7 Practical Steps on MBWA

                           7 Practical Steps on MBWA:  Hotel Common Sense 
I was looking at some of my earlier articles written for hospitality publications and realized how well this one was received. Interesting to me that while so much in our businesses has changed, so much remains within our control to influence.

An earlier 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.

HOTEL COMMON SENSE was a phrase I learned from a great independent Vermont hotelier a generation ago,

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?

As always, feedback is appreciated.

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

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Christmas Gift Suggestions

TWO SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT LISTS WITH THE SAME INTENTIONS

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

 

Guest Blog message from Stanley Turkel- The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality, Fanciful Travel Predictions & Definition of “Turnpike”,

Hotel History: Fanciful Prediction – In the September 1912 issue of American Homes & Gardens, futurist Harold D. Eberlein presented his predictions of the impact of air travel on American cities.  Eberlein foresaw a proliferation of roof gardens on top of large hotels to provide pleasing views for guests.  He also predicted that travelers could expect to find “clerks and bellboys posted on the top floor ready to attend to the immediate wants of tourists who have just arrived by airplane. Aerial taxicabs will circle like vultures over the hotel waiting for a doorman to signal one of them to alight and pick up a departing guest.” The creation of drones and self-driven vehicles shows just how close we are to fulfilling Eberlein’s fanciful prediction of the future. Google’s efforts to build delivery drones and internet-beaming balloons are no longer just science projects.

Definition of “Turnpike” – It came from the practice of placing a pike or staff across a toll road. One side of the pike was imbedded with spikes. When the toll was paid, the pike was turned spikes down so the traveler could pass. The first turnpike was built between Philadelphia and Lancaster in 1792.

The Pineapple as a Symbol of Hospitality – In order to understand how the pineapple became the symbol for hospitality, we must return to Newport, Rhode Island in the 17th century. It was founded in 1639 by settlers seeking religious freedom. Newport’s majestic schooners participated in the infamous Triangle trade:  ships would sail to western Africa to pick up slaves, continue to the Caribbean to trade the slaves for sugar, molasses and sugar and then back to New England. Along with these commodities, captains would bring home pineapples whose exotic shape and sweetness made them a rare delicacy in the colonies.  Before emails or cellphones, sea captains would place the pineapples on their gate posts or over their doorways to inform neighbors that they had returned.  Colonial hostesses would set a fresh pineapple as a centerpiece of their dining table when visitors joined their families in their homes.  Later, carved wooden pineapples were placed over the doorways of inns and hotels to represent hospitality.  The practice has continued to the present and frequently one sees the pineapple icon in hotels, restaurants and homes to signal an atmosphere of hospitality and welcome.

Hokusai, the great Japanese master printmaster, once wrote:

“From the age of six, I had a passion for copying the form of things and since the age of fifty I have published many drawings. Yet of all I drew by my seventieth year there is nothing worth taking into account. At seventy-three years I partly understood the structure of animals, birds, insects and fishes, and the life of grasses and plants. And so, at eighty-six I shall progress further; at ninety I shall even further penetrate their secret meaning, and by one hundred I shall perhaps truly have reached the level of the marvelous and divine. When I am one hundred and ten, each dot, each line will possess a life of its own.”

My Published Books

All of these books can be ordered from AuthorHouse by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book’s title.

About Stanley Turkel 

Stanley Turkel was designated as the 2014 and the 2015` Historian of the Year by Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This award is presented to an individual for making a unique contribution in the research and presentation of hotel history and whose work has encouraged a wide discussion and a greater understanding and enthusiasm for American History.

Turkel is a well-known consultant in the hotel industry. He operates his hotel consulting practice serving as an expert witness in hotel-related cases, provides asset management and hotel franchising consultation. He is certified as a Master Hotel Supplier Emeritus by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

All of his books can be ordered from the publisher (AuthorHouse) by visiting www.stanleyturkel.com and clicking on the book title.

