Eight Gifts (of Value) You Can Give Away, Which Will Not Cost You a Cent | Guest Blog – HospitalityEducators.com

Eight Gifts (of Value) You Can Give Away,  Which Will Not Cost You a Cent

But you must REALLY listen.
No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listen.

Be generous with appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back and handholds. Let these small actions demonstrate the love you have for family and friends.

Clip cartoons. Share articles and funny stories.
Your gift will say, “I love to laugh with you.”

It can be a simple “Thanks for the help” note or a full sonnet. A brief, handwritten note may be remembered for a lifetime, and may even change a life.

A simple and sincere, “You look great in red,” “You did a super job,” or “That was a wonderful meal,” can make someone’s day.

Every day, go out of your way to do something kind.

There are times when we want nothing better than to be left alone. Be sensitive to those times and give the gift of solitude to others.

The easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Really it’s not that hard to say “Hello”  or “Thank You.”

Friends are rare jewels indeed. 

  They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. 

They lend an ear, share a word of praise, and always want to open their hearts.


Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO,
President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Rules of Engagement: Fair and Firm | Guest Blog from HospitalityEducators.com

Rules of Engagement: Fair and Firm

author/source: Dr. Marc Clark, President & CEO SmartBizzOnline.com

If you have any workplace rules, regulations, policies and/or procedures there’s a good probability that sooner or later they will be broken by one or more of your workers and that you may have to step up and enforce those company standards with some form of discipline.

Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean automatic termination. One has to first gather all the facts, investigate their credibility and then issue a consequence that is fair to the infraction. Hopefully your business has a written set of standards, employee handbook, and established Code of Conduct to provide you assistance in such matters (and to assist in creating consistency and continuity in the way you deal with people).

Discipline should be administered in a four step process, in a progressive manner. First infraction the employee should receive a verbal warning, Step #1, discussing the problem and expectations of eliminating the problem. However this discussion with the employee will be documented on a formal company disciplinary report and filed in the employee’s personnel folder.

If the undesirable behavior continues Step #2 is administered, the “Written Warning”. The employee’s behavior is documented and a discussion with warning in hand is conducted. Within this written warning the verbal warning is noted. The conversation held with the employee at this level is more serious and accountability is stressed. At this level the employee should have a clear understanding that any continuance of the unacceptable behavior will lead up to either Suspension, Step #3 or Termination, Step #4.

The employee must be consciously aware that it will be their conduct that will generate the final decision and outcome as to what will happen to them because of their behavior. They in essence choose their destiny and supervision will be administering their choice.

Employees should always be given the opportunity to provide their side of the story during a disciplinary action. In Steps, 2, 3, and 4, comment space should be provided the employee on the disciplinary form itself. Also for these three steps of discipline, supervision should request that the employee sign the disciplinary form. However it should be noted that signing the form does not mean that the employee agrees with what is written on the form but that the form and its contents has been reviewed and that a copy of the disciplinary report has been given to the employee. Should the employee refuse to sign, supervision should document this employee refusal and have it witnessed by a third party, preferably another supervisor.

In all but the most serious cases, you’ll want to try to avoid terminating employees, especially if they are good workers. In fact, terminating a worker without some form of discipline policy and procedure could cause you some form of legal problem especially if any form of discrimination can be justified. Without a clear policy and verification that the policy was used for the terminated employee, you could end up in a “your word against the employee’s” situation. It is always a good practice to permit employees to respond to disciplinary counseling, either verbally or in writing. By permitting the employee to respond, managers often can defuse a potentially explosive state of affairs.

Here are some things to ponder as you prepare your company’s discipline policy and procedure process:
Setting up a structured and fair discipline program gives you some background on the philosophy and the goals of a discipline program. It also explains progressive discipline and what a discipline program should contain. Remember that discipline means something more than just punishment. It also supports the idea of training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior that will produce moral and mental improvement. Discipline aids in providing a systematic method to obtain obedience.

Employees’ complaints assists you in dealing with employees’ complaints and guides you though the process of setting up a program and a policy to manage these complaints.

Performing an investigation and an inquiry tells you what to do once a grievance has been received and details the steps you need to take in appraising the situation. In order for a disciplinary program to be successful, this step must be mastered by all those administering it. From top down it should be implemented in a consistent manner.

Dealing with difficult employees will help you with the most challenging part of the discipline process – actually confronting the employee. You will need to make decisions about whether to coach or council an employee and how to go about doing it fairly and without bias.

Proper documentation of disciplinary actions is a significant part of the discipline process that must be done accurately to protect your business and substantiate any actions you take against employees. All disciplinary decisions should be made on a business decisions and not personal decisions.

Share your thoughts with Dr. Clark at drmarc@smartbizzonline.com

Discipline doesn’t necessarily mean automatic termination. One has to first gather all the facts, investigate their credibility and then issue a consequence that is fair to the infraction. Hopefully your business has a written set of standards, employee handbook, and established Code of Conduct to provide you assistance in such matters (and to assist in creating consistency and continuity in the way you deal with people).

