The hospitality industry is largely based on customer contact which is one of the main reasons why soft skills are so relevant. If you wonder what soft skills are exactly, they are skills that affect your relationship with others. That is, soft skills refer to interpersonal skills.
As a team who is consistently working with people and whose job is to make people feel good and relax, hospitality management staff could especially benefit from soft skills. If you want to know why soft skills play such an important role for hospitality management staff, just keep reading.
The Need for Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills
According to a recent Deloitte Access Economics report, two in three jobs will rely on soft skills by 2030 as a consequence of the increased use of automation and artificial intelligence to complete the tasks.
The fact is that soft skills are becoming more relevant due to advances in technology. Technological solutions can handle technical tasks that require hard skills but they can’t replace the warmth of human contact.
The difference between soft skills and hard skills is that soft skills are “people skills” and hard skills refer to specific techniques that are needed to finish a job-related task.
Some of the soft and hard skills that hospitality management staff needs are:
- Communication skills
- Emotional intelligence
- Critical thinking
- Ethical standards
- Competency in all areas of hotel operations
- Sales skills
- Marketing skills
- Food and beverage management
While the staff can learn hard skills through academic training, soft skills come from natural abilities and emotional intelligence. Of course, an individual can work on improving their soft skills but this demands more effort and emotional and cognitive effort than honing marketing skills, for example.
One study has shown that 71.9% of SEOs expressed that soft skills are more important than hard skills for their business. Another study shared how 77% of SEOs struggle with finding creative and innovative individuals.
Soft skills aren’t something you can learn in a classroom. They define people and impact their career success.
Marie Fincher, a manager and contributor writer at SupremeDissertations explained why soft skills are overpowering hard skills.
“If you have a new employee who isn’t an expert but is eager to learn and has excellent soft skills, you can transform him into the best employee you ever had. This is the reason why hospitality managers and CEOs are starting to pay more attention to soft skills. They have realized that educating people isn’t as hard as finding employees with suitable character traits,” says Camille.
Why Are Soft Skills So Important for Hospitality Management Staff?
As an industry where success depends on customers' interaction with the staff, hospitality needs to put the focus on soft skills.
Whenever customers have a complaint or a requirement, softs skills will play a huge role in whether that issue will be solved successfully or whether you'll end up with a negative review.
Without developed soft skills, hospitality manager staff won’t be able to:
- Adapt to new changes
- Hand culturally sensitive disputes
- Stop disputes from escalating
- Resolve issues while maintaining calm
- Create a positive guest experience
The competition in tourism and hospitality has never been this high. With so many choices on their hands, customers are looking for great service first of all. They don't have to settle for average experience when they can easily find a different place whose hospitality management staff is more pleasant, accommodating, and professional.
However, interpersonal skills aren't solely important in terms of the customer-employee relationship. They are also valuable in employee-employee or employee-manager relationships.
If the staff lacks soft skills that will quickly lead to misunderstandings, inability to solve problems, intensified quarrels, poor organization, etc. All of this will reflect on the business and take it in a downward spiral. A manager with great soft skills will be able to earn trust and respect from their employees and establish a positive team environment.
How Can Hospitality Management Staff Work on Improving Soft Skills?
Soft skills aren't something that is taught in the classroom. Despite the fact that most people are born with enhanced soft skills (or without them) there are ways in which hospitality management staff can work on these skills.
Let's take communication skills as an example. Even though some people aren't best at expressing themselves in a manner that can improve guest experience, they can practice it.
An observation of guests' communication style is a useful method for that. Hospitality management staff can pay attention to whether guests like to talk or do they prefer to keep communication at a minimum. The staff should mimic their communication style to provide guests with what they prefer.
The ability to solve problems efficiently and act calmly shouldn’t just be shown through communication skills but through writing skills as well.
The communication between a manager and employees as well as employees and customers sometimes takes a written form. That's why hospitality management staff should have great writing skills.
They can perfect their writing skills by collaborating with writing services such as TrustMyPaper and BestEssaysEducation whose writers can give them pointers on how to write more appropriately and professionally. For example, managers can ask an expert writer or editor to review their employee feedback and give them some advice on how to address problems without being too harsh or offensive.
When it comes to problem-solving, the staff should rely on their listening skills. Instead of jumping to conclusions, they should listen to a problem first, take into consideration the other person's perspective, and pass a clear message.
Managers and CEOs should remember that there is something that can be of great use for improving the staff's soft skills. That thing is motivation. If their employees are motivated, they will be more open to changes, more patient with customers, and more determined to keep their ethical standards and professionalism at a high level. Motivation can come from a positive work environment for example.
Working on improving hospitality management staff's soft skills can positively reflect on different aspects of your hotel business. From being better at handling customers to improved relationships among the staff, soft skills will make a difference. Even though some believe that soft skills should come naturally, they can be enhanced with practice and dedication.
Nicole Garrison used to work in hospitality management before she decided to follow her passion which is writing. Now, she is a freelance writer and contributor writer at ClassyEssay. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. Nicole consistently attends different courses, seminars, and conferences that keep her knowledge up to date. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and traveler.