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Leadership from the Bench

Gone are the days when human resources simply handled pay and appraisals.


Mark Dickinson of DONE! Hospitality Training Solutions identifies five common mistakes companies make when it comes to managing staff and how this important department can boost employee morale and diffuse tensions.


Human resources live their lives one step away from the game. They are generally sitting on the bench and observing play, and as tensions rise, they can only observe; to intervene during operations is generally ill-advised. Companies that do well have mastered the art of how and when to deal with issues, and it is never in the heat of the moment. Uncontrolled emotions wreck businesses, spoil great relationships and decimate trust. Hospitality still lags behind many other industries in its approach to making the life of an employee a happy one; many senior managers hold archaic beliefs that are rooted in outdated hierarchy and some dysfunctional hegemonic systems. Successful companies manage this by breaking the omniscience of managers and by providing amazing infrastructures that nurture, support and care, without becoming hospitals. There is a fine balance between being empathetic and sympathetic. It has been repeated that employees do not leave organizations, they leave poor managers. So what are the common mistakes made by companies, and how can human resources remedy them?


Individualism kills businesses Allowing an individualistic attitude into a company is destructive, for individualism is fueled by ego, whereas teams are driven by togetherness of great personalities.


Solution Get people together as often as possible to create unbreakable bonds through teamfocused actions.


Arrogance of managers Some managers have expectations of employees related to their work hours and tasks, outwardly expressing irritation and biased behavior, such as expecting employees to provide favors and run personal errands.


Solution Ensure that a clear system is available for employees to provide feedback regarding managers’ performance and implement ongoing assessment at all levels by objective parties.


Not genuinely demonstrating care for team members Some firms are guilty of failing to provide for general employee needs fairly and equally. Biases may include failure to maintain quality of uniforms and inequality in the provision of employee meals and employee facilities.


Solution Ensure that all employees receive fair and equal treatment and that attention to the details of employees’ daily lives is a genuine priority.


Failure to provide clear information Frequently, organizations change policies without due consideration and fail to communicate expectations to team members through a clear, transparent process.


Solution Engage members of the workforce in the development of policies and in the policy approval process, and entrust the communication to a network of team members who are responsible and accountable for disseminating the information.


Inability to adequately recognize excellent work Employee of the month is a poor, outdated system, as are annual appraisals. Many companies rely on such old-fashioned practices as their defense in rewarding team members.


Solution Provide an instant-recognition process live and online where good work and outstanding performance are constantly recognized for all to see.



Human resources can step in and solve these problems by working on intelligent and modern solutions that will please and delight employees. Creating a happy work environment that inspires members of staff to give their best is paramount as it encourages great customer service, resulting in happier customers.

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