Hospitality in the Workplace

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This is one of those topics that I’ve mulled on quite a bit lately. Related to the work place? Yes. And not in the sense of the hospitality business.

But that question of, How do I/we practice hospitality in the workplace? Individually? On a team?

Let’s first start with a definition:

the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers

I think for the workplace conversation, the word ‘stranger’ is the best one to focus in on, however if you have customers, the practice of hospitality among guests/visitors is extremely important… or various stakeholders who might be guests in some way.

When I started in my first role with the company I currently work, I remember moving to a new place with new jargon to learn, new roads to master (still didn’t get that one accomplished), and a new group to not only work with but hopefully enjoy working with. To this day, I can vividly recall many memories of those who practiced hospitality in the workplace.

  • Those who called and said, “Hey, I know you’re new to the team and I just wanted to reach out and see how I can be of help.”

  • Those who offered their time and days up for a peer ride along to learn not only about what they do but also general helpful tips (aka how the Boilermaker cheer goes, how the Indiana roads work)

  • Those who called when heading to my area of the state to see if we could get a few minutes to gather and de-brief

When you’re the new kid on the block, like many of us that classify as ‘young professionals’, we can often find ourselves in these new places— transitions to new teams, new towns. We can also find ourselves waiting on the other side of the equation for some good old hospitality. And while it is fully our responsibility to embrace this newness of our lives and initiate, the lesson to seasoned individiuals in an area/function/geography is to practice the art of hospitality. Welcome in a stranger to the workplace. And young professionals— this is not just the ‘role’ of the manager, HR, or anyone else…. it is a part of our role, as well. It can sometimes be intimidating to reach out in this way to someone senior than yourself— do it.

Hospitality in the workplace (and out of the work place) is always appreciated and rarely forgotten.