Respect is a crucial component of any successful workplace. But, in the hospitality industry, it can easily feel like respect should be at the forefront of everything you do. It’s an industry that requires you to work with a variety of different people every day, from a rotating staff that typically works on shifts, to different customers and guests who you might see once or twice.
Respect can help to reduce stress in the workplace while increasing understanding and productivity.
It’s not enough to just talk about respect or tell your employees how important it is. While educating your staff on respect (which we’ll talk more about later), setting an example from a leadership position is the best way to make sure you’re creating the right environment for your establishment.
With that in mind, let’s go over why it’s so important to show respect to your guests and staff alike, and how you can avoid stumbling over common pitfalls of disrespect that can cause damage within your workplace.
Showing Respect to Your Staff
Have you ever asked your employees about their job satisfaction? There’s a wrong and right way to do it, but some of the best approaches include:
- Asking open-ended questions
- Making sure they feel valued and heard when they give an answer
- Asking about people and policies
- Asking follow-up questions
- Showing patience
Why is it so important to make sure your employees are satisfied? It creates a better workplace environment. Happy employees are dedicated, loyal employees. That typically starts with respect from the management level. Your goal as a leader should be to make your staff feel valued and empowered. Identifying their strengths and offering praise, listening to their concerns, and letting them work through their mistakes are all fantastic ways to do that.
Showing respect needs to go beyond just asking them how they feel now and then. Offering genuine appreciation and gratitude for the work they do will make things so much further, and help to boost the positive environment you’re trying to create. Celebrate employee milestones, offer leadership opportunities, and make regular recognition a part of your appreciation plan. Respect should always go beyond lip service. Take action to let your staff know they are truly appreciated and respected, no matter their position.
Showing Respect to Your Customers
Your customers are, of course, the bread and butter of your business. Whether you manage a hotel, bed, and breakfast, or a restaurant/bar inside a facility, showing respect to your customers will keep you on a path of success. The customer may not always be right, but treating them with respect and putting their needs first will help to keep them happy.
The best way to show respect to your customers and guests is the same way you show respect to your staff – listen. If they have a problem, show them that their concerns are valid by listening. Then, do whatever it takes to solve their problem. Even if something can’t be rectified, if the customer sees you’re doing everything in your power to make things better, they’re likely to be calm and more content.
You should always be thinking about more ways to show respect to put your customers first. Some of your essential practices should include:
- Maintaining a sense of professionalism
- Giving them the time they deserve
- Calling them by their name
- Giving them as much information as possible
- Thanking them for their patronage
Happy customers will end up giving you the one thing every business wants; word-of-mouth advertising. Nothing goes further than a recommendation from a friend or family member, or even an online review someone is bound to trust more than a traditional advertisement. A little respect goes a very long way.
Educating Yourself (and Your Staff) on the Right Behaviors
You’ve probably heard the saying “respect is earned.” When it comes to the engagement between yourself and your staff, however, respect needs to be the default. That means everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to knowing how to treat others. When that happens, you’re setting up a positive, successful workplace environment where everyone can feel safe, productive, and happy to do their jobs.
Unfortunately, disrespectful words and actions can creep in far too often, and you may not even realize it. Sometimes, people say or do things without ill intentions, but they can still be offensive and hurtful to the targeted individual/group. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself and your staff on things like microaggressions. Microaggressions can be behavioral, environmental, or verbal. But, they’re not often obvious, at least to the person saying them or acting them out.
Put a no-tolerance policy in place against everything from bullying and harassment to discrimination on the job. Showing basic respect to all of your employees and expecting them to show that same level of respect to each other will help your workplace environment to prosper.
Again, a little respect goes a long way. Creating an all-around respectful atmosphere is an important part of any hospitality business. So, take the time to make sure you follow these basic principles, and that your staff is following suit.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to the hospitality industry, business productivity, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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