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 2019...

Human Resources: An Era of Transition

Traditionally, the human resource department administers five key areas within a hotel operation - compliance, compensation and benefits, organizational dynamics, selection and retention, and training and development. However, HR professionals are also presently involved in culture-building activities, as well as implementing new employee on-boarding practices and engagement initiatives. As a result, HR professionals have been elevated to senior leadership status, creating value and profit within their organization. Still, they continue to face some intractable issues, including a shrinking talent pool and the need to recruit top-notch employees who are empowered to provide outstanding customer service. In order to attract top-tier talent, one option is to take advantage of recruitment opportunities offered through colleges and universities, especially if they have a hospitality major. This pool of prospective employees is likely to be better educated and more enthusiastic than walk-in hires. Also, once hired, there could be additional training and development opportunities that stem from an association with a college or university. Continuing education courses, business conferences, seminars and online instruction - all can be a valuable source of employee development opportunities. In addition to meeting recruitment demands in the present, HR professionals must also be forward-thinking, anticipating the skills that will be needed in the future to meet guest expectations. One such skill that is becoming increasingly valued is “resilience”, the ability to “go with the flow” and not become overwhelmed by the disruptive influences  of change and reinvention. In an era of transition—new technologies, expanding markets, consolidation of brands and businesses, and modifications in people's values and lifestyles - the capacity to remain flexible, nimble and resilient is a valuable skill to possess. The March Hotel Business Review will examine some of the strategies that HR professionals are employing to ensure that their hotel operations continue to thrive.