Contact: Stanley stanturkel@aol.com / 917-628-8549

Please Take Note   Effective June 5, 2018, my new address is:

Stanley Turkel, CMHS,   5000 Fairbanks Avenue #321,      Alexandria, Virginia 22311

______________________________________________________________

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

John@Hoganhospitality.com    Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

A very good introduction for those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”​

 Get Some Headspace: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day

My son lived in Korea for five years and had communicated a number of Eastern beliefs and practices from his time there and I therefore had a fundamental awareness of the topic of mindfulness through meditation.

The title of this book intrigued me because like many Westerners, I felt a void in certain areas and felt “head space” could be a positive. The author, Andy Puddicombe, is a former Buddhist monk and is recognized as an important mindfulness meditation expert in the UK.

The introduction seems a bit drawn out, but it actually dispels some myths about meditation and introduces the reader to the reasons behind the concepts in the book. It addresses the values and principles of meditation, and the author’s personal experiences.

The book is in sections

1. ‘The Approach’

2. The Practice’

3. ‘The Integration’,

Each of these move the reader from background and general interest to preparing to meditate and then to incorporating the concept of mindfulness into your life.

Along the way are a series of short exercises one can do while reading, which is really a good introduction.

The book is manageable and easy to follow. Personal examples and stories are blended throughout the book and make the topics easier to follow as he is describing them.

He tries to balance the value of meditation between focus and relaxation, which makes the comments on mindfulness more understandable. The focus of “Get Some Headspace” is a greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and those we interact with. It focuses on finding our inner self, choosing how we see life and how we communicate and communicate with others

Puddicombe declares that meditating just ten minutes a day increases productivity, clarity and focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and helps with weight loss, improves sleep and personal relationships. He quotes research on increased blood flow and physical changes in the part of the brain that helps to control emotions and behavior and that mindfulness training can effectively treat certain addictions and eating disorders. There are claims of enhanced performance, in making sleep easier, and in a series of other improvements in cognitive skills and reducing the intensity of negative emotions, anxiety and harmful stress.

In reading books that claim to be life changing, it is always a challenge to write a meaningful and early review until one gets to judge the lasting benefits. The author’s website includes 10 free audio mediation sessions, which are supportive in trying to learn the how and why of the 10 minute habit.

I rate a 4 Star, and feel that “Get Some Headspace” is a very good introduction for beginners those looking to find the value of “mindfulness.”

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO    John@Hoganhospitality.com

Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO

Speaker, Author, Expert Witness, Hotelier,Educator

Easy-to-follow guidelines on Real Customer Service from Disney

The author of this book has been responsible in his career for the customer service at one of the world’s best known service delivery companies -DisneyWorld. He was responsible for 40,000 people in hotels, theme parks, shopping, entertainment and sports centers.

Disney’s often been used as Customer Rulesa training center for leadership and guest service and Lee Cockerell’s book on delivering sensational service is right on.

There are 39 chapters or rules in this 179 page book and they are all direct, common sense in approach in logical.

The introduction states simply “be nice”. He says this means being friendly, polite, pleasant, considerate and skilled. He cautions that rules and procedures will not work if you do not have the right people doing the right job. This is more common sense, but we have discovered in so many businesses that common sense is relatively unknown.

Examples of rules include:

  • Number 1 – customer service is not a department
  • Number 4 – do not get bored with the basics
  • Number 12- rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
  • Number 17- listen up
  • Number 24- do not make promises, make guarantees
  • Number 38- keep doing a better

The other 33 are just as direct and understandable, yet they need to be understood.

I have been in the hospitality industry my entire career and I find this a logical, easy-to-follow set of guidelines for anyone providing service to others.

Highly recommended!

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO   John@Hoganhospitality.com

Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness 

GUEST BLOG Lodging Leader Podcast #005 | What Makes a Leader with John Hogan

Please join Lodging Leaders Podcast founder Jonathan Albano with this link:

http://lodgingleaders.com/005-what-makes-a-leader-with-john-hogan/

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO is a career business professional and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has demonstrated competencies as a strong leader, relationship builder, problem solver and mentor and is frequently invited to speak at franchise meetings, management company and hospitality association industry events. He also acts as an expert witness in both research and testimony in hospitality industry related cases.

