Coping With Chaos: How to manage your hotel workforce in uncertain times

By Paul Feeney Managing Director, Sanford Rose Associates - Wayne | October 28, 2008

For example:

  • Workers are increasingly unhappy with their jobs - a trend reported by Forbes magazine. So what happens when a key employee departs for greener pastures?
  • The U.S. military was calling more and more Reservists and National Guard members to active duty. Who might be called from your company's U.S. operations, and what are your obligations for their re-employment?
  • Position openings placed on hold have begun to cause morale and productivity problems, yet higher management remains resolute in its decision not to hire. What, if anything, can you do?
  • When the economy does improve, you don't want to be left at the starting gate while all your competitors capture the top talent. How can you avoid finishing last?Readers can complete their own lists. Perhaps, for instance, one of your direct reports is a definite "weak link" - but you are concerned that firing him or her will be approved, while hiring a replacement will not. Or you need to reduce headcount but have no weak links.

As the old saying goes, if there weren't problems, God wouldn't have created managers. And anticipating problems is at least half of the battle for solving them. The smart manager therefore, with the active participation of the organization's HR professionals, will do a little brainstorming to identify the "what-ifs" that may be lurking just around the corner. The even wiser manager will address existing issues and concerns as well.

When Active Duty Calls

Do you know who belongs to a Reserve or National Guard unit? If not, that information is undoubtedly in personnel files, and members probably attend summer camp each year as well. Also, they may be looking pretty anxious these days.

Those who serve their country deserve the highest respect - and the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act of 1994 (known as USERRA) ensures they receive it.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.