Category Archives: Business

Best Western Initiates Cleaning Program in Response to COVID-19

A member of Alpha Chi Omega, Nichole Thiel is a former career and technical education teacher at Lake City High School in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Nichole Thiel has experience scheduling and managing educational programs and currently works in the hospitality industry.

In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Best Western Hotels & Resorts is launching its We Care Clean Program (a substantial modification of its former I Care Clean Program). The new We Care Clean Program consists of enhanced cleaning protocols and increased breakfast standards. The program addresses operations in all departments, including food and beverage service, front desk services, and housekeeping as well as public amenities cleaning (swimming pools, fitness centers, and meeting rooms), and hotel employee and staff safety.

Irrelevant items, such as bed scarves, paper notepads, pens, and decorative pillows will be removed from guestrooms. During multi-night stays, full cleaning room services will not be performed unless specifically requested by guests. After check-out, each room will receive a thorough sanitation and cleaning. This includes disinfection of door handles, faucets, light switches, clocks, thermostats, and hangers with chemicals aimed at destroying the new coronavirus.

USPS Offers New Priority Mail and Priority Express Stamp Designs

After more than a decade as a secondary school administrator and leadership trainer, Nichole Thiel took a brief hiatus to care for her ailing mother. In 2019, Nichole Thiel returned to the workforce as a federal employee with the United States Postal Service.

The USPS raises all its operating costs from postage and specialty stamp sales. Recently, the USPS announced the release of a new line of priority mail postage featuring two natural landmarks.

Available in January 2020, the priority mail express stamp will celebrate the Grand Island Ice Cave of Lake Superior. During the winter, snow runoff develops into beautiful ice formations at the mouth of the Grand Cave. When the lake is frozen over, visitors can reach the spectacular display by snowmobile.

The 2020 Priority Mail stamps will showcase a portion of the Rio Grande flowing through Big Bend National Park in Texas. Both stamps feature the work of Chicago-based illustrator Dan Cosgrove. While there will be no official first day of issue ceremony, the USPS will release information regarding the purchase of first-day postmarks on its website and upcoming newsletter.

The Importance of Leaders Making Employees Feel Safe and Trusted

Nichole Thiel
Nichole Thiel

A longtime Coeur d’Alene, Idaho resident, Nichole Thiel has experience with the Idaho Leadership Institute and has informed education policy and planning in her work with several schools. Results focused, Nichole Thiel enjoys watching TED Talks and gleaning insight from thought leaders in business and academia.

A 2014 presentation by management theorist Simon Sinek on the topic “Why good leaders make you feel safe” drew attention to the necessity of, and challenges inherent in, creating a circle of trust, particularly in uncertain economic times. He contrasts the military sphere, where people are given medals for “sacrificing so that others may gain,” with the business sphere, where the opposite often occurs.

If one looks back over human history, what Sinek terms “a circle of safety” was a critical element in safeguarding against outside dangers. Within the business sphere, dangers are not elemental, but related to competition, new technologies, and other disruptors.

These variables are not going away, but one way of exposing the organization to much greater risk is to neglect the dangers from within. One major indication of employees not feeling safe is over-adherence to the rules, as there is a sense that sticking one’s neck out or acting independently could result in loss of employment.

At the core of this is a lack of trust in the leaders. The time and energy expended in protecting oneself from other members of the same team works to the detriment of the operation as a whole. The leader who makes employees feel safe allows them to naturally combine strengths and talents in ways that benefit the group will also often see his business or organization prosper as a result.