The Power of Follow Up – High Tech or High Touch?

We all deal with technology daily, whether it is one of dozens of social media outlets, responding to a guest review, using an app as either a consumer or service provider or simply emails.

To those of us over 40, we may recall when we were promised computers were going to make our lives simpler and shorten our work week.   While we likely agree that technology has increased our capabilities, I do not know many of us that have found the work week to be anything but more complex, as those potential capabilities have added many more duties and activities.

This column is a snap shot message – the power of follow up.

Like most of us, I have more than one computer and my 17″ laptop Dell failed for a 2nd time over a 4 year period. Complete freeze – would not boot, and luckily for me, it was a back up unit and I had opted for  a service plan with Data Doctors after the 1st failure.   They analyzed the problem, offered several solutions and two days later returned it to me with a minimal bill for parts.   It is now almost completely rebuilt and things seem to be in order.

The follow up came today with a phone call from the tech who serviced my unit.   Without prompting, he called me to see if it was working as it needed to be.   This was a highly unusual event – the follow up from email evaluations accompanies most tech situations, but someone taking the time to reach out PERSONALLY was an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

The cost to Data Doctors?    $000.00

The benefit to me?  The sense that someone actually cared about how their quality of work affected me!

Which was this – high tech or high touch?  The answer is both.

In hospitality, we need to remember this fact – guests want to be appreciated and valued, and that includes the sincere, genuine attention that cannot be scripted or mandated by a brand standard or rule.  It needs to come from us – the hotel owner, manager and associate!

There are many ways to identify those unique touch points, and we @HospitalityEducators.com can help you find them.

About John J. Hogan  

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.

He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

Specific new services, workshops and keynote topics can be found at  johnjhogan.com , including

  • WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HOTEL SCHOOL

  •  IT’S THE SIZE OF YOUR IDEA, NOT THE SIZE OF YOUR BUDGET

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com /              602-799-5375

Insights of 10 Hospitality Professionals: Mentors and Counselors Come in All Sizes and Shapes

For those of us who have been in hospitality for more than 15 years or attended hotel school, the name Tony Marshall has familiarity to us in the area of hospitality law. His reputation as an effective communicator and keynote speaker introduced many of us to understanding what reasonable care meant and his unique brand of humor made him one of the industry’s most recognized names in the last 25 years of the 20th century.

Marshall passed away 10 years ago (December 2006), yet his work and memory linger with many. If one does an internet search on his name[1], the business side of his legacy remains evident.

This column is different, in that I asked the industry for some personal insights on Tony and how he affected them. I personally knew Tony in several ways: we both worked in the same small hotel (Bonnie Oaks Resort in Fairlee, VT) about 20 years apart and one of his best friends was Professor Steve Fletcher who was the department chair of the Hotel & Restaurant program at my alma mater, the University of Massachusetts. While Tony was almost always boisterous in public, I saw first-hand his human side when he was encouraging Steve Fletcher in the mid-1990s as he and his family were dealing with the final stages of Lou Gehrig disease.

[1] Remembering Tony Marshall, The Messenger of “Reasonable Care …http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2007_1st/Mar07_TMarshall.html


Thank you to Hotel Online, which originally shared this story on 1/4/17   https://hotel-online.com/press_releases/release/mentors-and-counselors-come-in-all-sizes-and-shapes 

Enjoy these examples of how Tony impacted others:

Doug Kennedy Kennedy Training Network www.KennedyTrainingNetwork.com Hollywood, FL 954.558.4777 doug.kennedy@kennedytrainingnetwork.com   

I will never forget the day I met Tony Marshall. At the time he was the Dean of the FIU School of Hospitality Management and also wrote a column for Hotel & Motel Management magazine. I was a 20 something entrepreneur with not much more than a wild dream to start a hotel training company.   A mentor of mine told me to reach out to prominent people in the industry to ask for advice, so I wrote a letter to Dr. Marshall. 

 A few days later I called his office. At the time most executives had gatekeepers and it was very hard to reach someone directly, but not Tony! He took my call on the first try. I asked if he might have a few moments in the near future to meet with me and he said “How about right now? Come on down.” I jumped in my car and drove down to his office on campus. 

I was SO nervous meeting such a prominent figure, but Tony right away made me feel at ease by joking around. When he came out into the waiting area I extended my hand but instead he grabbed my tie, turned it around to look at the label and said “Not bad, but you need to start buying better ties if you are going to make it in a hospitality career!” (This is advice that served me well I should add.)

