Human Resources: Value Creation

Businesses must evolve to stay competitive and this is also true of employment positions within those organizations. In the hotel industry, for example, the role that HR professionals perform continues to broaden and expand. Today, they are generally responsible for five key areas - government compliance; payroll and benefits; employee acquisition and retention; training and development; and organizational structure and culture. In this enlarged capacity, HR professionals are no longer seen as part of an administrative cost center, but rather as a member of the leadership team that creates strategic value within their organization. HR professionals help to define company policies and plans; enact and enforce systems of accountability; and utilize definable metrics to measure and justify outcomes. Of course, there are always new issues for HR professionals to address. Though seemingly safe for the moment, will the Affordable Care Act ultimately be repealed and replaced and, if so, what will the ramifications be? There are issues pertaining to Millennials in the workforce and women in leadership roles, as well as determining the appropriate use of social media within the organization. There are new onboarding processes and e-learning training platforms to evaluate, in addition to keeping abreast of political issues like the minimum wage hike movement, or the re-evaluation of overtime rules. Finally, there are genuine immigration and deportation issues that affect HR professionals, especially if they are located in Dreamer Cities, or employ a workforce that could be adversely impacted by federal government policies. The March Hotel Business Review will take a look at some of the issues, strategies and techniques that HR professionals are employing to create and sustain value in their organization.

Library Archives

Michael Warech

While hospitality organizations are making strides developing and retaining female talent, there is still room for improvement. With the economy steaming forward and Baby Boomers exiting the workforce in larger numbers, the need for organizations to engage, develop and retain these professionals has been exacerbated. Research suggests that organizations who fill their senior leadership ranks with women perform better on a variety of business and financial metrics. This article discusses the challenges associated with putting and keeping women on the leadership path, including those borne of second-generation gender bias. READ MORE

Susan Tinnish

The Millennial generation, born during the years 1980 to 2000, is firmly entrenched in the workforce. As the largest generational cohort to emerge since the baby boomer generation, human resource professionals and managers need to adjust their leadership approaches and how they engage with these workers. Three hospitality millennial professionals were interviewed and share insight and advice for both millennial employees and managers of any age. Human resource professionals and savvy managers can lead the way toward effective strategies for capitalizing on the innate talents and perspectives of the millennial generation resulting in competitive advantages for their organization. READ MORE

Cara Silletto

Are you frustrated by the revolving door of excessive employee turnover? Unfortunately, it is not likely to stop anytime soon. Having said that the key to staffing stability in the future is to maintain the focus on extending the tenure of each new hire and maximizing the time you have each employee on your team. Success requires better on-boarding, fool-proofing your systems and processes, improving management effectiveness, and more. Are you prepared to manage the impending shorter-term workforce? READ MORE

Suzanne McIntosh

If you have been employed within the hospitality business for any length of time, you may have seen your Human Resources department evolve from the “Personnel Department” to the “Department of Talent Acquisition”. This office has evolved from a cost center, which was mostly compliance-based, focused on record keeping, workplace safety, salary management and employee grievances, to essential centers for talent engagement. Employees have gone from “resources” to “assets” and have become recognized as a valuable source of competitive advantage. Our most successful hospitality companies understand that their talent acquisition, retention, employee engagement and reward, requires continuous innovation in order to remain competitive in attracting top talent. READ MORE

Bernadette Scott

Still worried about leadership potential and the quality and value of the talent in your pipelines? There is no escape from the challenges posed by on-going skills shortage and our attempts to maintain a credible talent focus as we navigate our way through the demands of an ever-changing HR landscape. Talent management is still a top agenda item for business leaders, as they flex approaches to try to secure and retain the talent needed to sustain operations and to ensure continued success. These efforts are considered necessary to counterbalance the impacts of constant change across societal, economic and demographic contexts. READ MORE

Grace Kaucic

Over the past 20 years, the workforce has changed dramatically. The evolution of the consumer landscape and employee demographics have resulted in a complete shift. In the service sector, however, the best companies know that one thing has not changed: the reality that you cannot succeed in the marketplace unless you first succeed in your workplace. People Report was founded in the mid 1990's by a group of chain foodservice companies that were tired of guessing what good performance looked like. Through benchmarking their employee metrics, these companies were able to establish more value within their organizations and within the community. READ MORE

