Tuesday, 17 May 2016 06:24

Empowered Staff = Powerful Business

Written by Van Heerden Kritzinger

“Manuel will show you to your rooms - if you're lucky.”

One laughs at the bad tempered hotel owner Basil Fawlty played by John Cleese in the classic BBC TV series Fawlty towers but it’s a fact the hospitality industry is at its core unique. The reason is that in this industry the supplier of the service (hotel staff) is in face to face contact with the customers (guests) 24/7 all year round. Nothing is more powerful today than a business where its staff is trained effectively and show that they as staff have the ability to deal with challenges. Crucial is the fact that in the hospitality industry problems more often than not have to be resolved immediately without delay. It is vital that leaders must have the foresight to empower their staff members because the fact is that the manager him/herself cannot be present to deal with all the problems all the time.

Leaders who adequately train, manage and trust their staff to meet with challenges, make life must easier for themselves and their customers. Once this trust is established between leaders and staff, the latter will be able to use their own initiative in solving challenges, something that is lacking quite a bit in today’s work place!

This is eloquently set out in the extract below by Deon Viljoen:

“Closer to the customer

The hospitality supply chain is unlike many others in that customer feedback is instant and specific – something that many companies would be only too glad to say is true of their own supply chains. This requires leaders to have the foresight to empower each staff member– including outsourced security staff – to engage with customers in a manner that meets their needs and best represents the hotel. “Also, leaders must train employees to be sensitive to any developments that may impact service delivery and to report these immediately. Listening to customers and responding fast is the key to an effective hotel supply chain.”


According to Viljoen, responsiveness to external factors is also critical when determining the price at which each hotel room is sold. “Determining the best available rate on a daily basis directly impacts just how busy the hotel will be, and therefore, what the demand on the supply chain will be,” he says. “This is where computerised pricing models come into play, taking into account a variety of factors such as trends, market demand and special events. Yet, this is no substitute for a hotel manager who’s hands-on and knows his customer well.”

Click below the full article by Deon Viljoen, Operations Director of Southern Sun Resorts for the Tsogo Sun Group.

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 July 2019 11:04