is finalizing his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
|Also See:||Principles for Success As a Hotel Manager Part One: Understanding the Organization / Dr. John Hogan / July 2008|
|Updating Hotel Marketing and Sales Strategies Mid Year NOW Is Essential / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Don’t Underestimate the Impact of the Hotel Sales Office / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|Factors for Successful Interviewing Potential Hotel Sales Candidates / Dr. John Hogan / June 2008|
|The Importance of Meaningful Sales Team Job Descriptions / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|For Hotels with Limited Service, Fewer than 100 Rooms - How Do You Determine if You Need a Person Dedicated to Selling / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Extending Your Sales Team or Make Travel Agents A Regular Part of Your Sales Programs / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Finding Business Leads Can Be Easier Than You Think / Dr. John Hogan / May 2008|
|Understanding the Differences Between Marketing and Sales / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|
|Identifying Your Customers / Lessons from the Field A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry / Dr. John Hogan / April 2008|