Dollars & Sense: Merging Cultures Post-M&A

By Marcus Nicolls Senior Vice President and Business Unit President, Partners in Leadership (PIL) | May 31, 2015

Co-authored by Mattson Newell, Area VP & Leadership Consultant, Partners In Leadership

A super platinum - everything status guest with a certain brand hotel chain walked into one of his favorite properties after this brand recently merged with another chain, looked around and said, "It just isn't the same. I don't even recognize them anymore." He then walked out of the door determined to find a new favorite property he could count on.

Does this sound far-fetched to you? It shouldn't; it happens all too often, and it should send chills down every leader's spine. While this anecdote focuses on the guest, you can imagine the impact this would also have on the employees.

Mergers and Acquisitions can surely impact the bottom line in the short term, but more importantly, they can also impact guests, team members, and anyone associated with a brand. Unfortunately, these components often get lost in the short-term activity and shuffle.

In a world where M&A can happen anytime, to (almost) any company, leaders need be prepared and know how to manage and facilitate the process.

Dollars & Sense

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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.