By Tia Graham, Founder of Arrive at Happy
A part of a new editorial series produced by BLLA and StayBoutique jointly with the goal of providing a platform for Boutique Hospitality Experts to share advice to help the global community of boutique hotels.
The number one predictor of happiness is human connection. Specifically, this means spending time with people that you care about and who care about you. During this difficult time of social distancing, people are feeling isolated and disconnected. Therefore, it is imperative that hoteliers find alternative ways to connect with their staff one-on-one as much as possible, such as through phone calls or virtual meetings. Ideas for discussion include:
-Asking each team member about their family and community daily
-Having mini one-on-one meetings with your team daily for emotional and social connection
-Creating a Facebook group for your team(s)
-Creating a WhatsApp group for texting
-Setting up team zoom calls
-Sharing personal stories with your staff
-Sharing helpful personal and professional resources with everyone on the team(s)
-Continue to create a family-like atmosphere
-Talking about how you are giving to people in your community
Every person in the organization wants to know about the “progress” of the team and organization. This means sharing the ups and downs of the department and hotel overall. A lot of times, leaders keep the progress of the department and hotel to managers and supervisors only. I encourage you to share weekly at a minimum with all of your team members. The employees want to know that the work they are doing right now has meaning, so keep them in the loop on the status of the business.
Employees thrive when they are receiving consistent, specific positive feedback. Remind yourself weekly to give positive feedback to everyone on your team. This can be done in person, over the phone, or via technology. This is not to say that you do not give constructive feedback for improvement, but it is important that you are giving more positive feedback during this time. When an employee does something outstanding during this time, share it with the group if they would appreciate social recognition.
People feel happy and have positive emotions when they are learning and growing. Make a list of all of the topics that you and your leadership team can teach and train your employees during this time. There are a variety of free online courses and trainings available or you can train people one-on-one. This can be an individualized approach, or you can teach virtually to the team. If you do not know what team members want to learn or how they want to develop professionally, this is a great time to ask them.
Encourage team members to not be “glued” to the news and social media. The news is guaranteed to make you and your employees feel more negative, especially now. Suggest that they choose a few times of day to read the news and to stay off of social media as much as possible. It is important to stay informed, but we do not need to be watching it 24/7.
About the Author
Tia Graham is an Inspirationist and the Founder of Arrive At Happy, the first-ever Los Angeles-based company with a mission of inspiring transformation through the science of happiness. Tia partners with organizations and individuals to increase their daily happiness and, in turn, increase success in all areas of their lives. She has a Certificate in Happiness Studies and a Certificate in Teaching Happiness from Harvard’s Tal Ben-Shahar and The Happiness Studies Academy. Tia is a Certified Chief Happiness Officer from Woohoo Inc., Europe’s premier Happiness At Work organization and is a speaker and coach at the annual World Happiness Summit. Relying on science-backed empirical data, she has gained the insight needed to prove and teach that happiness indeed leads to success.
Tia has successfully led sales, marketing and public relations efforts at unique hotels around the world for 14 years. Tia is a Certified Coach with the International Coaching Federation and holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Travel Industry Management from The University of Hawaii. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two daughters. Tia finds joy when traveling, dancing, reading, doing yoga, reading, studying, and spreading happiness globally.