Editor’s Note: The following blog was written by Joe Hayes, Overnight Manager at Grand Hyatt New York, and is part of an ongoing series for HotelsMagazine.com
The more people know about something, the more value is either added or subtracted from it. Agreed? Now think about your staff. Think about your co-workers in other departments — from the GM to the part-time seasonal associates.
Ask yourself, how much do they really know about YOUR job? Maybe they know quite a bit, but it’s quite possible they know very little. Our professional environments (if you work on property) are extremely interdependent, yet there is a noticeable seclusion.
How many of your sales managers can name five housekeepers by name? If you ask your convention services manager the name of the housemen who set up events could he or she tell you? Can your front desk manager tell you how much a certain site visit is worth to the property?
A lot of time, effort and hard work go into a successful property, but it’s no secret that this is a group effort, so maybe we should understand the group dynamic more thoroughly. The best part about the corporate management training program I entered out of college was the chance to experience every aspect of the hotel. I did a full rotation, from accounting to stewarding and everything in-between. Working in these different departments made me so much more knowledgeable about how this massive and complex operation I work in continues to run successfully. This knowledge added value to my job. Now that I know how my job affects other departments, I am more inclined to put myself in their shoes during certain situations. Not only that, it offered me an opportunity to meet a lot of people I may not have met if I had only concentrated in the rooms division.
Tip for all the young hoteliers out there: Get to know the associates and managers in other departments well. Trust me — sooner or later, you will need a favor. It’s much easier to ask a friend than a stranger. Also, it’s nice to be the go-to person in your department for others if they need something. It builds trust, develops relationships and expands networks.
We all want to add value to our respective properties, but we tend to only focus on the external value that comes in (money). Creating a stronger internal value can change the way people think and perform, adding internal value and driving that external value we all seek.
Take a look at your orientation schedule and see if adding a hotel-wide shadowing rotation is feasible. Maybe invite different managers from other departments to your pre-shift meetings to introduce themselves and give some background on what they do. Offer employees who are interested in learning about other departments the opportunity to do just that.