Are you having fun?

For many of us, the hospitality business began as a job. For some of us, it grew to be a passion. And often, that passion stemmed, in part, from the feeling that we were having fun while working, or perhaps we were even creating a little fun along the way for others, too.

Yes, many of the positions in hospitality are physically demanding, cognitively challenging and emotionally draining. Yet the profession also provides many opportunities to have fun, be creative, solve the puzzles of service and brand designs, and be, well, all the while, expressing and considering humanity, serving folks who are away from home.

A colleague at Penn State School of Hospitality Management, Dr. Michael Tews, has been researching and speaking about the role of fun in workplaces, in particular hospitality environments, extensively. As educators we are consumed with learning as our professional practice.

For hoteliers, delivering exceptional service requires a team of individuals with the capacity to learn the functional aspects of their jobs as well as the emotional skills of service in demanding customer context. Recent peer reviews published work of Dr. Tews and other collaborators that discovered that fun activities were significantly related to overall informal learning. The implication is that fun can help reinforce more formal types of learning. If our business already is fun, using it for a strategic learning purpose can only improve all aspects of our business.

How do you use fun in your hotel to support learning, performing and succeeding?