Tony took nearly an hour out of his busy schedule to hear about my vision and review my carefully constructed business. After giving a long and thoughtful look, he responded that he did not think my business plan was going to be successful, as he thought I first needed more career experience. He then picked up the phone and after a brief chat handed it to me – it was a chance to interview for a job as the Director of Training for the Caribbean Hotel Association! Although it was a great opportunity, I turned down the job interview offer and thanked Tony for his advice, even though I was disappointed. On the way out he said encouragingly, “You are not the first person I told their plan wouldn’t work, and about 1 in 10 prove me wrong. Good luck in doing that young man!” 

About 10 years later when I had 45 employees working for my hotel training company I had another meeting with Tony to remind him that I proved him wrong, and he was very happy that I had done so!  Tony was a true hospitality superstar in every way.


Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP CHME Instructor at Virginia Tech and Higher Education Consultant Roanoke, VA (540) 231-9459 (mobile)  howardf@vt.edu  

Howard and Tony wrote feature columns in HMM for more than 20 years and they often appeared at the same brand, association or management company programs.   Tony had more than 400 columns over a 25 year period. Howard continues to publish his messages today and has more than 500 columns to date.

Tony was the best contributing editor of all the business trade publications as he was doing a monthly column for Hotel Motel Management magazine. He was always very articulate and humorous with his writings as well as with his speeches which he made frequently for the hotel industry. 

A wonderful person who is very much missed from all who knew him in our industry.


Rocco M. Angelo Associate Dean & E.M. Statler Professor Alumni Relations 

Florida International University, North Miami, FL 305.919.4500 angelor@fiu.com

Where do I begin with stories about Anthony Glade Marshall?

First Tony worked for me, then I for him as a faculty member at FIU’s School of Hotel Food and Travel Services, as it was known at first. When he became Dean of the School I was made Associate Dean & Chair. When he retired from FIU and joined the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, publishers of my textbook, he became my publisher. Our business association and friendship spanned almost 35 years.

Shortly after Tony graduated from the University of Syracuse Law school, he was hired by the accounting and consulting firm Laventhol Horwath (L & H) where I was the manager of the hospitality consulting division in the New York City office. Some of the consulting assignments had a legal dimension that Tony was expected to address. It was one of my duties to familiarize him with the consulting practice by involving him in various assignments for which I was responsible. Our experiences together could fill a book; a cost study of the food service at a 1000 bed mental hospital, a study of food service at a University where we experienced a drug bust in the dormitory where we were quartered, among others.

As the L&H consulting business expanded so did the staff. In order to find the best and the brightest young candidates, we sent our consultants to the major hotel schools. Although I am a Cornell alumnus, I assigned Tony to the Cornell Hotel School and arranged for him to lecture in a class. Tony had established already his famous speaking style and I suggested to Dean Robert Beck that he sit in on the lecture. Dean Beck had to be out of town so he asked Assistant Dean Gerald Lattin to attend the class. Thus began the series of events that would bring Tony to Florida International University when Gerald Lattin became the founding Dean of the hospitality school and hired Tony to be his assistant.


Skip Stearns Co-Founder and Principal, Hotel Experts. LLC    http://www.thehotelexpertsllc.com/ Greater Boston Area 603-778-0110 Skip@THEHOTELEXPERTSLLC.com

Skip was a career hotelier with Dunfey (now Omni Hotels) before he and his brother Steve co-founded the Hotel Experts, LLC in 2002. The group works with experienced hotel experts (associate offices in six states) providing hospitality and hotel consulting, litigation support and impartial hotel expert witness research, reports and testimony.

Hi John:

What a great idea! I did not know Tony personally, but like many hoteliers of our time, I looked forward to every issue of H&MM. 

“At Your Risk” was usually the first place I turned to find the topic of the current issue, and the last article I read because I always enjoy saving the best for last.  

Tony’s experiences, lessons, humor and communications skills were fantastically relevant in an era when risk management was phenomenally undervalued. As hotel experts who focus on safety and security today, we find his column and textbooks still relevant, and wishing that more operators were familiar with Tony’s fabulous educational rants.


Al Hodge Implementation Project Lead at ADP Orlando, FL alhodge129@gmail.com  https://www.linkedin.com/in/al-hodge-4bb92a12  

Al was on the staff of the AH&LA Educational Institute for more than 20 years, servicing military education and major hotel brands in sales and support services.

