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Lizz Chambers

You show up at 8am for a training workshop, dreading it all week. Right as you are about to step inside, you stop and the question pops into your mind, “Why am I here? Will this be worth my ever-so-fleeting time? And if they make me play games, I think I may be forced to commit hara-kiri.” Does this sound even remotely familiar? Games do not have to be painful or embarrassing. Some games, such as bouncing a beach ball, everyone standing on a sheet and turning it over without anyone leaving the sheet, lining up according to shoe size and everything in between have their place. We've been through them all. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

As the summer draws to a close, and many seasonal getaways get ready to wrap their busy-season, the Back-to-School phenomenon kicks itself into high-gear. While kids will get new clothes, haircuts, shoes, notebooks and backpacks,job seekers should do the same (all right, maybe they don't need the Hello Kitty lunchbox). And just like teachers are getting their classrooms set up with new activities for their incoming class, the end of the summer is a great time for hoteliers to refocus their recruiting efforts, gearing up for their next incoming group of team members. Read on...

Mike Burgelin

Still crawling out of the recession, businesses continue to employ a conservative approach with every decision affecting the bottom-line. This offers an even bigger challenge in the hotel industry, where guests expect top-notch properties at an outstanding rate. With the internet providing a seemingly endless array of travel review websites ready to critique each aspect of your property to offer affordable alternatives, how does a hotel stay profitable while keeping guests happy (and writing positive reviews)? Read on...

Mark Heymann

The days of having service industry workers wait by the phone to learn if they're needed or not, or sending people home when demand doesn't meet projections, are numbered if not already gone. The efforts of workers' rights organizations to eliminate on-call scheduling combined with growing demand from millennial workers for more flexibility and work-life balance is giving rise to the need for more predictive scheduling practices --- and the advanced technology required to support them. As the service industry is a pretty much a pure "just in time" environment, demand-based scheduling that balances company, customer and staff needs has become more critical with the advent of new employee expectations. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

Corporate culture is critical to ensuring that the experience guests actually receive is representative of the experience that hotel leadership hopes to portray. Culture can be affected in any number of ways, from management implementing employee appreciation programs to maintain top talent, through far less formal interactions like a couple of workers putting together a plan to ensure there's coffee to start a shift together. It can be augmented, strengthened, improved, measured, and yes; culture can be ruined. Read on...

Joy Rothschild

High potential talent retention is the thing that keeps me up at night. And nowhere is this a greater challenge than with millennials. I am thrilled when they stay and grow with us, and heartbroken when I have invested in them and they leave. Our industry needs new paradigms to attract, motivate and retain millennials. The expectation that they will manage their careers “the way we did” must be cast aside. Millennials are quickly becoming the foundation of successful companies today surpassing Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. Labor Force according to Pew Research Center. Read on...

Ken Edwards

Hiring and retaining great talent is by far one of the most challenging aspects facing businesses today. Hotel owners or operators know all too well that employee turnover in hospitality is high - and it can cost your property 100-200% of an employee's total compensation. In fact, the U.S. Bureau for National Affairs estimates employee turnover costs U.S. businesses $11 billion annually. So, what can you do to lessen turnover and keep those dollars flowing through to your bottom line? Focus on employee engagement. Read on...

Mark Heymann

After a seven-year stagnation, the federal minimum wage is poised to follow the lead of cities and states across the U.S. that have passed measures to raise wages for their lowest-paid workers. Service industry employers who fail to prepare for the higher labor costs that will come with the minimum-wage increase and its subsequent ripple effect on their pay ladder will likely experience a dollar-for-dollar negative impact on their bottom line. To offset the higher labor costs will require organizations to take a hard look at their business model for opportunities to improve productivity. Read on...

Marky Moore

This year, several state and local governments are raising their minimum wage rates, and federal law may soon follow suit. Given the large number of low-wage workers that they employ, hotels will be particularly affected by these changing requirements. Faced with increased operating costs, hotels often implement measures, such as downsizing workers, that threaten to impair guest satisfaction. Fortunately, the tax code offers another solution known as the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC). A straightforward and lucrative incentive, WOTC provides businesses with tax savings ranging from $1,200 to $9,600 for each new employee hired from certain target groups. Read on...

Nicole Perrotta

Many articles provide tips on how to deal with angry customers such as "don't take the angry outburst personally", "sympathize with the customer and get them to calm before solving their problem" and "maintain an assertive, positive and calm attitude". All are excellent tools and your team will achieve high customer service scores if they apply them. However, do you have a plan to deal with the anger that creates havoc "behind the scenes" when the customer isn't looking? If you don't, you are probably dealing with high turnover rates and wondering how to fix it. Read on...

Susan Tinnish

As the Dean in a college program with many international students, I speak firsthand about how these students enrich the college culture. Their unique perspectives and backgrounds help create a special atmosphere in classes. Relishing this richness, I have written this article to encourage hotels and other companies to consider hiring an international student through Optional Practical Training (OPT) to realize some of these same benefits. OPT is a period during which students with F-1 status who have completed or have been pursuing their degrees are permitted to work for one year towards gaining practical training to complement their field of studies. OPT is an easy, cost-effective method for hoteliers to hire international students. Read on...

Zoe Connolly

Employee appreciation programs are critical in retaining top talent and maintaining morale. While it's easy to dismiss "perks" as something only millennials care about, it's important to note that 1) it isn't just millennials who like to feel appreciated, it's everyone; 2) employee appreciation programs have been around since far before anyone who fits into the 'millennial' demographic was born, and; 3) even if it was just a millennial issue, most organizations in hospitality are hiring millennials, after all, where else are hotels recruiting their next workforce generation? Read on...

Enda Larkin

Managing people is very rewarding, yet frequently challenging. People come in all shapes and sizes and every manager must have the capacity to deal with the good and bad employees they encounter. But the complexity of management life grows exponentially when confronted by a really difficult employee - a bad apple - and many managers, both new and experienced, struggle to cope with them. This article, informed by leading research in this area, provides useful insights into managing bad apples and highlights some general principles to adhere to when doing so. Read on...

Nicole Perrotta

At some point, we have all experienced that sinking feeling when a valued employee walks in to let us know that they are leaving. We ask ourselves the question, what went wrong? (if you didn't, you should have) After navigating through the initial onslaught of emotions when discovering you have lost yet another good employee, you might ask yourself, "What is missing? How do I retain top talent in this new generation of employees that constantly job hop in hopes of quick advancement?" Read on...

Zoe Connolly

While the holidays are traditionally among the most busy times in the hospitality industry, enterprising executives and entrepreneurial managers also see an opportunity to implement new resolutions that set the groundwork for a successful next year. These can range in scope, from implementing new technologies or team building initiatives, through refining social media presence and cleaning up job postings. Read on...

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Coming up in May 2019...

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.