Hospitality industry leadership during a global crisis
During this global crisis that drastically affects the hospitality industry, capable leadership is crucial. We are experiencing unprecedented disruption, with many factors that affect businesses remaining in flux. Yet the mandate of all hospitality businesses still stands – a focus on service, creating a sense of welcome, and nurturing long-term relationships with guests.
Here are three pillars for hospitality leaders to consider when navigating this or any difficult and uncertain period:
Keep a guest-first attitude
In good times or bad, the key mission of all hotels and restaurants remains constant: take care of guests and their concerns. For those who are still hosting guests, reassuring them of the measures in place to keep them safe and healthy is paramount. This isn’t just a business measure, of course. But it has a long-lasting effect on how a business will be perceived later on, after the crisis has passed.
Another aspect is being as flexible as possible about cancellation policies and other benefits to guests. Generous terms can hurt the bottom line in the short term, but will be important to preserving long-term good will and loyalty.
Foster a sense of calm
Creating an atmosphere in which everyone involved – staff and guests alike – can feel that things are under control is critical. Maintaining a sense of calm is fed by some of the factors talked about above: making sure guests feel safe and that their needs are your No. 1 priority, and that you have a clear and agreed-upon communication plan and strategy across the business.
That calm atmosphere and guest empathy is best achieved from the top down, with frequent updates as events unfold to keep everyone connected and informed. When leadership presents a united front and a measure of control, that inspires teams to do their best work under the worst conditions.
Maintain great communications with internal teams
Great communications are the hallmark of great leadership whether there is a global crisis going on or not. But during a time of disruption, there is particular value to making sure teams in all positions in a hospitality organization feel connected, and feel that their states of mind are being considered.
This means getting teams together and creating a communication plan that strikes the right tone while being comprehensive on a business level. Being straightforward and logical in response to the facts is the best starting point. Incorporating a wide variety of people on various teams – marketing, IT, revenue management, operations, and certainly HR – helps ensure communications are clear and address the needs of all, while fostering a sense of cohesion for the business going forward, too.
Weathering the storm together
Great communications and leadership extend to healthy relationships with technology partners as well. Maintaining these lines of communication with the experts who understand the capabilities of their technology solutions under all conditions can lend important perspective on how to weather the storm.
Seeing how those partners and their solutions support the success of the business can help to inspire that vital sense of calm that leaders can take with them as events continue to unfold. And they can be helpful in creating a new vision for a hospitality business when the storm is over.
For more information, here are some helpful articles from respected industry publications:
- A Collection of COVID-19 Resources Centering on Hospitality (courtesy of HFTP)
- Coronavirus: Impact on the Hospitality Industry (courtesy of Hospitality.net)
- Coronavirus Information and Resources (courtesy of the National Restaurant Association)
- How to Be a Hospitality Sales Leader During COVID-19 (courtesy of Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International)
- An Equitable Approach: Finding Answers to COVID-19’s Economic Impact (courtesy of Hospitalitytech.com)
Be safe, and stay healthy, everyone.