Yes, I have a couple of Tony Marshall stories.

Tony was always more than just the President of EI – he genuinely cared about each member of his team.

After finishing the work at hand, he would draw us into his office for discussions on books and authors, ranging from the Harry Potter books to CS Lewis the author and he would, as usual, argue which were the better ones and why!

Many of the conversations we had were about life as opposed to work, which made me appreciate him as a human being.


Robert Rauch, CHA Chief Executive Officer RAR Hospitality San Diego, CA 858-239-1800 rauch@hotelguru.com www.rarhospitality.com   

John, I was a student at FIU when Tony Marshall was both Associate Dean of Hotel and Restaurant Management and Professor of Hospitality Law.

He convinced me to sign up and transfer from the University of Illinois in 1974 and was arguably my most influential professor through both undergraduate and graduate school though I had many great professors. He literally “lit the classroom on fire” to show us how quickly a restaurant can be destroyed by not taking “reasonable care” when serving table-side with a burner.

 His exams were difficult and required rigorous study. I learned so much from his class that despite not being an attorney, I taught Hospitality Law earlier in my teaching career, my long time parallel universe to being a hotelier. 

In my 40+ years in the hotel industry, there has not been one person who I have met who could more effectively capture an audience better than Tony Marshall. Many years ago, I almost had the guts to tell him, “Tony, I wish you did not smoke.” I always worried that he would get lung cancer. He will be missed for years and years.

 Bob


William D. Frye, Ph.D., CHE, CHO, CHIA Associate Professor and Program Coordinator – College of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Niagara University, New York                     Niagara University, New York 716-984-8274       wfrye@niagara.edu   

One of the classes Frye teaches is hospitality law @ Niagara.

He commented that “…YES I knew him, but not close. We interacted on several occasions and while we did not have a friendship, (more professional acquaintances), he was a GIANT of a man without a doubt.”


Steve Belmonte, CHA   CEO Vimana Franchise Systems, LLC Windermere, FL                      (407) 654-5540 Steve@VimanaFS.com www.VimanaFS.com    

As a former chairman of the Educational Institute and a long-time involved member of the AH&LA, I knew Tony Marshall very well. He had a genuine passion for what he did and had a grounded belief in the power of education. 

Tony and I would often discuss an issue which remains prevalent today. We, in the hospitality industry, do not get our fair share of the bright young people out there; they are simply going to other industries. So many young people look at the hospitality industry as a dead-end job.

I would like to propose this. A formal college education may not be in the stars for everyone for various reasons, however, the hotel and restaurant industries are the last of the giant industries in which a formal education is not a prerequisite for success. A man or woman can achieve enormous success through hard work and perseverance.

What we need to do more as an industry is to tell our story to the young people. The owners, general managers and hospitality executives need to let the young people know they were not born with a silver spoon in their mouth. A substantial number of successful hospitality people today started at the very bottom and worked their way up.

Many, many general managers crossed over from management into ownership at some point. That is an incredible and motivating story to tell. If you need an example, look no further than myself. I did not graduate from college. I started on Mannheim Road in Chicago at the age of 16 as a desk clerk for $2.20 an hour. I moved up to assistant manager, eventually director of food & beverage, then as the youngest general manager in the history of Holiday Inn when I become the general manager of the Holiday Inn O’Hare Airport. Through hard work, creative marketing and building solid relationships with my employees, I continued to grow and eventually became president and CEO of one of the top ten management companies in the nation and then president and CEO of the Ramada brand and now currently CEO and owner of Vimana Franchise Systems which owns the Centerstone Hotel brand, the Key West Inn brand, and the Independent Collection by Vimana.

Love for the industry, passion, hard work, will take you to places you could not imagine. The hotel and restaurant industry is alive and well. We just need more leaders to get out and tell their story.


    This hospitality law book is one of the most used in hotel schools in the US. It is co-authored by UMASS professor Norman Cournoyer (my undergraduate advisor), Anthony Marshall and Karen Morris who has the final story about Tony.

Karen Morris Professor of Law at Monroe Community College Judge, Brighton Town Court https://www.linkedin.com/in/karen-morris-7281041b    

Tony Marshall was one-of-a kind. A consummate story teller and presenter, his style was nothing short of flamboyant, mesmerizing, great fun, and very effective. Audience members did not soon forget his message. Here’s one of my favorite examples. 

