About People in Hospitality

This blog is about the people and the people practices in Hospitality. For years the Cruise Industry has been that elusive side of Hospitality, where HR Practices and efficiencies where often perceived as inaccessible.

This blog is committed to sharing the practices the industry follows and at the same time share some efficiencies that make the service standards on modern cruise ships second to none.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

HR and the Hospitality Advantage

Recently I was helping a friend of mine in the Tech industry with developing a new recognition and motivation program based on their new “Employment Value Proposition”. He found out I was on vacation and that we had recently done the same at my organization, so he figured I could add some valuable ideas and suggestions. We were both in for quite a ride. Having been in the HR profession exclusively in the Hospitality industry for nearly ten years I was quite disconnected with how HR is delivered across other industries. In other words, I always thought Human Resources was about providing service to the employees as opposed to providing services to the employees. The Hospitality industry is based on customer service, without this key component any organization won’t even get started before it collapses. This is so fundamental in our business that it is constantly forgotten, it’s “a given”. However there are thousands of HR Professionals in an incredibly diverse range of organizations or businesses that struggle with this principle, since they have never been trained or exposed to our profession in the Hospitality industry. Back to my story… As we started developing the rewards and recognition program for my friends organization, I very quickly realized that as a tech company they had the resources and creativity to come up with some very neat ideas for this program, some of this stuff they decided to implement I can only dream of, which was not much of a surprise to me, however I was almost shocked when the moment of implementing the program came. My biggest struggle was not communicating and implementing the program itself, most of the leadership teams understood and liked the programs, it was the delivery part that they could not get their heads around. It is as if the new program was part of a different company and they were unable to grasp on how to execute it, like asking an engineer to perform surgery. At this point it dawned on me, as HR Professionals we benefit from becoming hospitality providers for our employees. At the end of the day as HR Professionals we are here to provide service to our customers, to enable executives, managers and supervisors to execute the employment experience in our organizations. We are not here to hand over a manual and expect people whom have never had to deal with anything like this before to all of a sudden become butlers. I would encourage any colleague or fellow HR Professional to go out and experience a premium Hotel or Cruise experience and pay close attention to how service is delivered, brand programs implemented and executed, Staff Responsiveness to the guests needs delivered and how each member of the organization interacts with the guests\customers. Once you have experienced this, try to draw the parallels with services and programs within your organization and start bridging the gaps. Soon you will find yourself delivering an HR experience comparable to your last vacation at the Ritz.


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