The hospitality industry was devastated by the pandemic. According to usnews.com, almost 4 million hospitality jobs were lost in 2020, eliminating nearly 10 years of job growth in the sector. To adapt and operate with less staff, the industry is embracing technology more than ever. Limited staffing leaves many employees working alone in isolated areas which poses a security threat. In response, unions and some states are advocating or requiring the use of rapid response buttons in the industry. These buttons, worn by staff, provide a way to summon help in the case of an emergency. However, research by PWC highlights gaps in such technology in terms of reliability and connectivity issues.
Violence in hospitality spaces is on the rise and employers must evaluate the efficacy of whatever safety plans they’ve implemented for their staff. The “customer is always right” motto has led to more verbal abuse from guests in hospitality spaces. Verbal abuse is violence. Training staff on de-escalation techniques should be prioritized.
Hospitality industry employers have placed a great deal of focus on technical skills in their hiring practices. A higher value needs to be placed on hiring individuals with the necessary soft skills to ascertain the needs of guests, interpret body language, de-escalate volatile situations, and set boundaries. Hiring individuals with these soft skills will not only improve the overall guest experience, but will also assist in creating a safe space for staff and guests.
A few points of consideration when reviewing your safety plan and engaging staff in safety discussions:
- Does your establishment need security? How will security be trained to handle volatile situations?
- Do staff know when calling the police is necessary? What is the policy for calling the police?
- How do you notify staff of violent occurrences at your establishment?
- What safety protocols is management required to follow?
- Can staff differentiate between unsafe situations versus uncomfortable/inconvenient situations?
- Are managers focused on surveilling staff or guiding them and providing emotional support?
We hope this post encourages you to evaluate not only your safety plan, but also your establishment’s culture around safety. In the comments below, we’d like to know what safety practices you’ve implemented to shift the culture and create a safe establishment. Make a it a great day!
Remote work is creating a shift in how we define professionalism. Before the pandemic the rules of professionalism were clearly defined. In some instances, attire was suits and ties–no exceptions, or business casual such as golf shirts, or cardigans and khakis on Fridays. In some cases, professionalism meant perfect grammar—a demeanor that reflected mannerisms and speech patterns void of any individuality or cultural attributes. Seemingly the pre-pandemic definition of professionalism was a construct of our unconscious bias designed to avoid any feelings of discomfort with the unfamiliar.
Many employees who work remotely are letting their guard down and removing the old mask of professionalism. Increasingly, employees are showing up in virtual meetings as their authentic selves not only in attire, but in how they express themselves in virtual chats where language is often more relaxed, and grammatical errors are overlooked. Perhaps because working remotely has enabled each employee to create their own safe environment, they are more likely to show up in shared virtual spaces as their authentic self.
As a leader, it is important to embrace diversity with a spirit of inclusivity. Determine how closely your current definition of professionalism aligns with your company’s core values. Take another look your company’s dress code.
- Does it allow employees to show up as their authentic selves or does it have an undertone that dictates how they must hide their cultural attributes?
- Does your current definition of professionalism support a psychologically safe workspace?
For the benefit of your employees, clients, vendors, and partner, set aside time to re-examine how you define professionalism for your work environment. It could make all the difference in the world.
Give us your feedback in the comment section below.
Make it a great day !!
Some leaders dread offering constructive criticism to employees because at times, no matter how positive their delivery, oftentimes, it is received negatively. Employees may feel embarrassed, ashamed, low and like they have a target on their back.
Let’s face it, none of us want to be perceived as a staunch critic but when carried out with empathy, constructive criticism has tremendous value.
Offer constructive criticism as feedback by explaining one of the best ways to grow is to identify areas of improvement.
Employees who do not receive feedback become disengaged. On the other hand, providing strength focused feedback engages employees and engaged employees are more productive.
Ideas for Best Practices:
1) Make feedback timely and don’t make it personal. Feedback is most effective when delivered immediately so that the employee can easily recall what occurred. Be mindful to allow a cool down period if emotions are elevated. Remember, when executed poorly, constructive criticism comes across award and accusatory.
2) Opt for an authentic approach using specific and supportive language. Avoid vague and judgmental language.
4) Frame the feedback with positive intentions. Say something like, “I know you’ll offer great information in your speech and I want to make sure the audience receives all of it. So let’s think of ways to increase your eye contact and project your voice.”.
By shifting your perspective, it will build employee morale and productivity.
Give us your feedback and share the method that is most effective for you. Whatever you do, make it a great day!
A memorable experience! As a consumer, who among us doesn’t want that on a consistent basis?
Customers form opinions about your service based on many things—beginning with the way you talk to them.
Great customer service begins from the first point of contact…over the phone, virtually, online, face-to-face. Regardless of the method, your greeting should impact customers such that they have a longing to do business with you indefinitely.
A genuine embrace with your body language, facial expression, other non-verbal acknowledgement tells them you affirm their presence…it is the first step in building a relationship. Now, that’s only the beginning. The following are basic principles to consider as you protect one of your most precious assets…your client:
- Ask how he/she/they want to be addressed…”Mr. Smith”, “Mrs. Johnson”, “Dr. Matthews”. Do not use their first name unless they’ve given permission to do so.
- Your greeting should be professional and not rehearsed. Avoid too much banter and being loquacious.
- The ability to read body language, tone of voice (written or verbal) can offer great insight as to the level and frequency of interaction a customer prefers. For example, an introvert may prefer a quick greeting void of small talk. Remember to offer a sincere smile while speaking on the phone, texting, online, and face-to-face…your client can hear it in your voice.
Your greeting provides an opportunity to deepen the relationship, create community roots, and increase customer loyalty.
In the comments below let us know what makes your customer greeting special. Make it a great day!
What happens to elementary school bullies? In some cases, they grow up to be adult bullies who lurk in offices and workspaces doing what they’ve always done—tormenting their targets.
According to the Workplace Bully Institute (WBI), workplace bullying is defined as “repeated, health-harming mistreatment by one or more employees of an employee; abusive conduct that takes the form of verbal abuse; or behaviors perceived as threatening, intimidating, or humiliating; work sabotage.”
The WBI also found in a 2021 study that 30% of employees are bullied in the workplace with 43% of remote workers enduring the same experience. Bullying can result in qualified employees’ high absenteeism, lost productivity, lost revenues, and high turnover.
While harassment at work is illegal, bullying is not because harassment involves mistreatment based on a protected class such as religion, race, national origin, or sex.
Workplace bullying takes on many forms including but not limited to:
- Hostile or aggressive written and/or verbal communication
- Withholding resources
- Unrelenting criticism
- Invasion of personal space
- Non-verbal intimidation
Often times, the bully is the target’s manager but the behavior can also occur among peers.
If you are bullied at work,
- Address the situation in the moment
- Say exactly what he/she is doing to you and why it’s a problem
- Call the bully by name and use self-assured body language
- Document all incidents including how you responded
- Retain all emails, voice mail, and other communications
- Present your documentation to human resources. Your documentation should include suggestions on how you would like to see the issue resolved
Through company culture and policies, this offensive and unacceptable behavior can be eradicated.
In the comments below, let us know if you’ve experienced bullying in the workplace and how you handled it.