|By Joseph M. Gravish, November 2006
“If you want to plan for a year, plant corn.
A hospitality careerist recently brought this proverb to my attention in response to a previous article “Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street”. What a wonderful way to encapsulate the mindset of many of today’s hotel owners/operators! I can’t help but wonder though what percentage of hospitality farmers plant either corn, trees, or people? There’s no way to tell. But I can describe the characteristics of each to help you determine into which group you fall.
To be fair, some hoteliers may be in it for the short term, given that average hotel values in the U.S. are on the upswing (27% in 2004, 25% in 2005 and 15% (estimated) in 2006 according to HVS International) but predicted to continue so only through 2010. Mr. Stephen Rushmore, president and founder of HVS concluded “…that (now) is a good time to own a hotel in the United States”.
I wonder, in response, is it also a good time to be an hourly wage employee
in an average hotel in the U.S.? So permit me to describe what I believe
are the attributes of those hoteliers who plant corn, trees, or people.
And so, it depends. It’s good to work for today’s leading hotels and managers who view human capital as their most important asset – and back it up with action. Perhaps not so good for those workers who are still viewed merely as a labor expense by their employers.
Whether you like it or not hoteliers, you have been put “on notice”. You are the target of numerous government mandated minimum and living wage initiatives, aggressive union labor negotiations, election promises to enact higher, more sweeping wage minimums, even coalitions such as the National Partnership for Women and Families which are lobbying legislators for a law forcing employers to grant a minimum number of paid sick days to employees.
So, what to do? Now is the time for change. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dramatically improve the image and reputation of the industry. Staying the tired and worn course is no longer a viable alternative. Getting ahead of the tsunami of current (and future) workforce initiatives is the best option.
Don’t let another season pass. Don’t be content to harvest corn. It’s
time to plant and harvest the minds and hearts of people.
Mr. Gravish is a human resources professional with over 25 years leadership experience at numerous organizational levels and diverse environments, both national and international. He is an advocate of building success through, and by, people – first.
Joseph M. Gravish
|Also See:||Focus on Hotel Hourly-wage Employees; Loyalty Is a Two-Way Street / Joseph M. Gravish / November 2006|
|Want Fries With That? Hiring Practices in the Hospitality Industry / Joseph M. Gravish / October 2006|