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.

This week's Top Pick...

Zoe Connolly

Hotel property managers are tasked with ensuring that the ROI goals for their portfolio of properties are met. As part of that responsibility they are an integral to the budgeting process. Budget season is the perfect time to evaluate the efficacy of existing group sources of business to determine if they will continue to produce the same level of return going forward. As we approach economic uncertainty, it will be important to focus on controlling the bottom line and the impact derived from group business. Read on...

Library Archives

 
Bernadette Scott

The Human Resource professional needed in hotel operations today has evolved from a role which focused on the administrative, to one which provides strategic specialist leadership across a whole plethora of key activities, aimed at keeping organizational blood-lines pumping with the right calibre of talent. The challenge to achieve organizational outcomes in times of unsurpassed change across dynamic global markets, accelerated technological advancement and on-going talent shortage. The hotel industry needs the best people and the best people leaders. It needs to look at its wider context of operation and invest in the right caliber of talent to future proof operations. READ MORE

Raul Chacon

With the unemployment rate at a historic low, a recent survey from EMPLOYERS found small business owners may be underselling an important factor that could give them a recruiting edge: their workplace safety record. This article outlines the array of potential hazards hotel employees are susceptible given the variety of occupations and workplaces in a hotel. It also provides steps hotel owners and managers can take to reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries or illnesses to keep current employees safe as well as to create an attractive workplace for prospective candidates. READ MORE

Sheetal Singh

Considering the fast pace of the market and constantly evolving guest tastes, we cannot avoid change. We must not only learn to manage it, but also embrace it, and learn from it. Openness and commitment to change by team members can make change go smoother and the likelihood that it will be successful much higher. Rick Maurer introduced the three main reasons why people resist change-they don't get it, they don't like it, or they don't like you. In this article we draw from these ideas and provide practical advice for hospitality professionals for reducing resistance to change. READ MORE

Renie Cavallari

Today dynamic organizations are not just led by dynamic leaders, these leaders are fanatically committed to paving a new way of thinking about leadership. The new leadership paradigm is EVERYONE LEADS. Creating an organization where everyone leads allows for higher levels of accountability, and strengthens alignment which is at the heart of agility, innovation and profitability. Organizational silos disrupt optimal performance. When everyone is working in tandem, they are more productive, and the organization finds a stronger beat. This beat is your cultural heart beat and it determines alignment and creates an "all in" culture. READ MORE

Eugenio Pirri

The traditional view of talent, whether you believe it is misconceived or not, was an individual who demonstrated the skills and traits of a future leader. Yet, with challenging economies, uncertain futures and fewer individuals desiring to be a 'leader', has the time come to re-think the definition of talent? Eugenio Pirri, Chief People and Culture Officer of luxury hotel management organisation, Dorchester Collection believes so and, in this piece, argues that it's time all employees were seen as talent, treated as individuals and supported on their own personalized learning journeys. READ MORE

Ken Greger

Top human resources executives are often frustrated with their organizations and their organizations are often frustrated with them. The HR executive doesn't feel valued and his or her value isn't always clear to the organization. There are frequent disconnects, and corporate politics plus job security muddy the waters. The HR executive wants a seat at the table, but is often denied. And, if one attains a seat at the table, what should that mean? This article reviews such dynamics and presents the most critical area on which HR executives should focus. READ MORE

Rebecca Barnes-Hogg

Recruiting is not what it used to be. Unless you've been asleep at the wheel for the past 10 years, you know employers are no longer in the driver's seat. The days when top talent lined up for a seat on your bus dying to work for you are a distant speck in your rearview window. Today, the reality is candidates pick you. This means employers need to be proactive, creative, and innovative to adapt to a talent market with the candidate in the driver's seat. READ MORE

