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Hotel Management – What’s Love got to do with it?

By Jim Hartigan
February 2011

Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. The holiday of amour brings the opportunity to both send and receive special treats. A few weeks ago, we were doing some cleaning at the Orgwide offices when one team member uncovered a special treat - a dusty old treasure chest deep inside a utility closet. Now, I know a dusty old treasure chest may not seem like a treat to you, but stay with me here. No one had ever seen the chest before. Our curiosity got the best of us and a crowbar was lovingly taken to our little Valentine’s treasure. It turns out the chest was some type of time capsule that included some pretty awesome stuff. For example, I had to explain to my young co-worker the reason behind my excitement in once again becoming the proud owner of a pale blue polyester leisure suit! Anyhow, perhaps the most interesting thing we found in the chest was an old reel-to-reel tape that contains audio from a radio show from the 1970s called The Love Doctor.

You’ll get a chance to hear a clip from the show in just a moment. Before you do, allow me to set the stage. The host, Mr. Chaz Lavelle, is talking to his callers, who happen to be hotel managers and leaders from various brands, about a process called “LLA” or Listen-Learn-Act. “LLA” is a process that helps to improve communication between managers and their team. The good doctor likes to relate the concepts to how we feel when we are “in love.” For instance:
  • Listen – In the hotel business, this entails conducting Employee Opinion or Climate Surveys. Finding out what’s on your team’s mind. In relationships, isn’t it funny how we well we really listen? We love listening to their stories, we love the sound of their voice, and we are totally into everything they have to say! We can’t be around them and listen to them enough…Shouldn’t that be the way we interact with our teams?
  • Learn – For hotel managers, this means having effective Feedback Loops – it’s not enough to just listen, we much be learning what our team needs and wants (tools, supplies, training, etc.) in order to produce the results desired of them. When we are in love with another person, we learn what they like too – their favorite restaurant, their favorite music, what foods they like, their favorite color, what TV shows, books, etc. they enjoy. Essentially, we want to know what makes them happy! Do our teams deserve any less?
  • Act – Listening and learning are hollow until a manger acts on this new found knowledge. Making improvements to the working environment, implementing team member suggestions, modifying processes and procedures to eliminate frustration and waste are all examples of taking action from what a manager learns from his team. When you are in love your actions change too. Demonstration of your love through your actions…both expected and unexpected – is how we show our commitment to others. On Valentine’s Day, it might be buying flowers or candy going to dinner or just sending a card. In everyday life, it might simply mean picking up your clothes, taking out the trash, helping with the laundry, or putting the toilet seat back down.
Now that we have some background, have a listen to the soothing and sage sounds of Chaz Lavelle, The Love Doctor… just

Oh, the wisdom of Doctor Love, Chaz Lavelle. Isn’t it a shame he’s no longer on the air? What a great Valentine’s Day treat for us all to remember though! When it comes to hotel management, what’s love got to do with it? As the good doctor would say, “Everything, Baby!” Treat your employees (and your customers!) with the same love and devotion that you do the love of your life! Happy Valentine’s Day friends!

Until next time, remember…Take care of your customers, Take care of each other, and 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.

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

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