The Work Team: a TFA Unit - By Osvaldo Torres Cruz
The high level of competition that characterizes the hotel market at present makes all hotels prioritize in their agenda the development of strategies to outstand in the pool of offers. The need to be chosen forces them to think of a differentiating way of management that should act as a reinforcing stimulus in the care provided to new and repeat clients, thus enabling them to continue growing and staying in the ¨boxing ring¨ of the present hotel market.
However, in order to break the habit of clients to certain stimuli and activate their selective attention, it is necessary to do it in a way that calls for the constant interest of the recipients. This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest challenges that work teams have to face in a hotel. Although it might seem difficult, it is not so because work teams have a differentiating resource par excellence: their workers.
As a consultant and trainer, I have had the opportunity of staying in many hotels in different countries and, upon arrival, I have gone through the same check-in service having a similar product (a desk, a computer, registration cards, pens, envelopes, maps, room keys and others), and following a similar procedure (showing the passports, search for the reservation, filling out registration cards, explanation of the products and services in each property, and so on). The only thing different is the behavior of the service providers and the emotional valence shown during the contact. Consequently, I can safely say that the main difference is not What is offered, but How it is offered and What it causes on the recipient.
All human beings share the same genotype and physiology. However, what makes us unique and different is our pass through life which determines the configuration of our neuronal network and our thinking algorithm and believes which, in turn, create a flow of emotions that determine the most noticeable and modifiable feature of every human being: his/her behavior.
Then, the following question arises: if we want to offer a distinguished service, it is crucial to consider for every hotel worker their associated thoughts and believes, because these will determine their resulting behavior when dealing with the clients
Every time I face a work team, my focus goes primarily to discovering their emotional level, because this will condition their behavioral pattern and, consequently, the final outcome as a team. However, my greatest challenge is to determine the sources of dysfunctional emotional valences in the team, because most are related to management procedures, policies, actions and behaviors at different levels, thus, making it hard for the team members to acknowledge and express them. Once identified, then we have to analyze their level of believe and so establish the need to modify those, and turn them into sources of motivation for the change of behavior of the team
Knowing how each member of the team feels is a priority for every team leader, coach or mentor, because their emotional state will determine their behavioral perseverance and efficiency.
The emotivity of a team is the sum of the emotional degrees of every member, and it is manifested not only in performing their tasks, but also in the level of relations and communication they reach. However, there are different thoughts and believes that trigger such emotivity. It then becomes essential to create spaces where they can exchange their thoughts about their identity, mission and vision to analyze the resulting behavior and their modification to achieve different results.
In every meeting with a work team, it is important to set some space and time to know the level of believe on the tasks assigned as generators of benefits or positive gains for the team. This is the only way to call their attention to this matter and, therefore, triggering team action.
Consequently, if for a hotel to be distinguished in the market, it has to do things different in terms of actions, and so its teams to become the main actors, then the hotel has to consider them as Thinking, Feeling and Acting (TFA) Units in search of shared benefits.
Osvaldo Torres Cruz
Experiential Hospitality Consultancy
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