The Meaning of Hospitality and How it is Applied in Professional Development

on May 7 | in Academic Industry News | | with No Comments


Hospitality in a broad sense, to me personally, means extending the offer of accommodating people of diverse origins regardless of their social background. It means also to have the pure intention of genuinely guaranteeing and ensuring that they experience the fulfilling feeling of gratification during and after their stay. This applies to both employees and guests. It should be in a highly adaptable and conscientious hotel administration's mission, to not only suffice basic needs given the purpose of a guest's stay, but to also personalize the service in a way that resonates with them. This leaves guests with a sense belonging that serves as an incentive for them to return.

Conversely, in the case of employees, presenting the hotel's culture as part of a lifestyle and community can help one feel secure and valued as a functional member of society and, be it true, ultimately creates an urge for them to remain loyal to their job and the reputation of the organisation. Furthermore, as arbitrary as brand promotion is, it offers much leverage in the market to have campaigns that are versatile enough to embody a hotel's image by not only accentuating its mere pleasurable attributes, but to embed the idea of epitomizing the people's behaviour inside the hotel to both staff and guests.

In advertisements, portraying people in their element (at work) and in their immediate way of being, combined with an aesthetic portrayal of the hotel, certainly has a strong subliminal implication of interconnectedness and leaves viewers yearning to somehow be a part of it. Be it an ideal manifestation of integrity in the business of dealing with people professionally, the hotel can gain a reputation as one of impeccable merit among direct competitors. Such is the Heskett Model in Human Resource theory; when staff is content and taken care of, their productivity and attitude is generally optimized to drive results with regard to revenue.  The global economy is an applicable analogy; when we have an unstable national economy, governments try to control and micromanage activity, banks exploit the system through tax dollars and interest rates, and large corporations are at the pinnacle of social responsibility (a vast majority of which have unfettered wavering moral ethics). All are forces of which, if not controlled, serve a small minority of elite at the expense of the average citizen. When this occurs, the lobbyists validate politicians who validate corporate CEOs that are subscribed to by bankers through the stock market. At this point, the actions of each of these parties are undignified and often breed the same patterns of debt creation from which the dysfunction started and with that nations struggle to repay.

As a result, we have a fragile economy and polarized society for which the only remedy is revolution of the masses (people may decide to stop working or be lazy) to a less conservative political regime, perhaps one that integrates socialist/Marxist ideology rather than evangelizing for democracy in a capitalist society which has become redundant.  In hospitality, we have a simple system consisting of guests, subordinate employees and managers where a hotels' prosperity depends on individual good will, tenacity for positive influence within the organisation, a credible/praiseworthy work ethic, benevolent inclination, tolerance for all kinds of people and pervasiveness of well intentioned motives.

When managers elude responsibility, employees become apathetic and guests are more likely to affect the system by feeding negative publicity through the media in order to receive upgrades and better treatment in their return stays (observation from my experience in the industry). This kind of detrimental behaviour from all parties, similar to the banks and corporations in the economic situation, would condone internal apathy and cause most staff, with exception of the esoteric few, to suffer the repercussions of a now delicate and volatile hotel ecosystem with tremendous pressure to increase revenue.

From my experience working in hotels, I have witnessed firsthand the de-motivation of staff that stems from negligent or careless management. That is why I firmly believe it is essential for managers to make prudent decisions, have austere tolerance for complicity among staff while encouraging an altruistic mentality and exert fortitude in the encounter of daily challenges. After all, it should be the prime objective for the ambitious people here at Les Roches who are receiving this rigorous training to come out into the working world having developed these imperative qualities of what is needed to become a successful leader in the hospitality industry.

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