I truly believe every leader would like to have a great workplace where the people are happy and motivated to do their job's and beyond. As a starting point to check if you have the make up in your hotel to accomplish this goal review below and ask yourself if your team would truthfully say they have all this. If not, then you have a great place to start.
First of all you need to look at fairness. There are few things that are more crusial to avoid unhappiness than ensuring you have a fair structure.
Does all your employees have:
- Fair treatment & conditions
- Salaries reflecting the work done
- Fair scheduling & work hours
If you have the above covered - well done! This is a great start on the road to a happier workplace. Now that you comfortable that this is in place - remember to tell your teams. Announce in meetings, remind people through posters, in their payslip etc. There are lots of fun ways to share what you are doing for your people.
To go from a fair and satisfied work environment to a happy workplace you need to start looking at the more "fluffy items" that are related to feelings.
Happiness at work is all about the feeling people get when they are thinking about work, talking about work and doing the work. This can't be measured in itself (so please don't try as it can easily have the opposite effect) however there are many things you can look at that will indicate a happy workplace.
Ask yourself and then ask your management team and the employees
If all of us are:
So drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on the website: www.monikahilm.com.
My passion for hotels and for happiness at work will be come together in a book during 2017.
Alexander Kjerulf, the famous Danish Chief Happiness Officer and international speaker, and I will bring together the research around happiness at work and the practical world of the hotel industry.
Do you have a compelling story about a great/awesome hotel stay?
Have you experienced a challenge that was resolved in a fantastic way?
Or have you had terrible guest service in a hotel or in a restaurant?
We would love to hear your story in as much detail as possible.
Leave it here as a comment or email email@example.com.
We look forward to read your stories.
o here I am, saying good bye to the team who has become my family over the past 4 years and what do I do? – I cry!
50 people sitting in front of me – listening to the presentation about the year’s results (which are exceptional) and hearing about the new brand that will take over and change the hotel away from the beautiful 60’s retro hotel that we have created over the past 4 years to a modern urban hipster hotel. There are mixed feelings in the audience and I feel how many of them are looking to me for directions, as they have for the past 4 years.
I asked them to take a deep breath in and then I asked them to take another deep breath in. Of course, you can’t and that was my point. You have to breath out, let go before you can take the new fresh breath of air in.
As I said that, I felt I got really emotional, these people meant so much to me and we had come so far together and now I stood here and asked them to let go of what we had built.
I asked them to accept the change and through a small really corny present (two pairs of really cool socks in our company color matching our cool company color BOTAS66) to each and every one I’m telling them to let go.
Someone told me when I expressed my sadness of the change “Who are you stop their learning” and truthfully who am I? I didn’t own the hotel, I just lead the team of the hotel from a poor operating smoke hole to a great operating 4star hotel with happy employees, low turnover and green numbers.
What fascinated me when I stood there, in front of these 50 people, I felt safe and comfortable to cry in their presence. I wanted them to hear, feel and see that I did not regret that I had made the hotel my personal interest and they all meant so much to me.
Sheryl Sandberg from FB said in an interview “its ok for women to cry at work, share emotions and be honest about their feminity”. I say it should be ok for everyone and anyone to cry to share emotions.
I am not referring to the temperamental outburst tears of Steve Jobs, I am talking about deep down caring for the people you work with and the team you manage feelings being expressed through crying.
Science tells us that biological women cries more often than men, which often is misrepresented as a sign of weakness.
I find myself fascinating as a woman to have become more open, sensitive and much stronger as a person since I started to share my emotions at work, whether it was through crying, the occasional raising of voice or expressing emotions through statements like “I wish I had a boxing bag in my office I am so angry about …” (which then of course was my Christmas present from the team the following Xmas).
I finished my talk by wishing them all the best of luck and to remember to be immensely proud of themselves and their achievements. I was taken back by the reactions and responses from the team who stood in a row to give me a hug or a handshake and to tell me how much I meant to them and how much I had helped them personally to become the persons they were today.
During this time of proud painful listening to each and every one (painful as it was so much raw emotions from so many different people) I felt stronger than ever, that being a leader is not about taking a business into green numbers, but to help the people become better people and to touch their souls & hearts through a vision bigger than ourselves. Helping people learn, strive and feel that they are important. Actually, simply put show them that you care.
Too often are people considered a commodity and a resource, just like the bed, cup, plate, chair and table we use to service our guests. Too often the people are let go in low season and rehired in high season, just like we add more equipment during a large event.
To reach sustainable happiness in your team, in your hotel you need to care beyond the numbers, beyond the faces and dig inside yourself to find the natural instinct we are all born with (but so easily lost during our upbringing) of caring and showing empathy with others.
If you feel that you are the kind of manager that I describe above, I would love to hear from you what you do for your team.
If you disagree with my above statements, let me know I would love to understand how you see your team and your fellow colleagues.
Below are some interesting links to other articles related to #leadership & #crying.
There are many things you can do to re-wire your brain towards happiness.
Psychological research shows that the brain better remembers bad experiences than good. 5/1 is the weighting towards negative bias, ie you will need 5 good experiences to compensate for one bad.
This basic human trait makes everything sound worse than it is. In many workplaces the talk revolves around the bad thing.. It is training issue – we need to get better at practicing to focus on the positive = train the brain to remember the positive experiences.
So how do we do this?
There are many actions you can take, one of my absolute favorites is "3 good things".
I like this one cause it is easy and doable on a daily basis.
First of all you get yourself a small notebook, preferably with a hardcover and feeling that you like.
Then you find a time of the day that would be suitable for you to take 5 minutes out of your day. Personally I use 5 minutes right before I switch of the light to sleep. I keep my blue silk book with magnet closing (I really like touching this book) on my night table and I have a soft purple ink pen laying next to it.
Every evening before sleeping I take out my hard cover blue silk book and my purple pen and I write down 3 things that made me happy that day.
You can do this very simple by just jotting down the 3 things and then stop. Which personally I think is fine, especially in the beginning. As you get more comfortable doing this and the habit (21 days normally) is there, then you might want to expand your happiness training by following the routine from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, outlined below:
Remember that the most important thing is not how big the event is, how happy on a scale of 1-10 it made you => what is important is THAT YOU DO IT!
I was thinking of creating a "TripAdvisor" for hotels as I am sincerely tired of stupid people who scream and behave like they own the world. No guests have the right to try to ruin my teams work day - we are here to help - not for guests to take out their physco problems on. Any hotelier who still thinks the guest is always right - think again - your teams happiness must come first.
My passions are managing and improving the results of hotels through employee centered processes. My motto: "no need to say employees comes first - show it through the actions that you take".