If you are of a certain age, the 3Rs were defined as reading, writing and arithmetic. Well, now that it is summer and school is out in most of the northern hemisphere, I am rethinking the 3Rs. You may be thinking I should be talking about the “2Rs” of “R&R” — as in rest and relaxation, the hallmark of the traditional summer vacation. I ask us to consider the vacation as essential to an individual’s contribution to the hospitality organization if it includes these 3Rs — rest, reflection and rejuvenation.
Rest, as we know, is part of a healthy life along with exercise, diet and other behaviors. If we include rest in our equation for health, we expect also to be more productive, as the U.S. Travel Association reported. Rest is essential in our pursuit of a balanced life.
In addition, as an educator, both research and experience have shown me that learning actually occurs upon reflection. Reflection is nurtured by quiet, mindfulness and time. It allows people to assimilate a deeper, clearer understanding about prior knowledge accumulation and is why so many of my students “get it” — comprehend class concepts — long after the course ends and they are on the job seeing the theory in action.
Lastly, if a person has rest and conditions are conductive for reflection, she or he can emerge rejuvenated. Some quick synonyms for rejuvenation are innovation, upgrade, renewal — all ideas with which today’s hoteliers are quite familiar. We want our employees to innovate business processes, upgrade their performance and renew their commitment so guests experience a genuine sense of care.
Rest, reflection and rejuvenation can provide valuable benefits to individuals and hospitality organizations that endure the focused intensity of day-to-day operations. Last year Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation Survey revealed Americans, on average, took only 10 of the 14 vacation days they are allotted per year. Are hospitality employees exempt from this shortfall of four days? Probably not.
How will you spend your summer (or next) vacation? Will you just R&R or will you invest in the 3Rs, returning ready and rejuvenated? Do you have other ways of defining the essential 3Rs today?