Why everything starts at the “top” for a culture of incredible service
When I talk with executive leadership teams about what it is they are looking to accomplish with a guest service program, I’m usually told the same answer, “We want our frontline team members to create loyalty with our guests.” It has been my experience that this is a mindful, strategic process that takes time, dedication and hard work. It means creating an environment in which team members desire to exceed guest expectations … and this all starts at the top.
In my previous article, we reviewed the first three steps for creating a leadership program:
- Step One: Kick off the program with the “Senior Leadership Team” of the organization, the Executive Team and Directors.
- Step Two: Establish a vision, philosophy, and common message as it pertains to leadership.
- Step Three: Create a blueprint or game plan.
Step Four: Leadership Alignment
This is the most interactive part of the program; it’s a leadership summit with the Senior Leadership Team running the show. We unveil this new organizational leadership approach to the entire leadership team, from informal leaders to top executives. Here we let them know how we are going to actively support them so that they can focus on those they lead. We talk about our communication process so that we can all get on the same page when it comes to accomplishing our goals. We also let them know that we are going to give them every tool they need for all the situations they may face while leading, addressing the mechanics of their job as well as the relationship building part of their job. This is a fun, high energy, positive summit that will leave the leadership team energized and excited to get started. One organization had a game show theme that was so much fun! The theme is created by the Senior Leadership Team, and it’s their chance to get as creative as possible.
Steps Five, Six and Seven: The Meat of the Process
This is the training phase, which includes training your entire leadership base while
training your trainer as well for sustainability. There are four parts to the training. Leadership Boot Camp is a two-day workshop focusing on Clarity, Collaboration, Capacity, and Consistency. Six Core Skills is about personal leadership development, including Own Your Role, Build Relationships, Interacting with Impact, Coach for Success, Build Your Team, and Lead Through Change. I have had so many supervisors come up to me and say that they wish they had this training years ago. There are Eight Core Practices, such as Scoreboards and Team Matrix.
Step Eight: Summit View
The Senior Leadership Team takes a structured view to look back at the progress that the resort has made since implementing the program. What results have we been able to achieve? How have the Core Skills and Core Practices had a positive impact on communication and solutions to other issues? What can we be doing better? Do we need to realign our plan based on our findings?
We work together to develop another Blueprint, move forward with the revised plan, and give an update to your leadership team. There may be other issues that arise and need addressing. I had one resort ask for me to create a Bullying workshop, as a reminder to the leadership team to be on the lookout for this in the early stages. Now that they have established an educational structure, it’s easy to keep the workshops going with relevant information.
Step Nine: Sustainability
In this final step, we create an internal process for checking in on the organizational plan. We will be a resource that you can rely on for your future leadership needs.
One thing I have learned in my 24 years in the gaming and resort industry is that we are forever changing and growing. The more prepared the property, the more success they enjoy. Those properties that put mindful effort into developing their leadership teams, the more success they enjoy. I had a GM tell me that he loves giving his team tools to help them develop relationships with their team and work out issues effectively. But what really thrills him is the new way that he is able to effectively communicate and work out issues with his Senior Leadership Team. He appreciates the fact that this programs starts at the very top, and they are very proud of the program they created.
I am also extremely proud to be able to bring this program to those interested in taking their property to the next level. Please contact Amy Hergenrother at [email protected] for more information about Raving’s complete and custom Leadership and Guest Service Programs.