The challenge lies in cultivating a strong work ethic and a positive attitude, which are essential attributes for achieving high levels of motivation among employees.
Working in hospitality sector is a challenging pathway. You come up with various characters, behaviors and cases. It is a great opportunity to strengthen our virtues of patience, courage, self-confidence and sincerity.
Both talented and non-talented employees can be successful if they:
- Are on time: Front desk, 14:45, waiting for my evening shift to arrive. Suddenly, Maria is entering the lobby, I check the time 14:50 (!!!) . A huge smile on my face! It is not the workload that will be covered in 10 mins, neither that I will leave earlier, but the first thought that comes to my mind, which is: Maria cares about her colleagues and also for her profession. I will not be late when I will come to change her shift tomorrow’! Being on time shows respect, creates strong bonds among employees and give the positive example on how we should behave in a professional working environment.
- Put effort at work (doing extra): Through my experience in hotels and restaurants, I have met many co-workers. The ones that put effort at work are the most successful. Why? Because, they go the extra mile to help, meaning that they really love what they do. They ‘don’t watch the clock. They do what it does: keep going’.
- Energy & passion: Working in hospitality requires energy, both mental and physical (mind and body). I remember a friend of mine, Marios, who used to go running every day before he starts his 10hour shift as a waiter. “I don’t feel more tired, he used to tell me, but, more energetic and ready to act. Also, my psychology is better”. So, personal life habits as exercise are not irrelevant to work. Passion is the fuel to success. If you passionate, it means that you really LOVE what you do. That your work fulfills you with positive thoughts and feelings.
- Work ethic: During the training I deliver to the hotel staff, I focus on the work ethic. A personal set of values that determines how a hotel employee behaves in the workplace. How you talk, communicate, ask for something shows your level of ethics. A top room seller with no work ethics is not respectable. A medium performance employee with high work ethic gains respect, not because of his work but as an example of a trustworthy person, who can build secure bonds in a team.
- Body language: Do you know that crossing arms with smile in a discussion makes you look more confident? Positive body language helps resolving conflicts with guests, making you look pleasing and charming. It can also improve team spirit and foster innovation and creativity at work. People who talk fluently the international language of smile are successful in hospitality industry.
- Attitude: It is easy to train someone to do a job, but it is very hard to train someone with poor attitude to be highly motivated. ‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference (W. Churchill).
- Being coachable and prepared: Coaching supports individuals to maximize their potential. Being coachable means that you don’t just hear, but listen what other peoples say. The biggest communication problem is that we don’t listen to understand but we listen to reply. Also, being prepared is a crucial skill for a hotel employee who wants to be successful. Knowledge never stops, so, when you are not busy, earn by learning!
It is a fact that working in hospitality requires to be talented, certified and experienced. But you cannot do nothing if Emotional Quotient is at low levels even if you are highly talented.
Manos Tsigkakos is Human Relations and Hotel Operations Quality Lead at Lamway Hotel Management Group and Tutor at New York College (faculty of International Hospitality Management).
Manos Tsigkakos holds Bachelors' degrees in Public Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management in Greece and a MSc in Tourism Management & Marketing from Bournemouth University, UK. His professional experience in Catering and Hospitality businesses in various line staff and managerial positions has enriched him with passion and strong abilities to lead, train and inspire people who want to excel their career and knowledge in Tourism and Hospitality.