Hospitality Management Industry: As I begin this fourth article on recession-proof industries, I find that many of us do not have a clear understanding of what I refer to as hospitality. I intend this article to be an attempt to clarify some of the key terms and concepts related to this industry, and hopefully to help guide those of you who are seeking employment in this field.
A good place to start is with the definition of hospitality. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hospitality “is a science, especially nowadays, for treating (people) as the guest rather than the host.” A hospitality manager today is someone who is charged with organizing events, functions, and meetings in a way that ensures the well being of the customers and the staff as well as the attendees.
The core of the industry is still based on this philosophy of treating each customer as though they are truly priceless. Think of how wonderful it is to send a thank you card after a seminar or meeting. It is simply a nice thing to do that demonstrates your appreciation and love of the person and helps them to feel important and special.
Because of the importance of hospitality, there are many special projects that are worked on in hospitals, resorts, large hotels, town centers, and other locations that tend to keep the “hospitality” part of the business running. A hospitality manager is responsible for coordinating these various activities, and they often coordinate with vendors and others in the hospitality business in order to ensure that all customers and attendees are treated fairly and in a manner that is appropriate and professional.
Another aspect of the industry that is important, and unique to it, is that the hospitality management industry is very much a “people business”. It is very much about the people who work in the business and the relationships that are developed between them and the people who order their service or visit. The hospitality management industry thus requires “people people.”
This is why continuing education is such an important part of the job. Nothing can be more important than being prepared for the next opportunity that may come your way. I can hear you ask, “How can I become prepared for the next opportunity that may come my way?” The answer is simple — DO IT! If you do not consider yourself prepared for the job you seek, chances are you will not be. It is really that simple.
To be successful in the hospitality management industry, a person needs a certain mindset. It is a mindset based on Patience, listening skills, and the ability to quickly learn and interpret. A person who has belong in the hospitality business may have already worked in the hospitality management industry; however, it is not a prerequisite to develop these skills. In fact, it is likely that you already have all of the skills needed to succeed in this profession.
Patience is really a key ingredient to becoming successful in this profession. A hospitality manager has to be patient enough to know that even though they may be in a very familiar position such as front desk receptionist, they have no idea what it is like to work in an airport, on a boat, in a rotary office, or even at a hotel. They may feel like they know what is expected of them, but they do not. Patience allows them to realize that even though they do not know the “ins and outs” of the position that they are seeking, they do have a lot of the abilities required to do the job well. An established hospitality manager will always find the time to listen to and address each request, and to let the person know that patience is a virtue.
Another essential skill is the ability to learn new procedures and techniques continually. This is truly a talent that will always be in demand, because hospitality is constantly evolving. No matter where you go, people will be looking for a way to experience a hospitality that is exciting and engaging. Rehearsing and “skilling up” the hospitality services each day will keep them happy and in the know.
Skillfulness is another characteristic that is expected of hospitality managers. Those who are not proficient in this area will struggle. This is why extensive training and education is offered. No matter where you train, the hospitality management program you participate in will prepare you for the exciting career ahead of you. Qualified individuals often intern with hotels before being able to enter the field. This provides them with the guidance and tools required to complete their training, and simultaneously work their way into an entry level hospitality position.
Another key requirement is to know how to manage a team. A Lack of team work and mis-communication can hamper any business as a whole. This is something you must pride yourself on. You are going to be responsible for your team’s success as well as their safety.