Tony was everyone’s favorite speaker at annual conferences of the Council on Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE), a national gathering of Hospitality Professors to explore new developments in the field. One year the title of Tony’s presentation was reported in the conference program as, “Don’t Mow Your Lawn on Friday Afternoon.” Attendees scratched their heads – what could he possibly be planning to discuss?? After much buzz, the date and time for the speech arrived. With curiosity peaked, the audience was in his palm before he even began. 

Turns out, the topic was exactly what the title described. He was concerned that professors have a bad reputation because their job is viewed by many as cushy with sweetheart hours. He knew the reputation was not accurate. While the hours are indeed long for the research portion of the job, they are somewhat flexible which can be misleading. Tony, as a true admirer of both the hospitality field and hospitality education, sought to avoid any taint to either. The speech discouraged any action that would smirch either profession, including conduct by practitioners that suggests an abundance of leisure time that makes on-looking neighbors envious. Save those household chores for weekends and evenings.

I have long admired Tony’s commitment to advancing the field of hospitality evidenced so exquisitely in that speech. Love you Tony!  


 

Marshall’s professional contributions to the industry continue to be noted with an annual award given at the Hospitality Law Conference held each year in Houston, this year April 24-26, 2017. http://hospitalitylawyer.com/conference-awards/

The Anthony G. Marshall Hospitality Law Award is given in recognition of pioneering and lasting contributions to the field of hospitality law. HospitalityLawyer.com Founder, Stephen Barth, says, “We honor Anthony Marshall for his pioneering and continued contributions to the field of hospitality law. He was the first to define reasonable care in a way that the average hotel manager, who is not a lawyer, could understand.”


Closing thought:

Tony proved he could communicate to hoteliers effectively through his writings and workshops, but he wanted to prove to the industry and academia that professors could actually run profitable hospitality businesses.

It was for this reason, Tony shared with me one time, that he actively sought the Presidency and leadership role of the AH&LA Educational Institute.   During his time there from the 1990s through 2005, his leadership significantly reduced EI’s debt, increased the revenue stream and created new and updated products by actively working with industry both domestically and internationally.

The number of people who specifically remember him diminishes with time, yet Marshall left a legacy that continues to positively impact us.  His active mentoring and supporting others, whether they were students, business team mates, brand executives or personal friends, made a difference.

I recall one of his favorite sayings was “You’re a good man (woman), and he’d use your name!”

Thank you for your lessons and wisdom, Tony, and you were a very good man!


All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

Tags: tony marshallanthony marshallanthony marshall award

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan   John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[2] is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.


[2] Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan John@HoganHospitality.com / 602-799-5375

An Open Invitation to Share Your Best Stories About One of Hospitality’s Most Unique and Interesting Personalities!

By John Hogan

The hotel industry is one that involves a serious financial commitment that is complemented by the fact this is a people business requiring 24 hours a day of attention.  In businesses that never close, there are many issues that involve following legal statutes and codes, brand standards, industry best practices and even common sense.

Tony Marshall was the embodiment of an educator who crossed the line from Academic Educator to Corporate Conscience in the ways he helped define the common sense approach to reasonable care by his ongoing work.

Marshall was best known for his involvement initially as Dean of the School of Hospitality Management at Florida International University in Miami for more than two decades. During this tenure, he became well known to many hoteliers as a columnist and keynote speaker.  It was in his communication venues to industry that he shared diverse ideas that assisted many hotels try to focus on the everyday challenges.

Wanting to demonstrate that an academic could succeed in business, Marshall successfully addressed the financial and practical issues facing AH&LA’s Educational Institute as CEO in the early 2000s.

There are 1000s of students and graduates of the FIU program who likely remember his lectures or assignments.  I personally know he wrote more than 400 columns for one of the major hospitality magazine over a 20 year period and two books.  He delivered hundreds of workshops to industry and academic groups, with a balance of wit and some sarcasm but always with the goal of helping each of us to individually increase their knowledge and success.

Marshall passed away ten years ago (December 2006).   As one who recalls the impact of his messages, I invite readers of this online service who either personally knew Tony, or was impacted by his work or who simply has a personal story to share to do so.

Hospitality is natural home for storytelling.  Please share your Tony Marshall story with me by 12/20/16, so we can all have one more collective smile.   We hope to compile them for publication by 12/29/16.

Please send them to John.Hogan@HospitalityEducators.com.


All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication.

