The phrase, “culture eats strategy for lunch,” is often used when discussing the importance of having a strong company culture. In hotel terms, it means that a strong culture can have more influence over your independent hotel operations than a standalone business strategy. Additionally, it’s said that a long-term strategy cannot be sustained without an established culture supporting it. While company culture has proven to be important, it can be challenging to explain and implement. To help simplify the concept, here are a few ideas to help you establish and continuously develop your independent hotel’s culture.
Core values create culture
We all have personal values that help guide us through life, such as integrity, honesty and determination. This same value system can be applied to your independent hotel. As a leader, the core values you establish will craft your hotel’s culture and help determine its success. For example, a “go above and beyond” versus “average” approach to daily responsibilities will create two entirely different cultures and produce varying outcomes with regard to your operations. Your hotel’s core values should be crafted to help you achieve the specific culture and level of success you desire.
Live and breathe your core values
To implement your independent hotel’s core values, as a leader, you must first live by them – day in and day out. You must lead by example and display how your core values translate into actions. Secondly, team members must buy into your core values, so you must sell them on their importance. Developing a training program that clearly explains the hotel’s core values, how they should be carried out, the responsibility that comes with them and how they will improve the hotel is a great way to ensure your team is on the same page and ready to put them into motion.
Align your operations with your core values
After establishing your core values, you must then align your hotel operations with them. For example, if “take ownership” is a core value, you must coach team members on how to display this at work. When guests ask questions, rather than finding a manager, encourage team members to solve issues and make good decisions on their own as a form of taking ownership.
No matter your core values, empowering your team members to carry them through in their daily tasks will help develop the culture you wish to achieve. Implementing your core values will take time, energy and patience, but the resulting improvements in your independent hotel will be well worth the investment.