Background:

John has been a part of the hospitality industry his entire adult life. He started out as a teenager at a seasonal summer resort in Vermont and shares that his emotion towards the spirit of hospitality was very profound from the beginning. John studied hospitality at University of Massachusetts and over the last 40 years has worked with companies of all sizes ranging from smaller family owned large to large independents, to niched, to corporate and franchises. He feels it is an exciting, never boring, always changing industry.

Resources & Links:

For book recommendations, go to:

https://hoganhospitality.wordpress.com

Leadership:

John decided to take on his first leadership role because it felt right to him. In his experience, he learned that one can’t be afraid to make mistakes – because you’re going to. It’s about making mistakes but not the same mistakes. It’s about knowing a good amount about everything but not needing to know everything while learning how to delegate because you CAN’T do it all alone. It is important to TRUST others and give them the tools they need for the overall success of the company.

So, what makes an effective leader? According to John, “Management is doing things right whereas leadership is doing the right things.” Leaders know how to take you through to the next level.

Are leaders born or made?

What are the common pitfalls hoteliers face today and how can they be avoided?

In working with local businesses and CVB’s. How does one drive reservations there?

Improving ADR:

How can Hoteliers increase their spend for guests?

What was a defining moment in your career?

What are some personal habits contributing to your success?

 

Hospitality Educators was created by John and his partner Kathleen in 2010 as a membership site.  It is a resource site. Parting advice: Keep your enthusiasm. Keep your focus. Enjoy what it is you do and regularly figure out how you can get 10% better this month. Within the year you will 100% be there!

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. If you have some feedback you’d like to share, leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons at the bottom of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The Lodging Leaders Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They really do matter in the rankings of the show, and I read each and every one of them.

And if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes. It’s FREE. All it means is that you’ll automatically be notified when the next episode is released. There are options for subscribing on Apple and Android devices!

Until the next …

John J Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO    John@Hoganhospitality.com

Office 480-436-0283   Cell 602-799-5375

Hotelier, Speaker, Educator, Author, Expert Witness 

Recommended Reading : Hotel Mavens – A solid rating on the founders and history of one of old New York’s great hotels, and more…

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With the change in ownership and the re-purposing of one of America’s best known hotels, I am re-posting a review of a very different book than the others I have read by Stanley Turkel.   While it follows much of his same incredible attention to detail on the history of hotels (including a continuing commitment to accuracy) , this book focuses almost entirely on a very focused period of time, on a few people who made a difference in American hotel keeping and on one very famous hotel in the largest city in America.

1st of all, Turkel defines what a “maven” is, which is an expert who passes on knowledge to others. Turkel identifies three people he describes as mavens. While these are not household names to most people (even in the hospitality business), they played an important role in certain development of styles and protocols in American hotels
  1.  Lucius Boomer was chairman of the Waldorf-Astoria Corporation. Turkel explains in great detail about his noted career of managing or overseeing a number of major hotels in the northeast part of the USA from the early part of the 20th century through the 1940s.
  2. George Boldt is a lesser known, but important player in American hospitality and Turkel highlights the emphasis on service, grooming, standards and systems that Boldt introduced and maintained in his time (through 1916).
  3. Oscar Tschirky, or Oscar of the Waldorf as he was mainly known, is perhaps the best known of the three to the consumer or non-hotelier, as his tenure and flair at the famous hotel for a half century was well chronicled at the time and later via several food dishes named in his honor.

Turkel is an acknowledged authority on the history of New York City hotels, including both those that remain in existence today and those that have been converted or demolished. I considered it a sincere privilege to read and review Turkel’s earlier book Built To Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels in New York , which was a fascinating read for anyone interested in history, building design and hospitality. The collection of historic properties that Turkel chose for that book featured 32 distinctively different properties. Some of them are well known such as the Plaza and the St Regis hotels, but most of them are less well known but just as interesting as they evolved from their original design and market positioning.Author Turkel was designated as the 2014 Historian of the Year National Trust for Historic Preservation and Historic Hotels of America in October, 2014 at their Awards Conference at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pa. , for his zealous devotion to communicating the role of hotels in American business and life.

