I like to believe that the hospitality industry can be broken down into four simple pillars. In my business, at least, I firmly stand by these four important components that I believe are essential for any company. In no particular order, they are happy employees, happy investors, happy guests and technology.
In order for a company to truly succeed, the people who work there need to be passionate about their jobs. When an employee loves what they do, they no longer look at it like a tedious 9-to-5 job. The happiness and satisfaction of your employees is of the utmost importance. It’s a decisive factor in how they will interact with your clients and guests. This pillar must be nurtured, as it influences every other part of the process. Happy employees lead to happy teams, which lead to happy environments and work spaces, which eventually lead to happy hotel guests.
In my personal career, I’ve made it a point to ensure that my employees are content, and I’m very proud of the work culture that we have built over the past 10 years as a company. I’ve witnessed firsthand what a happy employee is capable of, and the effect that it has on his/her own personal journey.
The process didn’t happen overnight, which is why it’s important to ruminate on some of the ways in which companies can make this possible. Many employees spend more time at work than they do at home, which is why you should make it your goal to create a space that your employees will be genuinely happy and proud to go to every day. As corny as it may sound, everyone should feel like they’re part of a big family.
Take the time to get to know everyone on an individual basis. Learn what they like and dislike, and go out of your way to connect to all of your employees, whether the general manager of one of your hotels or part of the housekeeping team. Encourage them. Build them up. Create opportunities for them to participate and excel. Acknowledge those accomplishments, and verbally recognize their efforts. Every single one of them deserves your respect and attention, and you’d be surprised to see how something as simple as a “Hello! How’s your day going?” or “Keep up the great work!” can make an impact.
Without the financial help of investors, your company probably wouldn’t be where it is today. I know mine wouldn’t. You can have great ideas, but if you don’t have the funds to support you and materialize those ideas, then you’re basically stuck at square one. The bottom line is obviously important for any investor because they place their trust in you in order to receive a good return on their investment. However, it goes far beyond the business transaction.
Investors want to be taken into account regarding important decisions. They, too, have opinions and suggestions, or even constructive criticism. Where people put their money, they put their trust. It’s your job as a company to provide a trustworthy and transparent environment for them. Just like your employees, they’re part of the company family.
Guests are the bread and butter of the hospitality industry. Our ultimate goal as property owners is to create a space that people will feel comfortable in, which will prompt them to return and become loyal customers. Hotel guests aren’t just looking for rooms to sleep in; they want the complete package. For many people, hotels represent vacations, weddings, family reunions, etc. It’s our job to create and deliver the best possible experience for them.
People today are bombarded with an overwhelming number of options. The hotels they’ll choose to go back to aren’t the ones that had the cheapest rooms, but rather the ones that offered them the best overall experience and the best bang for their buck. In order to provide them with that ultimate experience, you need to be detail-oriented and make every person who walks into your hotel feel special and catered to.
The fourth component that ties everything together is technology. It’s the vehicle that will allow you to provide your employees with the best equipment and tools to succeed, your investors with the most efficient and transparent way to track their investments, and your guests with the highest level of customer service and the most memorable experience.
It’s important to constantly evolve as a company, especially in the world we live in today that’s powered by millennials and innovative technology. If used wisely, technology is a business’s greatest complement. I’ve expounded on this before, but basically, it’s a powerful tool that we as companies and company leaders can wield to our advantage. Software, apps, programs and the like provide a more efficient and modern way to manage everyday processes like tracking investments, providing immediate concierge service, requesting paid time off (PTO) and so on.
At my company, we like to believe that success feels even better when shared, which is why we strive to make everyone feel like they’re part of our journey. From employees to investors and guests, everyone plays an integral role. As businesspeople, we’re always looking for ways to maximize our efforts and become more efficient, which is where technology comes in. All together, these four pillars represent the core of our industry, and no successful company is complete without them.