Hospitality is a team endeavor and one of the most important things in dealing with a team is the element of trust. While seemingly a simple matter, one of the things that sets teams and organizations apart is how they handle trust.

Is trust given willingly or does it need to be earned?

Trusting team members with information or responsibility is a key element of our operations. Why would we hire team members in the first place if we didn’t believe that we could trust them? For example, a team member hired to work at the front desk needs to be trusted to handle cash and other monetary transactions. Separating these team members into those who can handle cash and those who cannot becomes an operations hindrance. It also makes team members feel less than worthy by creating two classes of employees, those who can be trusted and those who seemingly cannot. Giving trust willingly to the team is an important element of building rapport and enhancing the strength of a team.

What happens if trust is broken?

If trust is given and then broken, what is the damage and can that damage be repaired? Is there a legal implication if trust is broken? Using the same example as above, front desk team members need to be trusted with cash handling and other financial procedures. If they break this trust, is it minor or grave enough to merit discipline? If a cash drop is off by a few cents, it should be investigated but generally accepted to be a mistake so long as it does not recur. If a cash drop is off by a hundred dollars, this is a much more serious matter and trust may not be able to be repaired. While it may be easier to set blanket rules, the human element dictates that policies and procedures need to be fair.

The element of trust and giving it is exactly what sets our teams apart. From line level team members to the corporate office, trusting those around us creates a supportive and positive team environment. And given that people make the property, we can’t imagine it any other way.