For Tom Dwyer, the key to success in a service industry rests on his ability to make others look and feel good, and that process begins with his staff.
“My job is to keep them engaged and make their work as easy as possible,” Dwyer said.
Dwyer, 60, has worked in the hotel industry for 45 years and currently is the general manager for Embassy Suites Hotel in Loveland. He is being honored at BizWest’s 2014 Women of Distinction awards as Outstanding Mentor.
Embassy Suites Loveland earned national honors this year as the leading hotel in the chain.
“My team is the key to why we became number one,” Dwyer said. “I try to surround myself with talented people.” Daily goal setting and attainment moved the hotel and conference center toward the pinnacle of the company, and it’s a distinction Dwyer hopes his 130 employees and associates can hang their hats on in the future.
His team is comprised of people from varied backgrounds, from college students to experienced professionals. Meeting each person where they are and encouraging their growth is part of his process as a manager. He strives to encourage his associates – many of whom are women – into leadership roles, and finds that family means a lot to them.
“It’s important to be cognizant of that,” Dwyer said.
The philosophy meshes well with his hotel’s ideals, too. “We’re very much a kids-friendly hotel, and family is a cornerstone of Embassy,” he said. “We have to display that with our team.”
Anne Marie Cole began working with Dwyer when he came to the hotel a handful of years ago.
“It is very rare that you find a general manager that is willing to support the team to the level that he does and not really want the credit for it,” Cole said.
Dwyer finds a way to connect with everyone – whether employees or guests – and makes them all feel important, Cole said. She’s been impressed by his ability to say yes, whether it’s when she asked for support in her career advancement or when trying to meet the needs of a guest. She said Dwyer comes through with support without being pushy.
He also creates a safe environment to make mistakes.
“If you make a mistake, he says, ‘OK, kiddo, you’ll get it right next time.’ We acknowledge it and move on,” Cole said.
It’s important for his associates to feel that he is a friend, Dwyer said, and he truly wants it to be fun for his employees to come to work. If it’s fun for the employees, it will be fun for the guests, and everyone wins. Dwyer encourages employee activities, such as community giving and barbecues, and also strives to make the hotel atmosphere fun – from lemonade in the lobby to video games for guests’ children.
Cole loves the atmosphere Dwyer creates.
“Tom has been with our company for a very long time,” she said, “and he’s a delight to work for.”