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It’s Monday at 6:30 AM.
You’re finishing up the final report on last night’s event.
But, there are still a few items to check off.
You need to review reports from last night.
You’ve got to check everything on your spreadsheet, record the information on your Monday morning report, and prepare for the meeting.
“Almost there,” you mutter to yourself.
“Only one protein spill,” you continue.
“OK, that's pretty good,” you think to yourself.
“One fight,” you read aloud.
“Two fixed chairs?” you ask.
You’re confused, so you pick up the pace and scan through the reports.
But, you quickly realize there’s something wrong here.
You stop and stare at the spreadsheet.
“What’s this,” you scream across your office.
Something’s wrong here.
Do you know what it is?
You begin seeing the variations.
The list goes on and on.
What does ‘fixed’ mean at your facility?
Was the cup holder replaced?
Or was a new chair moved to the location in its place?
Today’s report can’t be accurate unless you fix this significant error.
This epiphany leaves you with a sick feeling in your stomach as you realize none of the reports have been accurate as a result of this language issue.
But, it’s now 7:08 AM and your meeting will start in 22 minutes.
You were hoping to get ahead of the game today.
That’s not happening.
You’ve got to ensure your numbers are accurate.
Your property needs a common language.
It needs it now.
We know that there’s a differentiation of terms throughout the industry.
But, the absence of a common language within your property will have long-term consequences.
Why? Well, let’s think about the purpose of management.
You must manage anything and everything that occurs on your property, right?
You must be aware of things, able to communicate them, and document these activities and occurrences.
Then, you must be able to share this information with your team, that way they can do something with the information.
But, how do you accomplish this?
You compile the information in reports and analyze the details.
Your team uses this information to run through tabletop exercises.
It’s how they improve their ability to handle what happens on your property.
It’s knowledge and understanding.
Your team can be effective, but only as a result of the training and expertise you give them and help them develop.
You need them to be aware of their surroundings and ready for what’s coming.
You also need them to know how to communicate and document it to everyone else in your organization.
It’s apparent, your management of ‘everything’ involves many moving parts.
As a property without consistency, things get lost in the mix.
Are these common scenarios faced throughout your property?
Do you deal with the constant frustration of everyone thinking they are on the same page, but they aren’t even talking the same language?
This lack of consistency affects your data and, as a result, your analytics gets thrown way off.
It’s dangerous – very dangerous!
You and your team are making decisions, creating policy, developing systems, and spending money based on bad data.
Have you been frustrated that you haven’t been able to achieve better results?
Well, the good news is that Proactive Operations can regulate information.
Proactive operators standardize and develop one language that is recognized, understood, and used across the organization.
Now, ask yourself: “Do I want to run a proactive operation?”
Is your answer “yes?” Then, it’s time to create your standard.
Proactive Operations establish guidelines for incident management, guest services, task management, and maintenance.
This consistency ensures all things that occur remain seamless across your departments.
You understand the importance of efficient communication.
This practice is no different but requires specificity.
First-class operations recognize the importance of having a consistent process.
The flow of information cannot hinder your effectiveness.
Standard terminology is the solution.
Nothing can slip through the cracks.
Long-term analysis depends on the integrity of data.
Every Monday you must produce accurate reports.
Your data must be comprehensive, easy to understand, and accurate to give your staff the ability to make incremental improvements. Everyone reading a report should know that same thing.
These enhancements help you deliver a safe, secure, and memorable experience for guests.
Remember, it’s about creating memories.
We get it, though; the challenge will always be human error.
We can all forget things at times – we’re human!
Who has time to remember hundreds of different incidents, tasks, activities, and request types during your day or an event?
Who has time to search through your emergency management plan?
Or find it on the bookshelf?
No one does.
Unified solutions, where all modules talk to each other, help you integrate a standardized language into your management.
Utilize a unified solution to create a common language applied throughout your property and across all your departments.
Do you see our point here?
We’ve listed ten different departments above. You might have ten, you might have more, or you could have less.
But, one fact holds: if there is no standard in place, you have lots of room for error.
Are you ready to create your property’s language?
Are you willing to take another step towards Proactive Operations?
First, we need to agree that standardization of terminology cannot be governed using pen and paper.
That’s why you must implement a system that not only standardizes your interdepartmental language but also centralizes how your operation communicates and documents it.
Everything entered into the system is captured and recorded to your critical reports.
That way, you’re no longer stressing over the accuracy of your reports thirty minutes before your Monday morning meeting.
You have the correct information to make well-informed operational decisions for your property.
It’s already done – and accurate!
Creating a common language is not a complicated exercise.
But, in a stressful environment, where high priority tasks always come first, this process gets missed.
To use your data to make well-versed decisions depends on your ability to align all departments with the same language.
Are you ready to get everyone speaking the same language?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.