Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive

.

advertisement


An Anonymous Tip to Opportunities at Your Hotel

by Jim Hartigan
October 24, 2011


The annual employee survey for your hotel closed last week and you restlessly anticipate the results for your hotel teams.  You think you have a good sense for your team members’ opinions, but you’re still a bit nervous.  All of a sudden you hear that familiar “You’ve got mail” ding as the anxiously awaited report lands in your inbox.  As you scan the results, which are overwhelmingly positive, you notice you scored quite low in one area: encourages teamwork.  What do you do now? Mandate monthly retreats, during which employees must take turns falling backwards from a 5-foot high platform into the outstretched arms of their peers?  Or perhaps you go a tirade in the office, demanding to know why employees would think such a thing.  In either case, you won’t really know for sure what the appropriate next steps are until you dig deeper to uncover the root cause of the issue.

To that end, it’s helpful to think of the results of the survey as an anonymous tip, alerting you to a perceived problem.  Although you don’t know exactly who provided the tip, or at least you shouldn’t, the survey results will give you enough information to investigate further.

We suggest beginning an open dialog with your team by conducting a feedback session, during which several, if not all, members of your team come together to discuss any issues identified on the survey.  It’s best to conduct these feedback meetings by department, to allow for individuals to feel comfortable in sharing their ideas.  The primary goal of the session is for you to discover the root cause of any concerns or issues.  In other words, the one or two specific things to which you can point and say “This is where the issue originated and why it became an issue in the first place.”

There are several ways to get to the true origin of an issue (fishbone diagrams, Pareto charts, or the Magic 8-ball).  Many of our clients have been successful using the Five Why’s method, where you as the session leader ask “why” five or more times until an issue’s root cause becomes obvious.  Here’s an example, using our teamwork scenario:

Manager –                              The results of the employee opinion survey show I’m not doing enough to encourage teamwork.  Would one of you please share with me why you feel this way or why you think someone on the team would feel this way?

Front Desk Employee –           I sometimes feel lost when I need to make reservations.

Manager –                              Why do you feel lost?

Front Desk Employee –           Well, I don’t know how to access the system.

Manager –                              Why do you think that is?

Front Desk Employee –           Well, there really isn’t any training.

Manager –                              Actually, there is training.  It’s under “Reservations and Sales” in our Learning Management System on the front desk computer.  Have you looked there?

Front Desk Employee –           I tried to look there and could not logon to the LMS. 

Manager –                              Why not?

Front Desk Employee –           Well, to be honest, I have a hard time remembering my user ID and password.

Manager –                              No problem, this is what team work is all about.  I will talk to the intranet administrator and get you access.  Is anyone else experiencing a similar issue?

Note – The root cause may become obvious after two or three “why’s”, so don’t feel obligated to continue asking questions.

Conducting a feedback session sounds easy so far, doesn’t it?  Ask “why” a few times, uncover the root cause of your problems and now go solve them, right?  Not so fast, Sparky!  Although some team members will be more than willing to openly share their feedback, others will clam up, go with the status quo and/or become defensive when queried for more information.  With that said, here are a few tips for conducting the session:
  • Establish a comfortable, non-threatening environment. Be prepared to ease any tension that may arise during uncomfortable moments.
  • If the tension starts to rise, step in and diffuse the situation. Remind everyone the purpose of the meeting is to identify specific challenges and ways to make things better!
  • Be prepared to jumpstart the conversation with your own ideas for improvement if attendees are less than willing to participate in the discussion. This also demonstrates to the team that you’re not being defensive.
  • Conduct more than one feedback session if that’s what it takes for you to gather the information you need.
  • Above all else, listen and ask questions in ways that get participants to share what they think and feel.  Remember, the goal is to get past the symptoms or effects of an issue and discover the root cause.
Once you’re followed up on the anonymous tip, now it’s time to start problem-solving.  For more information on that topic, please click here to view a previous article titled “Plan your work.  Then work your plan.”  Best of luck in your future feedback sessions and until next time remember; Take care of the customer, Take care of each other, Take care of yourself.



About the Author:

Jim Hartigan, Chief Business Development Officer and Partner joined OrgWide Services, a Training/e-Learning, Communications, Surveys and Consulting firm in April 2010 after nearly 30 years experience in the hospitality industry, including the last 18 as a senior executive with Hilton Worldwide. Jim’s last position was that of Senior Vice President – Global Brand Services where he provided strategic leadership and business development and support to the $22B enterprise of 10 brands and more than 3,400 hotels in 80 countries around the world. His team was responsible for ensuring excellence in system product quality, customer satisfaction, market research, brand management, media planning, and sustainability.
 
.
Contact:

Jim Hartigan
Chief Business Development Officer & Partner
OrgWide Services
165 N. Main Street, Suite 202
Collierville, TN 38017
office: 901.850.8190  Ext. 230
mobile: 901.628.6586
jim.hartigan@orgwide.com
www.orgwide.com


.
Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Recent Articles:


When 'Because I Said So' Doesn’t Work Any Longer...Cross the CREEK to More Effective Persuasion this Budget Season! / Jim Hartigan / September 2011
Treat Me Like a Kid and I’ll Act Like One Too. Train Me Like an Adult and I’ll Show You What I Can Do! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
I'm Not a Kid Anymore - So, Stop Training Me Like One! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
Stop Treating Your Staff like Children and Start Training them like Adults! / Jim Hartigan / August 2011
Paper Anniversary for the Hartigan Files / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Financial Pundits Predict Increase In Audits of Hotel Training Programs?!? / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 3 of 3) Plan your work. Then work your plan. / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 2 of 3) Why? Why? Why? Why? Why? - The Route to Root Cause / Jim Hartigan / July 2011
Hotel Problems Solved Once and For All (Part 1 of 3) / Jim Hartigan / June 2011
Trust - The Secret Sauce in Building Team Member Engagement / Jim Hartigan / June 2011
Stop Changing. Start "Doing It Differently" at Your Hotel! / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
You Can’t Win if You Don’t Play – Hotel Team Member Engagement takes Participation! / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
Employee-Engagement in Your Hotel; Communication Across the Generations / Jim Hartigan / May 2011
Hotel Team Member Engagement - Building Trust and Defeating the Robots / Jim Hartigan / April 2011
Have You Got What it Takes to be an "Over the Top" Hotel Leader? / Jim Hartigan / April 2011
Hotel Managers – Would you rather be Lucky or Good? The Orgwide Problem Solving Process beats a 4 leafed clover every time! / Jim Hartigan / March 2011
Hotel Management – What’s Love got to do with it? / Jim Hartigan / February 2011
Coaching Hotel Team Members the OSKAR Way - Not like training a dog! / Jim Hartigan / January 2011
Hospitality Employee Selection and the Venus Fly Trap – A Study in Floral Business Acumen / Jim Hartigan / December 2010
The Right Tool for the job makes all the difference in the world! / Jim Hartigan / October 2010
Restore Honor to Your Organization: Succession Planning…the Ninja Way / Jim Hartigan / October 2010
Measure to Manage – The importance of KPIs ... and vampires / Jim Hartigan / September 2010
For Everything There is a Season - Including Budgets / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Say What? Listen, Learn, and Act–Why Guess, When You Can Know Redux / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Why Guess When You Can Know - Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Workplace Surveys / Jim Hartigan / August 2010
Team Member Segmentation in the Workplace…or “If everyone brought potato salad to the picnic – it wouldn’t be much of a picnic!” / Jim Hartigan / July 2010
The Power of Effective Communication in the Workplace (and our Founding Fathers’ unrivaled Tweeting abilities) / Jim Hartigan / July 2010
.

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.