A Hotelier’s Love Life

shareI had recently attended a seminar where the Guru said,“Your life is transient and temporary; the only thing you take back is love. Your actions are remembered.”It set me thinking, both on the personal and career front. Do we love our work, people and the company? Of course we do – if there was no love, the work we do would be meaningless and mechanical. But, we are so caught up in our manic schedules, that we don’t spare enough time to ponder over these thoughts, or go deeper into them.

So, let’s pause for a while and reflect on the various love components in our work environment. This could be the success intelligence we need to evolve. Let Revpars and recipes go to the deep walk-in for a while.


Love your Work

jobWe spend much more time in the hotelthan at home – in fact 72% more.So, our love for work is natural. Of course, there are a few who are forced to work by their Hitler bosses, but these are exceptions. Our primary reason for work is the love of it;the driving force – not the need for survival.

Lord Hanuman’s love for his work is legendary and iconic; everything else would pale in comparisonto the task given to him by the Lord himself. He sought special skills,executed the job and reported to the master. He travelled over the sea,cunningly avoided the demon Lankini, and tracedSita Mata. He practised the strategy, ‘look before you leap.’ He appeared as a baby monkey, so that Sita Mata wouldn’t get scared, and he burnt Lanka – all in a bid to save her. We know the story, but what we can also learn is that the enormous risk he took was for the love of work.

It is for this love of work that we go miles to move our careers up in the hotel. If Rafik Shivji rose to the level of Director of Orange County, from that of a humble entry level staff, working with the Taj and The Oberoi earlier,it was because of his hard work and the love for it. Studies prove that 65% of hotel employees rise to senior levelsin around fifteen years. Similarly, aTandoor chef works in an environment where he has to face 350 degrees of heat constantlybecause of the pure unadulterated love for his cooking.

One in five people in India love their job so much that they would work for free, says an international survey by the online career firm, Monster India. According to the survey, 55 per cent of workers in India love their work — placing India third in international happiness rankings, behind Canada (64 per cent) and the Netherlands (57 per cent).


Love your Colleagues

loveWhile competing with our colleagues can help us rise in our careers, complementing them will help increase the bond of love tremendously. Our work is smooth when there is cooperation and bonhomie. We split the huge task blocks into bits and bytes and, in the process,share love. There is a kind of internal satisfaction when this is achieved amongstcolleagues. A sense of belongingness happens. A shift begins.

In a pre-opening hotel, the staff comes from varied backgrounds – getting them on the same page is quite a challenge. But when love and collaboration become an important part of the induction/ training process, the team’s friendship is sealed steadily. We thus induce a sense of belonging and love.

However, restraint and caution should also be taken with colleagues from the opposite sex – by showering too much love, you wouldn’t want wedding vows to be exchanged instead of ideas. Mixing emotions and work is not ideal as it leads to distraction and complicates the work atmosphere.

Some interesting tips to make your colleagues love you:

  • Smile and greet- bond
  • Learn their tea/coffee preferences
  • Don’t be a work hermit, give few compliments
  • Don’t be an office flirt and tread carefully with newbies.
  • Keep strong opinions to yourself and don’t complain unless…
  • And count to ten….. Inside. You know what I am trying to say!

Love your competition

They are the driving force for our constant creativity. We strive for the on-going competitionbecause of them.Hence, we should appreciate them and learn to accept. Compete,definitely, but collaborate as well. Take the example ofSamsung and Apple who decided to work together to develop new products. This would have been unheard of some 20 years back, but if Apple is to increase its market share to 55%, it needs to complement and cooperate.

As good neighbouringhoteliers, we pass the overflow rooms to our competition hotels during a big residential conference. The idea behind this is simple – we can’taccommodate the huge demand. As they receive our business there arelotsof warm exchanges between the hotels. It’s a win- win situation.

There is astory of an efficient Doctor who really hated competition. He worked extra hard to drive out the last doctor from his village and finally felt on top of the world. Bad luck struck soon and he got sick terribly and died shortly. Alas, there was no doctor to treat him, you see!

Have a look at these proactive actions that can help build a close knit, healthy competition.

  • The general managers can have a friendly lunch every quarter to discuss trends and share news.
  • Sporting activitiescan be organised between the hotels’ staff teams.
  • Hotels can send staff members to represent them at seminars, quizzes and exhibitions in other cities. These hotels should be seen as one to represent their home city.

Simply put, competition makes you confident, creative, compassionate and alert.


Love your Guests

love_guest‘Love all and Serve all’ should be our motto. Our love for work generates thelove for our guests, doesn’t it? As our elders say, alochana maadi, which means think clearly and concisely? Love for guests equals to our career, work and everything else. A loving mind equals humble service. Our budding hotelier Ms Jayashree is a true example of this. She goes out of her way to help the guests – meeting and greeting during arrivals, sending miss you messages, maintaining guest history etc.

Some interesting Pointers that can be looked into:

  • Saying yes to guests every time- any time.
  • 59per centof the repeat guests return only due to the great service; in fact they demand to be taken care of by the individual who had been at their service the previous time.
  • 43% still come to the hotel due to the locational advantage or the brand factor, but fade away if there is ZERO love shown by the employees. Recognition and passion are the true bindingfor the guests to stay.
  • Saying yes to guest requests and needs. It can be anything – simple amenity requirements, travel itineraries, etc.

Sometimes we do make the ultimate sacrifice to save our guest’s life – the terrorist attack at the Taj Mumbai in 2008 is a true testimony to this.  In a bid to save his guests, the General Manager lost his family by the time he could get back to save them.

As Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Customers are the reason for your existence, they are the most important elements of your business, and without them the business would not survive even for a minute.’ The love for your work, your colleagues, competition and customershelps create the recipe for a happy work environment. This, in turn, leads to a successful and satisfied one.

Love considered in any sphere- personal or professional angle is like a ray of light. The intensity does not fade even a bit when it’s refracted (competition) or reflected (colleagues and guests). It brings out the luminous streak in us, leading to the next positive step; unlike hatred or jealousy which sets us back.

Venu Rao
Director Peacock Hospitality.

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