Editorial Board   

Ms. Oksner

Elaine Oksner

Guest and Concierge Services Trainer, Hospitality Excellence, Inc.

Elaine Oksner is Past President of Les Clefs D'Or, USA the professional concierge membership association representing the highest standards of service excellence and ultimate service. In this role, she traveled internationally representing the concierge profession to the business community and to business leaders worldwide. She is the former Chef Concierge of the Breakers Resort, Palm Beach, one of only two Five Star, Five Diamond hotel properties in the state of Florida. Previously she served as Chef Concierge for the Four Seasons in Palm Beach and the Park Hyatt in Washington, DC. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and has served as President of Washington, DC and Palm Beach, Florida concierge associations which she helped to establish. Elaine was also one of 100 delegates selected by President Clinton to attend and participate in the first White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. Ms. Oksner is a frequent lecturer on "Managing the Guest Service Staff" and "The Ethics of Service Delivery" and remains an active teacher and leader in the concierge profession. She has been a lead instructor/trainer for the International Concierge Institute and provides guest and concierge service training, consulting, development and mystery shopper services for Hospitality Excellence, Inc. She also remains on the concierge staff of the Four Seasons, Palm Beach. She has a BA from Adelphi University and did postgraduate work at George Washington University.

Ms. Oksner can be contacted at 954-739-5299 or elaine@hospitalityexcellence.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.