The Bottom Line: Older Employees: Liability or Asset?

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th5T1W4ZSKThere is a movie at the theaters right now, titled “The Intern”.

In the movie, 70 year old Robert DeNiro is hired as an Intern at a company, run by Anne Hathaway.

Hijinks ensue.

As the movie progresses, the “old codger” turns out to be of immeasurable worth to both Hathaway and her company.

Is this movie simply a comedy? Or a lesson in Business Management?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the month of August,

…the civilian labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent for the third consecutive month. The employment-population ratio, at 59.4 percent, was about unchanged in August and has shown little movement thus far this year.

That means that 37.4% of America’s Workforce has either voluntarily walked away from the “Rat Race”, are working “under the radar”, or, have just flat given up seeking gainful employment.

Additionally,

In August, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 329,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 624,000 discouraged workers in August, down by 151,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.2 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in August had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Being 56 years young, I also noticed, while looking at the BLS’s August Report, that, only 39.8% of Americans, 55 or older, are working.

Why is that?

Are honesty, dependability, punctuality, stability, loyalty, wisdom, and experience, no longer valued by America’s Employers?

According to a Government Accountability Office Report, published in 2012,

The experts and staff GAO interviewed at some one-stop career centers, as well as the unemployed older workers who participated in GAO’s focus groups, identified employer reluctance to hire older workers as a key challenge that older workers face in finding reemployment. They also identified out-of-date skills, discouragement and depression, and inexperience with online applications as reemployment barriers for older workers. Some one-stop staff who serve older workers told GAO that providing the type of assistance some older workers need to address these unique challenges can be very time-consuming.

As often occurs, especially in the case of older potential employees, an employer’s preconceived, and perhaps, stereotypical notions, can blind him or her to the benefits of hiring an experienced professional.

In 2006, entrepreneur.com published the following list of 12 benefits of hiring an Older Employee.

Below are twelve reasons why hiring older workers can help you maintain a reliable, dedicated workforce and provide a significant cost savings for both the short and long term. (The reasons themselves are their original posting. The descriptions are mine.)

1. Dedicated–

Quite honestly, folks my age and older, tend to throw ourselves into our work, given the opportunity. We do not know how many more chances at gainful employment that we will receive.

Additionally, because we are so driven to do our best, we tend to identify costly mistakes, before they can damage our employer.

2. Punctuality–

Older Employees come from a generation that was taught that punctuality was “good manners” and “being respectful”.

Also, when you get older, it becomes harder to sleep in. Trust me.

3. Honesty —

Older Employees come from a generation where honesty and personal integrity were valued above everything else.

4. Detail-oriented, focused and attentive–

Again, this is a part of being older. Older Employees tend to be so self-aware of our need to do a good job, that we go over everything several times, before passing it “down the line” or “upstairs”, or wherever the heck it needs to go.

5. Good listeners–

Older Employees are easy to train, because we pay attention. You only have to tell us how to do something one time.

Of course, when we get home, our wives have to repeat themselves, especially during televised sports.

…But, that’s neither here nor there.

6. Pride in a job well done–

Older Employees tend to stay until we get the job done. We take pride in our work because we are happy to be employed.

7. Organizational skills–

Do you know haw many valuable man hours are lost each year simply due to workplace disorganization?

If I told you over a million, would you be surprised?

Older Employees tend to be meticulous to a fault.

8. Efficiency and the confidence–

Older Employees are not shy about sharing our experiences. And, at times our “war stories” will prove to be just the answer an employer will be looking for, in order to handle a problem efficiently and economically.

9. Maturity–

Older Employees have “seen it all”…twice. Because we’ve “been there, done that”, we tend not to have a screaming hissy fit, when unexpected problems occur on the job.

10. Setting an example–

Older Employees’ work ethics and calm, assured presence on the job can be an encouragement and example to younger employees. Also, because we are good listeners, we usually wind up as mentors and trainers, again, becoming an asset to our employer.

11. Communication skills–

Older Employees know when to speak and when to listen. We know how the game of “Office Politics” is played. And, we know how to get our ideas across, in a respectful way, to the Boss.

“Why, boss, that’s the greatest idea you’ve ever come up with!”

