New Administration, New World for Going Green

By Jim Poad Director of Client Solutions, Advantage IQ | August 03, 2010

In January, the United States inaugurated its forty-fourth commander in chief and ushered in what's largely considered to be a landmark administration. President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and their cabinet, have promised sweeping policy changes in several areas.

Among the list of Obama's priority issues are the economy, healthcare, foreign policy, and of course energy and the environment as global climate change is one of the fastest growing points of anxiety for America. His plans to address global climate change caused by carbon emissions have been intensely analyzed by policy makers and the media.

For business operators who have launched green initiatives or incorporated them into their 2009 budget, it is important to consider how changing energy policy could potentially affect plans to go green. In general, the proposed policies will make green initiatives more of a financial priority for businesses. At the same time, more businesses will be able to meet newly set emission standards with access to cheaper green energy and efficiency technologies.

Proposed Energy Policy and Effects

The proposed energy plan features two key plans of action with the potential to dramatically affect the way American businesses consume energy: A $150 billion investment in clean energy and energy efficient technology over the next ten years, as well as a plan to implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"Show Me the Money" An infusion of $15 billion a year, while not enough to solve the environmental crisis at hand, is a solid start. This much needed investment will drive innovation in renewable energy and clean, efficient technology.

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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.