Hospitality businesses have been on a huge rollercoaster ride over the last 12 months, involving closing, opening and working within new and changing restrictions. In this third lockdown, the demands and challenges of all aspects of re-opening is unprecedented. From managing the human element of your teams and your guests, who have been conditioned to isolation and the safety of their own homes, to the numerous logistical aspects of reopening, it is going to be a hugely challenging undertaking for all concerned.
Our No 1 objective is to help you to prepare for re-opening. There are 5 steps that we believe will support this return to work:
In our industry, most team members will have found themselves at home more than they have been at work over the last 12 months. It has been a worrying time for so many reasons – financial, job security, loss of friends or family, concern over contracting the virus… and so for many, reassurances are needed now more than ever before. Team members will look to us for guidance and hope through this time.
Bringing the team back into the workplace after so long away. Many will show excitement about returning and may feel like enthusiastic beginners* to start with, yet this may soon change to them becoming disillusioned learners* when they hit challenges, or realise it is not quite as they expected. To ensure they are fully engaged and feel supported by management, they will need to understand what has happened in the business over the last 12 months and what is now needed.
Prepare your teams as best you can. Predictions for leisure hotels are that short breaks and holidays will be in demand. Depending on the date of re-opening, there will be no gentle easing in for our teams, as occupancies are likely to be high once guests are able to book according to Government-confirmed dates. This means that a return to work could be a baptism of fire without the right planning and preparation. Team members will need to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to deliver hospitality to match the guest’s expectations, and in a safe way.
Contact us here if you would like to speak to someone about training. We can provide cost-effective, tailored training delivered as live online learning sessions over Zoom. Remember! This can be provided whilst the team are furloughed to prepare them to return to work.
The World has changed so much over the last 12 months, and businesses have been able to adapt to people working from home and using virtual meetings. Consequently, there is now a big opportunity to look at practices we took for granted pre-Covid, and to look at how we may do things differently… and better! Providing flexible working arrangements can save time and money whilst also offering a work-life balance to team members where business needs can still be met.
Re-opening your business will be like opening a new business. Team members will need to adapt, as will the business as everyone finds their feet. Use this time to communicate very clearly to your team and to build on the qualities of the business that existed in our pre-Covid world to create a stronger, focused, happier, healthier business in 2021 and beyond.
Ultimately if your teams are looked after, motivated, engaged, trained and informed and they feel they matter, you will have a great ethos that not only ensures your teams are happy and contributing, but will help them relate to your guests. This engagement and empathy will translate to memorable guest service.
*Reference- Ken Blanchard- Situational Leadership model