Library Archives

 
David Lund

Hospitality Financial leadership is about making a new connection to the skills, talents and passion that managers have with guest service and college engagement and attaching that connection directly to their third power - their financial power. It's true what we say in our industry, look after the guests and the money will look after itself but only when we invest in financial leadership does this really ring true. Today we want financially engaged leadership teams across the board and building the team that has all three skills is paramount to your business success. That's Hospitality Financial Leadership, a management style that embraces guest service, colleague engagement and a superior return on investment by letting the team develop and use their natural financial talents. Read on...

Bernard Ellis

Bernard Ellis, VP Industry Strategy, Hospitality, Infor Global, just attended his 25th HITEC, and offers his observations on what stood out from the pack. His insights span the unique and the useful, and if not amazing, then at least amusing.My 25th HITEC is done and dusted. For the uninitiated, HITEC is HFTP's annual "Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference," attracting over 5000 buyers, sellers, and a growing number of innocent bystanders who seem to genuinely want to learn. The event has grown too large to lend itself to a concise recap, and whether it was busy or a bust, a boon or a boondoggle, revolutionary or repetitive, laborious or leisurely, will depend on each person's unique experience. Here are the themes that emerged for me. Read on...

Ken Edwards

As hospitality industry executives, being an effective leader is essential for running our companies successfully and promoting a positive work environment for higher productivity and lower attrition rates among our employees. We learn about, and encounter, effective leadership skills from a variety of avenues such as books/articles, first hand experience, education classes, peer discussions, etc. What we don't hear as much about is how important strong management skills are to the organization. For any business to really thrive, consideration of both skill sets is necessary, especially in hospitality. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

In this article, we will consider some of the values, attitudes and skills it takes to be an effective leader in the hospitality sector, striving to form a lasting culture of service, teamwork and excellence. Furthermore, such a discussion will help illuminate what hospitality leaders might look for or consider as they nurture a next generation of leaders for their industry. In this way, we turn the mirror upon ourselves, prompting us to rethink our own capabilities, principles and sense of purpose as leaders. Read on...

Kevin Wilhelmsen

Many of today's largest and most successful companies started as nothing more than an idea, backed by a person brave enough to take the leap and follow a dream. Often companies have no further to look than their own workforces to find innovators who will push them forward. They are called "intrapreneurs," and despite their impact on business and culture, managers often struggle to identify and grow these passionate individuals who are hard-working and filled with ideas that could drive positive change. Read on...

Lizz Chambers

So much of what we do as hotel managers boils down to how we treat our team members. Not only must we be good role models, but we must also be observant and correct bad behavior before it turns into a habit. Three scenarios are presented to illustrate how overlooking certain actions may have negative consequences. From there, steps are outlined to help managers effectively coach their associates and ensure that all parties perform optimally from then on. Read on...

Ashish Modak

A hotel manager's job has never been simple. The more so in these changing times. More vocal clientele, the advent of social media and changing attitudes of the humanity at large means more possibilities of suffering very harsh verbal abuse from unhappy customers. How does a hotel manager cope up with this without letting his personal ego suffer and without letting his peace of mind be affected beyond a point? The article narrates a true story and a genuine attempt at separating work persona from personal ego leading to less stress and better results. Read on...

Ashish Modak

Steve Jobs has been an icon for millions and even after his death continues to inspire many around the world. 'Apple' brought in a revolution from the very beginning in everything it did. Steve Jobs and his beliefs and practices remain very relevant even today in the ever-evolving hospitality industry. This essay elaborates on some of the guiding principles followed by Jobs in his career and their correlation with the hotel industry with apt real life case studies from a luxury resort in the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. His legendary address at Stanford is the basis of this article. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

In today's hospitality industry we work with a broader age range of individuals—leadership, staff and guests—than perhaps ever before. It's not uncommon for a freshly trained 20-year-old employee at a hotel property to serve a guest in his or her late 80s or even 90s. At the reverse spectrum, staff members in their 60s or beyond may be called upon to "hold the door" for a 25-year-old entrepreneur walking in with only a shoulder pack.Nor surprisingly, each generation or demographic group comes to those encounters with differing levels of experiences, skill sets and expectations. In this article, we consider the impact of generational change on our hospitality organizations. Generalizations are just that and so require care in their making but we will be considering some issues or trends that are definitely influenced by age. Read on...

Stephen Hall

Several surveys conducted over the years by the author from several hundred hotel managers indicated strong interest in the practice of ethics by employees at every level. Managers believe a comprehensive program of ethics would greatly benefit the bottom line by enhancing repeat business and word-of-mouth advertising. Yet fewer than 10% of the hotels surveyed indicated they have a program of ethics in place. The basic question is " why, if the need is so great, are there so few hotels with a program for ethics?" Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

In today's swirling economy and society, achieving and spreading meaningful identity and culture for our hospitality organization is an ongoing challenge. Externally, we must address the demands of diverse audiences that include our competitors, consumers, elected officials, business leaders and community leaders Competitive forces or factors include the advent of multiple instantaneous, digital platforms for advertising, reservations and group sales, and critique of our product. Internally, we must address our investors, strategic partners and team of key leadership, managers and staff. Into this mix, we add the franchise affiliations, or flags, with which most all hospitality management and investor groups partner. Read on...

Dave Ratner

A hotel executive's greatest professional challenge is also the easiest to overcome: The fear of public speaking, whether as a featured guest at an industry event or as an extemporaneous host, without even a rostrum to lean against or a podium to hide behind, in which the speaker thinks he or she must deliver a set of remarks with the baritone of a King or the authority of a Queen (see, respectively, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., or King George VI or Queen Elizabeth I), summoning the spirits of slaves or rousing a people encircled by Nazi slave drivers, or dispatching troops to defend an island nation, when, in fact, this speaker - you, the hotel executive, who will walk to the dais - only has to say a few things before dinner and after dessert. Read on...

Lewis Fein

If I were to cite an example of a company that sings the right notes but strikes the wrong chords, a brand that encapsulates this contradiction between authenticity and blatant falsehood, I would point a motley crew of copywriters and art directors, and marketing executives and studio musicians, to the worm coiled within the recesses of my ear; because this commercial, aired during Super Bowl XLVIII, is an unintentional metaphor for business leaders everywhere, including hoteliers who must never convey anything but graciousness and sincerity. Read on...

Marcus Nicolls

Want people to say good things about your hotel? The key: create a guest experience like this one from the Hyatt Regency in Chesapeake Bay. A colleague of ours had arrived to give a keynote address to a large global audience. He arrived dog-tired after an intense client schedule the prior few weeks. He was exhausted and thoroughly spent—and it turns out he had contracted the norovirus on his trip. Now in Virginia, it hit him in full force at what couldn't have been a less opportune time. At check in, he mentioned he wasn't feeling well, and after barely making it to his room, he dealt with this violent illness as most of us would—curling up on the floor and wondering how he would make it through the night. Read on...

Richard Takach, Jr.

Any given hotel property is subject to a broad range of challenges due to changing market conditions. These competitive factors can impact occupancy rates, the room rates a property can command in the market place, the property's overall revenue stream, and, ultimately, profitability. Often times, challenges that can make a property vulnerable are independent of the overall supply of rooms in a given market. Examples include changing demographics and public safety issues, which may make a property less appealing to a portion of its traditional guest base; the move of a major employer or other entity that was a key demand generator; nearby commercial real estate transactions; swings in consumer tastes; sometimes, just a change in area roadways can make it more difficult for potential guests to reach your property. Read on...

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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.