Keeping my staff happy during the pandemic
Interview with Lena Mølsted, Hotel manager
Lena Mølsted is the hotel manager at Hotel Mayfair. After having tackled various anticipated challenges throughout her experience in managerial positions in hotels such as Hotel D’Angleterre, Hilton and several First hotels, last year she faced a never before encountered challenge: sailing her hotel and staff smoothly through a pandemic.
Read on to learn about the challenges a hotel manager faces during a pandemic, and discover a few of Lena’s most valuable take-aways.
The hotel/travel industry has been one of the most hit industries during the pandemic. What have you experienced as the biggest challenge?
This pandemic has been and still is a challenging time for the hotel industry. It has forced us to be adaptable and adopt a continuous positive attitude. In the beginning of the pandemic our hotel left First Hotels and is now run by the owners of the building. This has of course resulted in quite many organizational changes such the closure of our restaurant and hence also our F&B department, which caused termination of contracts. It has been extremely difficult to say goodbye to highly valued colleagues especially in this very unsure market with a high unemployment rate.
How was the staff affected?
There has been a common understanding of the situation among our now former and our current colleagues. They have all been very agile, positive, and vigorous. Teamwork is paramount and we are all very focused on the fact that we are in this together.
What tactics did you employ to keep the staff's morale up?
Positivity, visibility and just being present. I try to be attentive, responsive, and receptive as well as involve everyone in the decision-making process, whenever possible. The number of staff members has been heavily reduced; hence it is extremely important that EVERYONE is on the same page and sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
What is the best advice you can give for someone currently going through or something similar?
Patience and keep the spirits high. I love my job and I look forward to going to work every day and see my colleagues and our guests.
How are you preparing for life after the pandemic?
I think that we slowly need to get back into gear. We need to look into new routines and processes. I don’t think that we will ever go back to the way things were before Covid-19, so it is essential that we find and work within a “new normal”.
Biggest learning for you as a hotel manager?
Patience, adaptability and be open for new ways of working.