How often do we still underestimate our greatest assets?

It took me a long time to understand what I’m writing about and at one point it almost got me into serious trouble.

I was working in a distressed hotel and our numbers were going up again, not only just going up but skyrocketing.
I have to say that the starting position was way down, so any progress was double digits.

Still, I was just looking at the numbers, not seeing what was behind it, what they meant.
I was not enough aware of my full responsibility as a GM, of a business unit leader.

I was not looking at the individuals, not looking at the group enough, so immersed I was with improving the numbers.
Until such time as my boss, and I hated him for it at the time, threatened to fire me.
– But my numbers were great, exceeding expectations was my answer.-
– Yes, your (PLURAL) numbers are great, but you (SINGULAR) do not love your staff, was his reply.-

And he did the unexpected, he offered help and a possibility for me to get better.

Only then did I realise my social responsibility to my staff. 
I, the business leader, gave them a social position, the means for them to function in their society, raise their kids, get education, go out, have fun….
I then looked at my team with fresh eyes and saw not only professionals, but great individuals, with great stories, some of which I was fortunate enough to become part of.

In our dealings with companies, many a time we are still confronted with business leaders considering the staff as a cost instead of an opportunity.
We still hear people saying how great it would be to be able to work without employees.

We understand that in many countries, having employees comes with various degrees of obligations and social responsibility, in some countries to such a degree that it is becoming counterproductive and is costing jobs or pushing entrepreneurs to find other solutions (Uber, AirB&B, etc)

In Hospitality,  people is our business, people deliver service and therefore profit.
People are a cost only when they no longer add value ; but it is the responsibility of the leaders to provide such an environment that people can add value.
Staff members need to know what the company stands for, where the leader wants to take them and offer ideas of how to get there, at the same time empowering employees to develop their own methods.

Looking at our people, we need to understand that not all want to grow, some do and some do not. We need also to understand that we need to give them the tools in order for them to grow and develop themselves and ultimately develop the company.
And even for the ones that do not want more responsibility, we still need to help them become better in a rapidly changing world.
In short, we provide our employees with a meaning to their lives.

Development of the individual will help develop the company and therefore drive better results.

For more info visit us on http://www.lhcconsulting.com/cdp

 

 

 

 

 

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Pierre Verbeke Senior Consultant at Lausanne Hospitality Consulting

Pierre Verbeke is a Senior Consultant at LHC. He has an extensive career in hotel operations, pre-openings and re-brandings. He is first and foremost an operational person having managed several hotels in Belgium and having set up many pre-opening teams in different countries. He also has gained a wealth of experience opening hotels for a large Hotel Operator in various European, North African and Eastern European countries. He is particularly at ease with project management and knows how to deliver the highest quality of service within the agreed timeframe.

Pierre has experience with leased, managed and franchise properties and undserstands the various demands from owners, investors, and operators within the different projects. Pierre is an alumnus of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. He speaks Dutch, German, French and English, with some notions of Spanish.