I learned that different people expect different things at hotels, for example, many of our British guests arrived with their own towels, while many of our North American guests were never satisfied with our air conditioning services, despite the fact that many of our local guests found the hotel to be too cold.
2. It is important to be aware of the cultures involved in one's staff. This comes into play a lot with respect to planning social events, which are important for developing staff morale. Yet, something very well intended can go the wrong way if cultural issues are not take into consideration. For example, we had many different cultures working at our hotel, which meant that we had many different dietary needs. This made planning parties very challenging with respect to choosing a menu that was appropriate for all cultures. It was important to understand which foods were simply not eaten by some members, versus which foods were considered offensive and could not even be present at the function. I learned that one simple way to deal with this issue is to just be open and pole the staff and include them in the planning of the event.
3. One area of diversity that many members of the hotel staff were less comfortable with or less familiar with was sexual orientation. Often we would have a same-sex couple book a room with a King sized bed, and when they would check in at the front desk the staff member would be apologetic and attempt to change the room to one that had two beds, not realizing that the two individuals were a couple and likely had specifically requested a king-sized bed. I addressed this issue by having the staff simply ask whether or not the people checking in (regardless of their gender mix) were satisfied with the existing reservation or if they would like it changed. By asking this question to all guests, I feel that it was a better way of dealing with the situation so that same-sex couples did not feel like they were being 'outted' or treated unfairly when they were asked if they wanted a different bed arrangement.
Part VII: Business Ethics
1. On one occasion we had to deal with a member of the housekeeping staff who was stealing products from the hotel. The staff member came from a very low socioeconomic standing and was simply trying to help provide for their family, but nonetheless they were stealing, and this was grounds for dismissal. Instead of dismissing the employee we decided to put them on probation, with a strict warning to not continue the theft. I feel that this was a good solution, as even though the "rule book" said the employee should be fired, the ethical thing seemed to be take the person's entire situation into account and be more understanding. The employee was very grateful to keep their job and I believe they did indeed stop stealing the hotel products.
2. Another example of an ethical dilemma that occurred was a conflict among the housekeeping staff about what to do with items left behind in rooms by guests. The general consensus was that whoever cleaned the room could keep the items. Often though guests would call back looking for their forgotten item. I worked with the staff to create a lost and found program, where the staff could turn in an item, and if it had not been claimed after 90 days, the individual who turned it in would get to keep...
We had a discussion about why this was more ethical than simply taking the items. Being able to return an item to a guest creates a sense of good will and trust with that guest, and thereby creates a returning guest. I explained that what is good for the company is indeed eventually also good for the employee, as if the hotel were known for theft, this would not bring back more guests and would eventually lead to the cutting of positions as the hotel suffered financial consequences.
3. In another situation, a front desk staff member explained to me that often there are errors on bills that guests do not notice. The staff member had found a way to refund these errors after the guest had left with a cash refund, and then take the cash. I was friends with this staff member, but at the same time what they were telling me was very unethical. I was very torn about what to do in this situation, as I wanted to be a friend to this person and I truly enjoyed our friendship, but at the same time what they were doing was not appropriate. In the end I dealt with the issue by talking to my friend and explaining the ethical issue and saying that if they didn't stop, I would have no choice but to turn them in for their actions. Luckily the friend was grateful and did stop, but I'm not sure that this was the right thing for me to do. I likely should have turned them in anyway, as it is unknown how much the person might have actually taken over the course of running this little scam. In the future as a manager I would need to stick more strictly to the code of the business and not make decisions such as this one based on a friendship or pre-existing relationship of any kind.
Part VIII: Professional Image
Professional image - Critique your professional image in the following areas. Indicate particular strengths or weaknesses and any action plans that you may have. For example: Weakness: Do not own an appropriate suit for interviewing. Action plan: Start saving on weekly basis, shop around for good " bargain" spots or hit sale times.
A. Overall professional image - Grooming, body language, eye contact, handshake style, other non-verbal language
B. Communication style
Indicate any special projects or assignments you worked on during your hospitality work experience(s). Include a description of the project, your role, percent of time or actual number of hours involved, and specific skills or knowledge acquired through working on such assignments. Additional work samples can be included.
Knowing what you know about your organization's profitability, what suggestions can you offer to maximize profits? Include cost control suggestions as well as marketing suggestions to increase revenue.
This section focuses on environmentally aware practices of hospitality employers.
A. For each of your employers, delineate "green" environmentally-proactive processes and activities practiced.
B. If there are no such processes/activities, are there any planned for the future?
C. For those employers who have adopted green practices, what have been the benefits?
For example, are there Return on Investment figures available?
Has the business received any favorable, positive media coverage? Have certain business…
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