“…there are managers at the Clevelander who started as servers. Many of the employees are considered part of the marketing team because they help market the brand and promote products and services. They do so in the way they look, what they wear and how they interact with guests…You need more skills than you used to…years ago you said, ‘Here’s a mop and a bucket.’ Now there is a lot more detail to every job—even targeted chemicals for cleaning. There is better awareness of load lifting because it’s tougher to pick up a thick pillow foam mattress; and housekeepers have to make sure TVs are functioning…”
Geoffrey Mills, managing director of the Crowne Plaza Times Square and chair of the Hotel Association of New York City, said that while half his workforce is 45 years or older, there is only 3% to 4% annual turnover. The biggest challenge for hoteliers, Mills said, is the cost of operations. “We are trying to tighten employee costs,” he said.
Vijay Dandapani, president and COO of Apple Core Hotels, which has five limited-service properties in Manhattan, said it’s more difficult to find entry level jobs in limited service. “But we do represent the potential for advancement,” he said. “We have three people who came in at entry level and are now GMs.”
Costs also are an issue for Dandapani, who said that his real estate taxes are up 100% in the past few years. All of his employees are unionized, he said, adding: “All hotel employees around the world want to be here because of our respect for property rights and the city’s safety.”
At the non-union Clevelander in South Beach, Florida, turnover is an issue because many associates are in college.
“We try to be as flexible as possible with their scheduling, but there is still 56% turnover,” said Annie Borges, director of human resources for the 60-room hotel, which is heavily driven by its food-and-beverage revenue.
“We hire the smile and train the skill,” she said. “You can’t teach people to be nice, but you can teach them to make the bed. They have to be happy and have a high level of energy.”
Borges said that she has worked in hospitality HR in Miami for nearly 20 years and there is always talk of pending unions.
“But they never come to fruition. Perhaps because we aim to establish a pro-employee type of environment,” she said. “The only union hotel on the beach is the Fontainebleau.”
For more: http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles.aspx/10290/Outside-issues-create-labor-situations