Qualities Of Someone In The Hospitality Field
To work and be successful in hospitality careers, you’ll need to possess several personal and professional skills. Whenever you are thinking about working in any industry, it’s always beneficial to research what abilities and characteristics are required and then perform a personal assessment to determine whether you are a good fit for the field and what you might need to improve.
Hospitality careers are about people. You need to love working with the public, and be able to work well with your colleagues. Depending on the branch of the hospitality industry in which you choose to work, you may be filling demands at a very hectic pace. Hotels, for example, can be notoriously busy. You’ll need to be pleasant and courteous even during stressful times. Whether during peak or slower seasons, and whether in fast-paced or less frantic parts of the industry, you will need to be polite to customers and provide excellent customer service whenever requested.
Not only must you have a liking for people, but at minimum, you will be required to know how to work with a wide range of people. As the world becomes more interconnected, you could find yourself working with many different cultures and personality types. It will be critical for you to be able to interpret another’s needs and be sure that their preferences are met.
Good Communication Skills
Whether you are at work, at home with family, or even interacting with friends, good communication skills are a must. You need to be able to convey what you are thinking in a manner that is both polite and easily understood.
Additionally, good communication is good business. The Wisconsin Business Alumni Update notes that as the workplace environment is continually changing, even more emphasis must be placed on strong communication skills. The publication referenced an estimate from the National Commission on Writing that American businesses spend $3.1 billion annually teaching workers how to write. If you are unable to communicate well, it’s likely you won’t be hired or considered for advancement.
Remember, part of being a good communicator is being a good listener. Pay attention to what others are saying and learn how to stay focused. Communication is a skill built over time, so you will need to take time to practice.
Puts Value on Physical Appearance
A career in hospitality puts into practice “the art of relaxation.” As part of creating an environment for people to relax, you will need to keep your workplace clean, efficient and appealing to the public. For instance, hotel general managers are responsible for setting standards on décor and housekeeping requirements. In other instances, managers who work for hotel chains may be charged with renovating an older hotel or making changes in a hotel that is not up to expectations.
Organized and Detail-Oriented
When providing a service to others, you will need to ensure you’ve got things right. The hospitality industry doesn’t leave a tremendous amount of room for error. Regulations must be followed, safety standards adhered to and general awareness of a customer’s needs maintained at all times. Start working now on honing these skills if you feel they require improvement.
The often fast-paced nature of hospitality careers means you will need to have an eye for detail and a penchant for organization. Food regulations, for example, must be followed closely, or the safety of customers could be at risk.
Your organizational abilities could be put to the test in other branches of the hospitality field. Event planners work to create memorable events for individuals, and their organizational abilities come into play considerably; their efforts contribute greatly to a client’s happiness. You will be in charge of how smoothly an event runs from the early planning stages until the final cleanup is complete. Every detail—catering, location, music, décor—will be executed according to your careful planning and organization.
Your personality will have a big influence on your success in the hospitality industry. In 2008, the results of a study conducted by Hyun Jeong (Jenny) Kim, associate professor in the Washington State University School of Hospitality Business Management indicated that personality traits were a particularly strong factor in the burnout rate of hotel and restaurant workers.
The continual stresses of performing in a high-intensity environment took their toll on workers. Employees prone to feeling anxious, insecure, worried, or even depressed struggled more with burnout. Those who considered themselves dependable and conscientious, however, were more engaged in their work.
Last Updated: 04/09/2013