Hospitality & Safety In the Workplace

Hospitality & Safety In the Workplace

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!

Resilient Leadership

Resilient Leadership

The American Psychological Association defines resilience as the ability to quickly bounce back from changes, challenges, or traumatic events. Furthermore, the recovery process can affect intense personal growth. Employees rely on its leaders’ resiliency during turbulent times…they want to be assured that the company they work for will remain competitive, grow, and thrive.

In high pressure situations, resilient leaders accept difficult challenges; they think outside the box, create a crackerjack team, and create effective solutions—all without mistreating or disrespecting others. 

Generally speaking, resilient leaders are calm under pressure and avoid projecting tension onto others.  Instead of dwelling on human errors, they view mistakes as learning opportunities.  They communicate confidently in times of crises.  Also, they maintain important support networks to prioritize their mental and physical well being.

If you want to improve your resiliency as a leader consider this: 

1. Never stop learning.  Mental toughness and fortitude work hand-in-hand.  Resilience is a character trait that requires exercise to grow stronger.

2. Increase self awareness.  Learn to identify your stress triggers and how to manage them.  Focus on your wellness and your workload.  Improve your delegation skills to avoid feeling overwhelmed.  Maintain a healthy lifestyle through wellness rituals such as exercise, rest/sleep, and work life balance.

3. Build positive relationships.  Foster a strong network of trusted supporters who offer varying perspectives and skills.  They can also be a source of emotional well being by providing empathy and reducing feelings of isolation.

During times of calamity, leaders have a responsibility to be tough, empathetic, wise, and resilient; if not, their company will fall into the hands of competitors.   

In the comments below, share your best practices for improving resiliency and remember…make it a great day!

Attract and Keep Excellent Remote Employees

Attract and Keep Excellent Remote Employees

In 2020 many companies faced the task of taking their workforces remote due to the pandemic. The change was abrupt, swift, and caught employers off guard leaving them to quickly create and implement new structures, plans, and policies in order to manage newly minted remote employees. 

The early days of the transition presented challenges with the internet, communication, and supervision (just to name a few) causing high levels of stress for all staff levels.  As a fun way to relieve the strain, the employer/employee virtual happy hour was born.  

Flash forward to 2022.  With the heyday of the digital cocktail party becoming a distant memory, employers now recognize that they must find creative ways to attract and keep exceptional remote employees.  Similarly, remote employees’ expectations have surpassed virtual mixers to keep them happy.  They want to feel seen, heard, and valued by their employer. 

Here are a few ideas for employers to consider:

1) Enthusiastically express appreciation.  A handwritten “Thank You” note, including a gift card, tells remote employees that their work is respected and valued. 

2) Respect their time.  Eliminate unnecessary meetings. Give extra time off.  Bottom line, find useful ways to say, “You are an important asset to our company and we’re glad you’re on our team”.

3) Reduce interruptions throughout the day.  Constant direct messages (pinging) can quickly become an additional stressor for remote employees and negatively impact productivity. 

4) Allow extra breaks and avoid micromanaging.  For a variety of reasons, employers keep a close watchful eye on their employees’ online activity.  Routine self-care breaks are still necessary and should be encouraged rather than scrutinized.

5) Promote mental health.  Because some remote workers may feel isolated, consider offering confidential assistance from mental health professionals.

Let’s be clear, the hybrid company (consisting of employees who have a remote and brick and mortar office) will become more dominate as time progresses.  If companies fail to plan to attract and keep proficient “hybrid” employees, they should prepare to lose them to competitors.

Keep in mind that a lack of employee engagement will adversely affect morale, productivity, customer satisfaction, revenue, and profits.

In the comments below, tell us how you plan to attract and keep your remote employees. 

Make it a great day!

Trust in Leadership

Trust in Leadership

Your company’s growth and profitability can catapult to new levels and a lot of it has to do with how much your employees trust your leadership. 

According to an article in The Harvard Business Review, employees who trust their leaders tend to be more productive.   The article suggests that trust is linked to oxytocin levels in the brain, therefore, employees are happier and communicate more effectively with colleagues and management.  This may have a connection to increased productivity and profits.  

Points to ponder:

1) Transparency is key.  Employees seek to be aware of what is real and true.  Besides the need for job security and career advancement opportunities, employees want to be part of a workplace culture that puts a premium on delivering the truth.  For example, employees want to know how management perceives the effectiveness of their work performance because it allows them to make decisions based on facts and not assumptions about how they want to navigate their company career. 

2) Do as you say.  Discussing company core values and expectations in monthly meetings is important and employees expect leaders to model those values—consistently. 

3)  Be vulnerable.  Don’t be afraid to admit you don’t have all of the answers and that you’re not perfect.  Become comfortable with being uncomfortable so that you can build workplace relationships as you build the business.  Be willing to share childhood family dynamic(s) that influenced your adult values.

4) Avoid micromanagement.  This is key for building trust and developing strong workplace relationships.  Also, less micromanaging means less stress for you and more accountability for your employees.

5) Understand how to be an effective listener.  Sometimes the boldest thing a leader can do is listen and truly internalize the ideas/opinions of their staff.

6) Make employees feel appreciated and valued.  Plan an annual retreat.  Ask employees where they’d like to go and activities they want to do during the retreat.  If it is successful, consider making it an annual event…it will be something for everyone to look forward to each year.

Bonus point:  Authentic trust in work environments promote well-being and high morale.  A lack of trust produces higher turnover and lower productivity. 

Go out there and make it a great day !

Mental Habits to Reduce Stress and Burnout

Mental Habits to Reduce Stress and Burnout

As the pandemic and its effects drag on, many people are moving from feeling stressed to being completely burned out in their professional and personal lives.  Stress and burnout can impact employees—despite their position/title—and can carry over to home life.  

Here are a few habits to consider implementing to help reduce stress:

1) Get a Good Night’s Sleep!  According to Dr. Michael Twery, Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research (NCSDR), sleep affects almost every tissue in our bodies including:

  • Growth and stress hormones
  • The immune system 
  • Appetite
  • Breathing
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular health

Doctors have long attributed a lack of sleep to the increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and a number of infections.

2) The Gift of Life!  The moment you wake up, try to focus on the gift you’ve received for a brand new day.  Embrace the idea that today is filled with opportunity and your productivity will benefit yourself, your employer, co-workers, family, and the community.  Make a conscious effort to create joy the very moment you awake.   Avoid mentally drifting into the difficult moments of the past—you’ll introduce yourself to a “worry” mindset.  

Worry has a physical impact on the body:

  • Muscle tension
  • Digestive disorders
  • Attack on the immune system
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

3) Focus! Practice centering your attention on the matter(s) at hand; it is a great way to ignore distractions.  Think strategically, avoid multi-tasking, and take on the day with a positive frame of reference.

4) Make Space! Distance yourself from problems or situations.  Distancing doesn’t mean you don’t care, it means you and your mind are unavailable to worry—about anything.

5) Let Go! Release negative emotions surrounding situations, people, or issues.  A fatalistic mental loop replay can keep you trapped in bleak emotions and entangle you in an uncomfortable web of negativity.

Peak performance in the workplace depends on good mental health.  Stress and burnout will stifle your creativity and ability to make excellent decisions.  Great mental health habits are key to remaining calm and relaxed. 

If your struggle with life is beyond self-help, many resources are available to assist you.  We encourage you to reach out to professionals who care about your well-being.

In the comments below share your tips for reducing stress and remember…make it a great day!