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Bill Caswell

A recent Econsultancy survey querying companies on the most exciting opportunity for 2019 found that customer experience (CX) topped the list, edging out content marketing and mobile marketing. This CX trend has been accelerating over the last several years – especially in the hotel industry. As hotels pursued customer experience strategies, however, they often neglected to invest in their most important competitive advantage: the employees tasked with delivering the customer experience. In the hotel industry, you can't outcompete rivals on CX without an employee experience program that produces satisfied, well-trained employees. READ MORE

Court Williams

The hospitality industry is enjoying a healthy period of innovation and growth, with many opportunities for differentiation among the various brands. Successfully "doing business differently" requires pioneering leadership, however, and it's not always easy to find CEOs with the right skills and attributes. With the changes brought about by technology, finding suitable business leaders for the future is paradoxically both easier and more challenging. Hotel company CEOs now need to have a completely different skill set than they did before. This article looks at six of the trends we're currently seeing in hospitality leadership and where hotel companies can source people with the leadership skills they need. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives began to deal directly with the things that they can control while managing to lessen the burden of threats for things that they could not control. With distinctive competitive advantage or even core competitive advantage, a hotel's internal resources should be managed in order to enhance competitiveness. Therefore, this core-competitive advantage relies within and among people. Hotel executives embrace various internal resources affecting competitive advantage through adding more manageable control and reducing operational risk. Some of these internal resources can be controlled by hotel executives and others are risks that have to be factored into strategic decision-making. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives realize that knowledge is the most strategic factor for empowering the capabilities of a hotel and improving its competitive advantage in the marketplace. Knowledge is shared and synthesized with an aim to providing higher quality services. However, this is still not enough for hotel executives because knowledge is quite elusive and is changing on a day-to-day basis with discontinued services and the ever changing vast array of environmental issues. The key is for hotel executives to integrate risk management, knowledge management and talent management within hotels so that information can be found and used instantaneously. READ MORE

Mostafa Sayyadi

Hotel executives find that knowledge management is the in the forefront of success. And knowledge management could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing business environment of today. This, by far, is why some hotels are successful and some are not. The key take-away for hotel executives is that knowledge management is a resource that enables hotels to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Time was that knowing one's customer was as easy as standing in the lobby and interacting with guests as they came and went. "Welcome to the hotel." "Is there anything we can do to make your visit more enjoyable?" "How was your stay?" No more. In today's world, travelers are increasingly self-directing their contact with hotels, before, during and after their stay. So much of the traveler's journey is accomplished without any human interaction. So, how does one optimize the hotel operation from a guest services standpoint? By using the same thing that has created the distance – technology. Read on. READ MORE

Zoe Connolly

Recruiting is hard. It's harder when a full team of amazing professionals stops thinking about ways to augment their own crew, and comes to the logical conclusion that it's better to focus on their specific roles than it is to go outside comfort zones. After all, no one wants to rock the boat for a group that's doing amazing work. However, leaders who can encourage their employees to build a pipeline of talent will almost never find themselves unable to meet every guest's requests. READ MORE

Jeff Hart

Jeff Hart, General Manager of the Los Angeles Airport Marriott shares tangible and practical insights and tips on how hotel executives can motivate and inspire the team during a hotel renovation. From facelifts to complete overhauls, properties must take the necessary steps to stay up-to-date with current trends, latest technologies, and the needs of today's travelers – which brings many hotels to renovation. Hart discusses the idea that during a renovation, emphasis must be placed on inspiring and uplifting staff, as it is their overall project knowledge, enthusiasm, and feelings towards the transformation that ultimately trickles down to the guest and the experience they have on property. Keeping the staff motivated, invested, and enthusiastic is a vital piece of the job when it comes to team leadership, and Hart shares nine tools in which managers can do so. READ MORE

Adria Levtchenko

Labor costs are a significant portion of any hotel's total operating costs. At the same time, hotel property management companies are competing with other service industries to find enough qualified (and affordable) entry-level and experienced candidates. No one wants to lower service levels or possibly negatively impact guest satisfaction. The solution applies in applying new technologies that can enhance worker productivity, job satisfaction and the overall hotel experience. This article discusses how today's best hotel task optimization software platforms can accomplish these goals and make a positive contribution to a hotel's bottom line. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

Guest satisfaction data, while critical, will do little to increase intent to return and recommend if an operator lacks the ability to view it in the context of other key aspects of the hotel's business. Today's hotelier must break down the departmental silos that have traditionally assigned guest satisfaction to marketing, employee engagement to human resources and productivity to operations, to gain a holistic view of the factors impacting the guest experience and, ultimately, drive business. READ MORE

Philia Tounta

Human Resource Management in a small business can be a vital task leading to success. Specifically in the service sector, service quality depends mostly on the quality of personnel since it is labor intensive and requires face-to-face interaction with customers. Unfortunately, small-sized hotels are faced with unfavorable conditions but they have opportunities to expand using their strengths as small firms with high levels of flexibility. Smaller organizations need to change HR practices compared to larger organizations because of the different workforce requirements and legal. Specifically, they must focus on improving customer satisfaction and the quality of service through a procedure of well organized HR management. READ MORE

Bruce Tracey

The term 'Future of Work' (FoW) has quickly become part of our everyday lexicon and has arrived with very real-world implications for companies and firms across the globe. Hospitality organizations are certainly not going to be an exception. From dizzying advances in FoW technology and consequential job design, to sweeping workforce demographic changes, to the reality of having to leverage greater numbers of agile/on-demand talent, hospitality companies will need to rely even more on their HR functions to navigate these inevitabilities. All this, on top of an industry already with a bit of an image problem. This article discusses some of the implications of FoW for the hospitality industry and presents three questions for organizations to ponder as they begin to adopt the necessary strategies, tactics, and practices to support FoW. READ MORE

Rick Garlick

Regardless of how technologically driven or popular a hotel brand is, customer service can truly make or break a hospitality experience. While our homes and daily lives can be reliant upon Alexa, hotel experiences still require personal touches and a "ready to serve" experience. What can we do to consistently deliver high customer satisfaction rates? This article takes a deeper dive into a variety of different approaches which hotel management can implement to continually motivate their employees leaving customers feeling positive, satisfied and fulfilled from the overall experience. READ MORE

Zoe Connolly

From things like being up to date on the latest job board or careers site, through finding the time to screen every qualified potential candidate, hiring can be a brutal experience. This is among the chief reasons that the recruiting industry came into being; recruiters can make things easier for hiring managers. But not all roles and situations merit the help of a seasoned hiring professional. In facat, there are a number of circumstances that travel tech and hotel leaders should consider before bringing on a recruiting partner. This article identifies when it is, and when it is not time for hiring help. READ MORE

Christopher Manley

Hotels operating in a seasonal market must be prepared to continually adjust to the drastic variations in business throughout the year. By far, one of the greatest challenges for such properties is to maintain proper staffing throughout the seasonal swings. Hotels that proactively combat staffing challenges – through tailored strategic planning and cultural efforts – will be well positioned to thrive in seasonal environments. Hiring team members during the proper season, incentive programs, referral programs and career pathing efforts all contribute to creating an "Employer of Choice" brand, which is an often overlooked yet critical factor in successful recruitment and retention. READ MORE

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Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. 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.