Hospitality can be a demanding industry, largely depending on your position. It also has potential to be infinitely rewarding. Currently, I work at The Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, Washington and have found the latter to be true nine times out of ten. Inside these walls, I have been gifted an opportunity to learn the importance of leadership in the workplace and the attributes that compose its rock-solid foundation. Much of our approach emphasizes what was once unheard of: investing in the employee. What is the result? An unparalleled and thriving work culture.
We are fueled by the following modern leadership practices:
Lead with Empathy
Give people the benefit of the doubt. Fellow employees, guests, bystanders, everyone you come in contact with. Often times, there is no way of fully knowing someone’s intentions. Trust that they have your best interest at heart and lead from a place of love and understanding. Even if others wouldn’t return the favor, uphold these standards anyway.
Show up Everyday
Not just physically, either. Pretend you are on a stage everyone is watching, regardless of your designated role. Know that your energy is infectious and impacts those around you. Emulate unwavering positivity. Contribute to the greater whole. Exceed your own expectations.
Conflict Will Surface and Moments Will Arise When Difficult Conversations Must Be Had
Do not back away from them. Don’t build mountains out of molehills. Have the conversations when they are at the height of discomfort. Have these conversations with your co-workers, supervisors and managers alike. Approach them with respect and empathy, but leave nothing to the imagination. The flow of the workplace and employee morale will benefit greatly because of it.
If You Don’t Have a Mentor, Get One. If You Have a Mentor, Improve Your Followership
To evolve as a person, employee or friend, one must seek accountability from an individual “wiser” than them. Someone who has been in situations you have yet to be in but are bound to encounter, capable of coaching you along the way. If someone has been investing in you and you in them, continue asking questions, seeking advice and expanding your horizons.
Most Importantly, Invest in Your People
Cultivate relationships with fellow employees as if there is no tomorrow. When it comes time to call on this relationship, it will be worth every second of work you have devoted to its development. Humanize yourself and others by investing in the person beneath the employee. Explore what colors their world, at work and at home. They will blossom. Challenge yourself to breach the surface of your interpersonal relationships regularly.
At The Heathman Lodge, we have an unrelenting affinity for passion and providing an exceptional experience for our guests. The robust and infectious nature of our work culture feeds into this ambience seamlessly; the leadership we uphold practiced by everyone on the chain of command. I invite you to apply these attributes in your work setting and they will, with due time, yield a higher quality employee and team.
By Megan Carter, Sales and Catering Support at The Heathman Lodge