MCHMilitary Club & Hospitality

October 2011

Setting The Standards

In military lodging, you and your staff follow various sets of standards in the way you go about your daily mission — taking care of your guests, from the time that travelers make reservations through checkout.

Standards can be demonstrated by the customer service you and your employees provide each and every day. A simple “Good morning” or “How can I help you?” can set the tone for the experience that military unofficial and official travelers will have during their stay.

That feeling of knowing that they will be taken care of in a courteous and professional manner will make that soldier, airman, sailor, Marine or Coast Guardsman feel appreciated, and he or she will not hesitate to come back to your lodge on future travel orders, along with their families.

In our annual lodging commanders' update, a common thread throughout each interview is the importance of establishing not only employee standards of excellence, but also standardized training, as well as brand standards that give an identity to the lodging operations.

In regard to training, having a standardized program for employees, from new employee orientation through upper-level management development, could lead to a more enjoyable lodging experience for your guests.

As an example, Navy Gateway Inns and Suites has implemented a program called YES! (You're Empowered to Succeed) for all staff members to give them the tools they need, both personally and professionally, to raise the bar in the area of customer service.

Brand identity has emerged as an important facet in military lodging over the last few years. Whether it's Army Lodging, Air Force Inns, the Navy Lodge Program, Navy Gateway Inns and Suites, Marine Corps Inns of the Corps or Coast Guard Recreational Lodging, each operation has its own uniqueness and its own name recognition. As a result, military travelers know what kind of first-class treatment they will receive when they make that reservation.

Perhaps the most important standards in a lodging facility are the ones set by you. As the general manager, you set the standards that your staff follow to ensure that the guest is the No. 1 priority. Setting high standards leads to a high level of guest service provided by your employees.

And that's a standard of excellence worth striving for.

Welcome Back, Art!

A hearty welcome back to Art Myers on his recent selection as the new executive director of the International Military Community Executives Association (IMCEA).

A champion of military quality of life for nearly five decades, Myers retired last year after serving as principal director for Military Community and Family Policy (MCFP) in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, following his 11-year run as director of Air Force Services.

But he simply could not stay away after being called upon to be the voice, not only for the association, but also for the Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) marketplace in general.

Upon taking the directorship, Myers told us that IMCEA needs to be a strong advocate for MWR professionals.

In his role as Air Force Services director, he testified on Capitol Hill at quality-of-life hearings year after year, something that IMCEA was called upon to do in its heyday in the 1970s and 80s.

With Myers at the helm of the association, let's hope this true “quality-of-lifer” makes its voice heard once again in the Halls of Congress. Best of luck, Art!