12. Reduced labor costs

A lot of times, Older Employees already have Health Insurance from a previous employer or they have some sort of income from another source, and can represent a savings to the company’s bottom line.

Speaking from personal experience, as an **cough** “experienced professional”, the benefits of hiring an Older Employee greatly outweigh the liabilities.

In today’s atmosphere of rapid employee turnover in the workplace, the hiring of older Americans offers not only a potential savings in HR costs, but also presents an opportunity for a stable workplace environment.

The Bottom Line?

Hiring Older Employees will increase your company’s Bottom Line.

Never Give up. Never Surrender.

Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is an “experienced professional” “seeking new opportunites”. He may be contacted at In-mail at linkedin.com.

Being Hospitable: Customer Service…the Engine That Powers the Hospitality Industry

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Hospitality 2Customer Service is important in any job in which you interface with the public. In the industry in which I work, the Hospitality Industry, excellent Customer Service Skills are essential in not only meeting, but exceeding the expectations of our guests.

Here is a great example of exemplary Customer Service, found at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN.

Family blogger Christina McMenemy (a.k.a A Mommy Story) was so wowed by the service at this Nashville hotel that she made a point of sharing her experience with her readers. Impressed by her hotel room clock radio — which also doubled as a relaxation sound machine — the mother of two asked the hotel where she could purchase one. When she was advised that the clock radios were unique to the hotel and weren’t available to the public, a disappointed McMenemy figured that was the end of that. However, when she later returned to her room that night, she found her very own clock radio waiting for her along with a handwritten card. As McMenemy puts it, “I would have been happy to pay for one of those clock radios, but the staff at Opryland took notice of just how much I loved this thing and went out of their way to make sure I had the best experience ever… [Opryland] reaffirmed that there are still companies out there focused on great service and you’ve made a lifelong fan out of me.”

So, how does a hotel achieve “Excellent Customer Service”?

Back in 2012, Forbes.com published the following “10 Keys of Excellent Customer Service”

1. Belief: What customers think is true. Unfortunately, it may not be supported by the facts. Understand that they will hold on to this truth and do not fight to change their mind. Apologize and then try to come up with a satisfactory solution.

2. Complain: What a customer does when they are unhappy. They complain to friends, on social media, and even sometimes to you. Your business reputation is only as good as your customer’s last experience. Everyone that interacts with your customers should understand this.

3. My Manager: The person the customer is seemingly always getting passed to or who always gets blamed by the employee if something goes wrong. See empowerment.4. Empowerment: Training employees to make decisions on their own to help a customer without talking to “the boss.” This needs to happen 95% of the time. The boss should only handle exceptions.

4. Empowerment: Training employees to make decisions on their own to help a customer without talking to “the boss.” This needs to happen 95% of the time. The boss should only handle exceptions.

5. Feedback: Giving the customer the opportunity to tell you what they think in many ways at different stages the transaction. Follow the Three Times Rule—if you hear something about your business three times, whether you like it or not, pay serious attention. It is probably true. Take action. 

6. Kick the Cat: What employees do when they take their frustrations out on the customer. Find another way for employees to vent by encouraging easy feedback directly to management.

7. Mistake: The hardest thing for the company to admit. Once you admit it, the customer will be happier.

8. Overpromise: Making a commitment to a customer that the company is not economically able to keep. This is not a solid base for sustained excellent customer service.

9.  Peer Reviews or Earned Media: Online references written by customers on the level of quality or service in your company. This is sometimes called an open reputation system.

10. Pest: A customer the company may need to fire to be more profitable. Be quick to identify and replace them.

Satisfied customers are looking for a memorable experience and an energetic service, where it matters the most: at a hotel property which they have chosen to be their “home away from home”.

Hotels need to be aware that, in this Digital Age, that it’s becoming more popular every day for guests to leave a review of their experience on a number of Travel Industry Websites, whether their experience was a good or bad one.

Hotels have to stay mindful of this fact of life, as bad feedback can be extremely damaging.

While any business needs to keep customers and clients happy, those of us working the Hospitality Industry must strive to keep guests engaged in order to garner repeat business and also, for referral purposes.

For the customer to return to your hotel on a regular basis, first you must deliver on your promises.

