Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Bridwell

Tony Bridwell

Partner and Practice Leader, Partners in Leadership (PIL)

Tony Bridwell is a Partner and Practice Leader for Partners In Leadership with nearly three decades of executive leadership experience. Most recently serving as the Chief People Officer of Brinker International (the parent company of Chili's and Maggiano's restaurants), Mr. Bridwell is a highly recognized thought leader in corporate culture, L&D, and human resources, being named 2015 HR Executive of the Year by DallasHR (the local SHRM affiliate) and also receiving the 2015 Strategic Leadership Award from Strategic Excellence HR. Mr. Bridwell began working with Brinker in 2009 as a consultant representing Partners In Leadership. Beginning in 2009, Brinker and its restaurants were facing a tough economy. Under his leadership and using the Partners In Leadership approach, Brinker reversed poor engagement, low retention, and high costs and ultimately transformed its culture into a powerhouse resource, delivering high stock prices, best-in-industry employee engagement, and high customer satisfaction levels. Based on this success and demand for his deeper involvement, Mr. Bridwell joined Brinker in 2013 and soon transitioned into a key member of their executive leadership as chief people officer in 2014. Mr. Bridwell has been a facilitator and featured speaker for audiences of several thousand people and has presented for multiple conferences and associations, including the CHRO Exchange, Dallas HR (SHRM), the HRSouthwest Conference, ATD San Diego, and the California Restaurant Association. Mr, Bridwell is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and serves on the board of directors for two non-profits: Taylor's Gift Foundation, which advocates organ donation awareness, and Unlimited Partnerships, a group dedicated to strengthening churches through the development and mentoring of future church leaders. Tony also authored the books, The Difference Maker (August 2013) and The Kingmaker (June 2016).

Mr. Bridwell can be contacted at 800-504-6070 or tonyb@ozprinciple.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.