Developing a Competitive Environmental Program Within Your Chain

By Arthur Weissman President and CEO, Green Seal, Inc. | September 02, 2010

In our last article, we outlined how hospitality companies can develop and implement corporate environmental programs throughout their organization. In this article we focus on building an employee recognition program that supports the implementation of a new environmental program and can provide staff with training and leadership opportunities. In addition to setting up online tools, reporting templates, and supportive resource staff to help your frontline employees adopt your Brand's new environmental program, a successful environmental program is also able to engage employees on a personal level. By tying an employee's individual motivations to the strategic mission, goals, and targets of your new environmental program, you can encourage a higher quality and frequency of their engagement needed to achieve the performance goals of the program.

Targeting Your Audience

In the development of any program it is important to clearly identify and understand the intended audience or target group. Within your Brand there are many levels of administration and service provision that will be involved in the implementation of your new environmental program. In identifying who will need recognition to adopt the program, consider the following motivational incentives for each type of employee:

  • Senior Management can usually support ideas that assure efficiency, improve general attitudes of employees, increases ROIs and productivity, and build customer/ employee loyalty.
  • Staff Employees can support ideas if their input and contributions are recognized by peers and supervisors, they are provided an array of attractive and individually unique rewards, and there is open communication with all levels of management.
  • Program Managers commit to ideas that support efficient administration, make the workplace exciting, and foster a sense of pride in the workforce.

In developing your incentive program to support the roll-out of your new environmental program, you may also want to survey what motivates the members of your Green Teams on the departmental or property level. Ask them why they are interested in helping to promote the new measures proposed and what they hope to achieve for the Brand, as well as personally, by meeting the goals you have set.

Identify Program Goals and Develop Criteria

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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.