Appreciative guests make work enjoyable for hotel staff

December 03, 2013
Mr Harry Lim received a Gracious Guest awardfor becoming a friend and mentor to staff at the Furama RiverFront’s Waterfall Lounge. Eleven guests at various hotels were recognised in this new award category.

SINGAPORE – Dressed in a buttoned-up shirt and giving advice to new service staff, 65-year-old Harry Lim has been mistaken for a manager at Furama RiverFront’s Waterfall Lounge.

But the former human resource manager is just a guest who – after 10 years of regular visits – has become mentor and friend to staff at the hotel lounge.

Mr Lim explained: “I want to build rapport with the service staff. Just because their work is serving you doesn’t mean you don’t have to acknowledge and appreciate them. I don’t believe the customer is always right, and I tell the staff that too.”

Mr Lim, who visits the hotel three to four nights a week, has forged strong ties with the staff.

He advises them on work and personal matters, teaching new trainees how to handle demanding guests. He attends birthday celebrations and even helped plan a staff gathering a few years ago.

For his involvement, Mr Lim won an inaugural Gracious Guest award at this year’s Service Gold Award ceremony.

Ninety-four employees from 53 hotels were lauded for giving excellent service, and a new category was launched for guests who have shown care and respect to service staff. Eleven guests from countries including Indonesia and Australia won the award. Two were Singaporeans.

First published in The Straits Times – November 30, 2013

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