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.


Library Archives

 
Stuart Butler

How your hotel handles the guest relationship is one of the most critical components to running a successful property. Often, the approach that is taken with guests while they are on property is mirrored in the manner in which your property responds to online reviews. In this article, we break down some of the good, the bad, and the ugly responses that real hotels have made to negative online reviews and we discuss ways to limit the damage the original review may have caused, while also avoiding making things worse. 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

Kathleen Hayn

In today's interconnected world of marketing, social media remains a growing area for businesses to attract new customers on various platforms to grow their brand. Now companies in every industry are integrating Influencer Marketing within their campaigns as a new way to reach audiences on various platforms. As this practice evolves, there are various best practices that should be followed when executing an Influencer Marketing campaign such as picking the right platform and being aware of what metrics are crucial to monitor. This article will take you through the foundational do's and don'ts when it comes to working with an influencer to promote your business. READ MORE

Janelle Schwartz

Hoteliers must be plugged into social media 24/7 to know what's happening and be ready to provide meaningful and helpful posts when there's a crisis. Just as anyone with a social media account can post bad news, the same technology can enable organizations to defend themselves and share information that may help mitigate a crisis. Comprehensive social listening can help organizations gain insights about issues before they escalate into a crisis, provide advance warning that a crisis is brewing, help identify problem issues and provide enough information to develop a strategy to address them. READ MORE

Dean Minett

Social media has opened up wonderful new opportunities for hoteliers, but has also exposed them to a range of new risks. Our reputations are closely linked to guest reviews, and our style of engagement affects how the public see our properties. Avenues for advertising have taken new shapes with the rise of social media influencers, while the forward march of technology and service trends is never-ending. It wouldn't be smart to plug your ears and ignore it all (as there is a lot of leverage to be gained through social media) but at what point does the noise become deafening? At one point should a hotel ignore the growing buzz and be loyal to its own identity? 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

Bruce Seigel

Launching a new social media channel can be daunting. Whether debuting a brand new property, renovating an outlet or seeking to expand existing hotel channels; it is important to develop a strong brand voice, leverage influencers, curate content and consistently engage with users. Guests follow the property social media handles to learn more, engage with the property, and share their experiences with friends and family. Developing and maintaining strong social media channels are a critical part of brand reputation and guest engagement. READ MORE

Christina Leme

Twitter is just like the new world of online dating. You need to swipe right on (signal affinity for) many potential suitors to match with just one normal person. And getting a match is only the start. You still need to spark a conversation and tailor it to the interests they've indicated on their profile. Careful though! If you take too long to answer, they may lose interest. Or worse-inundate you with angry follow up messages for "ghosting" them. READ MORE

Megan (Sterritt) Taylor

For the past several years working with influencers has been a cost-effective tool for brands, including hotels and resorts, to reach target markets. But as an influencer's follower count gets higher and higher, so too does their partnership fee. A better option now is micro-influencers and nano-influencers. They allow brands to significantly narrow down targets without a very large fee. And, with precision targeting, help brands reach new markets. In the article, we will take a look at three ways KWE Partners helped client Grand Velas reach new markets without increasing their budget. READ MORE

Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.