And then, you must exceed them.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

 

 

Sell, Sell, Sell: Staying Motived

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th58CIMHJYWhether you sell automotive parts to garages, pharmaceuticals to doctors, or Extended Stay Hotel Rooms to Corporations and Industries, as I do, one has to stay motivated in order to remain at their best.

The challenge that we all face is how to stay motivated, while facing the daily grind of a career as a Sales Professional.

Here are three excellent suggestions, courtesy of salescareer.net…

1. GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

When you are in a comfort zone, you are usually in familiar territory and you are not pushing yourself.  You are playing it safe and not growing or taking the calculated risks to go for more.  Accept that you are in a comfort zone and take some time to look at the big picture of your business and strategize to take it to the next level.  In sales you could always make more and with new challenges that you place on yourself, you could gain the extra boost of excitement back into your sales career.

2. CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE

Like a muscle, for you to truly build it and for it to grow is to shock it into growth by changing your exercise routine.  The body is constantly looking for homeostasis and like your sales career, if you get into a routine, it could quickly become stale and boring.  Sales should be exciting and challenging, with adrenalin pumping activities.  Change your routine and seek ways to challenge yourself other than just doing the things that just get you by.

3. FIRE YOURSELF

I don’t mean literally, but when people are first starting a new job, they are usually gung ho and guns are out blazing with the enthusiasm and motivation on overdrive.  To get this feeling back, try firing yourself every once in a while and ask yourself, if you were to take on your territory as a new hire, how would you beat the “old” you and what would you do differently to make it better?  Look at your sales territory with fresh eyes and to fire yourself and then rehire yourself with the new energy that you would if would have just been hired for your job.

However. as good as those suggestions are, they pale in comparison to the advice, given across both decades and continents, during the career of one remarkable man.

Zig Ziglar, age 86, of Plano, Texas passed away November 28, 2012.

That is how the first line, of the obituary of one of the most influential men in the history of American Business, reads.

…An understated end to an extraordinary life.

For those of you who may have spent your lives living under a rock, like those guys in the Geico Commercial, please allow me to tell you who this remarkable man was.

Years ago, Zig Ziglar walked away from a record-setting sales career, to fulfill his desire to help other people become more successful in their personal and professional lives.

His extremely successful sales background was the primary factors is Ziglar becoming one of the world’s foremost Sales Trainers.

During his remarkable career as a sales trainer, he boosted the careers of hundreds of thousands of people, around the world, with effective strategies to not just make a sale, but to create a sales professional. According to him,

Selling is not something you to do someone, it is something you do for someone.

Zig Ziglar was the world’s leading authority on motivation.

He was an internationally renowned speaker and authority on high-level performance, whose “I CAN” course is taught in more than 3,000 schools.

Hundreds of companies and businesses continue to utilize his CDs, books, and video training programs to motivate and train their employees effectively.

During his lifetime, Ziglar’s “Secrets of Closing the Sale” audio training program became a “must-have” for anyone involved in the world of selling and remains so to this day.

During his decades-long career as a Sales Trainer/Motivational Speaker par excellence, Zig Ziglar taught his values-based principles for becoming a more effective persuader and person to sales organizations, church groups, schools, and businesses.

Additionally, as if his multitude of personal appearances were not enough, Zig Ziglar reached thousands more through numerous television and radio appearances and through his popular audio and video training programs.

He became so popular, that, for many years, his Sunday school class held at First Baptist Church, Dallas, was broadcast each Sunday morning, via satellite.

Even though this remarkable man is gone, his legacy of optimistic, motivational selling lives on.

Here is a list of ten of Zig Ziglar’s most famous quotes that can make a difference in your life.

10) “Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

9) “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”

8 ) “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”

7) “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.”

6) “People don’t buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.”

5) “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.”

4) “If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go out to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.”

3) “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

2) “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

1) “If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”

In conclusion, motivation is a driving force, which comes from within. If a salesperson can focus on it and maintain it, the sky’s the limit.

Or, as Zig Ziglar himself put it,

Positive thinking will let you use the ability which you have, and that is awesome.

Never give up. Never surrender.

