Hospitality is what we call our industry, it’s the art that we practice, it’s the reason why we follow a career in service to others. While it is all of these things, it can still be very difficult to explain if you are not in the middle of it on a daily basis. How do we practice it, how do we teach it, and how do we communicate it in order to have the maximum impact on those around us? Ultimately, how are we using the principles and concepts of Hospitality to help our business units to be successful? And do you have to be a five-star property in order to foster a culture of Hospitality?
As the hospitality industry continues its march down the road of “ultra-competitiveness,” it can become increasingly difficult for the customer to differentiate between brands, between management philosophies, and between that which is hospitality and that which is commodity. While this may seem daunting, there is good news; the ability to separate ourselves from our competition in terms of strategy and management philosophy is completely within our control.
How much time do we really allocate to the development of our people? The short answer is “not nearly enough.” Think about it, how many times have you recognized the fact that the developmental time that you had planned to spend with your less-experienced colleagues this week/this month/this year just did not materialize as you had intended?
Historically, internships have been viewed by many as a necessary evil; something that is inherently good to do, but something that no one really wants to be accountable for. As a result, many of even the best-intentioned internships have evolved into little more than administrative assistant roles, with the interns themselves never truly engaging in activities that could be valuable to them in their future endeavors. Internships represent a unique hands-on opportunity for those of us more senior in the industry to closely interact with and impart knowledge upon those who have already raised their hands and said “I want to learn from you.” At the risk of sounding somewhat parental, do we not have an absolute responsibility to respond to this inquiry?