Does Your Hotel Have a Mission Statement?

If you’ve read this far, you already suspect that we are speaking about a mission statement for your property, not for your brand or your management company.  Seriously?  A mission statement specifically for my property?  The answer is an emphatic “yes !!!”

Historically, mission statements on behalf of companies or institutions talk about what they do and perhaps even what they believe in.  In the hospitality world, the major brands tackle this, often speaking in lofty terms about the wonderful and meaningful things that these brands bring to their properties and their marketplaces.  Please don’t misunderstand, this is very important, but a brand’s mission statement most definitely does not serve the same purpose as a mission statement for your property.

Here’s the point: you and your operating team(s) work very hard to provide the best possible products and services to your guests, in the interest of driving maximum revenue and profit for all concerned.  As you are doing this on a daily basis, ownership and the operating team(s) need to be united not only in their efforts, but also in their mission.  This is where it should become clear that the mission of the brand or management company, while consistent with the mission of your property, is not exactly the same thing.

Your property’s mission statement should succinctly describe why your property exists and what makes it unique in its marketplace.  It should explain your commitment to your customers, and your relentless approach to their satisfaction.  Most of all, it should only reference that which you can consistently deliver upon.  Here’s the catch, you need to do this in perhaps three or four sentences at most.  Once you’ve done so, you should make certain that your mission statement is activated.  You need to make it a part of your employee/associate communications program, you need to make it a part of all new employee/associate orientation programs, and you need to actively market your mission statement to everyone on your team.  As we all spend so much time talking about how important a “culture” is to the workplace, the mission statement should become a cornerstone of your property culture.

How should you do it?  First, identify the criteria to be used for your property’s mission statement.  Remember, less is more, so keep it short and sweet.  Once you’ve spelled out the format, put this challenge out to your property team.  Create a competition to see who can submit the most dynamic and most representative mission statement for your property, then reward that person with something meaningful, whether in the form of cash, extra time off, or something similar.  Spell out the reasons why a mission statement is so important, detail the ‘rules’ of the competition, and sit back and let your employees, those individuals responsible for taking care of your guests each and every day, bring forward a mission statement that can truly make a difference to your hotel and to those that it comes in contact with.