Archive for the ‘remarkable service’ Category

The Foundation for Remarkable Service

Monday, March 9th, 2015

It all starts with leadership.  Strong and stable leadership is the single most important requirement to successful hospitality operations.  While there are many styles of leadership suited to any industry or endeavor, experience over many years in hotels, resorts, and private clubs makes it clear that a service-based approach to leadership works best in the service industry.

Service-Based Leadership differs from other leadership styles in its focus on serving the needs of employees to provide them with the proper tools, training, resources, motivation, and empowerment to serve customers.  The importance of this support can be inferred by the question:

“How can employees provide quality service if they are not properly served by the leadership, example, and ongoing support of their managers?”

Being a serviced-based leader requires many different skills, but two are so critical to providing quality service that they bear special mention.  First is the will to make it happen.  Building a Remarkable Service Infrastructure is not a one-time event or a single set of instructions to employees.  It is a challenging and ongoing endeavor that may take years to fully implement.  Building a Remarkable Service Infrastructure entails changing people’s attitudes and behaviors.

Even in a start-up operation where there is no tradition or ingrained institutional habits to overcome, newly hired managers and employees bring their own service experiences with them.  Given the relatively poor and inconsistent state of service throughout the industry, most often they simply bring habits practiced in previous jobs.  This multitude of experiences and habits must be transformed into a unified system that supports the discipline of quality.

The second necessary skill is communication.  There is a tremendous amount of detail involved in hospitality operations.  An open flow of information all around makes it easier to communicate expectations, give daily direction, uncover issues and problems, and ensure that all employees are on the same page.  Communication bottlenecks, usually caused by uncommunicative and aloof managers, impede efficient operations and make it harder for everyone to do their jobs.

To build the infrastructure, the leader must communicate service values at every opportunity and continually reinforce the culture of service.  The leader must be both patient and persistent. Instructions and reinforcement will have to be given over and over again.  Training and implementation must be repeated at intervals until every employee gets the message and provides consistent quality service in every situation.

While it is recognized that the General Manager must be a strong leader, it is also critical that the operation’s subordinate managers and supervisors are also trained to be strong service-based leaders.  While some of a leader’s skill-set seems to be inborn, such as confidence and an analytical mind, and others are developed early in life, like judgment and basic communication abilities, the great majority of a leader’s skills are learned.  But unless junior managers are systematically trained to develop the skills which have to do with building and sustaining meaningful work relationships, their leadership development will be haphazard, and the vision and message of service will not be communicated consistently or faithfully to line employees.

Upon this leadership foundation, then, are the components of the Remarkable Service Infrastructure – those organizational systems and disciplines which comprise the building blocks that lead to Remarkable Service.

Excerpted from The Quest for Remarkable Service

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for Hospitality Operators!

The Remarkable Service Infrastructure

Monday, October 27th, 2014

SQI - Infrastructure6 (320x240)While many think that it costs more to provide Remarkable Service levels, this is not necessarily so.  At the end of the day, it’s more about organization and discipline than it is about higher costs.  The highest service levels, however, do require buy-in and commitment from owners, as well as the understanding of the long-term, focused effort required.

Realistically, the process may take three to five years . . . or longer.  But the benefits to the enterprise are as remarkable as the level of service achieved, including:

  • accountable, service-based leaders,
  • willing, committed, and empowered staff,
  • lower staff turnover; improved morale and motivation,
  • integrated and efficient operations,
  • improved operating performance,
  • less liability exposure,
  • better planning and execution,
  • improved sales and customer satisfaction.

The important thing for management, staff, and owners to recognize is that they are working on a plan to organize, improve, and revitalize their operation.  And as legendary Dallas Cowboy coach Tom Landry said,

“Setting a goal is not the main thing.  It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

The Quest for Remarkable Service is a journey requiring the continual disciplined attention of management and staff.  No matter the effort, no matter the perceived success, the enterprise will never reach a point where managers and employees can say, “We have arrived; now we can rest.”  The quest is never a destination; it’s a transformative journey that enriches both the recipients of that service and the providers.

In the ever-changing world of customer expectations, each level of quality achieved, each plateau reached, is merely the starting point for further development and improvement.  Yet as the cycle of review and continual improvement begins anew, all can be assured that with each iteration, each turn of the Flywheel, success becomes easier and more assured because of the organizational discipline gained and the momentum achieved.

Excerpted from The Quest for Remarkable Service.  For a free ebook version of The Quest for Remarkable Service, click here.

Thanks and have a great day!

Ed Rehkopf

This weekly blog comments on and discusses the hospitality industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers – those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking hospitality managers throughout the country and around the world.

Hospitality Resources International – Management Resources for Hospitality Operators!