With Jason Nicholson, Vice President of Hotel Operations

What does it mean to be ‘on stage’ when you’re on the job?

Being on stage is analogous to being an actor. When we’re at work, we project a certain message with our tone and character.

What that means for us in the hotel business is we have to act the way our guests want us to act. Even if we’re having a bad day (or week … or year).

In other words, you can’t take off your face paint.

When we’re on stage, we may have something going on in our periphery that the guest really shouldn’t know about. It’s not that they don’t care, but they don’t need to care. Our job is to convey an image of fun and engagement with lots of smiles – to create fun, memorable experiences for our guests.

Our guests don’t need to know that the night auditor forgot to change the paper in the copier or that the plumbing backed up in Room 202 and we have to call a plumber RIGHT NOW THIS SECOND! Being on stage means keeping our acting face on, such that our guests see nothing they don’t want to see.

We are on stage anytime we have the likelihood we might make contact with a guest or potential guest. That means we’re on stage from the moment we put on the uniform to the moment we take it off.

Pumping gas? You’re on stage. Online? Still on stage. At the grocery store, dropping your kids off at school … when you’re wearing the uniform, you’re representing your hotel and Innisfree.

When we travel for the benefit of the company, we’re on stage the entire time.

There are times when Mike Nixon or I may want to travel in a T-shirt and shorts and sandals because it’s more comfortable, but we still put on that button-down because we know the minute we step off the aircraft, we’re likely to meet someone important.

It also includes being in an empty hallway. If you’re on the phone speaking loudly or yelling down the hallway to someone on the other end, you just never know when a guest is going to step out of their room.

Bottom line: Being on stage takes integrity. It’s doing the right thing even when no one is looking; always assume someone is.

– As told to Ashley Kahn Salley

Lead Storyteller, Innisfree Hotels