Brainstorming vs. Blamestorming: Means to Enhance Company Productivity.
By Mila Petruk ~ Exclusive Column
Sunday, 4th August 2013
Exclusive Feature: Modern organizational structure dictates methods to enhance the overall productivity of an organization; most of them are associated with human resources management.

In hospitality industry, which is known for being a people's business, company productivity can only be improved with the help of well-trained and motivated personnel. However, yet this very simple process becomes a milestone for many hospitality operations worldwide despite company location and size.

Company productivity in hospitality means that the balance between the happy guest, happy employee and happy owner is reached, i.e. the guest satisfaction, which is derived from a well-performed service, is positively revealed in company's financial statement.

However, the interaction can be misleading at any stage. And while the happy owner and happy employee become the whole part which is the organization, the happy guest is a product of the successful unity between the employee and owner. Basically, happy guests are not possible without the happy owner and happy employee unification of standards, mindset and corporate culture.

Being good to the guests means that the company is at this wonderful stage when the strategy is translated into actions of line personnel, and when line personnel understands their role in the whole process of achieving these strategic goals. In this respect, all of the processes which help hoteliers and restaurateurs reach their final goal of setting their organization as a single unit is brainstorming.

As surprising as it may sound, creating an environment where everyone can remain personally diverse at work is essential for ensuring that the corporate standards are performed and that the organizational goals become the only possible course of direction for all the staff within the organization.

Brainstorming is a very powerful tool for helping hotels and restaurants retain talented people and create and environment where each person is a part of a single unit, a single ‘mind' of an organization. During brainstorming, most individuals achieve recognition and receive the necessary company communication via employee interaction and the process of creating new ideas and making them happen.

Brainstorming helps the managers see the limits of their people and without additional costs spent on training and motivational speeches, uncover the existing problems within their teams. Moreover, brainstorming helps people understand each other better. During various work situations, employees in hospitality business become rivals and competitors. At brainstorming, they tend to understand each other better and help with processing their thoughts to other people.

Taking into consideration the importance of brainstorming, one should never turn brainstorming into blamestorming. Despite the obvious difference between the notions, some companies find it very difficult to distinguish the odds of blamestorming.

Many organizations tend to perform blamestorming thinking that brainstorming is in place. For this reason, given the importance of the brainstorming as a factor which enhances company productivity, blamestorming should be marginalized and separated as a process which should never take place in an organization.

Blamestorming destroys the following important organizational values:
  • Productivity
  • Responsibility
  • Conformity to standards
  • Organizational culture
Finally, instead of creating ideas, employees create discussions based on past experience which merely relates to the future functioning of the company. Therefore, in order to avoid blamestorming and to support brainstorming in organizations, we advise the following:

1. Try to set standards of time for each employee. Less freedom of choice is good in terms of working conditions, and if for sure sets the right mood for the completion of daily routine.
2. Try to provide as much information to employees as possible. Informed individual tends to exaggerate less and thus creates more visual understanding of the current issues.
3. The information that is provided should be oriented on future. This sets a direction for employees' ideas and thoughts. They will be less likely to discuss some unsuccessful projects during their daily meetings and conversations.
4. Follow the rules of the community. Blamestorming is very often a result of poor local recognition. When the clients respect the company, the employees respond by taking care of quality and improvement. And vice versa.
5. Manage your talents. There is nothing like a fresh idea to start a perfect brainstorming session. And to ensure you always have these ‘people with ideas', you have to invest a lot of time developing a culture which enables company management uncover and develop talented individuals.

Following these simple guidelines, you will never get it wrong. Together with enhanced productivity, your employees will disappear from your eyes: they will be in their offices brainstorming new products and services which help them reach the levels of decision-making.

In our difficult yet rapidly dynamic business, these brainstorming sessions make a difference for our guests. Instead of arriving to the hotel and see quality reduction, they will be amazed of the unchangeable potential and great force of commitment from everyone.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted.

Mila Petruk is a hospitality consultant and a founder of Milina Outsourcing Management (MOM) which provides consulting to hotels and restaurants including mystery guest audit, temporary staffing and training support. Being a hospitality industry enthusiast, Mila has a global insight into the developing trends of hotel and restaurant business all over the world.

Having a rich international hotel work experience and an MBA from one of the reputed Swiss hotel schools, she has applied it in almost every hotel department she had worked. Contact Mila at mila.petruk@gmail.com.

Mila writes a regular column for 4Hoteliers.com.
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