-Allen

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

Being Hospitable: Enjoying the “Benefits” of a Hospitality Job

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thOLV49LJSA little over 6 months ago, I began my latest adventure in the Hospitality Industry, as the Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis, An IHG Property.

I wrote a blog at the time, that included some suggestions by the Founder of Holiday Inns, concerning how to make it in the Hospitality Industry.

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 take 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 suggestion #20, Suggestion #7 – “The secret of happiness is not doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” is one which I have taken to heart.

Quite frankly, I am enjoying the stew out of my job.

This may sound corny, but I wake up every morning in anticipation of going to work that day.

There are several reasons for this.

Bob Smuckatelli, writing in an article for positivelyindy.com, detailed the Six Benefits of Working in the Hospitality Industry.

When I read the article, I thought that he had read my mind…and then, I saw that it had been posted on December 20, 2012.

The Benefits that he listed back then are:

Amazing Opportunities: If you love variety, you’ll also love the fact that working in hospitality is never dull. Whether it’s a new challenge or the opportunity to travel to different places, this type of spice makes it very easy to wake up in the morning and feel excited about heading to work for the day.

Appreciation: There are plenty of jobs that involve mostly thankless work. While society couldn’t function without people willing to do these jobs, that doesn’t mean those individuals feel any type of appreciation on a daily basis. The nice thing about hospitality is you won’t have to be put in this type of position. Instead, patrons will remind you on a daily basis of just how much they appreciate what you do for them. The knowledge that you’ve just made someone’s day is a feeling that never gets old!

Meritocracy: One of the reasons many people aren’t interested in working in specific corporate environments is because they know that the only way they’ll be able to move up is by playing constant political games. If you’re the type of person who wants the quality of your work to speak for itself, you’ll be very fond of how the hospitality industry operates. People will notice when you take initiative and follow through. If you have a go-getter attitude, the sky will be the limit in terms of where your career can go.

Lots of Perks: Even though this isn’t the biggest driver of most people’s happiness and satisfaction with their job in hospitality, it’s still worth noting. As you may have guessed, being in a position that’s about ensuring other’s happiness does mean that you will get to reap plenty of perks as well.

Stability: The impact of the 2008 and 2009 financial meltdown wasn’t limited to the housing industry. The travel and hospitality industry also took a big hit as a result of people tightening their wallets in response to concerns about the financial future. Although there’s no sugarcoating the fact that those were very dark times for the industry, it survived and is once again flourishing. Being able to survive that type of trial shows just how robust hospitality is as an industry.

Exercise Creativity: Musicians and writers aren’t the only people who get to enjoy creative work. Because there are always unique challenges that need to be tackled within hospitality, you’ll always be able to put both your critical and creative thinking to good use.

As the Director of Sales at an Extended Stay Hotel, I have had the privilege and opportunity to be able to make a direct impact on the  bottom line of the budgets of individuals, and of companies, both small and large.

It is a great feeling to be able to help clients from reservation to departure.

At our property, we pride ourselves on our Customer Service.

When guests stay at your property, especially when they stay for a extended time, ranging from a month to a year, you and your Hotel Staff get to know them well, their likes, dislikes, and their daily routine.

Eventually, if they stay with you long enough, they don’t seem like a “guest” at all, but rather, a part of your hotel “family”.

And, being able to make a difference in these “family members'” lives, is the greatest benefit of all.

Never Quit. Never Surrender.

-Allen

Passion: Ya Got it?

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th2Y1T40FNThe only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Steve Jobs

What the late entrepreneurial genius, Steve Jobs, was talking about, is PASSION.

According to finance.yahoo.com,

Seventy percent of students would prefer a stable job without a high level of emotional investment or passion over a job with lots of passion but no job security, according to the most recent Way to Work™ survey from Adecco Staffing USA, the nation’s leading provider of recruitment and workforce solutions. The survey also found that while the majority (79 percent) of students are optimistic they will find a job in five months or less, finding a job is still their top concern.

 

Adecco conducted the survey of 1,001 Millennial and Generation Z students as part of its Way to Work™ program, which helps prepare students and recent graduates for internships and job opportunities. Members of ‘Gen Z’ surveyed, who are between the ages of 18-20, appear to already have differences in their priorities and concerns compared to their Millennial counterparts.

