QHotels Group Operations Manager, Joanne Barratt, talks about
how important a strong team culture is in maintaining excellent
standards and achieving great results within the Conference &
Be passionate. I've always loved
hospitality, specifically the conference and events sector. From
taking the initial enquiry through to the buzz of setting up on the
day and seeing satisfied faces walking out of the door, I still
enjoy the whole process. It's what drives me each day and it's an
enthusiasm that lives through the company too. For our efforts to
then be rewarded with industry recognition such as the VenueVerdict
Gold Standard Group and No.1 Large Group awards earlier this year,
it's the icing on the cake.
Your people are the key to your success. A team
approach is so important in this job and at QHotels we work to lead
and motivate our people - ensuring they're happy and committed is
what has enabled us to get where we are today. I've been involved
in the recruitment process from the outset and how individuals fit
with our culture is an integral part of that, whatever the level.
We invest heavily in training and development, and in turn, we
reward those who continually go that extra mile for us too.
Keep your mind, eyes and ears open. We're
constantly driving innovation within the sector but the only way
we're able to do that is to look around, monitor trends,
competitors and also look outside the industry to see what
technology is next. It's something I do rely on our people on the
ground for, recognising the emerging customer needs but also what
tools and offerings will help make us stand out. I remember the day
we installed our first conference projector, it was revolutionary
at the time! Now we're introducing a free dedicated event broadband
package, allowing hosts exclusive internet use to live stream
conferences - it's brilliant.
Exceeding expectations should be at the heart of the
business. We work with each hotel on a standards review
every six months to see how we can develop our product to meet the
needs of each event booker - every hotel's piece of feedback is key
to this. There isn't a standard package that works for all and
that's where we stand out against competitors, we tailor our
offering to each individual, from food to décor and technology. Our
brilliant C&E teams then build events that not only fit the
brief but surpass expectations too.
Listen to your customers! Feedback frames every
change we make within our business, whether it's the survey
feedback we get from guests at the end of their stay or the
quarterly results from BDRC Continental's VenueVerdict, we're
continually putting feedback into action to make the QHotels
experience better for everyone who visits.
My advice to anyone entering the sector…You
must have tenacity and energy for the job - it's catching and
deeply influences the teams you work with and the results you
produce. Our Which? No.1 UK Hotel chain rating speaks volumes for
our dedication to great service across the board and it's down to
the engagement of our teams who deliver it and are willing to go
above and beyond. It's the satisfaction of knowing you've done a
good job which is embedded in our culture and still motivates me
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