Hotel Mavens continues Turkel’s thorough sharing of this information through documented details about many well known American hotels – the Lenox in Boston, the Bellevue Stratford in Philadelphia, the Willard in Washington DC and many in New York City including the Claridge, the Sherry Netherland, the Plaza (briefly) and more. He explains how the Intercontinental Hotel Corporation came to be and how so many famous people and hotels came and went over a 50 year period.

In some places, this book is not always easy to read, and that is due to the evolution of language used 100 years ago that is included in this book.

There are diagrams and communications from the early Waldorf-Astoria days and a good number of black and white photos that bring the stories to life. He shares anecdotes and real-life stories that became standards in the industry, while others became dated and did not have staying power.

The section on “Staff News” about the original Waldorf-Astoria in February 1928 was written by hotel employees. Facts about the construction of the current Waldorf-Astoria were written by Lucius Boomer’s office in 1935 (three years after opening)

The Epilogue section of the book comes directly from the Waldorf-Astoria archives. As far as author Turkel knows, it has never been publicly reported before. Historically, it reveals unique material about the operation of the original and current Waldorf-Astoria hotels. For anyone interested in hotel operations from 85 years ago, it is chock full of revealing and fascinating material.

Hotel Mavens includes a good amount of material that is presented as and when it was written, which was sometimes a century ago. It refers to the attention given to foreign royalty and celebrities of the day at the Waldorf-Astoria and other hotels to the point of almost “drooling” over their importance. The condensed chronology from 1890-1929 includes information regarding the guests, famous and infamous who attended various functions at the hotel. One might think this dated, yet the social media and paparazzi of today do the same things with the names and faces in the news today.

The stories of how hotels were built, leased, sold, changed in function and more show how many of today’s business practices evolved.

I should also add an observation that in some places, the time line sequences do not flow easily to even a reader such as myself who is aware of at least some of the hotels’ histories or people. To someone who does not have a background in the industry, it might appear unintentionally vague or a bit confusing in places. Story lines and communication taken from the early days of the Waldorf-Astoria sometimes do not translate clearly in meaning as the language used today, which may cause a reader to be a bit puzzled at times.

Hotel Mavens is definitely worth reading and I recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the history of old New York, of how the hotel industry in America was influenced by big city hoteliers and investors and to anyone just interested in how life in New York City might have been before air travel, interstate highways, conventions, casinos and during Prohibition.

Good reading!

John J. Hogan CHA CHMS CHE CHO
Hospitality Educators
Hogan Hospitality

A solid rating on the founders & history of one of old New York’s great hotels, and how the hotel industry in America was influenced by big city hoteliers and investors

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About John J. Hogan

John J. Hogan, CHA CMHS CHE CHO[1] is a career hotelier, author and educator who has held senior leadership with responsibility in several organizations involving operational, academic and entrepreneurial enterprise. He has been affiliated in management roles with Sheraton, Hilton, Dunfey (now Omni), Park Suite (now Embassy Suites), Med Center Inns of America, Best Western world headquarters and independent properties. He taught as an adjunct professor for more than 20 years at 3 different colleges and conducted more than 5,000 classes and workshops in his career as of 2016.

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.  HospitalityEducators.com   completely updated and has been facilitating the Certified Hotel Owners program for AAHOA since 2012, with a participant approval rating of over 97% and more than 1400 certifications to date.

As the principal of Hogan Hospitality, he has provided litigation support, hotel expert witness services and hotel owner support services. He holds a number of industry certifications and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations and as an elected Chair of a major brand Hotel Owners Council.

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
  • 2017 HOT TOPICS ON SAFETY, SECURITY AND LEGAL ISSUES FACING HOTEL OWNERS AND MANAGERS THIS YEAR
  • 15 TIMELESS STRATEGIES FOR TODAY’S LEADERS

 

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.

He writes regular columns for a number of global online services, has published 500 columns and 225 blogs for industry publications. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES as well co-authoring the Supervisory Skill Builders from the Educational Institute. Hogan’s professional experience includes over 43 years in operations, service, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis.

He has supported numerous industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity for more than 15 years. He served on the AH&LA Certification Commission of the Educational Institute and as brand liaison to the NAACP and AAHOA with his long term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program.

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

https://www.linkedin.com/in/drjohnhoganchache/

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