It’s just occurred to me that taking on a new hotel, full of employees that I didn’t hire, is a little like being given a bowl full of goldfish. Whilst they all look good from the outside, and some of them will flourish and do great things, there are some that ultimately are going to get flushed.
I’m getting close to flushing one now.
This fish has had an easy run without anyone checking their work for a long time. They are in a supervisory role, and think that it is beneath them to do the same work as their team. How dare they have to get in and actually DO the work. I changed things up at work to put them out with the rest of the team, telling them that they can’t understand what is going on in their department unless they get involved.
It didn’t go down very well.
I am a firm believer in people in supervisory or management positions getting in and DOING rather than just TELLING. As a GM, it would be very easy for me to say that I’m too busy, and just hide in my office all day. But I don’t – because I believe in what I say. I get out at lunch service in the restaurant and help clear tables, pour beers and wipe tables. I get into the hotel laundry and fold sheets and towels. I help on the reception desk. Hey, I even helped chef in the kitchen the other day. This is because I genuinely believe the only way to see how a department is really operating is to get involved in it, immerse yourself in the environment, and do the job. Not only does it help your understanding, but it let’s the team know you are in it with them, and willing to work.
So what do I do about my fish? Do I flush it?
No. I bring in a cat.
The fish decided to step down from a supervisory role. Fine. I’ll hire a cat who is not afraid of hard work, and who shares my approach and work ethic. And if the fish is eaten – so be it.
Maybe hotels is wrong for me – maybe I need to be running a pet shop.