Day in day out you’re focusing on efficiency, bottom line, etc. But it’s equally important your employees are motivated and inspired. If they feel they can make a difference they will go an extra mile. And in the hospitality business that is the competitive edge. With that in mind here’s this week’s challenge.
Once upon a time, a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes and eggs out of the pot and put them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile. A thin white shell protecting the whites and yolk. Then when put in boiling water the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. When put in boiling water they created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
The guests in the hotel can sometimes put your staff in uncomfortable situations. The challenge for this week is to challenge your staff to remain calm when the water starts boiling. There can be many instances during the week they will want to be the potato or the egg. Let’s try to be the coffee bean.
At the end of the week, if any of your staff have a story of how they encountered a boiling situation and what they did to stay calm. You can post the story on the bulletin board as an example of what a good employee does. If you want you can add a small incentive to this challenge.