Stoney Creek Hotels: How GAM’ing Is Changing The Way We Do Hotel Leadership

hotel front desk with GAM workflow graphic

How GAM’ing is Changing The Way We Do Hotel Leadership

“Hey, I’m GAM’ing” is becoming a strange but significant start to conversations across Stoney Creek Hospitality. Not only is it pretty fun to say, but this signals to the other person the importance of the conversation that’s about to be had. “GAM’ing” stands for “Get A Manager.” This is a process that President Jeff Mould kept with him throughout years of hospitality and is now being adopted at Stoney Creek as a one-stop shop for finding solutions to problems. 

How It Works

The GAM process revolves around one common purpose: To always create an exceptionally personal home away from home experience for all we serve. With this in mind, here is how we as a company are implementing GAM strategy in a practical, efficient way for our Stoney Creek Staff:

The Moment of Truth

There’s always that event where everything just comes together, and an experience can quickly become a negative one. A great example is when you’re having a bad day, and you keep noticing small details along the way that add to the overall negative experience. You step on a piece of chewed gum in the morning, and maybe you receive lukewarm coffee for your afternoon pick-me-up.

Say you’re checking into a hotel room in the evening, and you deal with an impersonal or otherwise distracted desk agent. At that very moment, you have your ‘Moment of Truth’ as a guest, and the immediate instinct is to speak to a manager. You think to yourself ‘something just needs to happen here”.

We’ve all been there in a service environment on both sides and know what it’s like. 

GAM is built for these moments, where immediate action needs to be taken to help our guest and ensure that their experience goes back to being 1. Personal, and 2. Exceptional. 

The GAM’ing Begins

At some point, we’ve all thought to ourselves, “I really wish I weren’t doing this alone.” We understand that and make sure that GAM is always there to act as a constant promise to our staff as well as our guests. 

Jeff says:

“When a team member GAMs, it allows them to stay in sequence, to focus on their primary responsibilities. When you GAM, a supervisor or manager can build relationships with a guest or vendor as they work to make the situation right. We believe that to fulfill our purpose, asking for help in every aspect of the guest’s experience is a sign of strength, not weakness.”

Once our staff recognizes a guest is having that ‘Moment of Truth,’ they Get a Manager. When General Managers hear, ‘Hey, I need to GAM,’ they drop what they’re doing because this is the most important thing at present. Nothing else matters other than 100% guest satisfaction. The same is true for General Managers getting advice and direction from the executive team for immediate solutions. The reason GAM is unique is because rules are off the table. ‘GAM’ is now the magic word. 

This doesn’t only happen on the property level, either. Our Stoney Creek corporate team utilizes GAM when making pivotal decisions for the company and acts as a way of opening up the discussion across the executive team. This is a word that carries meaning but also carries with it a sense of mutual understanding that there is a situation at hand that needs to be addressed immediately. 

Make It Right

Our final promise in the GAM process is that we won’t stop until all possibilities have been exhausted to create 100% guest satisfaction. There should be no stone left unturned, and no solution overlooked. The only way to ensure this is to promote fully transparent communication during the GAM process. 

What GAM Is Doing For Stoney Creek So Far

get a manager flow chart graphicCutting Out The Noise - Resembling a horizontal organizational strategy, “GAM’ing” cuts out the noise that is loudest when a staff member needs immediate answers for a guest. If, for any reason, a staff member is feeling ‘out of sequence’ and isn’t sure how to proceed, GAM is there with open arms and ready to move. This creates a comfort and understanding for our staff members and reminds them that they aren’t alone in any situation. 

Increasing Flexibility - At Stoney Creek, we pride ourselves on having the kind of people that GSD - Get Stuff Done. Using GAM, we as a company can utilize the wisdom, experience, and enthusiasm of those around us to find solutions to any issue. In 2023, Stoney Creek has the agility and flexibility of a much smaller company while building a team-oriented structure from the inside out. Every guest is entitled to expect and receive our finest, exceptional service. We cannot accomplish this individually. We can only do this as a team. The overall effort of all co-workers is the key to making this successful.

Changing The Way We Do Business - A couple of decades ago, the quality of a product and its cost determined what business a guest would choose. Now, guests care as much or more about the experience they get with a brand. When we have a guest who is not fully satisfied with their experience, we must do whatever it takes to make it right before they leave. If a guest departs dissatisfied, the amount of work it takes after the fact to satisfy them is exponentially higher than if we could have handled it correctly in the first place. Thanks to GAM, we not only have an expectation, but we have that promise to ensure satisfaction around every corner while fully supporting our staff every step of the way. 


Posted in Hospitality.