Do you know what I find interesting?

How many independent hotel and bed & breakfast owners continue to have and enforce bad policies.

It’s 2015 and I have met many hospitality property owners who manage their staff like it is the 1960’s.

The arguments varied but many I have spoken with have told me they treat their employees exactly the same way they were treated when they began their work careers. If you remember back to the 50’s, 60’ and 70’s, that was a period in which a lots of employers kept very bad policies in place. These policies either drove a business’s best people away or kept employees who accepted this was their fate, did the job, but lacked passion.

Today it is essential to find a connection between policies, passion, performance and profits. This is the reason:

The more strict policies in place, the less passion you’ll receive from your staff.
The less passion, the less exciting your staff performance will probably be.
The less exciting the performance, the more reduced your profits are going to be.

Ta Da!

If you are the owner or manager, maybe you need to check your policies and revise or trash some of your bad policies that drive great employees away.

If you’re an employee, don’t just whine about stupid rules. Stand up and constructively say something. Express your reasoning’s and offer a different option if possible.

All of us have brains and it is Okay to use them.

Here are several Bad Policies That Push Great Employees Away

The Hiring Process

Hiring employees to fill a void.

If your hiring process is to choose a new employee thinking they will be able to read your mind when it comes to your expectations, you’ve got it all wrong.

It’s easy to fill job openings when you do these three things:

  • Write clear and precise job descriptions
  • Treat job seekers like valued associates rather than just another body.
  • Make the job interview process fast and friendly, clearly defining your objectives and vision.

A hospitality property owner who complains about talent shortages is on the wrong track. Personalize your recruiting process and watch the talented people flow in!

Employees Shift Schedule Policy

If you have salaried staff, don’t hassle them about an exact shift schedule. This should have been discussed during the hiring process. Good employees often works extra hours and if the work they do is getting done they don’t deserve to be picked on if they sometimes arrive just a little late.

Dress Code Rules
dress code
Inside the hospitality industry it is advisable to show a professional and consistent look with regards to how employees dress. It is also vital that you be realistic. If you provide uniforms, make sure they are suited to all types of weather and temperature conditions. You don’t want your housekeepers wearing a uniform that does not breathe or staff on their feet all day and not wearing comfortable shoes.

Many owners write dress code rules so that they don’t have to talk to a staff member about unacceptable clothing.

Well, you must suck it up. Uncomfortable conversations are occasionally part of the job so remind your employees to dress for business. It really is okay to say to your employee “If you’re hesitant about wearing an outfit because it may not be appropriate – DON”T!” Remember, this is your business – you can have a Dress Code Policy.

If you have a restaurant onsite Rules Restaurant Dress Code should entail common sense – comfortable clothing and shoes.

Annual Performance Reviews
If you do annual performance reviews, you need to STOP! They are usually a waste of time and inflect unnecessary stress on both the employer and employee. Performance reviews should be ongoing or at least every few months, both in an informal or formal chat and it should be a combination of praise and qualification.

Avoid using a Bell Curve Review system. Staff members are individuals and this can be insulting to your high performers.
If you’ve got a great recruitment and hiring practice set, don’t stress about annual reviews, instead celebrate your staff members talent!

Bereavement-Leave Policies

I’ve met some hospitality property owners who still insist a staff member show a funeral notice for a couple days bereavement leave. This is disgusting!

This is a policy you’d have for employees you don’t trust.

Trust your employees, and they’ll trust you back with all the loyalty you deserve.

Expecting Approvals for Everything

For those of us that have worked within a bureaucratic system, you know it can be a major waste of time.

With a good hiring practice and training policy set up we can allow our employees to use their brain to order a fresh ink cartridge for the printer or remote controls for the TV’s. Providing them with more freedom can allow for better customer service. If your staff can handle some requests or complains this may ensure happier guests and free up your valuable time to look for and discard other bad policies.

Ridicules Disciplinary Rules

Each of us make errors. At these times – talk about it – determine where things went wrong and exactly how we are able to prevent it from happening again. Documenting every mistake for an employee’s file just causes bad feelings.

If you feel disciplining an employee for every mistake is necessary, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place.

Bottom line:

Search out and lose your bad policies.

Treat you employees as individuals, not interchangeable the different parts of a machine.

Individuals are unique and whole on their own. It is almost impossible to accurately compare one individual and another – and that’s great!

Smart employers have always known this.


If you have any stories about bad policies, your hiring process, dress code rules or other policies we’d love to hear them.

Lets work together to put heads in your beds.

Until next time, have a fun day.


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