Being Hospitable: The Qualities of a Successful Hospitality Employee

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hospitality1Hospitality – the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.

As I reported last week, I have started a new position in the Hospital Industry.

As I was waiting to start, I thought about the qualities that were necessary to be a success in the Hospitality Industry. Per hospitalityschools.com, they are

1. Commitment
To be successful in the hospitality industry, you must be committed to ensuring customer satisfaction. You must do whatever it takes to keep customers happy and also create repeat business.
2. Communication Skills
The most successful in the hospitality business are those with excellent communication skills. They can communicate effectively both orally and in writing
3. Computer Know-How
A great hospitality employee has good computer skills and is familiar with a wide range of technological applications that are used within the industry.
4. Enthusiasm
Great employees of the hospitality industry are enthusiastic about their jobs and strive to do the best work possible. They want to give their customers the best experience available.
5. Interpersonal Skills
To be successful in hospitality, one must have top notch interpersonal skills, as the very nature of the business is to provide spectacular customer service.
6. Leadership
Great hospitality employees have strong leadership skills and are able to command projects and make significant contributions to an organization’s overall success.
7. Organized
To stay on top of the multitude of tasks you’ll face as a hospitality employee, you have to be organized and multitask without difficulty
8. Knowledgeable of Safety/Hygiene Issues
Successful hospitality employees are familiar with rules of safety and hygiene as they apply to food serving places, hotels, and other places where people spend time.
9. Teamwork
Successful members of the hospitality industry work well with others and can be a productive member of a team. They value the contributions of everyone.
10. Thorough
Great hospitality employees are very thorough in their work and realize that any oversight could result in customer dissatisfaction.

In looking for advice about how to do well in my new job, I decided to turn to one of my Hometown Heroes and a legend in the Hospitality Industry, Kemmons Wilson.

Kemmons Wilson and his family took a trip from Arkansas to Washington in 1951. He was so angered by their shabby lodgings, that he decided to open his own hotel.

The first Holiday Inn, a two story hotel, was opened in 1952 at 4985 Summers Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee between a lumberyard and two-lane highway. By 1959, there were 100; by 1975, 1,700.

Today, there are Holiday Inns in every state and in more than 50 countries.

Here are Kemmons Wilson’s Twenty Tips for Success

1. Work only a half a day; it makes no difference which half-it can be either the first 12 hours or the last 12 hours.

2. Work is the master key that opens the door to all opportunities.

3. Mental attitude plays a far more important role in a person’s success or failure than mental capacity.

4. Remember that we all climb the ladder of success one step at a time.

5. There are two ways to get to the top of the oak tree. One way is to sit on a acorn and wait; the other is to climb it.

6. Do not be afraid of taking a chance. Remember that a broken watch is exactly right at least twice every 24 hours,

7. The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

8. Eliminate from your vocabulary the words, “I don’t think I can” and substitute “I know I can”.

9. In evaluating a career, put opportunity ahead of security.

10. Remember that success requires half luck and half brains.

11. A person has to take risks to achieve.

12. People who taker pains never to do more than they get paid for, never get paid for anything more than they do.

13. No job is too hard as long as you are smart enough to find someone else to do it for you.

14. Opportunity comes often. It knocks as often as you have an ear trained to heat it, an eye trained to see it, a hand trained to grasp it, and a head trained to use it.

15. You cannot procrastinate-in two days, tomorrow will be yesterday.

16. Sell your wristwatch and buy an alarm clock.

17. A successful person realizes his personal responsibility for self-motivation. He starts himself because he possesses the key to his own ignition switch.

18. Do not worry. You can’t change the past, but you sure can ruin the present by worrying aver the future. Remember that half the things we worry about never happen, and the other half are going to happen anyway. So, why worry?

19. It is not how much you have but how much you enjoy that makes happiness.

20. Believe in God and obey the Ten Commandments.

After my first week on my new job, I  believe that not only was Mr. Wilson absolutely right, he was a visionary.

While training at the Front Desk this past week, I was called upon to go to guest rooms to fix televisions, to figure out why a DVD had no picture (it turned out to be a CD), and to run to the local retail store to buy some bathroom…umm…equipment that we were short of.

After a lifetime of working with clients from every walk of life, I am truly enjoying my new position.

