What example do you set to your hotel staff?

A friend of mine emailed me yesterday – she was hopping mad at the response she’d just got from a hotel manager when she asked about their pool safety. Understandably she was concerned for her 2 young daughters, who were attending their father’s wedding (not to her, you understand, this was to the ‘other woman’).

Although their father would normally give them his undivided attention she was concerned that on this day he might be otherwise preoccupied. So she phoned the hotel to ask about their pool safety policies, just to be reassured. And what response did she get? She was told by the manager to “bugger off….”

Now there may have been 101 reasons why the manager acted in this way. He may have been stressed about the forthcoming event; maybe half his staff had just phoned in ‘sick’ (England playing in the world cup at the time), maybe he was sore at missing the match himself. Or, just maybe, he was being defensive, as he didn’t actually have a health & safety policy for the pool.

But, whatever the reason, should he have taken this out on this caring mother? This is a well regarded hotel: AA 3* with an 85% merit rating, and 2 rosettes, featured in the Best Loved Hotels Guide, the Good Hotel Guide and Michelin Guide.

But what are any of these mentions, accolades or ratings worth if even the manager cannot be civil? If this is how the manager talks to customers, what example does he set, and what hope is there for the rest of his team?

Oh, and I wonder just how many people my friend will tell about this incident, and the impact that will have on the hotel’s business….

Management and staff attitude is one of the topics discussed in my interview series on ‘How to Give Your Hotel a Competitive Edge’, which starts on 5th July. Register here to grab your place.

Caroline Cooper

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One thought on “What example do you set to your hotel staff?

  1. Dale Dyck

    OMG, I cannot believe that any credible Manager, let alone “the” General Manager, would respond to ANY inquiry like this.

    This is, after all, the service industry, and as you suggest in your headline, the best examples of leadership are always those where the leader leads by positive example.

    The irony is that he/she probably holds his staff to a much higher level than he lives by himself. The old, do as I say, not as I do….

    I cannot imagine the ripple affect if any other staff members overheard his conversation, or worse yet, if he/she shared the conversation with any of his team after the fact.

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