LES CLEFS D’OR COLUMN 1016

Hospitality can be very demanding on your time with family and friends.  Holidays and weekends appear to disappear once one has embarked on a career in this field.  At my hotels I have always tried to ensure that my staff, and myself, have a good work life balance.  This is far easier said than done.   But are there things we can do at work that assist in making this a little easier.  I wish to share one of the big actions I take to remind my staff that they have interests outside of work to which they are passionate about.

As a Concierge we certainly have the privilege of making suggestions to our guests about things to see and do.  In some ways while we are working we can live vicariously through our guests and their experiences.  I take a lot of time in finding out what interests and hobbies my staff have.  Whenever there is a guest request that fits within the scope of their interest or hobbies I ensure that they are included in suggesting options and providing information.  They may be at work, however in doing so their thoughts have been taking far from the routine and their excitement to please the guest is infectious.  Upon the guests return to the hotel, you clearly see the sharing of stories and experiences, laughter, joy and the unification of a shared experience ensures that all involved have had a wonderful interaction.  Move over the staff member has been reminded of their passions that exist outside of the hotel.

This also has a second influence on the operation of a Concierge Desk.  In knowing the key strengths and experience of staff outside the hotel, I now have 30 people, with 30 different hobbies and passions.  When there is a Golf enquiry, I know exactly who to pull into the conversation.  When a guest wishes to go Mountain Biking, there is similarly a different staff member who is ideal to suggest routes and bike hire options.  Hand picking the best knowledge within the team ensures that the guests are not only getting information, but first hand experienced information.  I is truly a win/win for all involved.

Sure, the staff are still at work while friends and family are missing them.  However by pulling their passions and hobbies into their work day I certainly see their moral and interest in their work increase dramatically.

 

Nick Steele

President of Les Clefs d’Or New Zealand