The luxury hotel claims fun is now an integral element of its culture and work environment
A range of ‘shifts’, or some ‘unsociable hours’ are all euphemisms common to work in the hotel industry. It is really exasperating when one has to put in long hours, handle the needs and special requests of the guests, and that too at 99 per cent warp speed. The pressure, stress and fatigue keep accumulating, especially when work and family life do not run in sync.
Ironically, the hotel business is all about keeping the guests happy. But, if the staff is in a sombre mood, how can they cheer up guests?
Realising this need, Hyatt has introduced a series of activities and practices, that promise to make work fun for its staff.
“Fun is now an integral element of the culture and work environment on a consistent basis,” says, Sunjae Sharma, general manager, Grand Hyatt, Mumbai.
From an annual celebration mode for its employees across the globe, Hyatt has now switched over to impromptu celebrations. This implies that the hotel does not need to plan or search for occasions to celebrate its people.
The array of fun activities and events range from cultural fests , family days, carnivals, talent hunts, sports, food festivals and more, in addition to the existing engagement activities in place. The objective is to keep its associates engaged throughout the year with enjoyable events every month, which encourages team building and individual talent performances.
“This change will be significant in enhancing the morale and inculcating a family-like sense of belonging amongst the associates,” adds Sharma.
The hotel has also created a dedicated ‘Game Zone’ for its staff, which is accessible 24×7. It allows the employees to take a break and relax in a comfortable and colourful environment, with some music, bean bags and couches. The hotel staff can also interact with each other over a game of chess, carrom, scrabble, dart board, or even computer games.
Besides, the staff restaurant, called ‘Mirch Masala’, at Hyatt Mumbai, is now the venue for culinary celebrations every month, where a themed food festival is organised with a specifically curated menu, ambience, music and fun seating arrangements.
“We have challenged the status quo mindset, thereby aligning ourselves with our main purpose and motto— ‘We care for people so they can be their best’,” quips Sharma
In order to create a good work–life balance for all its associates, the hotel has implemented eight weekly offs in a month. This implies that Hyatt staff will now work only five days a week. Normally, the common hospitality industry practice is to allow six mandatory offs in a month.
The hotel also promises to make it fun even for the new joinees, who are welcomed by the leadership committee members over a breakfast or lunch, rather than a formal introductory meeting within training rooms.
“This acts as an opportunity to break the ice and helps generate confidence in new associates’ minds, about approaching leadership committee members freely for any help,” Sharma comments.
Finally, the hotel has found a great way to uplift the mood of its women staff. It has now relaxed the existing grooming guidelines, which includes new shades of nail paint! – must be a real bonus for the staff. Pun Intended.