Six golden mantras for managing post-Covid human resources


Pivoting into the new normal of hospitality is something that never in my thirty-plus year hospitality career, I could have imagined where we are today.

Ever since I graduated from college and accepted my first opportunity in Boston, would I have thought that so many people, myself included, would be so negatively affected that we needed to think differently and turn to potential roles outside the hotel world.

Since March 2020 when we had to place the close until further notice signs on our doors, there are so many hospitality professionals who have had to take on new roles, start a business or take a horizontal step to navigate through constant evolution. industry.

For me, as we deal with the pandemic on a day-to-day basis, there was such a level of uncertainty, especially after seeing all the furloughs, layoffs, and the experience of two hotel handovers. I was compelled to educate myself and pursue several employment opportunities outside of my comfort zone, including starting my own consulting LLC and the chance to join a new network of individuals who have learned to step into unfamiliar territory which may be your plan B, but somehow becomes the first plan “A”.

Variable planning has always been a normal way of operating and getting things done. Today, you must be extremely strategic in your thought process and always have a mitigation action plan to anticipate a variety of possibilities that are unfortunately beyond your control. It’s something you may not always need, but a proactive approach will produce the results needed for all stakeholders in your business unit. The pros and cons of the virtual workday versus ownership make us ask these questions; are you still able to achieve your goals, how will you continue to improve the balanced scorecard (associate engagement, customer satisfaction and financial success). What has worked well and what could we build on as we emerge from the pandemic in the long term.

During this unprecedented time, the “six personal mantras” based on my humble experience the operational front lines at the boardroom were as follows…

1. Your energy and enthusiasm will not only be noticed, but contagious

Demonstrating your commitment by being intensely passionate will make others want to emulate you. Anyone can show up for work, but when you immerse yourself in the business and lead by example, make it fun, and find the positive in even the most negative scenarios, that’s what it’s all about.

2. Lead from the front and enjoy what you do in the service industry

Our business can be demanding and there are times when you need to be the first in and the last to leave. When you love what you do, it’s worth it. The trick is to learn how to balance your personal and professional life. If you spend those extra hours at work, you need to find a way to give back to your family. There is nothing wrong with prioritizing the work to be done because it will always be there. As long as you articulate that word that everyone wants to hear who is “Yes” people will understand. We have learned through the pandemic that we can accomplish this balancing act and create a balanced lifestyle.

3. Balance between courtesy, kindness, patience, empathy and frankness

What are your management methods? In today’s world, people want to be inspired and feel comfortable approaching you, but if you don’t listen, they just won’t be engaged and will end up finding another job. Think about it, we have two ears and one mouth, so listening and then implementing what you hear will always give you the opportunity to be a collaborative partner for everyone on your team. Remember that people want to be inspired by someone who has their best interests at heart. Using empathy can be a challenge because we always say sorry before understanding and thinking about the problem from another person’s perspective.

4. Tell people what you know, not what you think

Too often we talk just to talk, having data and factual information will make you more credible. Do your research and become a subject matter expert or at least have enough information to speak intelligently about a specific issue. People will want to hear what you have to say and then take that conversation and share it with others within the organization. Being transparent in your communication will also earn a lot of respect from your employees, colleagues, and leaders above you. Sometimes it will create or even change a perception of your leadership style that can launch your career in another discipline that you didn’t expect.

5. Hold yourself and others accountable

As you progress through the company it can be tempting and easy to do things that make your peers think you have the right so if the rule is to go through the associates front door , do not enter or exit from the front. It sounds simple but amazing what you see happening there. This behavior will open the door to many bad habits. Use a cadence of accountability, if you do the right thing consistently and set clear expectations that hold others accountable, it’s no surprise when you ask the question why are you doing this? Following up on a task with just a conversation happens a lot, but when you document what is expected, it makes it easier to execute a progressive discipline process at the moment of truth.

6. Focus on getting things done

By focusing on a few, you and your teams will be able to accomplish what is in your strategic plan. Creating an action plan that includes a set of initiatives with due dates will allow you to track and be extremely measurable. Setting goals at the start of the year resets your focus and gives everyone a clear list of how to use a forward thinking mindset, the worst thing you can do is dwell on the past because you can’t change what happened, but you can certainly reshape the future. Success can be measured in many different ways, whether it’s going over budget or simply changing a past practice among staff that was unhealthy and created a negative vibe in the building, it’s an emergent process. By ensuring the whole team is aligned and part of the decision, satisfaction scores increase quickly.

As we enter the next chapter in the human resources discipline of hospitality, we all need to take the time to reflect on what happened and find the positives that will lift us out of the dilemma we all have. lived in one way or another. Being forced to make tough decisions to optimize the operation, do more with less, and sometimes even shut down completely, has made me and so many others true leaders in the face of adversity. We recover as many have said, with many predictions and forecasts from a long list of industry professionals.

It’s so refreshing to see travelers getting back on the road, meeting face to face and doing it with all the new protocols, it’s proof that our industry is truly resilient. The hospitality industry is a complex business that allows you to start at ground level and work your way up to a higher level management position. Whether you’re just starting out on your journey or approaching retirement, we all have professional and personal aspirations, so finding that mentor or group you want to emulate will stand you in good stead.

One thing is certain, you can’t do it alone, so surrounding yourself with the right people and having their support from others is crucial for your success!

*This article was originally printed by Hotel Executive March 4, 2022

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