For those old enough to remember, there was a line in the theme song from the TV sit-com Cheers that still holds true today for many people going to a hotel, a restaurant or any hospitality outlet for that matter.

The theme for the show, set in a Boston bar, ended with the line “Where everybody knows your name, And they’re always glad you came”
We all know ourselves that intangible and automatic feeling we get walking into a venue where the staff are engaged, good at their job, friendly, care about their customers and want you to have a quality experience is something that draws us back.

As hoteliers, you want staff that not only drive a good business but drive a good relationship with your customers so they want to keep coming back.

You want your staff to share the same goal you do. And given that for most hotels, the cost associated with staff is in the top three outgoings, you want to get it right.
People create the value in your organisation. So how do you create good staff?

THE GROVEDALE HOTEL EXPERIENCE The exciting recent developments of The Grovedale Hotel are generating enthusiasm in the workplace and the community and it is all being driven by staff engagement.

Joel Taylor recognised the opportunity to harness this positively charged atmosphere and new direction. By working closely with specialist human resource and leadership consultancy O’Malley Consulting (OMC), Joel has worked to realise the untapped potential of his business by embedding his staff in the leadership of the venue.

The staff at The Grovedale Hotel are passionate and hard-working. But the approach taken by Joel and OMC is to see the development of the employee’s leadership skills as an investment in the future, not a cost.

The staff are crystal-clear about the organisation’s vision and mission and ensure they are embedded in in everyday tasks. The reason is simple. Joel and OMC involved the staff in the development of the mission and vision.
It is not something they are following, it’s something they believe in. The results have been incredible with the leadership team not only developing their own skills but using those skills in a way that will protect the company’s future.

The leadership team worked through common themes of consistency, innovation and constant improvement while also developing a series of values and behaviours that shape the day to day roles of the current staff and also set the standards and expectations for all future hirings.

Skilled communication builds productivity through strength and confidence. Managers have the tools to have effective conversations with their direct reports to provide clarity, guidance and evaluation. This is building a sense of connectedness with staff and genuine appreciation.

“This program was a significant investment for us, however given the capital investments we are making to our property, it made perfect sense to also invest in the people side of the business, specifically me and my leadership team. In July we completed the 4th of our 1-day leadership team sessions and the outcomes have been excellent. I feel we are now more equipped and aligned as a leadership team, we are clearer on what we are aiming for and far more capable in leading our staff and holding them accountable”.
THE PUBLIC PROGRAM OPTION OMC — Facilitation & Training has developed a practical Pub Leadership Program for hotels, combining all the leadership and team-building skills from big business in a manner that is specific for hoteliers.

The OMC — Facilitation & Training Pub Leadership Program is designed to develop skills in your leadership team that will build capability to best serve your customers while also developing stronger relationships within your own organisation. It is about having the kitchen, the bar, the gaming, the bottle-shop and the entertainment all working together to ensure maximum benefit for your company.

Dan Cronin is the Owner / Operator of The Western Hotel in Ballarat. Dan attended the Pub Leadership Program in 2014 and found the program concepts extremely valuable. “the program was a great opportunity for me to reflect on what I was trying to achieve with The Western and encouraged me to sharpen the focus on actions I already had in play”

“In my experience, employees enjoy being good at their job. The Pub Leadership Program reminded me of the importance of unlocking potential. By giving greater responsibility to the team and recognizing their efforts, it ensures they feel greater pride in the business. It also helps you build an engaged workforce that means less staff turnover and reduced recruiting costs.”

Participants in the Pub Leadership Programs have reported multiple outcomes, including that they feel more valued by their employer —simply be being nominated to attend the program.
Generating enthusiastic and loyal employees excited by what they’re doing helps to inspire greater commitment, encourages a similar response form their colleagues and ensures your customers always know that you are “glad they came”.

This article first appeared in “Hotel Today” the official publication of the AHA Victoria.