Sherri Merbach

Gallup tells us eye-popping differences between organizations that score in the top 25% for engagement versus those that score in the bottom 25%...specifically that the best ones produce 22% more profits and 21% more productivity. Most organizations see employee engagement as a score, as a marker to compare to other organizations to see if their own "engagement programs" work. Putting engagement into dollars drives home that scores on their own mean little, yet the dollars engagement drives are huge. Simply said, employee engagement is about every employee bringing their best, every day. So, how do first-line supervisors drive engagement? READ MORE

Rita Barreto Craig

Do you want to have a quantum leap in success? Do you want to attract and retain top talent? Do you want to be known as a class of one in a very crowded field? Today's successful businesses develop and execute well-planned strategies in the midst of rapid fire and constant change. They have a crystallized and shared vision, mission, and values. Don't rely on luck! If your competitors are spending time assessing the environment and writing detailed plans, who do you think will be most successful? READ MORE

Daniel Link

Sustainability is a priority in the hotel industry. Hotels work hard to reduce their carbon footprint and address their guests' growing concerns for hotels to be more environmentally friendly. However, as hotel executives introduce sustainability initiatives, they should work with their risk managers to identify how those policies can affect their workforce and workers' compensation costs. With the job market shift of an aging workforce coupled with less experience, it is imperative to identify sound claim practices to navigate the claims landscape, limit costs, and ultimately, return the employee to work to safely service your clientele. READ MORE

Cara Silletto

Today's new workforce is in a state of rapid transformation. The influx of the millennial generation has forced many companies and leaders to change their approach regarding retention efforts as best practices continue to evolve and long-term employment becomes a thing of the past. What does it take to be a sustainable organization moving forward, amidst the shift to a shorter-term employer-employee relationship? For managers, it takes a mindset shift around how to lead employees, plan for the future, and operate a department. For greater staffing stability and for creating a culture where employees want to stick around, here are six management strategies on which to focus. READ MORE

Suzanne McIntosh

The definition of work/life balance has a different meaning to the newer generations entering the workforce. The hospitality business has always been a time intensive one for the leaders and colleagues working in our hotels. Work/life balance is now expected in other ways. While the newer generations are always available on their phones, responding to emails and texts at any time of day and night, they also expect to have flexibility in when and where they work. Working remotely and taking personal time are some of the concessions that need to be implemented to keep these employees engaged and motivated. READ MORE

Lisa Cain

This article explores the relationship between hospitality academia and the hospitality industry. It discusses past trends in Hospitality Resource Management and ways in which talent has previously been identified, recruited, and retained, with a particular focus on the way in which hospitality students were evaluated. This article also identifies contemporary trends among university hospitality programs and the relationship with industry, including a discussion on the importance of work experience and internships. Finally, the article highlights future areas that both hospitality educators and industry practitioners should consider including technological shifts in the landscape and work-life balance. READ MORE

Dennis Rizzo

Depending on who you are, the idea of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the hiring process is either a plus, or a minus. For overburdened human resource managers, the promise is that it will be a boon for productivity. If you are on the other end of the process-a candidate, looking for work-it means your chance to be identified for anything more than just metrics, diminishes. Dennis P. Rizzo, a recruiter in the hospitality sector for more than 4 decades, gives his take on the present and the future of AI-assisted hiring. READ MORE

Robert M. O'Halloran

Hospitality programs seek to offer sound educational curriculums that provide relevant educational experiences to students, alumni, and industry partners. In the new work world, educational programs need to offer both academic and experiential forms of education and, more specifically for the hospitality industry, do so by utilizing the industry as a classroom in hotels, restaurants, resorts and all shapes and sizes of hospitality and tourism businesses. READ MORE

Eileen McDargh

This article provides a different perspective on resiliency and why it is critical in these 24-7, constantly changing times. Discover four resiliency skills and what it will take for leaders to begin to cultivate them in themselves and their organization. Discover the danger of arrogance in leaders and how it can kill organizational resiliency. Lastly, consider the role of purpose and legacy as a foundation for attracting and keeping both employees and customers. Remember, resiliency is a life skill-not just a skill for times of chaos. READ MORE

Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.