How Hampton Inn “Payed it” Forward in Gratitude

pay it forwardA few weeks ago we introduced you to Mona, the dynamite customer service weapon for Hampton Inn in Montgomery, Alabama.  When I told her I wanted to feature her in our blog I promised to forward a copy to her General Manager to which she was thrilled.  If you missed her article, click here for the full story.

Well, I sent a copy to Joseph her General Manager and was overwhelmed with his immediate response to my email.  Not only did he thank me for writing the article but he continued to praise her in his note.

Here are a few of his remarks:
“Wow!!  What a fantastic email and super-fantastic post! This is most appreciated – especially at the end of a long day. Mona told me that she had her photo taken and that you would be doing a bio on her, but I could not have imagined this!

I cannot thank you enough for your loyalty and for sharing Ms. Mona’s smile and story with your audience. I will never be able to bring her down from the clouds now – and yes she’s like that all the time J. Mona embodies the very best of what we strive to do as hospitality professionals, as well as human beings.

I cannot wait to share this with the hotel ownership, not to mention the Hampton Brand Management.  Thank you soooooooooooo much for not only doing this, but for sharing it as well. “

Wow, what a response!  And nope, that’s no typo.  He really did spell “so” with twelve o’s!

It’s so refreshing when a kind word is returned “in kind”.  I love how this GM responded – not just for Mona but also the value it represents to the entire property, and perhaps the Hampton brand.

As with many encounters, I believe there are some leadership take-aways we can learn from regardless of the title we wear.

Recognition is not a program.
More than likely, it took Joseph less than 5 minutes to type that response to me and even less time to forward to the other Hampton leaders.  It’s passing along the experience of a customer (me in this case) and letting them know the great service provided by a member of the team.  It’s quick, timely and voluntary. Yet those three or four minutes he used to pass along praise for Mona will reap rewards for days and months to come.

Good service expands when it is shared.
Every business has those “great employees”; you know the ones who simply show up each day ready, willing and excited about doing their jobs.  Those are the ones we want to “clone”!  But even those superstars need a thank you or acknowledgement for a job well done.  While they are already wired to provide great service, small recognition will inspire them to simply keep going or perhaps take them to new heights of engagement in what they already love doing.  A small word or act from you can actually enlarge your territory!

Recognition is a leadership skill.
You may not find this topic in a list of leadership requirements but if you look closely you will find it imbedded within several important skill sets. Recognizing others simply means you are tuned in with the performance of your team. And if you are really paying attention, the natural outflow of observing great behavior is to tell them.  Praise them. Say thank you. Be specific in your words. Let them know why they are so important.  Those simple acts will yield other team attributes that differentiate mediocre teams from the ones who really make a difference on many parts of the scorecard.  And isn’t that a team you want to lead?

I would have loved to have seen Mona’s face when her GM shared our article.  I’m pretty sure she is still beaming – in part because that’s just who she is…but also because her GM took the time to pay appreciation forward.

What about you? How have you seen the power of simple positive recognition “pay off” in your world?  We would love to hear your stories!

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