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 !!
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
A recent “customer experience” caused me to reflect on how I have observed that phrase over years.
Recently, I began using a new upscale grocery store shopping app. My personal shopper was unable to fill several items in my order. Since the pandemic, I’ve become accustomed to expect inventory shortages due to the “global supply chain crisis” so I wasn’t particularly upset by the grocer’s foible.
A few days later, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email apology for the “lack of service” and shortcomings in their job performance. They assured me that the deficiency does not represent nor comply with their company’s core values for client satisfaction.
Included in the email was a “because you were inconvenienced” coupon that allows me to order a high end product—at not cost. It is a product that I have purchased from their store on several occasions.
Even though I did not submit a complaint, this level of empathy demonstrated that the store understands how to:
- Be accountable. They stepped up and addressed the fact that they missed the mark by not meeting my expectations and that their own internal service standards had been compromised.
- Stand out from the competition. Their acknowledgment of the situation followed by an olive branch apology in the form of a product they know I like is a display of vulnerability. They know I will shop for that product again…regardless whether it is at their store or at their competitor’s store.
So, how were they able to provide stellar customer service to me in the face of perceived failure? Because they know the basic tenets of the “amaze your customer” model:
- They initiated a plan for problem resolution. Their email explained that, even with global supply shortages, they do their best to monitor stock levels in order to set appropriate expectations for their customers.
- They monitored my shopping activity. Apps are data rich and are uniquely positioned to synchronize customer information into a clear picture of the customer’s style and taste. In my case, they noted the number of chats I had with my personal shopper via the app.
- They were able to detect an issue and quickly respond. Chatting with a shopper is not in itself unusual, however, the number of canceled items in my order raised a red flag. The grocery store shopping app reacted to that red flag by reviewing my shopping experience and the grocery store manager reached out to me to resolve the issue.
Has your business implemented an “amaze your customer” model? Let us know in the comments below. Remember to always do your part to make it a great day!
Many companies are rethinking their return to office timeline with the recent spikes in Covid-19 cases nationwide and for many employees, that means more zoom meetings and no end in sight to the fatigue that seems to accompany videoconferencing. .
According to PsychiatricTimes.com, zoom fatigue is attributed to burnout due to the overuse of virtual communication platforms. Physical symptoms of burnout can include sleeplessness, tense muscles, and pain. Cognitive issues such as forgetfulness and lack of concentration can also develop.
So why is videoconferencing so taxing? Virtual meetings require your brain to work harder because in addition to processing what the speaker is saying, you must also give the impression you’re making eye contact. Additionally, when communicating virtually, a slight verbal delay requires more of your brain power to interpret the speaker’s words.
As we all work through this “new normal,” we’d like to offer possible solutions for those facing endless video conferences. Here are a couple key tips for reducing zoom fatigue:
First, consider which interactions truly require video. Could the matter be handled with an email or phone call? Try to balance your meetings with a mix of video conference and teleconference calls.
Second, when creating your schedule, include breaks where possible. It’s important to give yourself a break from continuously staring at a screen.
Third, remove distractions. Minimize the image on your screen if you find yourself becoming distracted by your own appearance. Or, consider asking if it’s okay to turn off your video functionality so that you can better focus on the discussion.
As always, we hope this helps. Feel free to share your tips for reducing zoom fatigue in the comment section below…and…by all means, make it a great day!
As a consumer, when was the last time a business knocked your socks off with extraordinary service? When was the last time you were wowed by an amazing product and follow up from the company/owner/representative?
This week’s blog focuses on the top ten Best Practices that will attract attention and have clients coming back for more.
- Increase customer privacy and protection
- Implement “Habit Loop”. Smartphones and social media are examples of habit loop formation. The ping from a new notification is the cue, the routine involves pulling out a phone to check the notification, and the reward is seeing a new message from a friend or a new comment on social media
- Understand how to cater to Generation Z. According to a Pew report, they make up 40% of all consumers and 27% of the U.S. population
- Ask for feedback via short surveys. Respond to and act on the recommendations. Customers will be glad to know you took the time to read and respond to their suggestions
- Stay on top of digital customer service trends
- Post Frequently Asked Questions/Answers on social media about your new product/service
- Be creative and efficient with your self-service platform (most clients will seek that option for problem resolution before trying to call your company)
- Ensure your website meets Google’s Mobile First SEO mandates by March 1st. Not adhering to the rules will result in a slow response time when consumers look up your site on their mobile devices. Consumers use their mobile devices ten times more frequently than a desktop computer
- For e-commerce stores, consider inserting CTAs (Calls to Action) or pop-ups that request reviews after checkout
- Learn how customer service is conducted around the world–you’ll be able to deliver top notch service for a diverse client base
Your clients want to feel your emotions and sincere appreciation. When you provide them with more than just goods and services, you’ll offer the very best you have…yourself. Ensure their happiness and you’ll secure a loyal following. So, go out there and have a great day!