Do you have effective ways for potential hires—and existing employees— to show how they’ll look out for the things you’ll need them to “clean up” when you can’t?
One of my “tells” for getting a fix on how a club or resort operates during my tour of the property is watching how managers react if we come across something that needs to be cleaned up. It can be as little as a stray gum wrapper in a hallway or a loose water bottle on the golf course, or maybe a dirty glass tucked behind a curtain on a dining room windowsill. Or, in some cases (usually when we really get into the back of the house), much bigger problems.
Almost all of the time, I’m impressed by all that you do see, and how quickly you then either take care of it yourself, or get someone else to do so, even when you might have other things (me) to deal with. That’s why you’re hospitality professionals—you’ve been trained (and have it in your nature) to be detail-oriented and to take immediate action to fix anything that’s not right.
But, because you can’t be everywhere and see everything, you need to have people working for you with the same inclinations.
My profession calls for the same kind of trained eye, to spot what needs to be “cleaned up” on a printed page. I share that same penchant for detail, and the same need to avoid depending on those who don’t have it.
In my world, the danger signs come in the form of poor writing/editing skills. Which is why someone sent me a recent article from the Harvard Business Review: “I Won’t Hire People Who Use Poor Grammar. Here’s Why.”
What’s interesting is that this article wasn’t written by some overbearing journalist or professor who wants to go all E. B. White on everyone for splitting an infinitive. It was written by the head of a website development company who says he even gives people applying for programming jobs—where they’ll work with code rather than words, and won’t have any direct customer interaction—written grammar tests as part of the screening process. And if they show through the test that they don’t know the correct difference between its and it’s, they don’t get hired.
“Grammar signifies more than just a person’s ability to remember high-school English,” the author wrote. “I’ve found that people who make fewer mistakes on a grammar test also make fewer mistakes when they are doing something completely unrelated to writing—like stocking shelves or labeling parts. [And] programmers who pay attention to how they construct written language also tend to pay a lot more attention to how they code.
“Just like good writing and good grammar, when it comes to programming, the devil’s in the details,” the author continues. “In fact, when it comes to my whole business, details are everything. I hire people who care about those details.
“All applicants say they’re detail-oriented,” he concluded. “I just make my employees prove it.”
Do you have effective ways for potential hires—and existing employees–to show how they’ll look out for the things you’ll need them to “clean up” (physical and otherwise) when you can’t?