“We’re on the cusp of a new era,” said Joyce Russell, president, Adecco Staffing, USA. “With the first group of ‘Gen Z’ now in college, it will be fascinating to learn how this new generation of the labor force differs from Millennials in terms of their aspirations, outlook, expectations and priorities.”

It appears that these young Americans are more concerned about surviving than they are about thriving.

The American Worker who simply punches in and punches out at his stale, old job, day after day, is not just a well-known stereotype…it’s an all-too-common reality.

A lot of Americans seem to feel the way that those Millennials do, seeing a job as just something they do, not something they love to do.

And, that’s sad.

Speaking as a “business veteran”, folks who feel that way do not seem to  understand that fact that, as working adults, we spend 80% of our time on the job, and only 20% pursuing leisure activities and family time.

Plus, they never excel at their positions.

That’s a whole lot of time to perform the duties of a job which is boring you out of your mind, when you would rather be doing something else.

No matter how diligently you are performing your duties, quite frankly, you are still cheating your employer, because he is not getting the best that you can give him.

Curt Rosengren, in an article posted on money.usnews.com, said the following about the difference that having passion about your job makes:

It’s an energy source. When you’re on fire about what you do, it energizes you, and you can put that energy back into your work. Instead of the energy drain that work represents for so many people, your work actually becomes an energy gain. So not only are you getting energy from what you’re doing, you also aren’t having to dig into your energy reserves just to get through the day. The energy differential is huge.

It helps you feel more confident. For far too many people, work is about getting up in the morning and trying to be someone they’re not. Not only does that drain their energy, it also keeps them off balance. Think of someone standing on one leg with the other leg up in the air and their arms waving, trying to keep their balance. They’re deathly afraid that someone is going to come up and bump into them, because they’re already in danger of falling over. Trying to be who you’re not in your career is a little like that. You have to put extra effort into doing what doesn’t come naturally. Maintaining the façade keeps you off balance.

When you’re aligned with what energizes you, on the other hand, it’s like having both feet solidly planted on the floor and your center of gravity low. You don’t have to worry about somebody knocking you off balance because it doesn’t take an special energy to simply be who you are. You inherently feel more confident about what you’re doing.

It feeds your persistence. The odds are good that, whatever your career path, you’re going to run into roadblocks and experience some bumps along the way. When you’re doing something in pursuit of what energizes and inspires you, those roadblocks and bumps are a lot easier to take. Don’t get me wrong. They never become enjoyable, but their size relative to your objective is smaller.

I was at an Intercontinental Hotel Group “Solution Selling Seminar” last week, where a top executive at IHG asked us if we had passion about our job.

Passion is important in the Hospitality Industry. If you don’t have it, when you go to meet a potential client, they will spot your lack of it from a mile away. So will the guests staying at your hotel.

Whether you are a executive, a mid-level manager, a recent college graduate working in an entry-level position, or a ditch digger, if you don’t have passion about what you are doing during the time that you spend at work, then you are cheating your employer and yourself.

Life is too short…and you’re too smart to remain a hamster on a treadmill, going nowhere fast.

It takes passion to accomplish your goals.

Ya got it?

Allen Fitzhugh is Director of Sales at Candlewood Suites-Memphis. He can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com.

The Secret Of My Success…And Yours, Too

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The Secret to my SuccessWhat is the secret of success in today’s business world?

Is it education? No. In my 33 years of competing in the business world, I have met a lot of educated failures.

Is it ” being born into the business”? No. While that might bring you money and perceived success, your employees will still look at you as nobody but your father son. Inheriting a business does not bring  respect with it.

Is it “who you know”? No. While having influential connections in the business world can help you land a job, they won’t be able to do your job for you.

So, what is the secret of success in business?

I believe that there are two factors that are very important in order to achieve individual success in today’s business world.

First, you must be persistent.

John Calvin Coolidge, Jr. was the 30th President of the United States. Known as “Silent Cal”, he was a quite, introspective man, who spoke very little. However, when he did speak, he 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.

Persistence requires patience. Patience is a virtue. I know that sounds corny, but it is the absolute truth. Persistence means that you will work toward a goal which you have set for yourself in your business life with a singular focus, set on the ultimate achievement of this goal, no matter what obstacles life throws in your path .

