Associates or just staff? Patrons or Guest?
Thats either nonsense or we are really a big happy family!
With hospitality staff fired left and right - millions without income we should maybe re - think the funny terms HR and creative Top management came up with in the past.
Associates is one of them. Marriott started calling their staff associates which according to Miriam Webster Dictionary are “partners, friends, companions”. Thats great! But like now - do you fire 115.000 friends? Get rid of that many partners and companions?
According to the dictionary a person that supports - gives money to an activity, organisation, artist. While this sounds nice and smoothy to describe a guest where does it leave the staff? Associates? Your friends? Aren’t they the ones that work like hell, put in the overtime and rip out their hearts in hospitality? Do they need support by Patrons or can you just pay them for hard work done?
“We are a family” is normally stated when the company has more than 1000 employees and some top management wants to create a cozy feeling. Well the average family doesn’t have 1000 members - maybe the mafia - but the average family also doesnt pay their family members under the legal basic wage, requires them to work unpaid overtime and kicks them out without mercy when the first signs of a crisis shows up at the horizon.
Do we have a problem?
Having a problem some wise guy came up with the positive term “situation”. If you have a situation it might be a funny one, a strange one or anything else. If you say you have a problem it actually shows that you have the guts to be honest.
As nice as this terms may sound - most of your staff knows to distinguish between honest words and useless bubbeling. Maybe put a little more thought into it in the future.
Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.