Showing off Hidden Talents

Monica Or, columnist and Hospitality Consultant at Star Quality Hospitality Consultancy discusses why we need to make the most of our staff’s skills and abilities..

Everyone who works for us has a hidden talent that is waiting to be discovered, but rather than wait we should be finding out about these talents and show them off.

Think about one of your team members and ask yourself these questions:
What other languages do they speak?
What training courses have they been on?
Where does their specialist knowledge lie?
Do they have any disabilities?
Are they a member of any industry associations?

Whether you could answer some or all of these questions will come down to how well you know your team member. Although for our guests they won’t know the answers to any of these questions unless they had some form of identifier to give them a clue.

The reason we want to highlight these areas is because they are the hidden talents that our staff have. These skills will also help with the way in which we communicate with our guests. This could simply be by building rapport with someone who has a common interest through to aiding our guests to avoid any miscommunications.

An easy way to show this is for our staff to wear pin badges to identify this. For example if you have a guest from Portugal and your team member speaks Portuguese this could ease communication if they had a badge with the Portuguese flag on highlighting they speak this language.

Many training courses have pin badges to show that a team member has completed a course in a specific field, such as customer service, or wine knowledge for example. More established team members may have pin badges from their industry associations showing their membership which they could wear with pride in the workplace.

Although one important area that always seems to be missed are our team members that have a disability. If they had a pin badge to identify their disability which we all know are not always visible, this could also aid with communication.

A hotel in America has done just this and one of their team members had a hearing and speech impairment and when a customer approached them he pointed to his badge, so his customer could see that his communication style would be adapted to accommodate this. By having this identifier it avoided any embarrassment or miscommunication for both the team member and the guest.

We expect our employees to wear name badges, so why not take this one step further and individualise these name badges for our employees to highlight their skills and talents. You may be pleasantly surprised at how much talent you have hidden within your teams.

About Monica Or: Working with the owner/managers of independent hotels and restaurants, Monica assists her clients with their operations and service delivery. She is the Amazon Best Selling author of her three books: ‘Star Quality Experience – The Hotelier’s Guide to Creating Memorable Guest Journeys’ and ‘Star Quality Talent – Inspiring Hospitality Careers’.
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