The hospitality industry is becoming more and more competitive. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has given a big blow to the travel and hospitality industry. Lots of jobs are lost and new projects derailed. To remain relevant in the post-Covid era, hospitality professionals must retain a few top skills while acquiring new hospitality skills. In this article, we present some of these essential hospitality industry skills for a great career.
One of our earlier articles has already discussed some of the top hospitality qualities for professionals and in this post, we have tried to focus on key skills required for an amazing hospitality career. Let’s begin with the list.
1. Customer Service Skills
This has always been the most important skill required for a top performer in the hospitality industry.
If you don’t have this innate skill, you don’t belong to the industry. The customer holds all keys to success for hospitality organisations.
Thus understanding the needs of the customer and then delighting customers through impeccable service is one of the essential hospitality skills.
All the hospitality skills are in some ways related to providing impeccable customer service which leads towards the success of individuals and organisations of the hospitality world.
2. Communication (& Language) Skills
While hard skills like using utensils, specific degree, software training etc can be taught, it’s the soft hospitality skills that can give all professionals an edge in terms of having an excellent career.
Communicating with customers is the most important thing. However, before that, you need to impress your interviewers. Once you get in the team, your communication helps you build a great rapport with customers and teammates as well as managers and corporate clients.
We have explicitly mentioned language because language skill is a subset of communication skill.
A multicultural crowd, to cater to, while working alongside a culturally diverse team has its own challenges.
Especially for people who seek an international career, the skill of knowing several languages is a must. This will help to better communication with people and produce better results.
It’s the language skills that help hospitality professionals learn and adapt quickly in terms of establishing the right communication and connection. It is due to these reasons, The Balance Career has included communication skills on top of its image that mentions both hard and soft skills.
3. Sense of Humour and a Positive Attitude
A lot of hospitality industry sectors like the hotel industry requires team members to work extra hours. This is especially true of the hotels or hospitality companies which are extremely busy in peak season.
So keep smiling and stay positive to earn a few extra brownie points from your manager and customers.
Failure will be waiting for a chance to show up at every single corner of your career and is inevitable. The key is to stand up after falling down and learn from your mistakes. It’s not failure that can ruin a career but negativity that arises around failure. Also, every mistake has a lesson to teach. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
4. Multi-tasking Capabilities
The hospitality industry might not always require you to follow set schedules. There would be times when the situation would require you to adapt and then multi-task.
You might need to switch work depending on the situation. People in the hotel industry and the food and beverage industry would already know this. Even for those employed in the aviation industry and on cruise ships can expect to have no two days alike.
Thus multi-tasking skills can be a game-changer for your career in terms of moving up the career ladder quickly.
5. Hospitality Professionals must be Emotionally intelligent
Emotional intelligence as one of the essential hospitality skills might surprise a few. But, this is just a word that combines traits like empathy and compassion with intelligence.
While managing workplace pressure might seem to take over the reins of your emotional control.
A sudden outburst might spoil relations with the teammates, a customer or even with the manager.
Understanding the situation and then reacting empathetically, when someone else is involved, is going to be a key skill for you in the hospitality industry.
So, try to be emotionally intelligent at work and you will see your management skills and customer relations developing at a rapid pace.
The below image by Institute of Entrepreneurship Development presents the best practices to be emotionally intelligent. Have a look.
6. Extroversion and Networking skills
Extroversion might be one of the essential skills of the hospitality industry that is being regularly contested by experts. With introversion connected to introspection, the term ambivert represents a more suitable skill in the current knowledge economy.
However, most of the hospitality industry professionals are extroverts and overlapping job roles and tough competition requires professionals to take the support of network to climb the career success ladder.
Thus extroversion and networking skills would continue to be a game-changer for you in terms of furthering your career towards a managerial role.
7. Active Listening Skills
It is one of the essential skills that are relevant to all industries and not only hospitality.
Inculcating this key quality can help you right from the interview stage to closing sales deal and almost everything in between.
So, try to listen more and speak less. After all, we have two ears and just one mouth for a reason.
8. Savviness for Technology and Innovation
Coming years are all set to be ruled by technology. Artificial intelligence has become a household word. So, you can’t have an excellent career without being technology savvy.
Also, innovation is a key propellor towards success and competitive advantages for all hospitality companies. Technology innovation are already transforming the hospitality industry for a better tomorrow.
So, to be a part of the next-gen of hospitality, technology skills would keep you relevant in the fast-moving technology world.
Other Top Hospitality skills
There are various other skills that we might have missed as far as competencies for a ravishing hospitality industry career is concerned. Some of these are mentioned under one sub heading here. Let’s have a look of some of these career enhancing skills.
Success doesn’t come overnight. Thus, patience is the key to staying focused to the main goal. The hospitality industry is extremely competitive and you might need to wait for your turn for promotion regardless of your competencies. Being patient would mean greater reward at the right time.
A Hotel General Manager is like a ring master managing everything. Even managing an event, big banquets, festivals in restaurants, marriages, functions etc can be daunting for managers. The hospitality industry is a labour intensive industry. This leadership skills are crucial to lead the team well. Always remember that a leader is only as good as the team.
A good hospitality career would lead to new environments where you would need to face people carrying different culture or moral values. This is when being open minded will help you in making best decisions, thinking clearly and even examining new ideas and opinions. Also, being ready to examine new roads and options of the career path could have brilliant and unbelievable results in the future.
No matter what achievements or goals have been accomplished, remaining humble will keep a professional focus to the road and the next step. Moreover, it would help you stay grounded. Staying humble is undoubtedly an immensely powerful attribute of successful people in every field.
In the hotel industry or in the tourism and hospitality industry overall, this is probably the crucial skill for success. Getting distracted could lead to loss of control. Also, staying organised helps you clear the clutter in your workspace as well as in your life.
Skills are not necessary genetic characteristics but something that could be developed and practiced through life. This article presented some of the crucial skills in order to have a successful career regardless of the sector you are in.
Here we mentioned 8 key skills for the hospitality industry that would help your career immensely. Utilising these skills along with the hard skills earned through education and experience would help you come out with flying colours in your career.
The Covid-19 pandemic has put this industry in a tough situation and the industry is looking forward to entrepreneurs, innovators and top performers to bring back the hospitality industry to its glorious itself. Well, we have kept our fingers crossed.