French scholar, Chevalier Louis de Jaucourt describes hospitality as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the universe through the means of humanity. Success in this sector is assured if you believe in doing things differently and have confidence in your abilities. The multibillion-dollar hospitality industry provides a great opportunity to grow and learn, offering global exposure to the employees by providing them with a chance to explore more than what they can think of.
Needless to say that an ideal hospitality employee has to possess an impressive skill set. It is very important for a hospitality brand or company to have staff with right personal qualities to handle the services professionally. Here are few qualities that you need to instil for a career in hospitality:
1. Be passionate:
‘Your vibes depict who you are.’ I’ve seen the mediocre and I’ve seen the best, and the difference between them is that the best are passionate. No task is a small task, and the best take extra efforts to accomplish each. Their passion is a drive to create everlasting experiences, and it doesn’t matter what it takes.
2. Good communication skills:
To be a world-class hospitality professional, you should be a ‘people’s person’. It is counted as a great quality if you are a good communicator and can engage the numerous guests every day. The simplest way to achieve this is to be genuine in your conversation.
3. Leadership and teamwork qualities:
To reach a managerial position, leadership qualities are a must. Given the nature of your job, leading a group through the toughest of tasks at peak season will be your biggest test and achievement. Being organised and able to influence your co-workers to finish a task whole-heartedly is what you need to aim at. As for teamwork, if you can’t inspire to lead then be inspired and be led until you can.
4. Paying attention to detail:
In my experience, it’s the little things that matter the most. I’ve had instances where guests were put off for the lack of laundry bags in a 5-star hotel room. Attention to detail and living up to the expectations is important in this field. The smallest of details, like the guest’s breakfast preferences or that they like a glass of wine after a meal are cues to remember and act upon. Gestures such as these create an impression on guests and help in creating a loyal customer base.
5. Patience and listening skills:
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have good listening skills. To be able to understand properly what the guests want and provide them with that adds a professional value, sure but more importantly, it helps to figure out details about your guest. There will undoubtedly be instances, where your patience is tested, like when guests demand services that are not a part of their package. Patience and a smile is the only way to deal here. You need to be able to politely explain why you cannot comply and suggest alternatives instead.
6. Knowledge about safety and hygiene:
High standards of safety and hygiene are expected from each hospitality employee. It is undoubtedly one of the key aspects of hotel services as it helps in building a good image of the brand. Keep in mind that where hygiene is concerned, you need to treat your guests as you would treat yourself. Safety too, becomes your responsibility, especially if you are a native with foreign guests under your lead.
7. Multitasking and proper organisation:
While working in the hospitality business, you should be good at working on many things at the same time. Jobs in this industry require much energy and presence of mind. Being organised is the key to it. Keeping tasks organised and being in sync with your schedule is essential. I have seen many quit this line simply because they could not keep track of their work and schedule and were overwhelmed because of it.
8. Be decisive and a problem solver:
You need to be quick and thorough with decisions and plans. You must be a problem solver and decisive. Understanding and analyzing skills add a much-needed spark to your work portfolio. When working in this field, you’ll come across problems like when guests would suddenly want a change in their itinerary and explore something completely different. While this is good for the guest, it may mess up your schedule. You should know how to deal with them calmly as well as smartly.
9. Computer know-how:
Digital has contributed a lot towards making the hospitality industry what it is today. It is through the collective experience of people across the globe sharing their memories and reviews across social media that we have seen a surging spike in tourism. You may not have to be tech-savvy to be successful. But basic knowledge of software like MS Office will help you navigate through different POS operations.
10. Local and cultural knowledge:
When working in hotels or travel business, it is already considered that you have appropriate local knowledge whether you are a native or not. There are two types of guests as I have come to experience. The ones who stick to the itinerary and the ones who leave the room at 6 am to explore. You are the divining rod to their wanderings; your knowledge is their guide. Therefore, to serve the guests better and in all aspects, local mastery is important.
Hospitality sector offers a global exposure, and with the right education and personal qualities, you can enjoy a successful career path. People working in this industry possess unique qualities that differentiate them from other professionals. It demands people who have great presence of mind, high emotional quotient, and passion for serving others. Therefore, if you are passionate enough to face new challenges and learn new things every day; hospitality industry is waiting to welcome you.
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