Can a book change the behaviours of front of house staff?


Can a book change the behaviours of front of house staff?


For many years people have turned to books in order to research the best way of carrying out a task or fulfilling a role. After being frustrated that all such volumes relating to the
hospitality industry are now outdated, one
hotel manager has created his own guide for front of
house staff, reports Big Hospitality. But can a
receptionist really learn the trade by reading the thoughts and guidance offered in such a publication?

Matt Shiells-Jones' guide is designed to give an overview of the issues likely to be faced by front of house staff and how they can be dealt with. He has plenty of experience in the industry and as manager for De Veres Venues, he should know what he is talking about. Mr Shiells-Jones told the news provider: "A receptionist needs to be out-going and have a flair for dealing with people. "They shouldn't be a jobs worth. For example, they need to realise that checking 20 pages of deposits can wait if a guest comes along and not just be stuck behind a desk."

Written guidance can provide a good reference for those new to the industry and reading up is always a good way to prepare for a new job. Employees must remember that each establishment is different and therefore varying issues may occur and disparate policies should be put in place. The type of venue will help determine the sort of clients which frequent it and consequently what tasks and problems may arise.

Hospitality companies must make sure that general advice on the industry is followed up with guidance based on the day-to-day experience of the actual establishment in which staff are working. Reading a book is not a substitute for practical experience and no hotel receptionist will know the specific subtleties required when dealing with a client until they have gone through the process a few times.

It is valuable to be prepared for what may lay ahead however and reading up in advance can help front of house staff to ready their manner for whatever comes their way. Knowing what the best level of service entails will help employees to know what they are striving for and ensure their behaviour is acceptable. Managers and supervisors must ensure there are
checks in place in order to make sure that employees are following guidance and interpreting it in an appropriate way for the business they represent.

Mr Shiells-Jones's book is aimed at staff wanting to improve themselves without support from their employer. But for businesses who are serious about
staff development, who want to customise and update their own guidance regularly, and above all want evidence that staff have demonstrated understanding, they should distribute and track learning through a
Learning Management System.

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