Recruiting Strategies in Hiring and Retaining Employees | Guest Blog – HospitalityEducators.com

The need to hire an employee can arise from various events such as voluntary or involuntary termination, increased workload, or restructuring of a department or position, resulting in the need for additional skills and/or abilities that current employees do not possess.

Needs Assessment
The first step in the recruitment process should be to evaluate the need to hire a new employee. In the case of an opening resulting from a termination, the company should consider:

  •  Whether the job responsibilities of that opening can be absorbed by other positions.
  •  Whether the position should be eliminated.
  •  Changing the position to a part-time or temporary status.
  •  Restructuring the department to accommodate the changes without adding staff.

Record Keeping
It is critical to maintain accurate records of the requirements for the open position (i.e., a current job description), recruitment methods used, applications received, candidates interviewed, candidate selected and reason for selection.

In the event that a claim is filed against a company for discriminatory hiring practices, the records mentioned above will provide evidence of the valid selection criteria used by the company to make their hiring decision. In order to reduce the risks of discriminatory hiring practices, companies should use a variety of recruitment strategies.

Recruitment Program
A successful recruitment program will ensure a good pool of qualified candidates to choose from. This will increase the chances of selecting an individual with the skills, knowledge and abilities to become a successful employee and a valuable asset to your company. The quality, not quantity, of applicants should be the focus of the recruiting process.

All individuals who will be involved in the selection process must have a clear understanding of the essential functions of the job and the qualifications required to successfully perform the job.

Recruitment Strategies
In developing an effective recruitment strategy, consideration should be given to company and
affirmative action goals and objectives and should be tailored to the companies needs. This can be accomplished by:

  • Identifying and projecting staffing needs by department.
  • Developing a budget to support projected recruitment activity for the year.
  • Developing formal written procedures for the recruiting process to include job requisition forms accompanied by a current job description.
  •  Making sure that everyone who might have contact with a prospective candidate is aware of and trained on Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requirements and restrictions.
  •  Using various recruitment techniques, rather than a single method.
  •  Identifying the internal and external recruitment methods, which will be most effective in attracting qualified candidates.

Attracting qualified candidates can be challenging and often requires creativity and planning. When selecting a recruitment strategy, the following factors should be considered:

  •  The company location.
  •  Labor market conditions.
  •  Level of the position to be filled.
  •  Pay and benefits.
  •  Company promotion policies.
  •  Time and budget constraints.
  •  Affirmative action goals.
  •  Labor union obligations (if any).
   Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO, President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Understanding the legal and ethical obligations in the hiring and retention process of hospitality industry staff requires focused efforts and responsible follow-through by managers at multiple levels.  

Job Interview Questions that Should Do the Trick- Tips from Dr. Marc Clark of HospitalityEducators.com

Valuable information from a well known and respected industry resource
Interviews should be dialogues, but the right questions from the hiring party can draw out from the applicant responses that help decide if the position and the candidate appear to be a solid match.
This kind of information from Dr. Clark and others may be found at HospitalityEducators.comA Sampling of Job Interview Questions that Should Do the Trick
These questions include both traditional and behavioral interview questions.The key to good interviewing is the ability to ask the right type of questions in order to draw out from the applicant a response that makes sense and one on which you can make a solid business decision.The decision: whether this applicant will be a right fit for the business.  Consider adding your own questions to this list.

Dr. Marc Clark, CHA, CHRE, CHE, CHO,
President & CEO at SmartBizzOnLine.com

Dr. Marc Clark, a Founding Associate of HospitalityEducators.com

  • Dr. Clark is a service/hospitality veteran of more than three decades. Over his career he has conducted over 3,400 domestic (42 states) and international seminars in such locations as Mexico, Canada, Panama, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Switzerland, Spain, Africa, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
  • Dr. Clark is the author of SMART Management and The Manager’s Toolkit: 61 Building Blocks for Success. He is a Senior Advisor for GATE Hospitality University in Katmandu, Nepal.

These 20 questions are a sampling of the kinds of questions that can help you find the right person to full your vacancy.

1. What precise goals have you established for your personal and professional life?

2. How did your high school experience prepare you for the work world?

3. How has your college experience prepared you for a business career?

4. Can you describe the ideal work environment?

5. With all the places to work, why did you choose our company for possible employment?

6. What influenced you to choose this career line and industry?

7. Why have you chosen this career path?

8. What particular goals would you like to achieve in the next two years?

9. What will it take to attain your goals, and what steps have you taken toward securing them?

10. Tell me about the worst person above you whom you had to deal with?

11. What do you think it takes to be flourishing in any career?

12. What makes you the preeminent candidate to fill the position that is available?

13. How do you determine or appraise success? Give an example of one of your successful accomplishments?

14. Give an example of an undertaking that you were responsible for … and failed at.

15. Do you have the qualifications and personal characteristics necessary for success in your chosen career? What are they?

16. What personal work attribute do you feel you can develop on?

17. What has been your most rewarding triumph?

18. If you could, how would you plan your college career differently?

19. Are you more eager by working alone or by collaborating with other persons?

20. How would you describe yourself in terms of your ability to work as a member of a team?


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 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.

Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS          United States – Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375
www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com.