A Company's culture typically has management structure, expectations, and policies to guide the day to day activities. We have understood conduct and comportment. We have respectful interactions. We have teamwork, dedicated personnel, high caliber talent. So, why is it when there is an off-site meeting, forum or convention that our better sense is sometimes thrown to the wind?
We in Hospitality are typically the hosts of these gatherings, and our role is very clear. We are serving adults; we are not the morality police. We do step in through our security to insure safety and some level of acceptable behavior which does not damage property or other guests. We are not chaperones or arbitrators. We do not set curfews.
So, how do things fall apart in our wonderful guest rooms, function halls and restaurants, where we, as the destination of note, gain that wonderful notorious reputation? That's the restaurant where Frank "the Bunny" Nogalassario was gunned down. There is the hotel where that French guy snookered the maid. Remember Tailhook - that's where the party was held. And so on...
Companies know that these meeting sites are meant to be an opportunity for education, networking, creating relationships and schmoozing. They expect you to be attentive most of the time but also to relax, take a breath, unwind. So, we do. Our guard is down a bit, we go with the flow, we participate. And, with alcohol usually available, our enthusiasm gets rather well oiled upon occasion, and, while the cats away, we mice might play. Some of us do. Most of the time our activities are just coyly remembered in private; other times they result in police calls, lawsuits and gossip.
We in Hospitality just try to keep the lid on all these extracurricular activities - cap those potential volcanic eruptions.
For Companies, you cannot operate like Hogan's Heroes' Sergeant Schultz, who sees and knows nothing. Events will occur. Your employees do not want to be treated like children. They are adults and should understand acceptable behavior, common sense and discretion. There is no reason why the Standards of Conduct you have established for your workplace should not apply everywhere else at any time. That is the simple truth and every once in a while must be shared and reiterated with your employee body.
Given human nature and a lot of history, unscripted events will occur, and damage control will spin. But, your defense begins with that Code of Conduct and the examples your leadership demonstrate, at home and on the road. Company culture can travel well!
Permission for reprint provided by John Hendrie and credited to LRA Worldwide Inc.
About LRA Worldwide, Inc:
LRA Worldwide is a leading research and consulting company in the emerging discipline of Customer Experience Management (CEM). We work with our clients to help them design and deliver consistently exceptional customer experiences in order to drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy, and company growth and profitability.
In LRA's 25-year history, we have grown from a provider of customized quality assurance evaluation programs for the hospitality industry, to a leading CEM consulting company offering a variety of client solutions. The evolution has been driven by our clients asking us one question - "How do we get better?" In response, we have built a range of performance measurement, research, training and consulting solutions to help them do so. Today, we are a growing company operating in more than 120 countries throughout the world, helping clients deliver exceptional customer experiences. Every touch. Every time. For more information, visit us at www.LRAworldwide.com.
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