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Alexis Hurey

HTM 301
Jeff Campbell
February 12, 2014
HTM 301 Service Leadership Competency Interviews
Service Leadership Competency Interview Form


February 12, 2014


6:30 PM


Shannie Lee


Assistant Manager of Food & Beverage


Manchester Grand Hyatt


3 1/2 years

Shannie graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in
economics. She began working for Hyatt once graduating, and went through Hyatt's CMT
program, and eventually worked her way up to management.

Introduce yourself and the purpose of the interview
We are doing some research on leadership in the hospitality industry and we are hoping to
get your insights. The information we receive will be used to help enhance our framework of
leadership competencies, which will guide how we educate and train our students for careers
in the industry. We dont need to know any detailed information about your organization; our
focus is on your opinion of what really distinguishes great leaders in the service environment.
Do you have any particular questions of me or concerns before begin? I have three areas I
would like to talk with you about. I expect our entire conversation will last about 30 -45

Interview Questions
Key Industry Issues
The purpose of this area is to ease into the discussion of leadership competencies by
discussing the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. The intent is to identify key
industry issues which can be linked to necessary leadership competencies.
Question 1a:

What are some of the most challenging issues facing hospitality and tourism
organizations these days? How do they pose problems for managers working in these
Business is volatile. Business at the Hyatt for Shannie can be unpredictable because busy
nights for normal restaurants may be completely different busy nights at her hotel. Regular
restaurants may be more busy on the weekends, but she finds that at the Machester Grand
Hyatt, they are usually more busy during the week because their hotel caters more towards
business people. Some of her biggest challenges arise during conference seasons. She has
to figure out when to schedule or hire more employees to accommodate the amount of guests
staying in the hotel. Business fluctuation of the hotel directly effects food and beverage levels.
Question 1b:
What are the biggest changes your managers will face in the next few years?
In the next few years, Shannie sees business picking up. Business for the hotel is already on
an upswing so she must prepare for Food and beverage to rise as well. She also will have to
take into account the employees that are moving from part-time to full time. When she started
at Hyatt, it was extremely difficult to get hired in as full time but she expects it to become
easier in the next few years to get hired full time.
Managerial Challenges
The purpose of this area is to understand how changes within the industry have created new
challenges for operating managers. We want to clarify the context in which managers must
coordinate and control HTM organizations.
Question 2a.
Has the manner in which you manage employees in service areas changed over the
past few years? How has this caused a challenge for line managers?
She finds that to have the best communication, you have to be open with your employees.
She definitely implements the open-door policy. She is very approachable and willing to talk
to any employee about any problem that might arise. She says that since she started working
in management it is easier for her to see what needs help and what doesnt. She has to
analyze each situation differently.
Question 2b.
How has the shift in employee needs impacted your management staff?
The employees need to be able to go to management to get feedback and be able to grow in
the company. Shannie finds that her employees usually do want to come to her when they are
unsure about a situation and she must always be there when they need help.
Service Leader Competencies
The purpose of this area is to identify the specific knowledge, behaviors, and skills that are
important for service leaders. These usually form the basis for learning and development
Question 3a:

We have identified three broad areas of competencies important for maximizing

service quality. The first dimension is business savvy, and it includes four
competencies. Please identify for me some specific behaviors that you believe are
important for each of the four competencies as I describe them.
Numberwise A service leader with this competency is able to exhibit an understanding of
hospitality and tourism metrics at a micro and macro level as well as be able to utilize the
measures and variances to improve performance.
Ex: Can you tell me about managers in your organization who are really good with
numbers. . . what are some specific things they do well?
Some people, all they see are numbers. The challenge is balancing the customers:
employees, guests, and the owners. There are employee surveys that the mangaers use and
Planning This involves the ability to create and translate a shared vision as well as prepare,
execute and measure department goals and contingency plans.
Ex: How do you identify managers who are good at planning in your organization? What do
they do that tells you they are good planners?
Shannie says to plan everything! Make a schedule and follow it! Create that balance between
work and personal life. At work, when they have large parties scheduled to come in and eat,
she has to think about how to tackle that. What do they need for the party? How many chairs
do they need? Do they have all the suplies? All of these factors are essential for good
Strategic Decision-Making This means using all available resources to make decisions as
well as finding creative ways to solve guest problems and maximize opportunities.
Ex: Do managers need to think strategically in your organization? What are some specific
behaviors or attributes of good strategic thinkers?
Shannie oversees 3 bars, in-room dining, and the hotel deli. Strategic decision making is
extremely important if she wants all of these outlets to run smoothly. She has to think about
what outlet is the busiest. Who needs the most staff at that particular time. She has to think
about geographical space and what is that outlet physically capable of.

