The quality of the guest experience is what sets one hospitality venue apart from its competitors. The crème de la crème of businesses in this sector understand that for their guests, it’s all about the experience. And it’s that which gives them the edge.
For example, many Ritz Carlton guests have relayed testimony upon testimony of exceptional service; people stand in awe at the length to which this hotel group will go to in order to delight their guests. Even Disney has set a benchmark for phenomenal guest experiences, and have mastered it so well that they train other companies in their methodologies.
The very best operators in the hospitality industry understand that word-of-mouth type guest experiences only come about with carefully constructed workplace culture plans. Here are 10 elements of a great workplace culture plan.
1. Core Values as Guideposts
Core values in a hospitality business need to be lived (not filed away on a piece of paper) and should guide all behaviour and business decisions, from the top down.
Sticking with the Ritz Carlton example, here are two of their 12 core values:
- “I own and immediately resolve guest problems.”
- “I am always responsive to the expressed and unexpressed wishes and needs of our guests.”
Start your workplace culture plan by determining your values, and then brainstorm how to bring them to life across your establishment.
2. Building Working Relationships
It’s part of the human structure to be loyal to our communities. When hospitality staff develop relationships with each other, they form a bond that makes for strong teamwork.
Your workplace culture plan should include a strategy that unites employees - and when appropriate - encourages a sense of fun and camaraderie.
3. Rewards and Incentives
Everybody needs recognition, and your employees are no different. Recognition programs need to be of value to staff and they need to be specific to what behaviours and actions should be reinforced.
And of course, rewards and incentives have to be applied to all staff, not only certain groups. Avoid allowing management to select the people to be rewarded, because this can be biased or imply favouritism, which will work against the purpose of the idea.
4. A Higher Business Purpose
The people who are passionate about working in the hospitality industry are generally those with a passion to serve. Serving in itself is a tremendous motivating factor for those employees.
But when business is more than just a profit machine, and employees can get involved in a social responsibility program, it builds a strong workplace culture and creates a sense of greater purpose.
5. Recruiting the Right People
Building a strong workplace culture means carefully selecting the right employees to fit the desired culture, so the recruitment process needs to be designed to select people who subscribe to your core values as well as the character of your business.
6. Measuring Performance
It’s vital for leaders to measure the right things, and these elements need to be based on the hospitality organisation’s core values.
7. Encourage Innovation
There’s a lot of competition in the hospitality industry, and when a hotel or restaurant introduces a new service or product, the lifespan of the product is often short because it gets “stolen” by competitors fast.
Because of this, your workplace culture plan should create a system that encourages innovative input from employees, so that your business keeps its edge.
8. Learning Culture
A learning culture overlaps with encouraging innovation in the workplace. When employees have a strong desire to learn, instead of just working to earn a wage, they tend to be more passionate and productive than those who are not interested in enhancing their skills.
Implement a knowledge management program to foster a learning culture, which in turn fosters innovation. Also expose your employees to a range of hospitality training courses and support their professional development.
9. Processes, Standards and Systems
Developing processes, standards and systems provides clarity to employees. It gives a guideline as to how “we do things around here”, and puts everyone on the same page, which is essential when you aim to provide a consistently good service experience to guests.
10. Senior Leadership Must Drive Culture
This element comes last, but it should actually come first. When senior leaders don’t drive the desired culture, all other attempts by management will fall flat.
Senior leadership have to set the example. It’s them who needs to drive the culture. It’s up to them to reinforce desired behaviours and actions.
To learn how you can create a finely tuned hospitality business with premier workforce management, get in touch with BENCHMARQUE today.