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Hospitality sector leadership 'needs new approach'

24 | 05 | 13

Managers of companies operating in the UK hospitality sector need to adopt a new approach to leadership that ensures their business stands out from the crowd and attracts more customers.

This is according to Rob Webb, chief human resources officer at Hyatt Hotels, who claimed too many establishments are offering the same standardised and uniform services - with many failing to inspire members of the public.

Speaking at the Economist Talent Summit in London this week, Mr Webb highlighted the need for change in the industry and pointed to a "sea of sameness" that has affected the hospitality sector in recent years.

The expert said some managers are encouraging staff to operate in the same "limiting frameworks", which is a factor that needs to change in order to drive more custom, reports HR magazine.

He explained: "Empathetic leadership boils down to a desire to understand more than what your own experience tells you.

"[Hyatt] don't put a wall between the experience of our guests and our associates - it's equally important that we listen to both. If you don't listen to your workforce, you'll never win with your guests."

Mr Webb also outlined how the chain has introduced dedicated systems for engaging and listening to its network of 95,000 associates, which aims to develop enhanced leadership, improve wider business performance and create a strong workforce.

Taking each customer in his or her own merits was also highlighted as an important consideration for hospitality staff by Mr Webb, who noted that people do not have scripted needs and should not be given rehearsed answers.

"Giving our associates these freedoms mean they drive innovation from the bottom up," he explained.

Mr Webb's advice is likely to be taken on board by suppliers of kitchen and catering equipment, as greater interest in hotels and restaurants will generate more money for this type of business in a difficult operating period.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801590277-ADNFCR

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