Superior Technical Service This competency involves being able to use systems,
processes, procedures and technology to provide consistently efficient and quick service.
Ex: Weve found that service leaders must be good an developing efficient service systems. .
. can you tell me about some activities managers you work with are involved in to make
things quicker and easier for the customer?
The biggest thing for her is going out and being on the floor with her employees. She must
check all outlets routinely and be with her staff. She says she spends minimal time in her
office. She has to be able to predict and control situations. She has to be able to manage her
associates. The best thing I heard her say to me was that you have to be proactive, not

Question 3b:
The second dimension is people savvy, and it also includes four competencies. Please
identify for me some specific behaviors that you believe are important for each of the
four competencies as I describe them.
Interpersonal Communication This competency is the importance of being an active listener,
using intuition to build relationships, and having quality one-on-one interactions with staff in
an effort to improve open communication and a service-oriented workplace.
Shannie has the open door policy. She, as well as most of the staff at the Hyatt must be open
to new ideas and suggestions. Listening to her employees show them that they actually care
about the staff and that they aren't just being ignored. You don't have to make an appointment
to speak with a manger. You have to all be on the same page for business to run smoothly.
And whatever you do, don't shoot employees down.
Networked This competency involves meeting new people, actively participating in industry
associations, collaborating with other companies, and giving feedback to the community with
their time and involvement.
When you work in the industry, you tend to hangout in the industry. You never know who you
are going to meet that will help you down the line. She said the biggest piece of advice she
can give me is don't burn bridges!!! As far as for the company, you have to know your vendors
and have good relationships with them. You have to have interdepartmental networking so
that everyone in the hotel can work together smoothly.
Coaching/Training Good coaches/trainers accurately assess peoples strengths and
weaknesses, build talent in the work group, and give actionable feedback and coaching.
To provide the most effective feedback, you have to be completely honest. If an employee is
doing something wrong, you simply just have to tell them and show them how to do it the right
way. She looks at customer surveys and sees where she can improve. She doesn't want to
see 7's and 8's on surveys. She wants to see 9's and 10's. So, she looks at what employees
can do to make their scores higher and act accordingly. They have incentive programs and
Superior Expressive Service This leader would go out of his/her way to make a personal
connection with each client and customer.
Ex: Weve also found that service leaders must be great at customer interactions and
surpassing guest expectations. Can you identify someone in your organization who is great at
doing this. . .what specifically do they do?
She says you have to look at the hotel as the guests home away from home. They have to
feel welcome being there. She deals with a lot of business guests as well as families and she
has to be able to accommodate both in her restaurants. Its the little things that counts such as
homemade cookies or toys for the children.

Question 3c:
And the last dimension of competencies is self savvy, and it includes four
competencies. Please identify for me some specific behaviors that you believe are
important for each of the four competencies as I describe them.
Professionalism A manager displaying this competency shows integrity in his/her choices,
treats employees and customers with the utmost respect, values diversity, and communicates
in a manner appropriate for the situation.
She has grooming standards. She says don't give people doubt. Don't be sloppy. Keep your
appearance well kept. First impressions are huge. You behavior is extremely important. You
can't be your employees friend. You have to keep in mind that you are a manager and there is
a line you cannot cross. You have to set the example for your team. Have confidence in
everything you do. Don't ever shame the guest or an employee. Lastly, be sincere.
Self Development This competency reflects a leader who has a willingness to continuously
self improve, try new things, and reflect.
You have to go back and assess your knowledge. For shannie, she has extensive finance
knowledge. You have to practice and know how to fire/hire/ and organize employees. Always
know what the next steps entail. Know how to manage a budget and follow through. She says
she wants to move up in the company so she is working on more extensive manager duties.
Spirit of Optimism A leader with this competency would be energetic, self-motivated, openminded, and lead with the contagious spirit of optimism.
She says you really have to be passionate about what you do. Everyday is different. That is
part of the reason she loves her career so much. You have to surround yourself with other
people who are passionate about the same things as you. And lastly, you have to want to be
at work.