After five years with Hotel News Now, I’ve decided to hang up my proverbial hat. But there are many reasons why it’s one of my hardest goodbyes.
It’s been a bittersweet week for me.
Five years ago, I began working with Hotel News Now as an editorial assistant. I was fresh out of college and eager to enter into an industry that I had heard such great things about. The hotel industry has been good to me. It’s opened doors I’ve never thought it would open, and I’ve met some of the most, get this, hospitable people I’ve ever known.
That particularly rings true for the staff at Hotel News Now and STR, HNN’s parent company. It’s very hard to leave a place that I’ve held so near and dear to my heart for my entire career thus far. But the time has come to head down other avenues.
As I wrapped up my fifth Hotel Data Conference this week, I realized what truly made me stay with HNN for so long. It was the way everyone made me feel. The camaraderie. My down-to-earth colleagues. I always felt like I was part of something bigger, and who doesn’t want to feel that way about their job?
I think there are some parallels to my career with HNN and the hotel industry. As I sit here and write this farewell blog, I am reminded of a blog my former colleague Alicia Hoisington wrote not too long ago. It was titled: “To avoid bad reviews, treat employees with compassion.”
While the headline seems pretty straightforward, there’s more to it than that. The No. 1 thing we always hear in the hospitality industry is that service comes first. Your guests expect good service above everything else, and that’s really what the hotel industry is about. You can innovate and update all you want, but what matters most is how you take care of your people.
Once, I had the opportunity to meet Bill Marriott while attending a conference in Toronto, and one of the first things he had to say was to always take care of your people. Of course, he had many other life lessons to share and stories to tell, which you can read over on my blog from the trip, but I always admired that conversation. I feel as though we tend to think of Marriott International as this unapproachable company because of its massive reach, but I found that to be quite the opposite with Mr. Marriott.
In fact, I remember being so nervous to sit down and talk to him. After all, I was just a millennial with barely any experience in this industry. (You know I had to get one more millennial plug in my parting blog.) He treated me with such kindness, and I actually felt as though he was interested in picking my brain. Journalists don’t often get that feeling.
When you take care of your employees, they will take care of your guests. And what do those guests do? They tell their friends and family to come stay at your hotel.
While this isn’t goodbye forever (I’ve already coerced HNN Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ricca into allowing me to hang in the newsroom here and there), it’s still one of the hardest goodbyes. I will miss my colleagues and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way while working in the hotel industry. It is because of you that I continued to wake up and enjoy coming into work every day.
Until next time.
The opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hotel News Now or its parent company, STR and its affiliated companies. Bloggers published on this site are given the freedom to express views that may be controversial, but our goal is to provoke thought and constructive discussion within our reader community. Please feel free to comment or contact an editor with any questions or concerns.