As a leader of a team, the one thing you can never do is make an assumption, about anything.
Having said that, some assumptions are worse to make than others, especially in the hospitality industry.
#1 – Don’t Assume Your Way Is Always the Right Way
Be open and listen to suggestions and if it is an approach that has not been tried before. There will be times when you simply don’t know how to do a duty your staff is tasked with, so don’t be shy in asking for help. You might actually be surprised at how good it makes your staff members feel to know they helped contribute to your education in the industry.
#2 – Don’t Assume Your Team Has Goals
The hospitality industry is very much a goal-oriented business. Whether you are in sales, front desk, or operations, everyone gets a budget with goals they must meet. This often dictates bonus, next year’s budget, as well as whether or not you get to keep your job. The biggest question is, does your staff know what goals you have for the company?
The goals you set for yourself and the company are going to impact the goals staff members set for themselves. Just as importantly, it’s going to affect whether or not the team is meeting expectations.
This can be executed by holding full department meetings every month and having all department heads and higher met on a weekly basis. At these meetings, goals are clearly communicated so everyone is on the same page.
Over and above that, simply talk to your staff about these goals during your daily meetings. How long is a check-in supposed to take? What is the service set-up time for a buffet lunch? What are the cleanliness goals? If you don’t tell your staff, chances are they have no chance of setting goals for themselves.
#3 – Don’t Assume People Know Their Duties
Every team member has a role to play in achieving these goals, but do they actually know what that role is? Your banquet housemen are responsible for department cleanliness, but have you actually explained the cleanliness standard to them?
In addition to the initial training, it is up to you, as the manager, to ensure they are always up to standard and to provide the additional training as needed.
#4 – Don’t Assume You Know What Motivates Your Staff
This is a really big issue in our industry and one that I would wager at least 50 percent of managers do not even explore. We all assume our employees will find the same things motivating them that motivate us, but that is not often the case. One employee may find monetary rewards the biggest motivator while another employee may find swag or a simple thank you as a motivational tool.
This is an easy one to fix, though, because all you need to do is talk to your employees. During downtime or when you are working one-on-one with a staff member, just start the conversation. What is a sporting event you have never attended that you would love to go to? Do you have any restaurants you would like to eat at? What would make you think you were more appreciated here at the job?
Questions like that will uncover a bevy of motivators, all of which you can use to improve morale.