Monday, March 28, 2016

Kinseth Hospitality Companies Host Leadership Conference

The 2016 Annual Leadership Conference hosted by Kinseth Hospitality Companies was held February 22-23 at the new Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Coralville - Iowa City. 

The Leadership Conference featured the theme Building A Framework for Our Future, with two fun filled days with creative breakout sessions, motivating speakers, delicious food, networking, and awards. This years conference also featured a festive chili cook off event where talented chefs teamed up to show off their culinary skills via their chili creations.

Kinseth Chili Cook Off
The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Council Bluffs I-29 crew were excited to attend this years conference. Barb Murphy took a selfie during their trek to Coalville, Iowa. Pictured left to right: Barb Murphy, Kristy Snethen, and Bill Vanderpool.
We asked those that attended the event their favorite part about this years conference many agreed upon the Key Note Speaker and the food.

"One thing that I really enjoyed from conference was the dinner we were served at the Banquet. The food was delicious. I never knew I could like sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts some much." - Sara Starr - Director of Sales, Home2 Suites by Hilton Omaha, Nebraska
Kinseth Hospitality Companies Key Note Speaker
Over 151 employees attended the event where Kinseth recognized their top performing General Managers and Sales Directors of the year.
Director of Sales of The Year - Kelli Myers 
- Hilton Garden Inn Manhattan, Kansas
Restaurant General Manager of The Year - Sal Martinez
- Twelve01 Kitchen & Tap - Coralville, Iowa, Hampton Inn - Iowa City/Coralville, Iowa
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Coralville, Iowa
Economy Brand Hotel General Manager of The Year - Alisa Jones
- Super 8 - Keokuk, Iowa
Pictured Left to Right: Brian Ossian, Alisa Jones, Cynthia Elliott, James Evans
Select Service Hotel General Manager of The Year - Tammy Fraley 
- Sleep Inn & Suites - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Full Service Hotel General Manager of The Year - Lori Faught
Best Western Holiday Lodge - Clear Lake, Iowa
Pictured left to right: Lori 
Fought, Les Kinseth

"I was very excited to get GM of the year for 2015.  I would not be able to achieve this award without a strong dedicated team under me. Every person in every department has a domino effect on another department and that is why teamwork is so important. I am very excited for 2016 as we have a ton of updating we are doing to the hotel and banquet area.”  - Lori Faught - Best Western Holiday Lodge - Clear Lake Iowa

Several key performance indicators help to determine award recipients including; financial management, revenue, brand quality scores, sales, guest reviews, employee surveys, teamwork, leadership characteristics and more.

How does a General Manager succeed at all of this and drive a value driven goal to their team? 

Hotel Business Review recently published a article titled "The Golden Art of Hospitality" written by Ashish Modak who talks specifically about the qualities required to be a successful General Manager. 

Focusing on the role of the General Manager to the average onlooker appears very simple, “Selling rooms and meals to achieve the bottom-line objectives of the business.” But most General Managers in the field would agree, it’s much more complicated. 

A more accurate description might be, “Ensuring that maximum rooms are sold at the optimum price through the correct channels realizing a desired mix of clientele willing to spend at least the budgeted spend at the hotel, getting the clients to really enjoy their stay, and doing all of the above through a large team of individuals working with you.”

This goal is driven by the culture, values and style established at the property by the General Manager. Simply put the General Manager lives and breaths this culture 24/7, and leads their team by example.

"One can walk in to a hotel, feel the vibes in the place, interact with the staff in various areas of the hotel, make his / her observations in a few hours and later upon meeting the manager - very often the assumptions of what kind of a person the manager might be come through very clearly” says Ashish.

What values do Kinseth's top performers possess? 

Four core values that make up the Kinseth Hospitality culture are;

  1. Candid Leadership
  2. Performance Driven
  3. Team Focused
  4. Commitment to Excellence 

These are the qualities Kinseth seeks and expects of all our employees at all levels. But, within each property it is up to the General Manager to cultivate their own individual style and culture. This is what transcends onto their teams, and this is what helps to sell the end product. 

Ashish describes, "What helps besides a top-notch product is the friendliness, genuinity and sincerity of the team. These come through with a very hands-on approach of the manager and a commitment to live by these values day in and day out.”

What does this look like from a guests perspective?

From a guests perspective this includes "focussing on personal contact and building relationships for a life time with guests through sincerity, genuinely and humility. Meeting every guest in the first 24-hours of them arriving at the property makes a huge impact."

"Giving time to every guest and sincerely thanking them for their stay with you shows your intent and without intruding into the guest's personal space, developing a bond which then takes the relation beyond commerce to one of friendship and which then lasts for years to come. Being bogged down with office related matters cannot be and should never be an excuse.”

What does this look like from a team perspective?

From a team perspective what is done for the guest should be done for the team. Knowing the names of your team members in all areas, can go a long way in relationship building and makes a huge impact on the team members. Reaching out to your team, sharing in their achievements, and taking note of special occasions. 

"All it takes is a phone call or a text message being sent on a birthday of the team member or sincerely complimenting the team member when some one in his family achieves something very dear to him / her. These are small acts of kindness, which go a long way in building bonds with the team,” says Ashish.

The General Manager must demonstrate fairness and transparency to his team. "It is a 24*7 business and this is what makes it interesting. The role of a manager demands that he is available at any time of the day or night and that he comes across as fresh and sincerely interested in them to both his team and guests.” 

"This keenness displayed should not be fake as the other person can gauge it fairly quickly. Hotel business is a people's business after all.” 

Have additional comments on what it takes to be a leader and great General Manager? Leave a comment on our blog or start a conversation below.

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