Landing : Athabascau University

Some Change Comes Easy, and Some Do Not

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By Ian Cowley April 19, 2018 - 12:56pm

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The second week of an assignment is where the rubber hits the road and we begin to see some changes taking effect. 
Changing processes and procedures is relatively easy, but meaningful change takes time. This is particularly true when change involves culture – either a country’s culture or the work/company culture - so I never really expect to see too much of a difference while I am on site. Whether the changes are procedural or cultural, staff need to become first aware of the reasons for the change, then buy-in and want to do participate in the change. I have a couple of examples for you.
While touring the property with Executive Chef Wonde last week, I mentioned that the all-day, outdoor smoothie/juice station might increase its exposure if the wonderful, local, organic fruit was displayed on the bar, rather than only behind the bar. I quickly showed them what I meant. Each day since then, it has happened like clockwork. This is process/procedural change and is quick.
The daily breakfast buffets were a greater concern. Every day, the morning servers would hang out at the buffet assisting guests. And when I say assisting, I’m talking about taking guest plates from their hands and placing food on it for them, then carrying the plate to the guests’ tables, then returning to the buffet to help someone else. Meanwhile, there was zero table maintenance – no clearing, no additional coffee or other drinks offered, no friendly conversation ….. nada. No server ever came to my table, dirty plates be damned.
When I met with the dining room leaders, I explained that if I am a guest that is with them in the morning for 60 minutes, I spend 5 minutes at the buffet, and 55 minutes at my table. I asked them where the bulk of the service should be. They agreed that the tables needed maintenance, but that it was the “Kuriftu Resorts way” to give that level of service at the buffet itself. I am not sure if this culture-based aspect of service will change, but if it does, it likely will not be as quick or simple as fruit on a bar.

By: Ian Cowley
Posted: April 19, 2018, 12:56 pm


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