‘’You don’t build a business – you build people ;and then people build your business’’ – Zig Ziglar

Without good businesses, the world would be a static place. Everything that happens around us is as a result of one good business or the other. It is very important that every successful business starts well. Many visionaries who establish businesses are tempted into believing that they have to first build a good business and then they employ people to work for them. In reality, this is what is happens in most cases but ideally this shouldn’t be the case. Building people first and then working together with the people to build the business seems to be the way to go. Building people only means that you empower your employees, give them the best support and then happily they will help build a successful business. A closer look at the hospitality industry in Ghana shows that many of the successful stakeholders have a well structured and supported workforce. In order to greatly develop the high potentials of our hospitality industry,it is expedient that businesses pay attention to the needs and welfare of their employees. Below, Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel website looks at the roles of employees in hospitality development.

Commitment – The Ghanaian hospitality has become such that you cannot survive doing ordinary things. On the other hand, doing extraordinary things also demands a high level of commitment. This should come from all employees. If an employee is committed to his work and goes all out to perform his/her duties, then we are on our way to achieving our goals. Receptionists, chefs, managers, cleaners, tour guides, car rentals and all other employees in the hospitality industry need to feel not only part of a team making things happen but actually responsible for making them happen. Going to all lengths to ensure that guests and customers are satisfied is one of the fundamental roles of any employee in this industry.

  1. Innovation – Innovation they say is the mother of invention. Why do the same things all the time to achieve the ordinary while you can do different things at different times to achieve the extraordinary? The secret lies in being ahead of your competition or doing something differently. How can we do this? By being innovative in our respective lines of duty as employees. Come up with a plan, a system or an activity that works. Something that isn’t in the books but achieves amazing results. Quite recently, when you enter certain top class hotels for your birthday, you may be expecting a cool solemn time with a few friends. After dinner, you are ready to cut your cake and then you hear a group of waiters chanting and singing some ‘’jama’’ songs as they bring your cake amidst some sparkling candles. The atmosphere becomes charged and you become the centre of attraction. The way they even sing and dance to the happy birthday song will leave you with unforgettable memories. When you build good employees, they are happy to go to such lengths and think out of the box to make your customers happy.
  2. Customer Service – One of the best selling points of any business. Get it right and you are halfway into being a standout business ; Get it wrong and your entire business may just come crumbling down. Have you ever been treated badly by a rude staff at your hotel? Have you ever been left unattended to at the bus terminal or airport? Have you ever waited for hours for your bill at the restaurant only for the waiter to return with questions? If you have gone through any of these, then you know the importance of good customer service. Employees are the frontrunners of any business because they relate more with the customers therefore they have an obligation to treat these customers to amazing experiences worth coming back for. Whether or not a guest returns to a hotel may largely depend on the relationships built with the employees there. A friendly staff will always create the platform for a comfortable stay. Just in case you doubt this, just try putting your most unfriendly staff member at your front desk or reception and measure the returns versus when you have your most friendly employee there.

  3. Professionalism – Over the years, many stakeholders in the hospitality industry have stressed on the need for professionalism. In countries where tourism and hospitality are seen to be developed, professionalism has been key. With many of those patronizing these services coming from diverse foreign markets and backgrounds, it is very important that employees here execute their duties with a high level of professionalism. You can excuse the 4-5 star hotels for this because you are almost always certain of a high sense of professionalism. Even though there are a few exceptions, they are generally up to the mark. However, with the lower star rated hotels and guesthouses, professionalism on the part of employees seems to be either very low or entirely non-existent. Employers also are not strict on this and allow a lot of things to go for granted. Professionalism engulfs many different facets which may include dressing, communication and service delivery. An employee is obligated to dress well, communicate in a friendly yet efficient and professional way as well as deliver top quality service.To stay in competition with the top hotels around the continent, this is really vital.

  4. Consistency -. After all is said and done, there is only one way to be relevant and be profitable. It’s simple, STAY IN BUSINESS!!!. Of course, you can do all of this for a while and stop. You may even do it for a longer period but the quality may reduce every now and then. The catch here is to be consistent. Do the same good things always whether we have someone watching or not. As employees, we grow when the business grows and in order to get that salary raise or bonus coming regularly, we have to ensure that we keep the profits coming regularly too. How can we do that? By consistently working hard, being professional, delivery a better customer experience and staying committed to the cause. This also develops the employee personally and as continuous practice makes perfect, you may end up enhancing several skills.

When the employee is working extremely hard at all of this, it remains the sole responsibility of the employer as well to ensure better conditions of service, incentives, regular trainings and non-stop motivation for the employee. As employers in the hospitality business, if you are looking at growing and developing this industry, then you have a primary obligation of building your employees, they will eventually build a great business for you.

Credit : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel

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