What Makes a Great Work Environment in Hospitality?
When asked what a great work environment is, most people would mention a good relationship with supervisors and coworkers. Also topping the list is working in a place where you look forward to starting your shift. While these things are important to most hospitality employees, they also have other priorities unique to the hospitality industry that determine whether or not they're in a good workplace. Here are a few things that hospitality employees in particular appreciate at work:
Hospitality starts "in the home:" The hospitality industry is heavily based in a strong dedication to a pleasant environment and friendly interaction with others. It makes sense that employees would welcome that same courtesy and friendly, positive workplace environment and relationships be extended to them as well. Hospitality employees therefore seek out employers who are not only focused on providing a stellar guest experience, but who also make their employees' satisfactions levels a top priority.
From the top down: Regardless of which hospitality sector you're in (resorts, hotels, or food service), this field of work can be very stressful at times. Hospitality workers look to company policy and management's example to determine their own behavior towards their coworkers. The staff often takes its cue from the behavior of the management team, which always should be aware of the power of their behavior. Negative behavior will breed less than positive actions in the staff. If respect and truly listening to employee's concerns takes priority then a great work environment is sure to follow.
It's all about teamwork: Working under fire in the hospitality industry is easier when the employee knows that a professional, productive team is there to help, and that they have good behavior and communication skills from their leadership to model. For this reason, excellent staff interaction is a must.
Removing toxic influences: Helping to weed out or correct the behavior of a disruptive influence in the work force is an excellent way to ensure a productive work environment for all of your employees. In addition to monitoring the staff's relationships, a good example of employee/management communication is vital. Keeping an eye on staff interaction doesn't need to be time consuming for the management team. He or she only needs to observe body language and listen for negative verbal clues to become aware of a problem. What happens after that is a matter of individual company policy.
Feedback is welcome: Hospitality employees like to feel that their voices matter and their suggestions, opinions, and contributions are heard and valued by their employer. A great work environment provides a safe, confidential space for employees to give feedback, and also a leadership team that makes their feedback a priority and uses it to make real, meaningful changes.
Career development: Companies with great work environments show their appreciation of outstanding employees with things like promotions, salary increases, bonuses, public recognition, professional development or leadership opportunities, or other incentives. Workers who know they have an opportunity for advancement or more pay are more likely to stay in the company and provide years of excellent service. They know they are valued and return the favor by being the best at their job. An incredible work environment is a place that promises to advance gifted employees and makes good on that promise.
Safety first: Attention to personal and professional safety is another attribute of a great hospitality work environment. This could mean providing your staff with clean, high quality rubber mats in notoriously wet places on the floor or making a fully stocked first aid kit a high priority in every department. Proper ventilation in kitchens and in areas where potent chemicals are used is a good way to be considerate of your employees' comfort as long as the system is appropriate under health code guidelines. Properly maintaining employees' daily work environment helps to reduce the number of accidents and gives your company an outstanding reputation among quality employees.
A great hospitality work environment is one dedicated to not only the guests, but the employees as well. Adding that all-important personal touch when forming relationships with your employees will guarantee your company will keep the quality workforce it already has and attract many more loyal employees.