“Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.” – Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb
In the hospitality industry, a service-orientedcompany culture is a common denominator among the most successful businesses. Think of it this way - a company culture is like the operating system of a company. How is your business’s operating system? Could it use a system update? Maybe a tune-up?
WHAT IS A COMPANY CULTURE AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT THE WORKPLACE?
A company’s culture is its personality; it defines the environment in which employees work and the experience guests will have while they patronize your business. It includes a shared set of beliefs and values, especially work environment, company mission, ethics, expectations, and goals. A positive company culture fosters collaboration, teamwork, and loyalty. Employees who fit into their company’s culture do their best work and serve customers with personal excellence. According to Forbes, happy employees are on average 31 percent more productive, and they found that companies that successfully engage their employees can reduce their turnover rate by 54 percent. Once your company’s culture is in place, it can drive how you hire, how you work with customers, and how you spend your time creating new services or even building new hospitality businesses.
WHY IS CREATING A COMPANY CULTURE IMPORTANT?
A hospitality business is made up of several departments with different functions. Each of these areas has its own individual daily tasks, but all share common values and expectations. Having one shared vision for the entire staff helps the business stay focused, so it stays on track to accomplishits goals. Creating a company culture will sustain and develop the business moving forward. Conversely, an ineffective culture can bring down the organization and its leadership. Disengaged employees, high turnover, poor customer relations and lower profits are examples of how the wrong culture can negatively impact the bottom line.
HOW DOES A HOSPITALITY BUSINESS CREATE A COMPANY CULTURE?
Define and uphold your culture
First, agree on a common definition for culture and define your business’s core values. It’s important to clarify how you conduct business and interact with each other. It’s also an excellent team exercise to involve employees in the process of creating the mission, vision and core values of the company. It will provide a sense of ownership among the team.
Establish a vision
You can easily forget the business you’re in if everyone doesn’t rally around your vision. In hospitality, we are in the business of serving customers. It shouldn’t matter what your role is – CEO, housekeeper, or anybody in between – everyone in the organization should be focused on the vision you and your team set in place. It’s important for management to ensure that resonates.
Hire people who can uphold your vision
Culture is less about policy and more about people, especially in the hospitality business.Find and hire people who can commit to your company’s values and the service culture your business represents.
Align your people
Creating a culture takes intense work, and the alignment of all employees. Your alignment should focus around the principles of who you are, how you behave, and what your most important priorities are.
Trust your teams on the ground and on the front line to have the knowledge and information to make good decisions to serve your customers, and ultimately, propel the business.
Perks or extras reward team members who go above and beyond to exemplify the business’s vision. Invest in educating employees and keeping themhealthy by offering special learning and fitness benefits.Perks can help instill the corporate culture. This is something that creates appreciation and loyalty amongst the team and makes them better in the workforce.
COMMUNICATION KEEPS EVERYONE INFORMED AND ENGAGED
Communication is crucial whether it is a small business or a large multi-location business. With many people performing various tasks in various departments, everyone should have a common goal of taking care of the customers. In order to truly accomplish this, the team must work together and communicate constantly. The last thing you and your team want is for something to be forgotten or slip through the cracks.
CHALLENGES BEHIND CREATING A COMPANY CULTURE
It’s easy to educate employees about a business’s mission and goals as part of the orientation process when they are first hired; however, it cannot stop there. Continuous training should occur in all departments, as this constant reinforcement will ensure the company culture is at the top of everyone’s mind.
THE TRUE WORTH OF A COMPANY CULTURE
A hospitality business with the right employees who truly understand the goals and vision of ownership and management creates an environment where people feel like they are part of a team. Employees will have a sense of belonging, which in turn creates a happier, more productive work environment. If the employees are happy, they will make your guests happy.
For assistance with creating and implementing your business’s service-oriented company culture, contact Brooke Meyerof Caymera International, a Grand Cayman-based hospitality and tourismconsulting and advisory firm. She strives to provide clients a systematic approach to managing their company’s and identifying business improvement opportunities. email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.caymeragroup.com