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The Easy Button, the Big Easy and an Easy-Bake Oven

by Jim Hartigan
January 25, 2012

Staples has the Easy Button. Mardi Gras has the Big Easy, and my daughter has her Easy-Bake Oven.  What does your hotel have? We have some very smart followers of the (thought)wide blog series, and they shared a great deal of feedback on our recent blog 12 Revolutionizing Communication Resolutions for 2012 and they asked us – “Is there an EASY way that I can make MY hotel communications better?”  Which got me to thinking – Is there an E.A.S.Y. way to better hotel communications???  And the answer is YES – and here are my four E.A.S.Y. steps to help make YOUR hotel’s communication E.A.S.Y.!

– Establish a simple and easy-to-understand statement
A – Ask questions, seek feedback right away, and be open to answering questions
S – Set aside time to have direct communication with team members via a face-to-face meeting or conference call to discuss new and important messages.
Y – Yahoo! Effective communication includes more than to do’s and to don’ts….it includes celebrating the good stuff – and what is in it for the team member - in public!

E – Establish a simple and easy-to-understand statement

Write with your audience in mind.  Use words and phrases that are familiar and used among your audience on a regular basis.    Eliminate any unnecessary words or terminology and boil it down to the most basic information.  The simplest of sentences can be the most attention grabbing. Go! Fight! Win!

A – Ask questions, seek feedback right away, and be open to answering questions

Once your audience has had the opportunity to read or listen to your message, ask them to repeat the message back to you in their own words while you check for understanding.  Ask them if there are words or phrases that are unclear.  Seek your team’s feedback on how they would refine your message.

S – Set aside time to have direct communication when possible.  Face-to-face meetings or conference call about important new messages work best

Don’t get lost in the shuffle of the To-Do List and deadlines.  For internal messages, ask your team to set aside time to review new goals and objectives with you.  If you keep the time focused and productive, you will see a return on your investment of time and resources.

Y – Yahoo! Effective communication includes more than to do’s and to don’ts….it includes celebrating the good stuff – and what is in it for the audience - in public!

Everyone loves a party and everyone loves it more when they are reason for the party.  As milestones, goals and objectives are met, take time to recognize those who made it possible.  Be specific about individual contribution whenever possible. Take the opportunity to show your audience how changes not only help the group as a whole, but how they also help each individual.

You may not get to the Big Easy this year, enjoy slightly burnt “treats” from your daughter’s Easy-Bake Oven or have a hidden Red Easy Button, but communicating at your hotel can be “E.A.S.Y.” if you follow these four simple (thought I’d say “easy” again didn’t ya?) steps!  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.

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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