What is a Great Work Environment?
When asked what a great work environment is, most people would mention a good relationship with supervisors and coworkers. Also right up there at the top of the list is working in a place where they look forward to starting their shift. While these things are important to the hospitality employee, their answer may be more industry specific than for other workers in different career tracks.
The hospitality industry is heavily based in a strong dedication to a pleasant environment and friendly interaction with others. It only makes sense that employees would welcome that the same courtesy and friendly positive environment and relationships be extended to them as well as part of the hospitality family.
Regardless of which hospitality industry is in question, resorts, hotels, or foodservice, this field of work can be very stressful. Hospitality workers look to company policy and management's example to determine their own behavior towards their coworkers. Working under fire in the hospitality industry is easier when the employee knows that a professional, productive team is there to help. For this reason, excellent staff interaction is a must.
Helping to weed out or correct the behavior of a disruptive influence in the work force is an excellent way to ensure a productive work environment for all of your employees. In addition to monitoring the staff's relationships, a good example of employee/management communication is vital. Keeping an eye on staff interaction doesn't need to be time consuming for the management team. He or she only needs to observe body language and listen for negative verbal clues to become aware of a problem. What happens after that is a matter of individual company policy. The staff often takes its cue from the behavior of the management team. Management always should be aware of the power of their behavior. Negative behavior will breed less than positive actions in the staff. If respect and truly listening to employee's concerns takes priority then a great work environment is sure to follow.
For example we asked Bob Nelson, author and expert on management the best way to fix that problem - and he said "Asking them what works best, which can be done in a staff meeting or one-on-one (You can use a more formal method such as a suggestion box, but you need to keep it active and personal to send the message that (1) you really do want their suggestions and (2) their ideas are important. Otherwise, you end up doing what I call "managing by announcement," that is, decreeing something and expecting it to happen because you said so."
Another feature that makes a great work environment is a company that will show its appreciation of an outstanding employee with a sought after promotion. Workers who know they have an opportunity for advancement are more likely to stay in the company and provide years of excellent service. They know they are valued and return the favor by being the best at their job. As David Carr, former general manager of a Perkin's restaurant was often heard to say, "An excellent manager is a manager who is always on the look out for their replacement and helps the employee get there." An incredible work environment is a place that promises to advance gifted employees and makes good on that promise.
Attention to personal and professional safety is another attribute of a great hospitality work environment. This could mean providing your staff with clean, high quality rubber mats in notoriously wet places on the floor and making a fully stocked first aid kit a high priority in every department. Proper ventilation in kitchens and in areas where potent chemicals are used is a good way to be considerate of your employees' comfort as long as the system is appropriate under health code guidelines. Properly maintaining workers' environment helps to reduce the number of accidents and gives your company an outstanding reputation among quality employees.
A great hospitality work environment is one dedicated to not only the guests, but the employees as well. Adding that all important personal touch when forming relationships with your employees will guarantee your company will keep the quality work force it has and attract many more. After all, the hospitality industry is all about courtesy.