Support work is uniquely challenging. It demands unwavering empathy, superior communication skills, flexibility, and a host of other skills. So it follows that support management can be uniquely challenging.
Jane Streat, Head of Client Services at Lexington Reception Services, caught up with Hilke Morison, Support Manager at Lexington to find out more bout her role and how she got to where she is.
Jane Streat (JS): Tell me a little about your background. How did you get to where you are?
Hilke Morison (HM):
I started my career on a formal, three year, hotel apprenticeship programme in Germany. Once I’d finished the apprenticeship I moved to London so I could improve my English.
I met my husband in the UK and decided to stay. I worked for six years at the Berkeley Hotel, first working in Front of House as a receptionist and I was then promoted to Shift Leader. The following year I worked as a Food & Beverage Coordinator and then spent three years working with the Events team.
The intention was to develop my knowledge and skills as best I could to allow me to grow as an individual and develop my career further. However, I decided I wanted to learn more about the corporate world – I wanted to work somewhere where I could use everything I learnt whilst working in hotels to enhance guest experience in the corporate world.
In 2015, I joined Lexington as a Reception Manager and more recently I moved in to my new role as a Support Team Manager.
JS: What has kept you motivated on your journey?
HM: I love to learn new things and push and develop myself. I’ve been very lucky and I’ve had great support along the way, which has really pushed me to be the very best that I can be.
JS: Tell us a little about your role as a Support Team Manager – a typical day?
HM: I start my day super early and I’m ready to take calls from the get go – whether that’s arranging cover if someone is sick or providing extra staff for events. I really enjoy this side of the role because it can involve quite a lot of juggling around to make things work.
Once I have dealt with the critical calls I head into the office. I always check in the LRS management team to ensure everyone who needs to be in the know about changes to the team is.
Then I visit my sites – it’s important to remain client facing and support the client-based teams as much as possible. There is, of course, the admin side of the role too, which includes recruitment, but my key focus is to ensure my team has the support they nee, when they need it enabling them to provide excellent customer service.
JS: What are your three top tips three for individuals thinking about reception/front of house roles?
HM: Do it! If you can remain calm, have confidence in yourself and your ability, and enjoy dealing with customers it’s perfect.
JS: What does it mean to you to be in the role you are in now?
HM: It means a lot to me to have been offered this role. I came back from maternity leave when I was offered the role – it was a great feeling knowing the hard work I’d put in to better myself had been recognised and I was given an opportunity to develop further.
The Lexington team put their trust in me to develop this role. I have been given the flexibility I need to work around my little boy, which is just fantastic. It’s great to work with such a fantastic team and I’m really grateful to have this chance.
JS: What gives you job satisfaction within your role?
HM: I love helping people, spotting the potential in people and seeing them progress. I really enjoy creating, nurturing and leading a successful team.
In my eyes, the key to success is trust – trust people to do what they need to do and providing support when required.
JS: Tell me about your team and what they mean to you?
HM: My team currently consists of 11 staff members. They all do an amazing job and each of them brings a unique quality to the team. They work hard and train across a number of different sites. They each seamlessly slot in when required to cover sickness/holidays or a vacancy without it having a negative impact on the wider team, business, or our clients. They’re a great bunch and I’m hugely proud of what they achieve on a day-to-day basis.
JS: What three words would you use to sum up working for Lexington Reception Services?
HM: Fun, Rewarding and Supportive.
If you are interested in finding out more about working for Lexington Reception Services take a look at our current vacancies: http://lexingtonreceptionservices.london/our-people/join-us/application-form/