Joyce Gioia

Want to win the War for Talent? Of course, you do. Most hospitality leaders will agree that employee engagement drives service and service drives profit. What many do not yet realize is that it is the accumulation of positive experiences that drives engagement. This article details unique ways that hospitality leaders are connecting with their team members and creating exceptional work environments where employees can not only enjoy their work, but even thrive. We will look at every touchpoint in the employee life cycle from recruiting to retention to find all of the opportunities for you to connect with your team members. READ MORE

Laurie Friedman

Are you taking it personally? It is easy to take words personally especially if they are said in a way that you may perceive as impolite or hostile. There are many reasons for us to react emotionally; the most powerful reason has to do with our brains. Our brains react before we are conscious of our emotions. The brain immediately senses and reacts to conflict situations with a fight or flight response. Although this response can be lifesaving in situations where you are in danger, an emotional reaction to words or perceived wrongs such as getting angry, yelling or disengaging, does not serve us well! READ MORE

Lisa Cain

Women are integral players in the hospitality and tourism industry as they make up more than half of the professionals in both academia and industry. And yet, there is a glaring disparity regarding the representation of women in managerial and executive roles in this field. There are many reasons for this gender gap including the ways in which promotions are handled, leadership styles and representation, a dearth of sponsor and mentors, and a lack of work-life balance. However, there are many ways to combat these issues, facilitating the growth of qualified women in higher level positions in this industry. READ MORE

Stacey Oliver-Knappe

Corporate culture is an interesting phrase, as it is a noun that is hard to define, but somehow we know if our companies have positive or negative cultures. My colleagues at SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) say this about culture,” Culture basically defines the proper way to behave within an organization.” But if employees disconnect from the training process because you have a negative learning culture, you will fail. For this article, I will give you my tips how to create a positive learning culture. READ MORE

Lisa Seay

Intentional design of your new hire's entry into your organization can be the thing that has the biggest impact on their experience and on your ability to retain them. The work is not over once you complete the recruitment process. This is actually where the real work begins. An onboarding experience that goes beyond introducing the new hire to their co-workers and the basics of their job can have long-lasting effects. A successful onboarding experience will have beneficial effects not just on your new hire but on your guests as well. READ MORE

Robert M. O'Halloran

At every industry meeting I attend the topic of workforce, the difficulty in finding talent and good workers, becomes a theme throughout the meeting discussions. Industry actions are spurred by experienced industry leaders that are committed to building educational and economic opportunity across the US, and advancing long-term career opportunities to build a more highly-skilled, competitive workforce. In partnership with the National Restaurant Association the American Hotel and Lodging Association, has received a Department of Labor contract to develop a management level apprenticeship program for the hospitality industry. In addition to developing our domestic labor market global recruiting can also create value. READ MORE

Sherri Merbach

Millennials are the largest generation in the American workforce. They were raised in a vastly different world than preceding generations. Millennials have arrived in the workplace and are actively changing how organizations are run. High millennial employee turnover saps us of the talent they bring and the training we've given them. Leaders are frustrated and not always confident in their ability to lead and retain millennials. So how can we reduce millennials turnover to leverage their skills and improve our own productivity? Stay Interview conversations conducted by leaders are the best solution. Stay Interviews are one-on-one meetings supervisors conduct with each individual employee to build engagement and retention…and to build trust. READ MORE

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg

High-volume recruiting is about numbers, big numbers of open positions and candidates. It feels stressful and overwhelming because as recruiters, we know that sourcing and screening quality candidates take time and planning. This is challenging for a recruiter who not only has to follow a consistent process but also keep candidates and hiring managers informed and satisfied. So, how can you manage high-volume recruiting? I know what it's like to feel the pressure to fill jobs quickly—but you have hundreds of resumes to review and hiring managers are breathing down your back about finding someone yesterday. READ MORE

Sheetal Singh

We have all at some point had to either hide the true emotion we are feeling or manage it, in order to create memorable experiences for our guests. While most hospitality professionals are particularly friendly people, we have all had that one difficult day when we had to put on a mask, go out there and fake being all welcoming and cheerful. We have also come to expect it as part of the job and with time we have become extremely proficient at it. That is probably the reason we do not hear hoteliers discuss “emotional labor” (the need to manage our emotions for our jobs with specific display rules). READ MORE

Peter Stark

As we plow through the first quarter of 2018, the war for your top talent is well underway. Unemployment is below 5 percent. Employees have more options than ever for who they want to work for, as well as when, where and how they want to do the work than any time in history. The buzz on the streets from the HR world is: The gates are officially wide open. Which way will your employees run? As a hotel executive, are you prepared to win the war for the top talent? READ MORE

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.