Editorial Board   

Mr. Hall

Stephen Hall

Founder, Brandworks Distribution LLC

Stephen S.J. Hall was a 1956 graduate of the school of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. He also holds an MBA with high honors from Michigan State University as well as a Masters Degree in Divinity from Harvard. After serving as a Marine Corps officer from 1956 to 1958 he spent most of his career in the hospitality industry starting as a field engineer with Sheraton Corporation. He was promoted to Director of Operations Support for ITT Sheraton leaving in 1971 to become Vice President for Administration of Harvard where he managed 10 departments with an annual budget of $95 million dollars spending an additional 300 million per annum for new construction. While at ITT Sheraton one of his duties was as the first Quality Assurance Director in the industry. In 1981 he formed a quality assurance consulting company and implemented the first quality assurance program in the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The company also put in programs in the Bahamas as well as several hotels in the US including the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, WV. Mr. Hall has taught Quality Assurance at several universities including Cornell, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, New Hampshire, the Instut de Management Hoteiier in Cergy- Pontoise, France as well as Glion in Switzerland where he was also the Director of Studies. He has given seminars worldwide. He has also held positions as Pastor of the Congregational church in Cohasset Massachusetts and the Associate Pastor of the American Church in Paris, France. Mr. Hall has written and published four books: QUALITY ASSURANCE IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY - The American Society for Quality Control, READINGS IN ETHICS - Education Institute of AH&LA, JOURNEY TO EXCELLENCE - Dog Ear Press and PLUMB BOB - Dog Ear Press. While quality assurance is traditionally defined as conformance to standards will Mr. Hall has promoted the idea that conformance to standards alone is insufficient. Standards must be “right” standards thus introducing ethics and replaces quality assurance with the word excellence as the ultimate goal. Excellence is defined as “consistently doing right things.” Although several surveys, in recent years, indicated that managers have a strong interest in ethics and consider the practice of ethics to be beneficial to the bottom line, few hotels have a comprehensive program of ethics in place. The problem is analyzed in the book PLUMB BOB which also includes a new theory of which can be easily taught to employees

Mr. Hall can be contacted at Larry_Hall@SpringerMiller.com

Coming up in March 2020...

Human Resources: Confronting a Labor Shortage

With the unemployment rate at its lowest level in decades (3.7%), what has always been a perennial problem for human resource professionals - labor shortage - is now reaching acute levels of concern. It is getting harder to find and recruit qualified applicants. Even finding candidates with the skills to succeed in entry-level positions has become an issue. In addition, employee turnover rates remain extremely high in the hotel industry. As a result of these problems, hotel HR managers are having to rethink their recruitment strategies in order to hire the right talent for the right job. First, hotels have been forced to raise their wages and offer other appealing perks, as a way to attract qualified candidates. Secondly, HR managers are reassessing their interviewing techniques, focusing less on the answers they receive to questions and more on observable behavior. Part of this process includes role-playing during the interview, so that the recruiter can gauge how a candidate works through specific problems and interacts with other team members. Additionally, some HR managers are also creating internal talent pools as a way to address labor shortages. Instead of utilizing department resources to find new hires with specific skills for needed positions, hotels are cultivating talent pools internally and preparing their employees to assume leadership roles whenever the time comes. They are also placing greater emphasis on a company culture that is more performance-based, as a way to curb employee turnover, increase employee satisfaction, and assure higher levels of customer service. Finally, recognizing the importance of employee retention as a way to lessen the impact of a tight labor market, some HR managers are instituting generous reward programs in order to retain their top performers. The March Hotel Business Review will explore what some HR professionals are doing to address these and other issues in their departments.