In the hospitality and tourism industry it is almost expected that you will have at least one staff member complain about his or her working hours. It’s almost understandable, even though we all knew what we got ourselves into when we took the job.
Still, hospitality hours are hectic and many hospitality experts would agree with me that we need to find a way to make it work for both our customers and our employees. We can’t tell our guests to leave that we can go home now, can we? But we also can’t tell our staff to forget about spending time with their loved ones. We need to find a way to make ends meet.
Shift work is probably one of the first and best solutions. Shift rotating rosters are probably just as good a solution, if not better. This not only allows hospitality managers to balance the skills of employees during different parts of the day, but it also allows employees to learn about different departments in the industry. This stimulates and motivates them to go the extra mile and it teaches them the versatility of hospitality, allowing them to develop different skills.
Be a soundboard – listen to the employees’ complaints. Many times people just need someone to listen to what they have to say. Who knows – they might just have the ideal solution to the problem.
For restaurants it might be possible to make changes to the opening and closing times of the business. The Whippet Coffee Shop in Linden, Johannesburg, for instance, mentions on their website that
“The Whippet believes in a lifestyle approach to business – we believe in giving our staff reasonable so that they can spend time with their families – this means our kitchen and store opens and closes early. This also allows our chef and store owners to keep their passion for the food, drinks and the people they serve. We hope you can share our philosophy on life.”
(See really cool photos of The Whippet Coffee Shop here: Kikisofpeopleandplaces)
So, what is your philosophy on life?
Share your comments below or chat with us on Twitter (@TravellingMG).