About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[1] is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events.  He is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of HospitalityEducators.com, which was founded in 2010 as a solutions center for hotel owners and managers. He is also the Principal of HoganHospitality.com, which offers hotel expert witness services and hospitality consulting.

He is currently working with his partner Kathleen Hogan and others on several new projects including the HOTELIERMASTERMIND series, an eBook series with Howard Feiertag on hotel sales, two new web sites and a fresh set of Keynote and Workshop programs, hospitality services and columns.


[1] Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), Certified Master Hotel Supplier (CMHS), Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), Certified Hotel Owner (CHO)

Contact: John Hogan

John@HoganHospitality.com / 602-799-5375

Do you know what is very likely your biggest problem area in your hotel?

Do you know how to deal with your biggest point of pain?

Working with a select group of hospitality professionals this past year, we found out the answers to both questions. The Hotelier Mastermind formed in early 2016 to identify and resolve problem areas facing hoteliers today. At it’s core, the Hotelier Mastermind includes John Hogan, Kathleen Hogan, Tim Danyo and Jon Albano.

John and Kathleen are the Co-Founders of HospitalityEducators.com, a hotel consulting resource for hospitality professionals focused on making hotels more profitable. Kathleen is the CEO and John is the Chief Learning Officer. Among other things, Hospitality Educators is the creator and facilitator of the AAHOA Leadership Gold CHO Program. John is a expert witness and industry resource.

Tim is a film maker, an educator, and an entrepreneur, and he’s the Founder and CEO of the video production company ImaginationMedia.tv.

Jon Albano is the Founder and CEO of the LodgingMetrics dashboard for hotels, and host of the the Lodging Leaders podcast. For more than 13 years, Jon defined Membership Services for AAHOA, with more than 15,000 members owning more than 20,000 hotels that total $128 billion in property value. As Vice President of Membership, he oversaw Membership, Education, Public Relations & Communications, and Information Technology departments.

At the beginning of this year, the four of us partnered together to form the Hotelier Mastermind – a carefully selected “think tank” of leading hospitality professionals – to help us identify the biggest challenges hoteliers face today, and utilize the collective intelligence of the group to solve them.

We Talk About …

  • The mastermind process, what a mastermind group is, and the criteria we used to carefully select the right participants to help us.
  • The problem we uncovered of finding and keeping quality hotel associates, how we went about validating it, and what we learned about the cause.
  • How to source top talent
  • How to winnow the list of candidates
  • How to effectively interview
  • How to on-board and orient your new hires
  • How to keep the A Players for the long haul

If you’ve listened to previous Lodging Leaders podcasts, then you know they constantly offer practical, actionable advice to listeners, and The Hotelier Mastermind agreed to share a lot of what was learned for FREE.

Over the next couple of weeks, The Hotelier Mastermind will be sharing a FREE 3-VIDEO TRAINING COURSE, including downloads, and details for upcoming webinars.

We’re going to start sending out the content this coming Monday, October 31, and it won’t be available anyplace else, so go ahead and sign up now…..you won’t be disappointed.

A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE – Some Thanksgiving fun facts

A Shared holiday smile from SIEGEL SAYS and HOTEL-ONLINE

And now for you-know-what…

Some Thanksgiving fun facts:

  •  The Pilgrims’ first-ever Thanksgiving took place over three days in Plymouth, Mass.
  • Gov. William Bradford planned the first Thanksgiving dinner.
  • The Pilgrims ate items like lobster, hickory nuts, cabbage, goat cheese and squash at the first Thanksgiving.
  • Pilgrims probably didn’t wear all black with big buckles. That stereotype was created by illustrators in the 19th century.
  • A writer named Sarah Josepha Hale is responsible for Thanksgiving’s national holiday status. She asked President Abraham Lincoln to declare it an American holiday in October 1863.
  • Congress designated Thanksgiving as an official holiday in 1941.
  • For the past 67 years, the president has pardoned a live turkey every Thanksgiving. The pardoned turkeys get to live on a farm until they die of old age.
  • Benjamin Franklin campaigned for the turkey, not the bald eagle, to be the national bird.
  • Nearly 90 percent of Americans eat turkey every Thanksgiving.
  • About 46 million turkeys are eaten every Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey doesn’t make you tired. It contains no more tryptophan than cheese or chicken.
  • Most of the turkeys come from Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Missouri, Virginia and Indiana.
  • Turkeys can’t see well at night, and if they’re raised commercially, they can’t fly.
  • Most Thanksgiving turkeys weigh about 15 pounds. They’re usually 70 percent to 30 percent white meat/dark meat.
  • Every year, the average person in the United States eats about 17 pounds of turkey.
  • The oldest Thanksgiving day parade was organized by Gimbels department store in 1920. The Macy’s parade didn’t start until four years later.
  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has the most liquor sales of the whole year.

