New Brand or Ownership Brings New Opportunities for Invigorating Your Staff
By John Ely Senior Vice President of Marketing, Signature Worldwide | May 19, 2010
With the recession lifting, the hotel landscape is bound to change. Some brands will fade away and many new ones will replace them. Instead of fearing change, help your staff embrace it and plan for a new brand or ownership team. Make them a part of the process to encourage easy adoption.
Hotels are a different breed. I have worked in many industries over the years, but the hospitality industry has some unique qualities that I have found nowhere else. One of these is the sheer volume of "transitional" moments. Many companies merge, get acquired or bought out, however a typical employee may experience this only once or twice in their entire career, if at all. When considering the hospitality industry, this cycle of change happens on a regular basis.
There are many reasons for this constant shifting that are based on how hotels are operated and managed. There are management companies that come in to run new properties, brands that enforce new franchise protocols and owners looking to expand. This all leads to changes in how a hotel is run. In the coming year, we could be looking at a record number of changes as we begin to pull out of the worst economic downturn in memory for most of us. There will be hotels under new management, new ownership, new flags and all combinations of the three.
For an employee, the thought of new management usually means times of fear, uncertainty and endless hours of stress. I think back to times when companies I worked for changed hands, and the commotion it caused among the workforce. We had no clue what the future held for us. Will we still pursue the same strategic direction? Will we be working for a new set of managers? Will we be working at all? All of these questions would race through our minds and when you're worried about what tomorrow will bring, it's hard to be 100 percent effective today!
As managers or new owners, we have just as many uncertainties as the employees. Will we be properly staffed? How will we train the new employees? How will we retrain and retain the old workers? Many times lost in the turmoil is one very important question: How does this affect the customer?
I spoke to my resident hospitality expert Holly Zoba, formerly of Milestone Internet Marketing and The Scout Report, about her experience with management changes. She had a lot to talk about!