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Five Things Every Hotel Associate Wants from Management

According to TINYpulse’s 2016 “Best Industry Ranking Report,” the hospitality industry is the fourth happiest industry to work in. I’m pleased to see this increase from the company’s 2015 report, which ranked hospitality as the sixth happiest industry; however, improvements must still be made in order to secure that No. 1 spot.

Some hotel managers may be under the impression that their associates are hesitant to come to them with their feedback. This mentality is in and of itself indicative of a harmful work environment; if your associates feel emotionally supported in their roles, they will voice their opinion. If they’re not being open, something is probably wrong.

If you’re having trouble getting your associates to open up, there could be a few good reasons why. As an associate evangelist, I can tell you the following are what associates want from management…

To feel valued: At their core, associates want to feel valued and appreciated for their hard work. They want to feel heard and, more importantly, validated. Are you showing associates that you not only hear them, but are a good listener as well as responsive to their needs? One surefire way to guarantee your employees’ value is by enabling a healthy work/life balance. In fact, employees recently ranked “supporting work/life balance” as the No. 1 way that companies can show employees they care about them.

Consistency in the workplace: Can you imagine if I asked you to fly a plane without any training or best practices? Consistent training is an opportunity to ensure everyone is on the same page, clarify any misunderstandings and reset expectations. By building consistency, you’ll ensure every associate is always cruising at a safe altitude. At the same time, keep your eyes open for moments where you can train, inspire and motivate on the fly; some of the best opportunities can occur at the most unexpected of times.

To feel recognized: Associates want to be held accountable for best practices or standards that they can be proud of. It is my usual practice to receive associate buy-in by asking a very simple question: “What do you think?” You should see the positive change in your associates’ body language when you ask this powerful question.

To Be Treated Fairly and with Respect: When I hire a new associate, I start the training process by telling the individual that we are in a partnership and that I work for them. Yes, that’s right. In my role I may be Captain of the ship but, without my hard-working and loyal team, I would be steering my vessel alone. If you treat your associates fairly and with respect, their work starts to feel less like a job and they begin enjoying their roles more.

To Have Fun: Injecting a little fun into the workplace shows your team that you genuinely care about them, both as a team member and family member. For example, when my team hit and exceeded its benchmark, I went out and created individual gift bags with a hand-written personal note to each associate “thanking them” for their hard work. Of course, I also noted how we’re looking to continually succeed by achieving more goals along our journey together. Not only did I create an experience for our associates like we do for our guests, but this was a great opportunity to instill positive work habits that will continue with our team. Find out what motivates and engages your team and set a plan into action in order to accomplish that goal. Also demonstrate to your team by working with them side-by-side, instead of simply asking them how they are doing. Remember: all personnel are under the sea captain’s authority, but the ship will operate most efficiently when everyone is working together. In time, like any relationship, you will build a strong and cohesive team that your associates will be delighted with and proud of.

Ready to start making waves in your work environment? Keep these tips top of mind and you’ll surely succeed.

I would like to dedicate this article to four Managers–Nicole Randazzo, Diego Romero, Bill Weed and Jairo Ramirez–who have inspired my leadership abilities, encouraged me to always put my associates first, and keep balance in the workplace.

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