It is not today that I see a significant increase in the absence of a good, kind and effective workforce when it comes to customer service. It is increasingly difficult to hire a waiter, bartender, cook, store attendant, hotel receptionist, cashier, and so many other professionals who work in the service market. In a tourist city like Rio de Janeiro, this situation is almost chaotic. The complaint is unanimous and pertinent. What is happening with these professionals? Why is it so difficult to find a qualified professional? These and many other questions I have been asking myself for a long time. I have observed a change in the behavior of professionals working in this area. It is no wonder that those more qualified, committed and engaged professionals with the profession are surfing a wave of prosperity, but these are increasingly rare to find and hire.
But before starting a deeper analysis, where I sought answers from sources that work directly with the problem, we need to understand the functions performed in the different areas of activity when it comes to SERVICE. Professionals in this area are considered to be any and all agents who perform the following dozens of functions: barman, waiter, cumim, general service assistant (ASG), cook, hatter, cashier, bar assistant, manager, sub manager, queue manager, store salesperson, receptionist, concierge, in short, anyone who directly or indirectly WORKS with customer service. This sector is vital for an economy like our city. Carioca tourism raises billions of reais every year. From Carnival to Revellion, the city sleeps and wakes up depending on these sifras to function. But how can one of the most important sectors of the economy suffer from a lack of skilled labor? The answer may seem obvious, but it takes a very deep reflection on this gear.
Talking to businesswoman Fernanda Chastinet, passionate about people development, she describes that a dream team takes work. “Investment, training, maintenance, rules, processes, flexibility, emotional intelligence, achievement, are some fundamental movements to have a better performance”. Even so, according to the educator, when everything is flowing, something happens in the life of one of the team members, “And then, we go all over again”, she jokes. With a degree in international hospitality, the businesswoman remembers when she started her activities at the Copacabana Palace, cradle of luxury and hospitality services. “I was 17 years old when I was an intern at Copacabana Palace, it was there that I started to wonder why establishments that have service and care couldn’t have excellent service like what I did at that hotel?”, she recalls. According to her own account, the passage through the star-studded hotel opened many questions that changed her perception of the world. “Why was that type of service only part of luxury establishments? Why couldn’t everyone give and receive extraordinary care? Why give so little, why settle for so little?” she observed.
Currently, the businesswoman owns a personnel development company, and has already trained more than 3,800 professionals to serve their customers well, using methods and tools in hospitality, luxury hotels, in addition to emotional intelligence techniques. “I believe we are capable of revolutionizing care in Brazil. It is enough for everyone to understand that hospitality, education and goodwill are aligned with resilient companies that believe in and celebrate victories, even the smallest ones”. Currently, the businesswoman takes quality teachings to any interested professional or company through her social media. “hospital, restaurants, shopping mall, events, spa, beauty clinics, restaurants, wherever a person is working with sales or services, human, educational and service development training is essential”. For the educator, the fundamental can be summed up in one word: Enchantment.
Education, time and pay
I’ve heard for some time that we are going through a crisis, many friends, entrepreneurs, managers and leaders in this market tell me that they offer jobs, but there are no people wanting to work, what is happening?
People book the interview and don’t show up. They start working and after a day or two, they say that they were on their feet for a long time, that it was a lot of running, that they walked a lot, they were very tired. In parallel to this, as a counterpart, I observe that many entrepreneurs invest in architects, works, marketing, social networks, press relations and do not invest in training, in who will represent their dreams, their brand, their product, who will attend and pass everything that was planned for the customer.
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Having your dream team takes work. It is essential that the entrepreneur includes in the company’s investment the training and qualification of the team, each company is unique, no matter how much employees go through good companies, this does not mean that what works there will work here. This investment is essential to the success of a company. There is no cake recipe. Everyone has to do their part.
The employee must study what has been taught, comply with the agreement with the company, be committed to delivering what is requested, and of course seek new knowledge so that he can stand out and grow within the business.
The key to business is investing in people. How much does each company invest in its employees?
If finding good employees is difficult, why not train them, keeping them motivated, engaged, bringing even more results and satisfied customers? It’s not difficult, just want, or ask for help from professionals like Fernanda, for example. It will certainly be an investment and not an EXPENSE, as the vast majority describe such a contract.
Another beast in this matter is the talented Bruna Guedes. She currently heads the operational management of the Arpoador group, but started her career in 2006 in Switzerland where she graduated in Hotel Management from the Swiss Hotel Management School. She has worked in large luxury hotels in Switzerland, China and Singapore. After this experience abroad, she returned to Rio and has already worked at Copacabana Palace, Accor chain, Yoo2 Rio and recently took over the Arpoador Group. “Hospitality is not for everyone and as a friend of mine says: “it’s not enough to serve, you have to smile”, he jokes. A specialist in hospitality, Bruna describes the biggest challenges in the service of the hotel industry.
“The behavioral profile goes beyond what is written on the CV or what is said by the candidate. Hiring professionals aligned with the company’s expectations is not an easy task and that’s why competency tests and behavioral profile are a hand in the wheel for the final decision”, he evaluates. Compliant pay would be the second biggest challenge. Companies need to constantly review the job and salary plan. Another point mentioned by the specialist concerns the internal culture. “Finding candidates who are compatible with the company’s culture and mission. Candidates who have the ambition to grow and develop within the company”. Bruna says that “companies are concerned with filling vacancies and not retaining talent. It lacks real feedback for the employee and the thought of being a talent pool and not just hiring ready-made people right away”, he says.
The big question here is simple to understand: everyone should, or should, do their part. The employee understands that their mission is to delight, sell, serve and make the customer experience as incredible as possible. The entrepreneur, in turn, gives all the tools so that such goals are passed in a clear, objective way and that, in this whole salad, still develop a salary/career plan compatible with reality, with any possible plus, resilience, patience and interest. The mission seems impossible, and we know that in the business world, the currant is not always tasty, however, anything is possible when you want to make a difference, there or here!
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