News for the Hospitality Executive
|Lessons from the Field
A Common Sense Approach to Success in the Hospitality Industry
|By Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE, May 19,2009|
A Baker’s Dozen of Fundamentals
for Retaining Quality Staff
|By Dr. John Hogan CHE CHA MHS
May 19, 2009
In 2008, I felt honored to be asked to create and deliver a focused program on the experience economy for one of the major international hospitality companies that offers a number of brands in its portfolio. This series of ten programs held across North America offered practical ideas on ways to capitalize on guest understanding and the program was added to their corporate university web site as a resource.
This organization has several advisory groups representing various ownership entities and I was asked to share some ideas on ways to improve staffing quality in these demanding economic times for one of their newsletters. I was pleased to do so in early winter and have extended that introduction to include Fundamentals to Retaining Quality Staff
Every economy has its cycles and demand in the hospitality industry for quality lodging will have its peaks and valleys. The availability of quality staff in hotels is a critical reason why it is essential to retain quality staff in all cycles. The cost of turnover for a line level position is estimated to be as much as $6,000 according to research by Cornell University faculty.
When the economy is strong, recruitment and retention is critical because of volume. When the economy is mixed or struggling, retaining our trained staff is essential because of the obvious need to exceed the expectations of our guests.
Inspiring and retaining quality staff does not take place because compensation is “adequate “ or the staff “ is fortunate enough to work in a new hotel, as we have all seen a great team spirit exist in older facilities . Retaining that team spirit and the exceptional staff requires capable and caring business practices and strong leadership skills.
“A company culture cannot be imposed or
Here are a baker’s dozen of fundamentals for retaining quality staff
1. Define who you and your hotel are. Every hotel, business and organization has a “culture.’ I have personally worked in family businesses, partnerships, associations, small and large companies and brands. Each of them had a certain approach or “way of life” in which they chose to operate. Isadore Sharp implied, in the quote above, care and action must be taken to develop the right type of culture to meet the long term needs of a successful hotel and/or company.
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Autographed copies of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES can be obtained from THE ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com and other industry sources.
All rights reserved by John Hogan and this column may be included in an upcoming book on hotel management. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this publication
John Hogan, a career hotelier and educator, is frequently invited to participate at franchise meetings, management company and hospitality association industry events. He is a successful senior executive with a record of accomplishment in leading hospitality industry organizations at multiple levels, with demonstrated competencies as a strong leader, relationship builder, problem solver and mentor. He conducts mystery-shopping reviews of quality in operations and marketing, including repositioning of hotels.
Expertise and Research Interest
He writes weekly columns for a number of global online services and has published more than 400 articles & columns on the hotel industry. He co-authored (with Howard Feiertag, CHA CMP) LESSONS FROM THE FIELD – a COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES, which is available from email@example.com, ROOMS CHRONICLE www.roomschronicle.com and other industry sources. He resides in Phoenix, Arizona and expects to publish in 2009 his 2nd book based on his dissertation – The Top 100 People of All Time Who Most Dramatically Affected the Hotel Industry.
Hogan’s professional experience includes over 35 years in hotel operations, food & beverage, sales & marketing, training, management development and asset management on both a single and multi-property basis, including service as Senior Vice President of Operations in a specialty hotel brand for six years.
He holds a number of industry certifications (CHA, CHE, MHS, ACI) and is a past recipient of the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Pearson Award for Excellence in Lodging Journalism, as well as operational and marketing awards from international brands. He has served as President of both city and state hotel associations.
John’s background includes teaching college level courses as an adjunct professor at three different colleges and universities over a 20-year period, while managing with Sheraton, Hilton, Omni and independent hotels. He was the principal in an independent training & consulting group for more than 12 years serving associations, management groups, convention & visitors’ bureaus, academic institutions and as an expert witness. He joined Best Western International in spring of 2000, where over the next 8 years he created and developed a blended learning system as the Director of Education & Cultural Diversity for the world’s largest hotel chain.
He has served on several industry boards that deal with education and/or cultural diversity and as brand liaison to the NAACP and the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association with his long-term involvement in the Certified Hotel Owner program. He has conducted an estimated 3,200 workshops and classes in his career.
Service to the Industry and Hospitality Education includes working with the Educational Institute Certification Commission of the AH&LA, the Hospitality Industry Diversity Institute, the AH&LA Multicultural Advisory Council, the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration, the Commission for Accreditation on Hospitality Management Programs, the AH&LA and AAHOA Education and Training Committees, the Council of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Educators (CHRIE), the International Hotel Show and the Certified Hotel Owner program for the Asian American Hotel Owners’ Association.
Dr. John Hogan, CHA MHS CHE
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