Oh, what a privilege it is to serve others. Whether you work in a hotel, restaurant, spa, club, conference center, etc, the purpose is the same: Consistently deliver exceptional service and create memorable experiences for those you serve. That's it. Treat. People. Well. Everyday. Regardless of who they are, or where they are from, or their gender, or age or race, or culture, or socio-economic status.
To serve at such a consistently high level, we need to always remind ourselves of who we are, what we do and where we do it. Who am I, as a service professional? What is my role? Where do I get to serve others? Notice I wrote, "get to" serve others...not "have to" serve others. If you ever have to persuade yourself to serve others, then the hospitality industry may not be the right fit for you. In the service business, we are either serving the guest or we are serving someone who is.
What should we tolerate?
Recently, I was facilitating a training session at a large organization. The attendees were comprised of senior and mid-level leaders. Towards the end of the session, one leader asked me, "How much negativity should leaders tolerate from the staff?" At first, I thought the leader meant it as a rhetorical question, but then I realized that she was completely serious. In fact, as I looked around the room, EVERY leader was leaning forward and eagerly awaiting a response. I realized that it was a much more common issue than I previously thought.
After thinking for a moment, I told her that no negativity should be tolerated. Ever. In fact, any service environment is sacred ground, and it should be considered sacred in every way. That's the key: The work environment has to be viewed as sacred ground, especially by those who work there. On the way home, that leader's question lingered in my mind. Early the next morning, I wrote the poem "Sacred Ground".
The poem now has four versions!
* Hospital version
* Long-Term Care version
* Hotel & Restaurant version
* Spa version