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How to Manage Diversity in the Hospitality Industry & Workplace

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The hospitality industry contains a very broad spectrum of career options. For example, if you want to work in hospitality, you have your choice of working in arts and entertainment, recreation, accommodation or food services. In this industry, you may be working for a private company or a government institution, including local, state and federal government agencies. One thing that all of these jobs have in common is that there needs to be effective leadership to manage diversity in the workplace.

Set an example for your employees. One way to manage the diversity in the hospitality workplace is to always be respectful and tolerant yourself. Show your employees how you want them to behave and treat each other. You can accomplish this by being fair, honest, a good listener, objective, trustworthy and open with your employees. Since customer service is a major aspect of the hospitality industry, your employees are bound to disagree and have different ways of dealing with the public and problems that arise. When such problems occur, practice the traits listed above and treat everyone equally.

Get support from an association that specializes in the type of diversity you’re working with. Many of these organizations exist. For example, depending on the field you’re in and the minority you’re working with, you might join the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, & Developers or the Women’s Foodservice Forum and take advantage of the support and resources these associations offer. More general association also exist, such as the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality or the National Center for Minorities in Hospitality.

Create a career-development program for your hospitality workers. In hospitality, there are often many opportunities to move up and learn new skills. Supervisory positions and workers with many skill sets are highly valued. Talk with all of your employees about their career goals and take active steps to help them achieve them, such as helping them fill out an application for an open position in another hotel or restaurant operated by your company.

Schedule diverse groups of employees for the same shifts. When you have employees from different cultural and religious backgrounds, it’s important to expose them to each other. This will help them learn to get along with everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion or cultural beliefs. The hospitality industry often requires that many employees are scheduled for a single shift to keep everything running smoothly. This gives you an opportunity to help your employees get to know each other by scheduling them on at least one shift together each week or month, depending on how your company operates.

About the Author

J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.

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