Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Bankoski

Linda Bankoski

Co-Owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC

Linda Bankoski is co-owner and Managing Director of Education and Assessment of SpaQuality LLC, a company that has provided a roadmap to authentic performance excellence for spas through quality system standards, education, assessment and certification since 2004. Ms. Bankoski is the co-author of The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM, which provides a framework for spas to create effective and efficient spa operations that result in consistent delivery of excellent spa services, guest and staff loyalty, as well as business success. The inspiration of The Standards comes from internationally accepted quality system standards used by other industries including ISO 9000 (international quality management systems), ISO 14000 (environmental management standards), the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in the United States, the Canada Awards for Excellence from the National Quality Institute in Canada, the EFQM Excellence Award in Europe, OSHA (US health and safety), FDA Good Manufacturing Practices (US), TedQual (tourism education quality), JCAHO (US healthcare organization standards), and more. Basic concepts from these standards along with years of spa experience were combined, translated, enhanced and organized into a complete spa management system that provides spas with what is necessary to achieve long-term success. While created for spas, the key concepts provided in The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM can be applied to the entire hospitality industry including hotels, resorts, cruise lines, clubs, restaurants, theme parks and more. Now in their 5th edition, The Standards have been sold to spas in 28 countries. Ms. Bankoski co-created and co-teaches Building and Sustaining High Quality Systems for Spas, a six-week, on-line course for the University of California - Irvine Extension's Spa and Hospitality Management Certificate Program, which uses The International Standards of SpaExcellenceSM for the textbook. Ms. Bankoski is a quality expert with 30+ years of experience leading, coaching, consulting, and helping organizations and businesses in a wide variety of industries succeed and thrive. She is people-and goal-oriented and motivated by opportunities to learn, encourage and inspire others. Ms. Bankoski has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a healthcare professional, corporate trainer, customer advocate, market researcher, culture change pioneer and business advisor. She served on the Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for five years and looks forward to helping spas attain this prestigious award in the future. Ms. Bankoski is a professional speaker and was chair of the local section of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). She has been a Good Manufacturing Practices Auditor (FDA regulations) for 25+ years and an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor, RAB Certified Quality Systems Lead Auditor and a Certified Lead Assessor (ISO 9001) for over 15 years. Ms. Bankoski is past president of the Board of Directors for the Delaware Quality Consortium, Inc. (Delaware Quality Award). She was an adjunct professor in the Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Delaware and a lead instructor in the Quality Management Certificate. She taught courses in quality management and organizational improvement. She developed and taught courses on the ISO 9000 standard, quality system auditing and problem solving for the Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership.

Ms. Bankoski can be contacted at 302-426-0274 or bankoski@voicenet.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.