By: Christine Flanagan, Marketing Manager, and Facilities Coordinator
I have worked in hotel sales for 19 years, 17 of which have been for Landmark Hotel Group. Each new role and opportunity I have gained and learned from my experience working in hospitality has been immeasurable! Here are 4 tips I learned throughout my hospitality career.
Work In Hospitality – 4 Key Lessons
- Don’t Work in Silos
- Learn Other Hospitality Disciplines
- Everyone Sells
- Listen More and Talk Less
1. Don’t Work in Silos
So, what exactly do I mean when I say don’t work in silos? The term working in silos means you are working in a bubble or you are working only within your department or team. As an inexperienced leader, I fell into this trap several times. The biggest lesson I learned is that if only my department “looks” good or is over-performing, then I am not fully being a team player.
When you work in hospitality, the goal is for the entire company to succeed; for that to happen, all departments must work together cohesively. This realization requires hotel managers to shift their mindsets. Hotel revenue goals, for instance, are 2 million dollars. Sales are responsible for 1 million of that goal. How foolish would it be if my team achieved the 1-million-dollar goal halfway through the year and took the approach of… “my job is done?” instead of striving to do as much as they can.
Success in one department doesn’t always equal overall success. We should celebrate the wins that get us there but work to achieve complete success.
2. Learn Other Hospitality Disciplines
Similar to the concept of working in a silo, we are equally disadvantaged when we do not take the time to understand how other departments function. Within your hospitality career, take time to truly understand the work of others. When you work in hospitality, it’s essential to know how what we may or may not be doing could be impacting other departments adversely. There are numerous opportunities to work in hospitality, but the list below only includes some jobs within a hotel.
o Guest Services Representative
o Night Auditor
o Front Office Manager
o Room Attendant
o Laundry Attendant
o Rooms Inspector
o Maintenance Tech
o Chief Engineer
o Breakfast Attendant
o Restaurant Server/hostess
o Banquets supervisor
o Sales Coordinator
o Sales Manager
o Director of Sales
You may be an expert in your discipline and know all the secret tricks of the trade. But if you choose to stick your head in the sand and not strategically look at how your role impacts other departments, then you may not be working the most effectively. When you work in hospitality, it’s crucial to work together as a team.
In sales, behind everything I sell to a client exists an operations team that must execute that sale. If I over-promise the capabilities of my team, then we all not only look bad, but we aren’t achieving the client’s wishes. Suppose I don’t take the time to understand the staffing and the functionality of the space I am selling, amongst many other factors. In that case, I am setting everyone up for failure and disappointment.
By talking to my operations team ahead of time and ensuring we are on the same page, we work together to sell realistic experiences to our guests.
3. EVERYBODY SELLS!
The mentality of “Everybody Sells” is such an important one for people who work in hospitality. Our guests’ experiences start the second they book our hotel. Whether they book online, directly at the hotel, over the phone, or with a 3rd party, that initial contact is where their experience begins.
Every single person can impact the guest experience. From those working in facilities to those working night auditor jobs, every interaction with a guest creates an opportunity for positive guest interactions.
There is a concept of “4-Walls Marketing.” This principle means that every person within the hotel’s four walls can positively and negatively impact the guest experience. When you work in hospitality, each team member also can capture future business for the hotel. Whether through a casual conversation at breakfast or while making a service call to a room, each interaction can yield important information that could lead to additional business for the hotel. When you think about it, that’s an amazing part of hospitality careers. Everyone is important!
4. Listen More, Talk Less
Listening skills are more of a life lesson than just a lesson learned when you work in hospitality; listen more and talk less. When we take time to listen to our clients, colleagues, and subordinates, we begin to understand their needs and how we can best meet them.
Actively listening can open new business opportunities and prevent conflicts and miscommunications. Focusing on what we want to say and getting our words out leads us to stop listening to what others around us are saying.
When we open our ears, we tap into our emotional intelligence, which makes us more empathetic and more capable of making rational decisions. Listening to others helps us pick up on red flags before we have more severe problems on our hands. Being able to foresee conflicts before they happen gives us the ability to fix things before they become a burning hot problem.
If you find yourself thinking, “I’d like to work in hospitality,” let us know. Contact us with any questions, submit your resume, or apply online.