What We Can Learn from the Hospitality Industry
If you’ve ever worked the front desk of a hotel or behind the counter at a restaurant, then you know that the first thing they teach you is that the customer is king — and while hospitality can be hard — it often teaches us things we wouldn’t learn anywhere else. It teaches us a thing or two about prioritization and problem solving, about humility and how to communicate effectively when faced with a less-than-pleasant personality. And it teaches you how to serve with a smile.
Hospitality is ultimately about people — no matter who they are.
So, let’s apply some of the principles from hospitality and bring them into the workplace:
Customer is King Who is your customer? YOUR EMPLOYEES. And they should be at the core of every decision you make. Think about how your employees will feel walking into a space. How do the layout and amenities serve their needs? What are the unique experiences that you’re offering them which they couldn’t get working from home (or worse, for another company).
Business owners, leaders, office managers and HR professionals can take a leaf out of the hospitality playbook when they play directly to their employees’ needs. Service expert and consultant, Micah Solomon points out that, “it’s not a coincidence that the employees you meet at a great hotel are so empathetic and enthusiastic. They’ve been hired for naturally being that way.”
When thinking about your employees’ work environment, get those empathy muscles working. Great leaders are never behind the scenes, but on the frontlines and in the weeds with their employees — knowing exactly what their needs are and creating an environment where everyone can thrive.
Flexibility is Fundamental What makes a great hotel experience? A team that’s nimble and ready to cater to whatever you need when you need it. Need a midnight snack? Fresh towel? Storage space for your luggage? Someone to give you a wake up call? Great hotels will have all these needs covered and more.
As we think about the future of work and the evolving needs of the next generation workforce, flexibility is key. Some of your employees may need a quiet place to concentrate. Others may need a venue for an offsite. Some may need a great room set up for real-time collaboration. Flexibility is really about taking care of your employees and what they need when they need it.
This is why flexibility will be key to all companies’ future work strategies.
Details make all the difference We love the show Handcrafted Hotels here at Veery— precisely because it drives this point home — details do make all the difference. The best hotel experiences are exciting, alluring and beautiful from the second you walk into the lobby to the moment you plop down on a fluffy bed and order a gourmet dinner all from the comfort of your room. And it’s not just about the basics — hotels often also capture the character, history and charm of their locations. The best hotels are truly great experiences.
The details of your workplace matter — from the lighting and ambience to the color of your walls, how comfy your chairs are and how local it feels. All these little touches can make or break your team’s experience. At Veery, we work with designers and workplace experts to provide every team with a unique experience no matter what space they’re in. But if you’re on your own, start by looking to your surroundings for inspiration.
Bottom line? The office industry has years of catching up to do — and there’s a lot we can learn from the hospitality industry. At the end of the day, it’s all about being able to see through the eyes of your employees and give them the best experience possible so they can do the best work of their lives.