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If You Build It They Will Come

We all dream of something better. When we take on a position as a Manager we have hopes to build something no one can resist. We have dreams and desires. I find myself drifting to this movie clip when I think about that.

I post this blog in many groups I am a part of on LinkedIn and I have gotten some great feedback. Something that was said in reference to my last post  made me think that he may be a bit frustrated. I am going to post the message and tell me that you haven’t felt something similar as a manager.

Dirk; the experience of a guest begins when they pull into your driveway and continues long after they leave. From the flowers by your front door to the cigarette butt on the sidewalk. From the valet who runs to their door to the bell hop texting his girlfriend instead of offering his services, they notice everything. The experience is everything the guest see’s and how you make them feel added together, upselling, having excellent Menu’s (not as easy as you may think) in your restaurant, awesome housekeeping and a functional front desk area must work seamlessly together. As a manager how many times have you heard from BUT guests, everything was great BUT, the room was perfect BUT, the hotel was excellent BUT. Unluckily the human condition makes it easier to remember the BUT’S than it does the excellents. Putting your best foot forward or Knowing who the best employees are has always been easy for any manager. Taking the average employee and through training creating the NEW best employee that is what good management is all about. To Take an average hotel or resort and through training, leadership, personal contact and example turn it into an exemplary establishment is what great managers accomplish. Maya Angelou said ” People may forget what you said, People may forget what you did, BUT they will never forget how you made them FEEL”

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If you haven’t felt some of these same emotions then you haven’t been in management long enough/ Like in the movie clip we brush up against positive and negative influences everyday. We have to decide how we will deal with it.They key to remember is that your staff will be a reflection of you because you are their leader. You will be the benchmark your staff compares everything to. Chances are, you will also be the measuring stick your Supervisors will judge things by as well. Regardless of how fair you may think the circumstances are you will be accountable for what you make of the situation. For some people that paralyzes them when they know they are being watched, but for others it’s something different.

It’s important to seek  “Buy In” from your staff, bu it’s important that you know what it is you want them to jump into. Do you know fully what your supervisors expect from you in your role, and do you have clear goals reflecting that? If so, are you familiar with your company’s philosophy? Does your philosophy reflect that of the company with the team you manage? These are questions you should be asking yourself often so that you don’t lose touch with what it is you strive to achieve with your staff. When you do or say something does it reflect your company in a positive light? Back to the benchmark thing – your staff will take cues on how you support your company’s ideals by what you say and do. I don’t think I will really touch here in your off-work life, because I am sure that it will appear in a future post. Remember, everything you do will be put under a microscope at one time or another.To acquire “Buy In” from your staff you will need to show them an example worth buying into. Ask yourself in every situation if you have truly done everything you can over a given situation. Then your example will dictate the direction of your crew.

I was a Manager with McDonald’s for three years, and most of that tenure was primarily nights. I called my night crew “The Island of Misfit Toys> They were primarily young and I handpicked the majority of them. We were all a little crazy and definitely unorthodox. However, we held to one thing all the time. We held ourselves to the standard of providing food the way we were supposed to do it when we were there. I always said to them that it was easier to learn to do the right thing and get good at that as opposed to cutting corners. Did we goof off some – oh yeah, but we came together like a well oiled machine when it was time to do what we did. The kids I had didn’t all seem like everyone’s first choice in the regular world, but it was amazing to see them grow up as young men and women.The one thing I learned from my first supervisor with McDonald’s, Ralph Lawrence, is that they need to see you pick up a mop before they will respect your asking them to do so. Ralph showed me a great example of Servant Leadership. I try to make that philosophy mine where ever I am. He also said, “It’s not about you; it’s about the business.” I have to remember that a lot; When you put yourself before the company and if someone isn’t trained to fill in for you in your absence then you aren’t doing what you need to do to protect the business. It’s always important to duplicate yourself in someone else; not because they can’t live without you but because you need to leave the place better than you found it when you got there.

If you work hard to reflect the company’s standard and show your team the best example of a sold out leader for that team as you can be your team will notice. It’s so much easier to hold your crew accountable when you are a person of integrity. Then you don’t have to try and backtrack or even worse deal with a do as I say and not as I do moment.  That’s a death knell to your ability to keep your crew’s respect. Unfortunately, I have learned that the hard way.

Most importantly your staff isn’t going to care how much you know until they know how much you care. This will be reflected with your crew and the guests you take care of. If you keep that key element in mind you will do more good than harm wherever you are.

As Always, please feel free to shoot me feedback and I will be happy to help or listen however I can.  I really appreciate the opportunity to interact with people of many industries.

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The Journey To Great Experiences

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Great Experiences Don’t Often Happen By Accident

The journey can be just as sweet as the destination if you take the time to enjoy the sensations and nuances that make the experience amazing. That’s why I have created this Blog. I work in a town in the Hospitality Industry that is known for great experiences. Individuals and families come to Branson, Missouri to see and feel things they don’t feel in their everyday life. People spend tons of money to see shows that will make them forget what may have been going on at home and give them something to remember for years to come. In a town where building memories is so important to people it’s sometimes very surprising that the people who work in the Hospitality Industry in Branson don’t always seem aware of that big picture. Of course, we all want to make money, but even more importantly the key to making that money is helping people to really enjoy their experience.

I am devoting this Blog to the Service Professional that wants to bring their game to the next level, or feel they have something to offer in what they do. I don’t know everything and I am counting on the feedback of the audience of this Blog to assist me on this Journey. I am going to use examples I have experienced to point out aspects of this and I am hoping it will become a springboard to your sharing of great experiences you will have as well. In addition to that I may at times point out some of the other opportunities I have had to witness some experiences that were not so great, not to embarrass those making the mistakes, but to help us all learn. Please feel free to interact with me in this process so that we can all take this journey together and enjoy the ride.

Much of my experience in service has been in the Hospitality Industry has been in Restaurants, and Hotels. I would hope that this Blog will be something anyone in the Service Industry can use with a little application tweaking to make it fit their given situation. I have done stints in other areas of occupation in my life and so I am hoping I can find a practical middle ground for those working in Hospitals, Grocery Stores, or even Ministry. Again, this is going to be where you come in; I will need your input to make that an even better offering as time passes.My vision is something that will help us all get better, and I am looking forward to seeing how this develops and what stories may arise through the course of time to follow.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this Blog; it is my pleasure to serve you with this vehicle your great service experiences.