The Talent Equation: Great Recruiting + Great Workplace = Great Talent
By Rene Lewis Director of Human Resources , Signature Worldwide | June 19, 2011
Traveling to Maine recently for a wedding in my family, I had the painful, yet familiar, experience of an exasperated Front Office Manager at the hotel. The location was a mid-range, full-service hotel with front desk staff who were apathetic, at best.
The Front Office Manager was a long-term employee of the hotel, which I came to know after we had a few conversations about human resources in the Hospitality Industry. She was about thirty years old and worked at that location through college and found herself promoted from a Front Desk Agent, to a Front Desk Supervisor, to a Guest Services Manager, and then finally to the Front Office Manager, which she had been doing for about three years. She liked her job and she liked her guests, but she didn't like her desk staff! As I observed this group of people over my four-night stay, she had every right to feel frustrated. Apathy was the general problem, underscored by no sense of urgency, no warmth, empathy or rapport with guests, and no sense of responsibility to the business.
She had no idea how to address this lack of performance and was completely demoralized herself. Needless to say, I (and the other seventeen people who were staying there for the wedding) didn't receive the kind of service we deserved.
The area in Maine is a big tourist area and the hotel was large; able to accommodate large groups and an array of visit types, from weddings to business trips to sightseers. Apathetic front desk staff is a common story and causes hotels to lose repeat business, which is devastating for a hotel such as the one in my story.
Best practices in human resources teach us that great organizations attract, develop and retain great employees. All three of these elements create great talent and a great workplace. And what happens when we keep our great employees? We have happy and repeat guests, word-of-mouth customer referrals to our location, and we are a magnet for other great employees. Instead of fighting a constant downward spiral, we are lifted into an upward spiral. Momentum builds and all of the sudden we love our job!
As we all know, attracting, developing and retaining the best employees is much easier said than done, especially if you are currently in a situation where the best employees weren't hired for the job in the first place.
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