Leading The Way In The Hospitality Industry – What Makes A Great Boss?

Working Together In The Hospitality Industry

Achieving great things is generally a team effort. As the saying goes, ‘no man (or woman) is an island’, and when it comes to the hospitality industry, we’re sure you’re aware working together is crucial.

Setting goals for top-level customer service is one thing, but everyone needs to be on board to truly deliver it, right? It’s worth remembering that hospitality is a multi-faceted thing too; a shifting series of interconnected elements that change as the day, or week or year progresses. Delivering quality experiences for your customers requires everyone involved to do the very best they can, and this requires great leadership to steer, and to encourage and reward everyone in the chain.

It’s Tough At The Top

Leadership is a tough gig. There may be so many tasks or problems on a CEO or manager’s plate at one time – these will often be complicated things above the pay grade of the teams they manage. Perhaps due to heavy workloads or time constraints, many managers and business owners fall into the trap of expecting their employees to simply deliver, and fail to look at their own ways of working, or leading which may actually be holding their business back. Implementing Learning Management Systems for staff to refine their existing customer service skills or pick up new ones is a great move toward amazing service, but hospitality training for managers is incredibly important too. To achieve great things with your team, you’ve got to be a great leader too. And even the most brilliant of leaders can benefit from the help that training courses provide.

So what constitutes a great leader? Let’s break this down a little to understand how training, whether online via elearning courses or attending conferences in the real world can help.

Looking Ahead

Perhaps the most obvious attribute is vision. Consistency on a day-to-day basis is the bedrock of a hospitality management position, but the ability to see the bigger picture, and how each team member can fulfil their role within it, is key to building a solid business for the future. Training and development needn’t be limited to employees. Leaders are rarely born knowing the best way to do things – even if they do have innate creativity and drive. Online courses can be of great assistance to teach methods of implementation, to demonstrate how teams can be motivated, and provide routes to employee growth. It’s obvious that happy, fulfilled employees will always perform at a higher level than oppressed, demotivated ones, but ensuring this on a daily basis isn’t as easy as many think. Strong leadership isn’t micro-managing (which is generally deeply unpopular with people) but rather, identifying the true picture today, and evaluating how a business can reach its goals on a longer time scale.

This is where online learning in particular can be helpful. Aside from its flexibility which means busy individuals can break down courses into bite-sized chunks, it provides a moment to step back and review how you might deal with a situation, how effective your current systems are, and how you utilise the strengths and weaknesses of your teams as both individuals and as a cohesive unit.

Letting Go

We’ve just touched on micro-managing there, which kind of brings us to the next point. Delegating. Great leaders understand the value each team member brings to the table and can let them do their jobs. Elearning courses can be very illuminating when it comes to specific management skills like delegation and division of tasks. Online training can help you recognise when your team is ready to take on challenges without your interference, which in turn leaves you free to complete tasks that need your full attention. If you show your team you trust them, they’ll probably thank you for it, and following an online learning course can give you the tools and the confidence to do that. In turn, supporting this with online learning courses for your teams that zoom in on the areas you need them to work independently in, brings about a whole strategy for better collaboration.

Communicating Respect

Another aspect to great leadership is more related to professional behaviour with your teams. Professionalism, is of course, part of your arsenal when interacting with your customers, and the needs of your staff or colleagues are equally deserving. A leader needs to keep the morale of their workforce high and there is no better way to do that than to show them respect. This might come in the form of giving them the freedom to get on with their work, and to utilise skills their training has provided them with. The daily grind might also overshadow the importance of small, regular acts of appreciation, but a reminder of ways in which you can up your positive interactions with staff members is invaluable. Training everyone through learning software on the importance of professionalism and making people feel valued across the board is a truly accessible way to prevent your workplace becoming toxic. Lead by example, ensuring that you’re on time, communicative and pro-active in your work. It follows that your people will be inspired to do the same. Empathy and clear communication are important here, and if you’re aware your skill-set needs a boost in this area, then many learning courses offer ways in which to improve this. Encourage empathy among your employees too. Using tools like online training software, you can evaluate where you and your business stand when it comes to these crucial skills and then build upon them together with your workforce. Clear, direct communication from the top down will always improve efficiency, and ultimately the end product for the customer. This area is easy to work on, and there are so many tricks and tips available online that can support you in making sure you and your team are singing from the same hymn sheet. You can really put an end to confusing, frustrating situations in the workplace by employing simple, bite-size elearning sessions that teach or remind everybody how to communicate well.

Keep it Moving

Flexibility is another part of leadership, and making regular changes is one of many ways to keep your business moving in the right direction. Good leaders constantly look for ways to learn and to grow. Everyone can acquire new skills – it’s fatal to get complacent and assume you know all there is to know about your job or your sector. The hospitality industry is fast-paced, so don’t get left behind! Learning and development can be greatly bolstered by technology, which is also constantly evolving to deliver excellent online learning software. Elearning companies offer a broad spectrum of training opportunities for every level and these online courses can be tailored to your specific goals, or the goals you’d like your colleagues to reach. New ideas are part and parcel of business innovation, and part of your role as a leader is to help your company stand out from the crowd. The hospitality industry is hugely competitive – to survive and succeed, you must be flexible, open to new strategies and never stop adding to your knowledge bank. Your customers will feel the benefit, and so will your staff.

Find Your Funny Bone

And lastly, let’s talk about humour! We all have bad days, we all have tough decisions to make, or tricky situations to resolve. Learning to sometimes see the bright side, and not to take yourself too seriously is an instant morale-booster for those around you. When it comes to leadership, understand it takes time for trust and loyalty to be earned. Your people need to know you’re not just a work-bot driving them to deliver results! Demonstrating you’re human by showing the ability to laugh at yourself or recognising that people need a giggle at work occasionally is part of this. Plus you’ll enjoy yourself too if you remember that fun and work needn’t be mutually exclusive. You can still get plenty done while remaining professional. Your co-workers or employees will likely feel more comfortable around you if you can laugh a little, and enjoying your time at work is actually one of the most commonly overlooked factors when it comes to delivering great service. There’s no need to start rehearsing your stand-up routine just yet, but don’t pass up opportunities to make things enjoyable for your teams where it’s appropriate. From starting the day off with a joke and a smile, to offering people fun ways to train or learn, you can make a difference to their sense of job satisfaction. The hospitality industry is ultimately about people. Customers also will appreciate well-placed levity, and it helps to improve the quality of face-to-face interactions between staff and patrons if you and your employees can communicate warmth and happiness while providing great service. In fact, these things are actually part of great service. Training courses can also help here – teaching your staff how to recognise when humour is appropriate and how and where to introduce it. Importantly though, online learning can also prevent workplace jokes from becoming unkind. If everyone has the tools to keep the culture good-natured and healthy, your business will thrive and your colleagues will want to stay with you.

These two last things are really the chief aims of great leadership in the hospitality Industry. It’s impossible to separate a great business from great staff, and your job is to steward them both through ever-shifting hurdles. By constantly attending to all the topics we’ve run through here, you’ll likely do just fine. It’s not always easy, but if you reach out and keep learning, the task of leading can be a joy and not a burden.