Home' Australian Hotelier : AH JUNE 2015 Contents AUSTRALIAN HOTELIER JUNE 2015 | 25
When a large
part of your
filled with casual
for operators is
team to strive
not their chosen
oday, more than ever, the word
‘culture’ is used to describe business
performance. Despite some feeling that
the current focus on culture is modern-
day nonsense, culture is integral to a business’s
performance – particularly in hospitality.
At the commencement of team performance
and workshops, I ask my clients to define
culture. Without exception, the prolonged
silence is eventually followed by muffled talk of
a ‘vibe’ and ‘how we do things’ or, to use today’s
parlance, ‘how we roll’.
On the surface, sure it’s how we roll, solve
problems, socialise etc, however what we
actually find is that culture is not about ‘how’
we do things but ‘why’ we do them. In fact, why
we do things often determines how we do things.
Basically, it comes down to what culture is –
shared values, attitudes and beliefs. These three
traits exist in all groups, so, if it’s inevitable
that culture is currently forming in your team,
wouldn’t you prefer it to be a culture of your
Bruce Springsteen sings “Like a river that
don’t know where it’s flowin’, I took a wrong
turn and I just kept goin’.” Essentially, this
will be your team’s culture if you neglect to
actively shape it. The aim is to be the captain
of the culture ship and constantly navigate it
Culture (the ‘why’) is infinitely more powerful
to people than ‘what’ or ‘how’. ‘What’ is strategy.
‘How’ is method. ‘Why’ is cherished belief and
conviction. It is the ‘why’ that will get your team
out of bed an hour earlier and bleed for the cause.
‘What’ and ‘how’ are about the pay cheque, but
the ‘why’ is about starting a crusade.
If ever there’s an industry that requires a
crusade mentality in its teams, it’s pubs. When
a large part of your workplace is filled with
casual backpackers and students, the struggle for
operators is motivating the team to strive in a
job that is not their chosen long term profession.
To do this, I recommend ensuring it’s not about
the job. Instead, ensure it’s about something
bigger than that and create a culture that people
want to be a part of.
The key to designing and instilling workplace
culture is combining a shared vision with the
creation of core values. Whilst we hear a lot
about core values in corporate-speak nowadays,
I’m astonished by how few companies bother to
create or implement them.
Forming core values is a process of prioritising
the values that matter most to your organisation.
It’s not to say other values don’t matter, it’s
simply prioritising the ‘must haves’ from the
‘nice to haves’.
These values must complement your vision
and strategy for the business so that your
employees can live them and your customers can
feel them. These values will drastically influence
both your team culture and public perception.
Imagine the difference in culture between
a business whose highest values is ‘love’ and
another whose number one value is ‘success’.
This will have an influence on everything from
how the team interacts, to the uniforms, the
amount of hours worked, the language that is
used and the public will feel this vibe. In an age
where the public spread their opinion over social
media, you need to be sure they are feeling a
positive cultural vibe.
HOW DO I IMPLEMENT
OUR CORE VALUES?
Creating core values is one thing however,
implementing them is another. It’s simply not
enough to have them on your wall (although this
is a good start).
Core values must be introduced to your team
before they have started working and constantly
reiterated throughout their journey. When
properly embraced, your vision, core values
and culture will determine the staff members
you attract and how you attract them (down
to the wording you use in the ad!) It will then
have an effect on the questions you ask in the
recruitment process and who you hire.
These values are reiterated to your new
team member throughout the business website,
employee contracts, manuals and stressed
throughout the induction and training process.
Your new team member now thoroughly
understands your company culture before they
start and in turn, has decided one of three things:
1. I fit this culture and will add to it by
2. I need to change/improve a few things to meet
the demands of this culture
3. These values and culture don’t suit me, I’m
out of here
All of these options are a fantastic result, even
number three. Imagine how much time, effort
and money you will save by identifying a miss
match early in the piece as opposed to two years
later! In fact, the brilliant American retailer
Zappos actually pays its new recruits $2,000
to quit after their first week of training as they
don’t want someone who will take a paycheque
over their business vision and belief.
Finally, aside from the importance of culture
to our team members (particularly Gen Y
who are raised in this ‘culture’ generation and
demand it in the workplace), customers are
begging to feel connected to the organisations
they do business with – and a warm, positive
culture is the way to make them feel this
connection. The public can now spot an empty,
scripted ‘enjoy your meal’ during an exchange.
It has to come from the heart and the only way
for this to happen is to start working on your
business culture now.
RAISE THE BAR
Links Archive AH MAY 2015 AH JULY 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page