Do you think you have what it takes to work in the hospitality industry? While people may see the glamorous side, the reality is that this industry is possibly one of the most gruelling sectors to work in — making hospitality values essential to survive in this career.
Unlike other industries that depend on complex, technical skills, the hospitality industry is largely a “people business.” It relies on several hospitality values; workers must be able to create a valuable and satisfying experience for guests, as well as forge goodwill and relationships to build loyalty. Service-oriented businesses such as tourism and food and beverage rely heavily on positive customer recommendations, ratings, and reviews to attract more customers and create repeat clients.
There lies the challenge: the ability to manage and relate to people. Doing so is easier said than done, as being in the hospitality industry means dealing with various personalities and egos. Being in hospitality (as well as other service jobs, in general) can often feel like a thankless job, so you must bear this in mind.
That said, despite dealing with long hours and different kinds of people (which in itself will have varying degrees of pleasantness), there are certain perks to being in this industry. If you are the type who loves adventure and exploring, a career in hospitality may just take you to some of the most breathtaking spots to work and live in. A hospitality career can also help you flex those creative muscles and live with spontaneity — each workday is always different.
What do hospitality professionals need to do to establish a successful career in the industry? For starters, you’ll need to master the following seven must-have hospitality values and skills to flourish in this field:
Hospitality can get rather demanding. Each guest and temperament will be different. Many times, customers mean well and only want to make sure they make the most out of the experience they paid for, and they can get understandably upset when this is not met.
That said, you may encounter clients who are plainly difficult to deal with. This is where having patience comes in handy. Patience is likely the most important virtue of all when dealing with people; having enormous amounts of patience will stand you in good stead when you find yourself faced with unreasonable demands and impossible expectations.
With patience, you will know the best thing to do in difficult situations: listen attentively to the customer and maintain calm confidence. Even if you cannot provide the ideal solution, staying calm will prevent the customer from getting more agitated.
Empathy is an underrated yet essential quality. Being able to relate to another person genuinely can help you come up with sincere and people-centred solutions, especially when faced with customer grievances.
Having empathy also allows you to be authentically invested with other people. People can sense if you are genuinely attentive or just saying what they want to hear to get rid of them. Being empathetic is a great quality to have when working in the service industry, and this applies to both customers and employees or colleagues.
Showing sincere concern and interest in the other person’s well-being will go a long way towards building meaningful relationships with them. They will respond much more favourably to you if they see that you genuinely care.
Working in hospitality can be incredibly challenging and intense because of its nature. There are always problems to be addressed and fires to put out as you deal with customers in real time.
You might be overwhelmed by the constant pressure to perform, but you must find a way to stay calm and focused despite the daunting challenges you face. By focusing on the task at hand, you can weather the stress and push yourself to explore more creative and efficient ways to get the job done.
Having strong communication skills, whether verbal or written, is a must. After all, a “people business” is critical when working in service-driven businesses. Dealing with customers requires thoughtful tact and sensitivity. As such, using the appropriate tone and manner of communication befitting the situation is key towards creating positive customer experiences.
People tend to be highly complex creatures. So, getting creative when solving problems involving emotions is important. By exploring alternative ways to defuse tense situations, you will discover unconventional approaches that might surprise and even delight customers. You must then be driven by the need to solve problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.
As part of the hospitality industry, you will receive all kinds of comments, reactions, and feedback. It is important not to get defensive when you get feedback — at the same time, learn to discern which feedback would be most helpful in improving your performance. With this in mind, you should welcome and appreciate customer feedback and take it with an objective perspective. If it is a negative comment, try not to take it too personally. Learn the difference between constructive criticism and petty complaints. Stay open, but focus on learning from the experience and moving forward.
The key to delivering customer service is simple: initiative. By taking an active approach to your job and anticipating problems instead of reacting to them, you are in a much better position to prevent problems from occurring. This allows you to maintain customer satisfaction rather than dealing with the aftermath when the damage has already been done.
Being a self-starter demonstrates a strong passion and dedication to your job, effectively placing you on the fast track for accelerated learning and career growth in the hospitality industry.
If you want to pursue a career in hospitality, understand that there are certain personality traits and key skills that will help you thrive best in this industry. Having the right hospitality values is essential in providing a consistent brand of service for the people it serves. Why? Because every hospitality worker needs the mindset, behaviour, and knowledge that spark positive connections between the business and its clients.
Suppose you are considering entering the hospitality industry. In that case, you must have the ability to be courteous and friendly to guests at all times and be able to anticipate and meet customer needs. People skills are essential for any service role — from the front desk, front of the house, and guest service departments to various roles at restaurants, hotels, resorts, spas, and other tourist attractions.
Many transferable skills and management qualities are important, such as accounting, record keeping, and project management. But, the hospitality values mentioned above can equip you to succeed in this path. Being a natural people person who truly enjoys their job will help you soar in this industry; you can help achieve high levels of customer satisfaction and evoke positive word-of-mouth marketing and favourable brand associations.
With the right hospitality values and personality traits, you can make the most out of a career in this industry.