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Only a manager with social skills awakens employee enthusiasm

Guest article by Stefan Klöckl, lecturer at the EHL Swiss Hotel Management School Passugg (SSTH)

Without leadership with social competence there is no emotional bond to the employer

Only eleven percent of employees in Switzerland have a strong emotional attachment to their company. According to the Gallup study, Switzerland is in the middle of the international rankings. It costs Swiss companies a good penny of money: 50 billion francs in lost business, or CHF 10,100 per capita. 


Employee loyalty and enthusiasm for the company are significantly influenced by the direct supervisor. Professional competence and experience are the most common reasons for promotion to management positions. Although these two components are advantageous, they do not replace social and personal competence. Consequently, it is not surprising that the direct supervisor is one of the most frequently cited unofficial reasons for dismissal in the hotel industry. There is a leadership deficit across all hierarchical levels.

Appreciation, recognition and perspectives are meaningful

Leadership with social competence is the lever for success. Employees want to be seen and treated as people. They want appreciation and recognition for what they do. They want to grow and develop. Managers should support, encourage and inspire them within the framework of their soft skills. And last but not least, employees seek meaning in what they do. 

If a hotel or catering business succeeds in satisfying these employee needs and emotionally picking them up, then success follows the step. Hotels receive thanks in the form of fewer absences, lower fluctuation, more commitment and creativity.


Education of future executives

At the EHL Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality, the new Affective Hospitality Vision is taken into account in the lessons and the appreciative leadership is discussed, exemplified and shown how this can be achieved in practice. Only hotel management students who are trained in soft skills and social competence can develop into inspiring managers.

Stefan Klöckl is a coach in the areas of staff management, team building, sales, customer loyalty, time management, communication, presentation and customer enthusiasm. He passes on his experience to the students of the SSTH Swiss School of Tourism & Hospitality in Passugg as part of his teaching assignment.

Want to read more about this topic? Check out our comprehensive list of hospitality skills for now and the future.