Want Smoother Operations? Empower Your Staff

20 Sep 2016 | by Joshua Evans


Every hospitality organization desires smoother operations. When operations are seamless, guests’ experiences are phenomenal, reviews are fantastic, and employee morale is high. Organizations work tirelessly to manifest these conditions through administrative techniques. We implement policies, strategies, and procedures that aim at increasing efficiencies across all levels. While these ideas are great in principle, the most efficient operations are not those with the most governance; they are those with the most impassioned and dedicated staff.

To operate smoothly, we must empower our staff. Our organizations have to hand over trust and responsibility if we truly care about eliminating bureaucratic roadblocks to guest satisfaction. Too often, staff members are forced to “check with a manger” or “obtain approval” before taking initiative. This can bring even the best operations to a slow crawl.

Why not empower each of your employees with a very generous level of responsibility?

This will not only allow your guests to be cared for more quickly — it will show your employees that they are trusted.

Managers often worry that their staff will become frivolous with power they are handed, but usually the exact opposite is true. When trust is placed in our staff, they take on the responsibility wholeheartedly. The majority of the time they will become just as vigilant and thoughtful as managers.

Efficient operations do not come from strictness of policy, but from trust in our employees. When people obtain trust, it is human nature to protect that trust and prove that they are worthy of it. Administration is necessary in any organization. We must have policies and rules for the protection of guests and company assets. Policies provide fantastic guidelines for how tasks should be completed and are essential for setting standards. However, if you desire smooth operations, you should be focusing on how to lessen the need for managerial oversight.

When we empower our staff to make decisions, it can cut down on the amount of time needed to resolve issues. If you have an irate guest, it only enrages them more when a staff member does not possess the authority to fix their problem. Each time a guest hears “Let me get my manager,” they begin crafting a terribly negative review in their minds. At this point, it becomes exponentially harder to appease the guest.

Bad reviews and upset guests can be more easily avoided if we provide our frontline employees with the authority and the tools to address issues in real time. Want smoother operations? Cut out the red tape and trust your staff.

This prospect can be scary for any GM or owner, but the long-term payoffs far outweigh the short-term inconveniences. There are several questions that need to be asked before committing an organization to this kind of mindset:

  1. 1. Did you hire/Do you employ staff members that deserve your trust?
  2. 2. How much time would managers save if employees were empowered to address minor incidents?
  3. 3. If empowered, would your employees take on the responsibility as an honor or a burden?
  4. 4. How much freedom do you want your staff to have?
  5. 5. Is there a monetary figure that would embody the amount of trust you have for your staff?

The attitude of your staff will directly impact their performance and the performance of your business. If you want smooth operations and loyal guests, you must have a staff that is empowered and passionate.

Empower staff

Joshua Evans


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