The Importance of the 3 Cs: Communication, Compassion and Community

Recently, employees of a luxury resort staged a protest in front of the hotel. Even though the resort was closed, they wanted to send a message: they wanted an update from the hotel management—even something as simple as “There is no decision on the timing for reopening, but we care about the wellbeing of the staff.”

After COVID-19, a plethora of case studies will assess what organizations should have done differently and how, during the next crisis, management can handle things better. Even though we are aren’t out of the woods yet, the one thing that is loud and clear is the importance—in fact, the necessity—of effective and transparent communications.

Here are some examples of exemplary communications during the pandemic:

  • One hotel GM called each of his 35 leaders a couple of times each month. He wanted to make sure they were OK and coping under the circumstances.
  • At another hotel, the GM worked with the HR team to send out an e-mail once a month on what was happening. Even if there was no news to share, employees would know they were not forgotten.
  • One hospitality management company sent out an online survey to better understand the emotional impact of the virus, especially among those who were furloughed, and ask what they could do about it.

This outreach was a lifeline for many employees, who often choose this industry because of the camaraderie and feeling of belonging.

A Hotel is Part of the Community

Hotel associates are considered to embody a community. A hotel is also an important component of the community in which is it located, and it has a responsibility to be a contributing member.

A month or two into the pandemic, some hotels were providing complementary meals to support frontline workers such as healthcare providers, police, and firefighters. Now that we are into the second wave of the virus, the need for the hotel industry to support them and the rest of the community is even greater.

What can your hotels do to support the surrounding community?

It’s a difficult question given the cash drain most hotel owners around the world are experiencing. However, your efforts don’t have to cost a lot. Even simple, inexpensive gestures go a long way to show you care.

Benefits of the 3 Cs

We know that more frequent and transparent communications benefit all relationships. The best way to ensure it happens consistently is to develop a plan with timelines.

Showing compassion should become a daily goal. Start by asking people how they are doing and take the time to listen to what they have to say. According to Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism, making a regular practice of showing compassion not only makes us feel better but also lowers our blood pressure and can add years to our lives.

Not to be forgotten is the business aspect: customers are watching how hotel leaders behave. Once this is all over, demonstrating humanity versus focusing singularly on the bottom line will have a far more powerful impact than spending millions of dollars on marketing.


Talk to your most valuable resource: the people who create the experiences for your hotel guests. Even if your message is “There is no news,” reaching out will show empathy and concern for them. It is the human approach to being a leader.

If leaders fail to communicate compassion or concern for their community, employees, and future guests during times of crisis, it breaks the connection to their trust and loyalty—all necessary elements for an organization to deliver extraordinary customer service.


“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – the Dalai Lama

Take the Next Step Now

Hire Jo-Anne to:

  • Convert your organization so it can thrive during constant change.
  • Engage a trusted advisor for consultation and recommendations.
  • Kick-start your sales and marketing organization.
  • Remove silos and other barriers to employee productivity.
  • Support your leaders with leadership coaching.
  • Create a healthy organizational culture and improve engagement.

If you would like to hear more, simply reach out to Jo-Anne at
[email protected].

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

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