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Back to the floor!

  • 5-4-2013

If you really want to know what’s going on get back to the floor…..or for some of you lucky people who didn’t do “their time” and went straight in upstairs go on try it out!!

In order to learn what happens operationally in hotels and venues going back to the floor is a great idea. Get yourself on to that reception desk or in that kitchen and inform your team that today you are going to spend the day “helping them out”…. This does not mean you stand back and watch what they do, and most certainly you are not going to take over and start managing them, it means getting your hands dirty and getting stuck in as a receptionist or waiter for the day, and may be even making the tea.

You may not have the expertise or skill that they have and that should not worry you, as you have said you are their trainee, so let your staff show you how to carry out some of their routine work.

By doing this not only will you be getting hands on experience of that department, finding out which systems work and what can be improved upon, but you will also be forming stronger bonds with your teams, breaking down some of those management barriers than can sometimes become a hindrance, and more importantly engaging the trust from your staff.

Surprise! Should you inform your team beforehand that this is what you intend to do? Absolutely not, if you do this, they will prepare for your “visit” and you will not see what is truly going on behind the scenes. Some may even worry and perceive that you are going to be spying on them which is definitely not the case. However, you must clearly explain your intentions and highlight how they will benefit whilst you are there.

Engage! During this exercise try and engage with your colleagues and let them know in an open and honest fashion what can be done to assist them to excel at their jobs. In order to do this you need to get their thoughts and opinions. Remember your team are working with the systems and procedures, tools and equipment that you have given to them, so any improvements or changes that need to be had are going to be sanctioned by you, so in actual fact this is a fantastic opportunity for your staff to show you where those changes need to happen, so listen to them.

Oh, and the next time you ask if someone would like a cup of tea … make sure you are the one to make it – every now and again you have to come down off your pedestal and let your staff see you are human too!

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