by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor
I have been asked to speak further about a theory I advanced in my book. The essence of that was that if you have strong moral issues regarding smoking, strong drink, and sex out of the marriage bed then perhaps you should consider the seminary.
While there is some overlap between personal morals and ethics they are not the same. I see morals as the definition of how one chooses to live his/her personal life. Ethics are how you deal with other people and situations.
Being a strong moral person is an essential plank in any leadership platform. You must be considered a “good person” as a basis for earning respect.
However, a manager, particularly in the hotel industry, must be careful to not thrust his moral beliefs on his employees or guests. They won’t comply and your really can’t enforce it.
If part of your moral standard is against strong drink, then how do you rationalize selling and serving it to others? If you consider drinking as a moral sin then why are you contributing to your guests downfall?
If you are adamantly against sex out of the realm of traditional marriage are you going to demand a marriage certificate from every couple that checks into your hotel? I can guarantee that not every couple that checks into your hotel are married, or at least not to each other.
If you are against smoking, do you make your facility non-smoking? This issue is a hot topic these days and raises many questions.
If local law prohibits smoking in a hotel, or more commonly in a restaurant, then you have some legal basis for enforcing a smoking ban. However, without that you may find yourself in some difficulty.
What do you do if a guest smokes in his hotel room? Some hotels levy a surcharge for that. But, if the guest refuses to pay it what do you do? Are you prepared to take it to small claims court? Do you call the police and toss him out? Can you afford to lose some 25% of the population (much higher is some regions) that chooses to smoke? If law permits, maybe a better solution is to set aside 25% of your rooms as smoking rooms. The questions of second hand smoke isn’t really an issue as most guest rooms today have efficient self contained HVAC systems so that argument doesn’t have a lot of traction.
Of course it is a fact that a small percent of smokers will leave burn holes in their wake. So you charge a premium rate for those rooms. Without a smoking floor or wing you are telling some of your guests that they must go outside to smoke. Hospitality?
So, how do you rationalize your personal moral code with your job as a manager?