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Workplace culture is the key, by Óscar Correia

When culture becomes misaligned with the company’s sustainability, the culture can and should be considered to be its first competitor and service downfalls will follow.

Since last August 2023, I’ve embraced a new role as a Culture and Brand Ambassador, and with the challenge comes the beautiful opportunity to develop different skills and competencies within the hospitality environment. After these months, I’m loving it.

Culture is another word for performance.

I’m not referring to the outcome of the performance itself, which are the generated results, the sales made, the missed inventory, and the speed to market your hospitality experiences.

In this case, I mean the collective human behavior that leads to poor or high performance, in other words, the people in action, working, planning, talking, interacting, thinking, sharing, lifting, carrying, serving, and involving, in short, the culture at the workplace.

Culture – Popularity – Reputation – Value – People

Today everybody is stating the lack of human resources in the hospitality business, despite talent and insufficient manpower, to keep their business running. The truth is, as long as some hospitality leaders keep thinking of a one-man show, soon if not by now learn that they will never have enough human resources to stay at the top of the game for too long. Redefining your company culture, while you have some good people around you, and remember that money is just a transactional stage of human life.

In my plus 30 years of hospitality experience in different company cultures, I found that often this, culture strategy is hidden from you and has a direct impact on your role, and, if anything, I would suggest, if you’re in a leadership role is, stay focused on culturing your professional environment, strategy without vision and empowerment is powerless.

In my present role and since my return to the Vila Vita Parc team, the wonderful feeling of belonging is unique, we here stand for each other as a family.

People want to belong to something meaningful and a positive driver in their lives.

Guests and teams expect efficiency, but what they long for is empathy, attention, warmth, creativity, meaning, hospitality, and connection. Start by driving your hospitality culture to be delivered with a smile and get a smile back.

Allow me to share a shocking company culture behavior. One of the most incredible hospitality company culture behavior recent stories I have ever heard this year, and not to have as a good example, was during a company yearly social event. After some partying and drinking, a tipsy senior director approached a team member informing him with an intoxicated voice, that he would be dismissed from his responsibilities on the next day. How crazy that is! But the reality is, nobody wants to report these kinds of good and bad examples! In some hospitality professional companies around the world, the outcome in this case would be the opposite! So that also reflects the poor company culture towards being the example and the role model for their employees.

To have a whole cultural structure dedicated and committed to seizing every guest’s opportunity to wow their guests is very unusual. As we all know, in hospitality rarity equals value, and value is in their people. So please don’t waste it.

Guest glee is the result of a collective cultural commitment. One in which every team member has the empowerment of the company to do whatever can and should be done to present extraordinary experiences to their guests.

When a hospitality company is dedicated to guest experience a service transformation occurs. Keep up the good work and turn your team members into company champions. They are the talent of tomorrow.

Óscar CorreiaCulture Brand Ambassador Director at Vila Vita Parc

Óscar Correia has over three decades of experience in the hotel and restaurant industry. He started out as a waiter, before graduating in catering management from the Estoril School of Hospitality and Tourism. Ambitious, he quickly rose to the position of food and beverage director, gaining various experiences in England, Spain and Portugal – most of them in the Algarve region, his greatest passion being to serve and design experiences that bring magic to those who enter a restaurant. Proactive, dynamic, focused and goal-oriented, he is now Culture Brand Ambassador Director at Vila Vita Parc, having previously been Corporate and Executive F&B Director at Sublime Hotels, and has also worked at Discovery Land Company, the Plateform group, Sandals Resorts, Altis, Vila Galé, Ô Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, Penha Longa Hotel Golf Resort, Meliá Hotels International and Slieve Donard Hotel & SPA, among others.



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