With something new happening everyday, I can’t wait to get back to work to see what will happen next.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

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Okay. You’ve Been Hired. Now What?

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hired1052014If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get a job, I’ve had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it’s about respect, it’s about looking in the mirror and knowing that you’ve done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don’t really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try. – Kevin Kline, “Dave” 1993

Those of you who have read my blog for any length of time, and, by the way, thank you for that, know that I have spent the past 5 months in search of meaningful employment.

Last Wednesday, my search ended, as I was hired for the position of Sales Manager at Candlewood Suites-Memphis.

When the shock wore off, I said to myself,

Okay, Self. What now? How do I handle myself on the first day at my new job?

Being the analytical type of person that I am, I decided to go to the World Wide Web to find the answers to that question, which I would like to share with you.

Here are some tips from Holly Paul, PricewaterhouseCooper’s U.S. recruiting leader, courtesy of usnews.money.com. ( The list of methods is the author’s. The analysis and any smart alack remarks which may pop up are mine.)

1. Time your arrival on the first day.

Paul suggests: “Arrive early, but not too early, to demonstrate responsibility and passion.”

Just like you arrived at job interviews 15 minutes early, in order to give a good first impression, that’s a good idea for your first day on your new job too.

Getting there early allows you to get yourself together before you take off on your new adventure.

2. Think about your wardrobe.

Take out what you want to wear on your first day, the night before.

Of course, by this time you should know what the dress rules are for the office.

Dress professionally and always dress in good taste.

Your appearance says a lot about you. Dress to impress, not to “shock and awe”.

3. Step up your company research.

Since you landed the job, you probably already conducted some due diligence, and you have a basic knowledge of what the company is about and what their core values are. Since you are about to be working there, it would be a good idea to review the company’s website once more, in order to learn about its mission, lines of business, and culture from the viewpoint of an employee.

Additionally, there may be some LinkedIn and Facebook groups for employees and some professional groups your co-workers may go to.

This is a great way to network and to keep up with what is going on in your field..

4. Practice introducing yourself.

I know that it sounds corny, but direct eye contact and a firm handshake will demonstrate the you are a go-getter with self-confidence.

Remember how smooth you were in your job interview? Carry that same suave demeanor and stylish professionalism into your new position and you will do well.

Just don’t be like Tim Matheson in “Animal House”:

I’m Otter…Rush Chairman…D@#n glad to meet you!

5. Ask questions.

…Not just because you are expected to.

The best questions will show that you are genuinely interested in learning the daily procedures involved with your new position.

Just don’t be like my 6 year-old grandson…

Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why? (I kid.)

6. Show what you know.

Look for ways to professionally “show off” your skills and knowledge.

Be humble. Approach the situation like, “Have you ever tried…?”

7. Communicate professionally.

Don’t speak to your new boss, like you do to the guys you watching football with on the weekends. be mindful of your diction. Enunciate clearly, but do not speak in a stilted manner, like “Joshua”, the computer from the 1983 movie, “WarGames”.

Greetings, Professor Falken. Shall we play a game?

8. Share your passions.

The best part of who you are, as a professional, includes knowing and being able to articulate who you are and what’s important to you, in other words, your values and passions.

While you are sharing your values and passions, your boss just might share theirs with you, as well, enabling you both to know where each other is coming from.

9. Hone those listening skills.

One of the skills which I have had during my professional career, is the ability to listen to clients and interpret what they want from what they say, what they don’t say, and what they imply.

It takes practice to sharpen this skill, but, it will prove invaluable to you, as you strive for a successful career.

Can you hear me now?

10. Take notes.

I used to work at a company where all of the vice-presidents (the owner’s sons) kept a writing journal on their desks. Just a cheap composition book. However, it proved invaluable to them when need arose to remember what happened in the past, in order to move forward into a more profitable future. It also helped when there was a disagreement at to how a certain situation occurred.

Additionally, taking notes helps you to stay organized and keep up with the small details that might escape your memory.

Because no boss wants to hear…

I forgot.

In conclusion, if you are unemployed, and I could give you one piece of advice on landing a job, I would refer you to this profound advice, given by the man known to our nation as “Silent Cal”, because he measured his words very carefully. However, when he opened his mouth, his words spoke volumes…

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race. – Calvin Coolidge,  30th President of the United States of America

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen