There is no doubt that the hospitality industry is growing rapidly. It is perhaps one of the biggest generators of employment, and revenue, not only for this country but also across the world. Unfortunately, this means that competition is high. It’s not easy, to say the least, for employers to not only survive but thrive in this highly competitive industry.
Hospitality, and retail, are demanding industries where nothing less than the best can work. Hence it is quite normal for employers across the board to be working under high levels of stress. This results in a fast burnout if not remedied as soon as possible. It also has a negative impact on overall productivity for owners and staff, and could lead to low staff morale and extremely low turnover. But managing stress in this industry is not easy and it takes planning and care. Here are a few important points to keep in mind when it comes to managing stress in the hospitality industry.
Identify the Areas of Stress
First and foremost as a business owner you have to understand that stress is a normal process of any business, which even employees experience. It is generally accepted that the level of stress for the business owner will certainly be much higher and, to a point, has to be accepted. Once this reality sets in, stress management will become that much more predictable and easy. The next job is to identify the potential areas of stress and see what best can be done to either reduce, or eliminate them. There could be certain areas of the business that are causing high amounts of stress but unfortunately, you cannot identify them. By developing a plan to deal with the situations, and start to address them, you are more likely to succeed at stress reduction.
A good business owner is able to manage stress because he or she is able to prioritise his or her daily work. It would be practically impossible to take care of all pending work at once. Therefore, it is important to develop lists that are organised into immediacy. Once organised, it is always best to tackle these with frequency; ‘little and often’. There are many task management software tools to help you manage tasks. One that we recommend is Trello, a free mobile & web app which allows owners and their team to manage tasks in real time and in a visual way.
Believe in Delegation of Duties
One of the biggest reasons for stress is due to the tendency of owners to keep everything under their strict control. While exercising macro & micro control is desirable for most, it does not make sense to get into the nitty-gritty of daily work. These are best left to the people who have been employed for this purpose. Good leaders are those who believe in delegation and those who trust their employees. They should try to get the most out of them through motivation, training and of course careful and discreet monitoring. This is not the only hallmark of any good business owner but also goes a long way towards reducing stress.
Importance of Taking Breaks
Overworking, lack of sleep, and other related deprivations, are extremely detrimental to both the body and the mind. When we are stressed our bodies secrete adrenaline which, over time, compromises the immune system. It also impedes neurological function affecting how we process and store information. . Therefore, good business owners always place importance on taking breaks from work on a regular basis. This would, however, call for setting up systems, practices, and processes.
Everyone has different thresholds for stress and it is important to work out what yours is. Whether it be visiting a sauna, taking a bath, reading a book, or going for a walk, taking a break is essential for efficient leadership and task management.
Getting Enough Sleep
If you are in the hospitality industry you cannot expect things to run smoothly all of the time. There are bound to be unexpected challenges. Hence being active 24/7 is expected for hospitality business owners. But this is not sustainable. Being organised, and delegating responsibility can free up more time than you might imagine. This can allow you to gain some level of consistency in at least part of your working week. Every person handles a lack of sleep differently. Some need more than others. But you need to know your body, and aim to allow for 6 -8 hours sleep a night. It can be hard to tell, but a good rule is that if you wake up drowsy or sluggish consistently, you are not getting enough sleep.
Being Physically Fit
Business owners need to be physically fit; this is not a choice but a necessity. You should spend the required time and effort to keep physical fitness levels as best as you can. Simple things like regularly scheduling 30 minutes of moderate workouts 3 times a week, walking instead of driving, yoga, etc. can go a long way in keeping your body healthy and stress-free.
Eating Right and at the Right Time
Many business owners often skip meals because of huge work pressure. This is bound to create problems sooner than later. Hence the onus lies on us to be particular about eating right and also eating at the right time. Especially when we are stressed. People that are stressed often use food as a means of moderating their mood, choosing to eat comfort foods like pizza, burgers, or types of junk food. The way you eat, and what you eat, can dramatically change your mood and your levels of stress. If this is an area of extreme difficulty for you it can be effective to visit a dietician. They can help you better understand how to use what you eat to make you more effective.
If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you manage the stress of running a hospitality or retail business say hello via the Lumin contact page, we’ll gladly help.