• Lucy Warman

Chapter 8 – Road to recovery – Hayley’s journey begins

One of the biggest issues, particularly in hospitality, but I am sure it is the same in most sectors, is that most people are promoted based on their technical skills, not on their management skills. To add to this, many new managers do not receive much support. It stands to reason that a fantastic waiter or an amazing housekeeper would probably not have management skills. To date they probably haven’t had the opportunity to either learn or practise them. However, recognising leadership potential in your team is critical when you are considering promoting.

As arranged, Hayley comes to my office for our scheduled appointment. She has had a couple of days to reflect on our conversation about Mary and I am happy to hear that the situation is all sorted and Mary is soon off to Nigeria to see her poorly Mum.

Recognising that being a great room attendant won’t help Hayley in her new role as the Interim Head Housekeeper, because instead of focusing on her own outputs, skills and successes, she now has to focus on those of her team. This requires a shift in mindset. I explain to Hayley that by ignoring the needs of her team, she will alienate herself and the morale and productivity of the team will be massively affected.

I talk Hayley through the key skills she will need to be successful in her new interim management role:

· Communication – Learning how best to communicate with the team is essential for your success

· Delegation – So that you stop doing tasks that are no longer your responsibility you must learn to delegate

· Motivation – The morale of the team is now your responsibility, you need to find out what makes them tic and work to keep motivation high

· Monitoring – It is important to keep the team up to date on their progress, your expectations and what will happen in the future

· Discipline – At some point, you'll probably have to discipline someone on your team. Whether a team member is breaking rules, under-performing, or upsetting others, it's up to you to restore peace. You will only do this effectively if you have the respect of the team.

Another challenge we need to be mindful that new managers face is that of “Identity demotion” Going from being a superstar room attendant, with a big reputation for cleaning rooms like lightening with an outstanding level of attention to detail to a manager struggling to get buy in from the team is tough.

I encourage Hayley to do three things. Firstly a SWOT analysis, identifying what skills she needs to improve to become a better leader for the team. The second is to meet with all the team individually to find out what interests and motivates them, and check that they have everything they need to be happy and successful in their role. This will show that Hayley is taking an interest in them, and it will help her to get to know the people she is managing and what they require from her. Lastly, I tell Hayley that I will mentor and coach her. We’ll arrange regular catch ups and I will spend some time with her and the team to coach her on the job.

Next time – A kitchen nightmare!


I feel I need to point out that some parts of my tales are contrived for entertainment. Whilst the events are generally from my experience, as a professional HR Manager, I would never have allowed a promotion without planning the support that the new manager would receive in their new role!!

Next time - A kitchen nightmare....

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All Things People

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