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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Recommended Reading from HospitalityEducators.com – Effective Listening: Your Key to Career Success

 Effective Listening: Your Key to Career Success  by Kevin J. Murphy

Your Key to Career Success

Effective Listening: Your Key to Career Success
A very different approach to searching for success – and one that can work

I have been looking at books that have been around for awhile, as a number of them have very solid information. This book by Kevin Murphy takes an unusual approach to career success and I like its’ simplicity.

The 18 chapters of the book are divided into 4 main sections:
1. An overview of what “listening” really is
2. Learning to listen
3. Listening needs in staff selection and training
4. The function and need for listening in effective management

The book contains a number of mini-quizzes that focus on select topics and they are excellent for creating self assessments. Finally, this short book includes a number of conclusions and teaching points that are also thought provoking, such as:

“What we hear is not always what is being communicated.”
“The better you listen, the more you learn how little you know.”
” We can’t – our excuse to stop thinking.”
“Too many meetings are a clear signal a company is in trouble.”

Recommended 
4.0 out of 5 stars

As always, feedback is welcome

Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA CMHS
HospitalityEducators
HoganHospitality

Feel free to share an idea for a column at info@hoganhospitality.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

John Hogan 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 of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.

www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them to  Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.

www.HoganHospitality.com

Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations

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

CONTACT   Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS     United States – Phoenix,

602-799-5375     www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com