Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. McKay

Marigrace McKay

OpEx Professional, Self

Marigrace McKay is an experienced Strategic Management and Operations Excellence (OpEx), professional - and she loves her job! She has worked across many industries including but not limited to: hospitality, energy, telecommunications, DOD/engineering, consumer and durable goods. Her first post-college job was with Canadian Pacific Hotels in Washington, DC group sales in the association and diplomatic markets. She also sold for Holiday Inns International Canada (CHIC) - so she truly understands the inside workings of getting and growing satisfied hotel clientele and the hospitality industry in general. Ms. McKay is a F500 Project Manager of Change Management and Performance Improvement (PI). She has served key executive partner roles in accelerating business growth and strategic goal achievement. She is a certified Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt, and holds several professional HR Management certifications (SHRM-SCP, SPHR) including Change Management and as a Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP). Ms. McKay earned a Master of Science, Management degree from The Johns Hopkins University. A 10-year career with leading consultancies formed her systems thinking. Recently with Mondelez International (formerly Kraft Foods) she led the leadership development program for 400 managers in the largest North America business unit. In that role Ms. McKay and her team designed and implemented an e-learning academy. This later proved to deliver a calculated 3-sigma learner effectiveness. For classroom learning, she managed 23,000 hours. She has managed HR Departments in union and non-union environments, 2,200 employees. Her favorite city is Barcelona - pinchos and tapas on the Med! 2nd fav? US State Parks.

Ms. McKay can be contacted at 423-653-7696 or mg62529@att.net

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.