The second thing that you must possess in order to be successful in the business world, is happiness.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer

So, how to you achieve happiness in the business world?

Forbes.com recently listed the following suggestions, found in the book, “The How of Happiness”, written by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky of the University of California. (The steps themselves are the author’s. The analysis and any smart alack remarks that may occur are mine.)

1. Express gratitude –

Say, “Thank you” Just two little words. However, little words mean a lot.

“You didn’t have to do it, but you did what you did what you did, and, I thank you.”

2. Cultivate optimism –

Work on viewing the glass as half full. You’ll be surprised what happens.

“Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.”

3. Avoid overthinking and social comparison –

You can drive yourself crazy with thoughts of “What if?” and “How Come”? And, don’t compare yourself with anybody else. You are unique. One of a kind. Wonderfully and fearfully made.

Besides, if “ifs and buts” were candy and nuts, we would all have a Merry Christmas.

“Welcome to my morning. Welcome to my day. yes, I’m the one responsible. I made it just this way.”

4. Practice Acts of Kindness –

Whether it is opening the door for someone, buying a co-worker’s lunch when they’re short, or helping a co-worker finish an assignment before a deadline, helping someone else feels good.

Therefore, the more acts of kindness you engage in, they better you will feel.

“You got to try a little kindness. Show a little kindness. Shine your light for everyone to see.”

5. Nurture relationships –

Be a good friend. Our relationships in the business world are not only essential to our careers but our sanity, as well.

“Sometime in our lives, we all have pain, we all have sorrow. But, if we are wise, we know that there’s always tomorrow.

Lean on me when you’re not strong. And, I’ll be your friend. I’ll help you carry on. For, it won’t be long, ’til I’m gonna need somebody to lean on.”

5. Develop strategies for Coping –

The most powerful resource you have at your disposal is you. We often get so caught up dealing with problems, we forget to acknowledge, develop and keep our attention with our strengths. Sometimes, when the chips are down, this is all we have – character strengths such as our determination, grace, compassion, clarity of mind and creativity.

“Learning to love yourself…It is the greatest love of all.”

7. Learn to forgive –

Life is too short to hold grudges. You may have to work with the person that your mad at, later in your career.

Everybody makes mistakes. “To err is human. To forgive divine.”

8. Do more activities that truly engage you –

Whether you are at work or at home, look for more activities in which you can “lose yourself”. The stress of life can take years off of your life. Finding a hobby or enjoying your work, can add those years back.

“I don’t want to work. I want to bang on the drum all day.”

9. Savor life’s joys-

Fondly recall the past. Be in the present. Anticipate the future.

“Life is a highway. I want to drive it all night long.”

10.Commit to your goals –

Make sure the goals you set are important to you. Make sure to consider the “what if’s”. Renew your commitment each day.

“Today is mine. Today is mine. To do with what I will. Today is mine. My own special cup to fill.to die a little that I might learn to live. To take from life, that I might learn to give. Today is mine.”

11. Practice religion and spirituality –

“Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force – that thoughts rule the world.” –  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You raise me up so I can stand on mountains. You raise me up to walk on story seas. I am strong when I am on your shoulders. You raise me up to more than I can be.”

12. Take Care of Your Body –

This not only means exercising, but also smiling, meditating. and laughing.

“You’ve got to stop and smell the roses
You’ve got to count your many blessings everyday
You’re gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don’t stop and smell the roses along the way.”

The author of the Forbes article suggests picking 4 of these 12 things to do on a regular basis, at your business, in order to achieve happiness in the workplace.

In my view, you should attempt to do as many of these things, as often as possible, because…
Every successful individual knows that his or her achievement depends on a community of persons working together.- Paul Ryan

In conclusion, allow me to tell you that the American Dream is still achievable.

You just have to be “happily persistent”.

Never Give Up. Never Surrender.

-Allen

***I am the Director of Sales at the Candlewood Suites in Memphis, Tennessee, an IHG Property, and an extended stay hotel. I can be reached at dos@cwsmemphis.com***

Being Hospitable: The Qualities of a Successful Hospitality Employee

Standard

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