Happy US Thanksgiving from Hospitality Educators!

HE logo

Kathleen Hogan and John Hogan  

480-436-0283           Service@HospitalityEducators.com

Hotel Common Sense – 7 Practical Steps on MBWA

Hotel Common Sense – 7 Practical Steps on MBWA

HOSPITALITY PRINCIPLES OF  SUCCESS

A previous article used one of Tom Peters and Robert Waterman’s fundamentals from their groundbreaking book on changing the ways we do business.   IN SEARCH OF EXCELLENCE introduced a formal name for what the more successful hospitality managers already knew about motivating their staff. The phrase “Management by Walking Around” was based on Hewlett-Packard’s commitment to their staff with interaction – not micromanagement, but ongoing listening and responding to staff ideas.

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2 , Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works… article outlined how today’s workforce wants and needs to be considered as individuals who can contribute to the success of their organization.

Reader feedback showed the growing awareness to that need for additional management and leadership “active listening” and this follow-up message on MBWA offers some concrete ways to notch up that effort of positive involvement.

  1. Allow your staff to share complete stories and messages.  Many hospitality companies are trying to improve their customer care programs, yet how often do leaders and managers actually ask an hourly staff member to share a story about either an unhappy or very satisfied guest?  Listening to the entire story could provide best practices that might be substantially more effective and less expensive than hiring a consultant.
  2. Avoid the tendency to interrupt.   General Managers are results oriented people who are looking for the bottom line.   I know from personal experience the tendency to “hurry” people along is there, but allowing people to share the entire experience will encourage them to be more open.
  3. Remember eye contact in conversations.  One of my first mentors taught me a great deal about hospitality, but his habit of looking over my shoulder when we were talking always made me feel I was missing something. Give confidence to people with your eyes.
  4. Collect and communicate these stories of success (and failures). Sharing these stories (appropriately) at meetings of all staff, at training sessions, in newsletters and more provides an incentive to people to want to contribute because they have learned that you really do care.  I have seen some outstanding examples of “you tube” like testimonials from a number of hospitality companies of all sizes.
  5. Remember this is not a game of “one-up.” As General Managers, we have likely been in the business longer or heard more stories and it is important to recognize that we should not try to offer one “better” story than the one we are hearing. Remember, MBWA is about “active listening.”
  6. Credit the source.   When we add a new resource, form or best practice to our hospitality membership site, we obtain permission first and then always make certain we credit them fully.  Each of us has unique approaches, messages and talents and sharing the credit with our associates and guests is essential to moving forward.
  7. Build trust by honestly listening.  Some (correction, many) of the best suggestions I have ever heard as a manager or executive came from the people who are performing the job.  I learned more about laundry sorting, washing pots and up-selling from people who were proud to be successful at what they were doing.  Some of those suggestions needed clarification and some were not told as quickly as I might have preferred, but building teams means using all the team members’ strengths.

I normally update the Hospitality Tip of the Week, but as this is an immediate follow-up message, I am going to maintain it, as I believe the point needs to repeated until it becomes a habit.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:   Focus on MBWA

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people:  measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?   

              What will you do next week?

KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my speaking programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings will focus on a wide variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my “HOW TO” articles and HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS. My segments Lessons from the Field, Hotel Common Sense and Principles for Success will be featured at appropriate times in the year as well.

Success does not come by accident or chance.

Contact us for assistance.

Hospitality.jpg

Kathleen Hogan Ireland Sept 2013John J. Hogan CHA CHE CHO and Kathleen Hogan  MBA CHO are the  co-founders of  HospitalityEducators.com, which was created in 2010 to be a resource for hotel owners and professionals as they sought to improve market share, occupancy, operational efficiency and profitability.

The husband and wife team are transitioning the original membership site concept and evolving the business model today to a focused resource offering consulting, training, and individualized support to both hospitality and other service businesses.   Services include keynote addresses workshops, online support, metrics measurement, marketing and customer service from a group of more than a dozen experienced professionals.   While continuing to serve hospitality, the demand for these types of services is growing and can be personalized.

