Healthy and happy in the hospitality world

As with its namesake, the hospitality industry is all about playing host. Whether in a city hotel or luxury resort destination such as Lanai, hoteliers welcome guests daily to unwind, relax, assist, ensure a comfortable stay and essentially tend to their every need. While we all take pleasure in offering the very best service to our guests, how well are we playing host to our employees? After all, a healthy and happy team equals productivity, tenure and — most importantly — the bottom line.

In the hospitality world, it’s vital that all employees — whether in the front or back of the house — exude a genuine warmth and friendly demeanor. These are the faces guests will see and the personalities that will engage, inspire and assist your most valued customers. 

On Lanai, health and wellness is top of mind. Four Seasons Resorts Lanai strive for an ideal work/life balance for all employees. The resorts recognize that a balanced life directly results in happy, healthier employees who excel in their job. While our island setting is a strong motivator to jumpstart one’s journey to happiness, Four Seasons has developed a series of wellness programs to inspire the mind, body and soul. The outreach programs are open to all employees, and aside from being informative and beneficial to one’s health, they are fun and engaging and allow the team to bond outside of work. 

For example, The Spa at Manele Bay leads a monthly wellness program that covers topics ranging from work-life balance to healthy eating to meditation.

Another of our successful programs is the weekly Monday morning run/walk through Lanai City. As an avid runner, I initially organized this outing, and the response has been very positive. We typically log 3-5 mi (4.8 to 8 km) and our athletes range in age from 22 to 72, from the uniform attendant to the general manager! It continues to be an incredible opportunity to connect with employees outside of work while connecting our mind, body and soul to a healthier tomorrow. 

Another popular program is our weekly employee tennis clinic and manager mixer. The Manele Bay Tennis Center hosts quick drill sessions for employees followed by a weekly guest/manager tennis mixer. Guests are able to rule the courts and play against the managers. At Four Seasons, it’s all about the “love.”

I have witnessed an increase in morale and excitement among our employees — not to mention slimmer waistlines. I personally lost 30 lbs (14 kg) in the process. As a leader, it has been an exciting journey to “walk the walk” — or, rather, run the run — with the team. With healthy and happy minds and hearts, we are able to exude more excitement and compassion for our visiting island guests. 

Fostering healthy and happy employees is within reach. The concepts are simple, but the impact is powerful.