Leadership and entrepreneurial skills don’t come with age but experience and mindset at work. Being a food safety manager or an entrepreneur, especially in the hospitality industry where you get to deal with older and more experienced staff can be a little intimidating. So how do you effectively manage this group of staff while maintaining mutual respect?
Value their expertise. When it comes to the hospitality industry, the age of an employee is often construed to indicate their experience. As a leader, show them that you acknowledge this and that you take their contribution towards common goals seriously. Remember that effective staff management calls for the advancement of an equal level of respect for all employees in your team.
Most importantly, take enough time to learn and evaluate them, taking note of each employee’s area of expertise and knowing when and where to apply it. You should also strive to give credit where credit is due. However, don’t forget that you are the group’s leader.
Never over-exert your authority. Leadership is not just about assigning roles and delegating duties, it’s about coming up with plans and seeing them to completion, as a team. Leadership is about understanding your employee’s capabilities and ensuring that they are put to maximum use to achieve a common goal. It is also about continually inspiring those you are charged with to do and be more.
Don’t be the reason why your employees keep looking for excuses to skip meetings, always ask for work leaves, or even decide to seek for greener pastures. Instead, play a part in the team by participating in the accomplishment of your hotel’s goals. If you want to have an enjoyable and memorable stint at leadership, avoid using coercive power or resulting to threats in getting things done.
Allow them to contribute to your vision. You might be young, but that shouldn’t let your staff downgrade your capabilities. Learn to earn their respect by surprising them with your ambitious but clearly achievable vision. Nonetheless, try as much possible to loop them in and make them feel part of the plan by soliciting for advice and feedback, compliments notwithstanding. Additionally, assign everyone a comfortable part in the achievement of the vision and help them own the role. Don’t forget to share the accomplishment of the vision with the team.
Don’t be afraid of handling emerging issues. Good leadership dictates that you express compassion with your employees. This involves being kind and treating others kindly. It also dictates that you be willing to help and uplift everyone in your group. However, just like in any other institution there will always be elements opposed to change, some that even feel like they have a better claim to your position. This group won’t shy away from frustrating you and the team’s efforts.
In such a case, to show them a reason by adequately handling any behavioral, ethical and performance issues they may pose. Remember that conflicts form the most common issues for managers and need to be treated swiftly. Therefore, learn not to shy away from such disputes, whenever they arise at the workplace, regardless of your age or the perpetrator’s experience and standing within the hotel.
Know what motivates your staff. Excellent staff management skills call for a thorough understanding of your staff. Work closely with the human resource manager in gaining a better understanding of your staff. For instance, make an effort to learn what motivates each employee. As long as you know their capabilities and pushes them to their limits, then nothing else matters, not even your age difference.
Take time to listen and learn. They might not be managers, but you need to appreciate the fact that most of these employees have way more experience than you in the department you are charged to run. It is, therefore, critical that you not only encourage but also take time and genuinely listen to their contributions. In such a case, you not only get to learn something new but also earn their respect in your managerial abilities.
Bottom line. The secret to being a good manager, especially when it comes to the hospitality industry lies in understanding your team of staff. Understanding their ability and inspirations and how to bring the two together in achieving your set goals.