John Hogan is also the principal of HoganHospitality.com, which provides a range of expert professional services for hotel owners, including professional development for organizations, training, consulting and expert witness services.

John Hogan Sept 2013DSCN0215

Contact information:  Kathleen Hogan  480-436-0283,

John Hogan

602-799-5375 or service@hospitalityeducators.com

Workshops Available include: 

From the Chalkboard to the Front Line

What They Don’t Teach You at Hotel School

Focus:

  • Hotel Profitability
  • Hotel Sales
  • Marketing Ideas
  • Hotel Operations

There will always be an ongoing debate on the comparative merits of experience versus the knowledge acquired in formal educational settings.   The best lessons anyone can learn from hotel schools include an awareness of what really occurs on the front line in the actual hospitality setting.  This keynote transitions the academic message to the real world of running a profitable hospitality business.

Click    here   for Keynotes and Workshops Available 

Hotel Common Sense – Philosophy #2

HOSPITALITY PRINCIPLES of SUCCESS

Hotel Common Sense –  Philosophy #2

Or, why the Open Door policy no longer works…

Anyone who is familiar with my full-length columns or shorter blogs knows that I  am a fan of Tom Peters.  There was a period when he may have believed his own PR press a bit too much in the mid 1990s, but I have found his messages to be thought provoking with sound counsel that we need to evolve and change or we will not be around much longer.

Peters, in his first major book with co-author Bob Waterman, took the theme of one of the world’s leading computer companies, Hewlett-Packard, and expanded the notion of truly reaching out to the people in our organizations who are responsible for the bulk of customer contact and building customer loyalty.  They challenged us to look at the symbol of the open door, which has ceased to be a meaningful statement.

The Open Door used to mean an associate (better word for employee) could come to us and ask for help in resolving problems with overtime, schedules, a day off or other personal matters.  I maintain that the Open Door policy, once the symbol of the manager or leader who really cared about their staff, is just not effective any more. The reason I state this is I feel we must realize that the hospitality industry has embraced social media and immediate communication exists among our staff as well as our guests.

While the above situations of personal matters still exist, the reality of today’s hectic pace is frequently more complicated. Drugs/alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, extended families and other more complicated issues are realities of today. While some of us might naively prefer to think there are not serious problems in the workplace today, we need only to look online at the latest “headlines” to see the truth.

The hospitality industry is certainly not immune to the pressures of today’s realities. This industry has ample temptations (bedrooms, alcohol, cash, and “power”) and the added stress of long hours and the pressure to be profitable in periods of diminishing returns can be a manager’s nightmare.

Is there a solution?

Consider the OPEN FLOOR contrasted with the OPEN DOOR.  I am not trying to use a simple play on words, but rather I am focusing on the fact that we cannot rely on our “good intentions” of the open door to be really in touch with our staff.  There will always be some people who seek us out as managers, but the truth is we must take to the OPEN FLOOR every day, beginning today as we read this.  By this, I mean setting our priorities on what most of us say and consider to be our most important asset: our staff. The OPEN FLOOR means something as basic as managers and department heads warmly greeting each member of the staff each shift. It means being in the  kitchen, the laundry, the receiving dock, the security patrol, with the sales team on calls and in the parking lot each day with the people whose livelihood takes place in those areas.

Paperwork, reports and online promotions have their place and need to be addressed and submitted on time. Some of it can be (and should be) delegated like many Embassy Suites try to do with their assistant general managers.  All reports should be periodically reviewed to see if they are still useful (to anyone) or if they have become just busywork.

Howard Feiertag, my friend and co-author of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD, once shared his observations of a downtown New York City hotel.  He commented how EVERYONE (general manager, front desk, bell staff, concierge, F&B, etc.) shook hands with their fellow workers and colleagues when they first saw each other daily.

Like they were “friends.”

Imagine that, and in New York City.

I need  to call Howard and ask him if he knows if they still do this.

MBWA – Management by Walking Around – try it!

Hotel Common Sense Philosophy #2 = Learn to listen more, talk less. Management by Walking Around is Priority #1.

Keys to Success Hospitality Tip of the Week:   Focus on MBWA

A challenge to every manager who is responsible for 5 or more people:  measure your in and out of the office time and at the end of the week, see how much time you spent ACTIVELY INTERACTING with your team.

The goal is 70% of your time out of the office – how did you do?

What will you do next week?

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