A little TLC within Hospitality Management

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I feel fortunate to have learnt very early on in my career that it is extremely important for the manager of any team or business to help create an environment that staff feel a part of, which in turn, enables them to enjoy their time with you. The hotel industry is often seen as underpaid, overworked and lacking in enjoyment; basically a hard slog. I strongly believe that this stereotype can be broken and I really try and make sure that all staff, in all departments, are involved in the decision making. I give them ownership in the business by working with them to drive innovation.

As a business owner, the last thing I want is to come across as only caring about the figures, being unapproachable and not having the time to get to know those that spend every working day making my business what it is. At umi we do a lot of work with young people from all around the world and they arrive brimming over with ideas and with a fresh approach. Integrating these students into the business whilst they are on work placement has really helped our business continue to innovate and move in the right direction. Our green policy, free walking tours and our social media structure have all been set up by interns who have left a real mark on the business going forwards. It is rare that placing our trust in these students that are taking their first steps into a business environment is not rewarded in some way. All heads of departments get to see the hotel profit and loss figures at the end of every month with the view that they give feedback in order to improve and drive the business. It creates a real team mentality and this is vital to the success and growth of all businesses. I also like to inject a bit of fun into the year and invite all staff to participate in special events and activities. Last year we organised an outdoor commando training course where we split into teams and people from different departments worked together. We all had a great time and it really created positive bonds between departments which have remained within daily working life.

A final tip that I’d like to pass on is that a boss needs to be friendly, genuine, be willing to listen and take note of individual views. Naturally, managers have different styles, but it takes a special effort for the “boss” of a team or the business to have the humility to treat all staff, no matter what role, as a human and not a cog in a machine. Creating an inclusive environment where staff have a positive attitude and feeling for the business, will make the business more efficient and more productive. This means that everyone enjoys their job and simultaneously, the business is more profitable.


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