Ringing the bell

We’ve put a bell in our office. Slap bang in the middle of everything and everyone. For the sole purpose of celebrating achievements. The ‘rule’ is, no matter how big or small an achievement or success is, the person responsible for a smile, a deal, a happy guest or the ticking off of a task has to ring the bell, sharing the success with all of us in the office.

Having faced some harsh budget realities over the last few weeks, our bell has been rather quiet. The good news is this: I have been reminded that how you deal with a crisis or a problem is THE most important aspect of the situation itself. Reaction paints a picture of the character of a person or team, and we have certainly shown amazing character over this tough spell – and THIS is a success!

I recall gazing at our occupancy forecast for our hotels before the onset of winter. It’s funny how we have short memories of our winter performance. This time though, we felt a sense of urgency in enough time to do something about it. Our general managers pulled out all the stops, head office got stuck in, and our planning turned into doing. While our marketing team hit the market with our #rateshedding leisure offers and winter conference specials, our people took to the streets (literally) as we embarked on our BON Blitz, visiting the offices, teams, and individual people who are important to us.

From the ladies and gents in our central reservations call centre, to general managers, sales teams, directors, front office execs and senior management, we consolidated and collaborated with one mission at hand – to put bums in beds. I must admit the thought of getting into our BON t-shirts and knocking on doors of our clients and supporters in the middle of winter was not an appealing one to me, but I have to say, we had SO much fun out there. We have an enthusiastic, tenacious team. In fact, we made a complete success of it!

We sometimes forget the importance of real human connection and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people in our industry. Armed with our selfie frame and smartphone cameras, much fun was had by all – the vibe was fantastic. More importantly, relationships were deepened, connections were made, bookings were confirmed and business picked up. Let the bell ring!

Kudos to our people who worked hard and went to the market with the right product, to the right clients, at the right time! Our results are proof. We have outperformed our winter expectations. Well done my good people! For the first time in a long time, our bell is ringing loud and clear!

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