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Beyond the call of duty


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Viability's Guy Wilkinson writes a monthly column for Hotelier Middle East Magazine. This article originally appeared in October 2009.
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Beyond the call of duty

  1. 1. 22COMMENT Beyond the call of duty Viability director and Hotelier Middle East Awards 2009 judge Guy Wilkinson gives this year’s nominations shortlist his mark of approval ahead of the glamorous ceremony on October 14 COLUMNIST feel greatly privileged to be one I of this year’s judges of the Hote- lier Middle East Awards. Reading through the 100 short-listed nominations before dis- cussing them with my fellow judges, The Hotelier Middle East Awards 2009 judges considered and debated 100 shortlisted candidates to decide upon the winners for each of the 19 award categories . Others had a natural gift for fixing things and were so ‘into’ their jobs I developed a short-hand refer- There were many anecdotes of men and that they naturally found new and ence that I scrawled beside many of better ways of doing things than any- the nomination write-ups: GBCD, women who had saved the day one had done before. Some managed which stands for ‘goes beyond the to achieve twice as much with half call of duty’. the resources. It was truly inspiring to read about A couple of female managers were of recession, while some were recog- Some were global stars, recognised the number of hotel staff who were referred to as ‘superwomen.’ There nised as ‘green crusaders’. as the best in their chains or the best prepared to do just about anything were many anecdotes of men and in the world. Many had undertaken to improve the performance of their women who had saved the day, or QUICK LEARNERS extensive studies in their spare time departments, or the lives of their cus- worked through the night, because Then there were the humble employ- and some had stepped in to do other tomers and co-workers. Indeed, it they felt responsible for getting a ees who came into the industry with people’s jobs when the need arose. proved to be such a common trait key task done to deadline. A number little or no prior knowledge or train- Others did whatever they could to among applicants for the awards that of hoteliers were popular for always ing and lapped up every training help fellow staff, or fellow men, rais- in itself, it was often not sufficient to smiling and keeping calm, however experience. There were some great, ing money for charity, and gener- win the category. onerous their workload. enthusiastic learners, who passed ally spreading light and love. Others What does GBCD mean in the hos- Managers were admired for being every course at lightning speed, such had risen to become industry leaders pitality industry, in which by its very kind, firm, fair and having ‘a great was their passion for the job. and ‘gurus’. Some, struck by misfor- nature, service plays such an impor- attitude’ that inspired those around A number of people were able tune or disaster, had come to view the tant role? In some cases, it simply them, acting as a benchmark for to take their hotel, spa or restau- hotel as their only home, and their co- meant never saying ‘no’ to instruc- a hotel’s work ethic. Rolling their rant and beat all the competition, or workers as their family. tions and requests, and then follow- sleeves up, getting their hands dirty increase profits. Others had innova- In short, going beyond the call of ing them to a ‘T’. In others, it was and leading by example was fre- tive ideas for promotions or services. duty is endemic in hospitality, which being a supreme team leader, or as quently praised, including the suc- Many were popular and admired by definition, attracts ladies and gen- importantly, team member. cessful implementation of huge among customers; spa therapists tlemen who are called to serve others. global programmes passed down with a magic touch; sommeliers with And that’s something special. HME SUPERHEROES from the head office that would over- a great story to tell about each new A frequently-praised trait was being whelm lesser mortals. wine; chefs with the gift of delectabil- prepared to work long hours, far lon- Other managers made time to ity; concierges who prove that any- ger even than a hotelier’s typical long develop the careers of protégés, sev- thing is possible! day, while at the same time being able eral had devoted special efforts to Technicians also played their Guy Wilkinson is a director of Viability, a hospitality and property consulting firm in Dubai. to balance work with the demands of improving the morale and well- part. Some were ‘encyclopaedias’ of For more information, email: family or motherhood, for example. being of their staff during these times knowledge to whom all would refer. October 2009 • Hotelier Middle East