I’ve regularly heard hospitality described as a thankless profession. Guests too often only pause to give feedback if it’s a complaint. More often than not, management follows suit – giving their team members feedback only when they’ve done something wrong. Compounding this feedback cycle day by day, week by week and month by month, is it any wonder that many hospitality businesses develop a pretty toxic culture?
How do we counter such a cycle to inspire team members and develop a vibrant and healthy store culture? Well if you’re reading this as a store manager or business owner, then ideally, it needs to start with you.
Now there’s a variety of ways you can more routinely capture guest feedback to celebrate the positives and recognise your star performers, as well as identify areas for improvement. One of the simplest things you can do is provide a way for a guest to show or tell you when you’ve been awesome. I’ve personally tried a variety of things to do this – the best results I experienced came from using a call bell and a sign. The sign simply says, ‘Ring the bell if we gave you 10 out of 10 service today.’ This gives instant recognition for the staff who shaped that guest’s experience in your store and is a great way for your team to celebrate together.
Guest recognition aside, your major responsibility as an owner or manager in shaping a healthy culture involves what you do directly with and for your team in recognising them. I’ve regularly shared with managers that I’ve worked with that the key to developing people will always be to concentrate on catching them doing something right instead of something wrong. This, of course, means observing your team, looking for specific opportunities to praise them. My experience is that regularly recognising a team member can start a positive ‘fly wheel’ – when we recognise a team member for conducting good work, they strive to do even better work. We recognise this and they do even better, knowing that we are looking and are appreciative of such. This effect is contagious because other team members will observe you giving such recognition and will seek it out, too, looking to impress you to garner your recognition. This simple habit can have a dramatic effect on the culture of your store if it’s practised consistently.
Beyond your words, there are actions you can take as well. Last year, Redmako Learning conducted a campaign to help get experienced staff the ultimate in industry recognition – a nationally recognised qualification. We helped over 300 staff achieve a qualification via RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning). We were humbled by the reactions of some of these staff. Some had not completed school or any other formal learning, so to achieve a certificate-level qualification was a real highlight and something they felt very excited about.
Do you have staff right now within your employ that deserve to be recognised?
If so, look for ways to deliver on this. If this means helping them get a nationally recognised qualification, Redmako Learning stands ready to help you. The Queensland government is helping by subsidising Certificate III, Certificate IV and the Diploma in Hospitality for eligible trainees, so don’t hesitate to contact Redmako Learning to determine the eligibility of the team members you’d like to recognise.
Good luck in inspiring your team members and developing a vibrant and healthy store culture by recognising your star performers!