Making the New Hire Our Smart Hire

By Mark Ricketts President & Chief Operating Officer, McNeill Hotels | April 15, 2018

It's been reported that millennials decide within their first 48 hours with an organization whether they will stay on for an extended period of time. Talk about first impressions being the most lasting! 

But when we think about it, first impressions are important for all ages and experience groups. When guests arrive at our properties, the impression of their stay will often be indelibly forged by how things went at its very start. How did check-in go? Was he or she made to feel genuinely welcome by our staff? How did the room present itself upon that first opening of the main door or first peek into the bathroom? How did breakfast look and taste the next morning? And so on.

When we meet with a new supplier or industry partner, again, first impressions count for a great deal. Did we look our new colleague firmly in the eye? Did we ask the right questions or provide the answers that were being sought? The silent grading starts right then and there. The expectations of others and how we match them are essential to our success.

We must put the same care into the acquisition, training and career development process for our new hires. What we do at these stages must reflect what works best for our operating model and how we believe people should be treated within an organization.  Moreover, we must be careful about adjusting core procedures depending on whether the labor market is tight, or looser, at any given time.  Perhaps, above all else, we must be consistent with how we treat all of our associates, at entry point and into and throughout their careers with us.

This article will discuss some best practices and ideas in making any new hire feel welcome to a hospitality organization while "coming up to speed." It will also consider strategies and techniques that will help keep unproductive misconceptions or misunderstandings from arising between employer and employee. 

Hospitality isn't a career for everyone, but there are ways to improve the odds and make the new hire our smart hire. While this article will apply to our entire hospitality organization, we will be focusing on the broad range of associates, the ones who interact with and care for guests, as opposed to higher level managers and the C-suite.

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.