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I have a dream when Human Resources managers will start to come with new solutions.

Since the 80’s, there has been a new addition to executive board meetings, providing direction and guidelines on how to drive our forces in and out of the office, how to develop new programs to guarantee higher employee retention, and how to prepare anyone who has potential to advance to the next level. This member is the Human Resource Manager.

It was the time of team building, where everybody was exited to go bowling with their colleagues, challenge their buddies during go-karting, or lately in the 90’s, to have the opportunity to shoot the security manager when enjoying a round paintballing. For the less creative, who has not suffered endless karaoke nights, or even worse, the museum site tour?

Our offices and corridors have been redecorated with large posters promoting how lucky we are to work for such a lovely company, and more recently for some of them how grateful the employees should be to work for a company who cares so much about them; but sorry since the hotel has not reached the budget this year, your bonus is not applicable (please don’t ask if the owner has made money).

The name of the worker has changed, or shall I say evolved with time from worker, staff member, employee, then colleagues; in the end, the dishwasher is still doing the same job and only a few of them will become Director of Stewarding. The number of Directors in the organization chart went through the roof, reaching the point that some sales manager have absolutely no clue on how to deliver the business since they are more interested of negotiating first a car allowance, a mobile phone, and a large title on their business cards; in using and abusing the growing number of hotels by switching from one to another one almost every year, without being challenged for having so many short lines on their resumes.

Who has not spent a fortune in collaterals and stationery promoting the culture and the values of the company, corporate social responsibility and other powder perlimpin, when only few dollars have been spent on increasing the front-line uniforms par stock, providing grooming and make-up training, providing basic computer skill training for the less advanced?

Don’t misinterpret my article today, I have nothing against the Human Resource department, but my question is simple: who and when will someone start pushing for change?

We are all complaining about our employee turnover ratio, and how difficult it is to retain our forces within our companies, but do we do what is necessary to keep them?

I have a dream where a Corporate VP Human Resources will show up in a Richard Branson disguise, thinking completely out of the box with a new proposal to make our team so proud to work for a brand that they will not even look at what the competition offers.

In this world controlled by money, profit and shareholders, it might be the time to share more with the people who are making the difference! GOP and NOP is profitable in long term only if we secure and develop our talents; and talent not working for peanuts. I am not suggesting we increase all basic salaries but we need to look more toward a creative reward process that encourages loyalty: the more your stay and contribute, the more you’ll get, with some commitments from both sides.

I am not talking about receiving a pin for 10 years’ service, or a crystal globe made in China to be placed on the desk with a 100 US$ voucher here… what can we do for you or for your family?

The world is changing so fast, and generally, the hospitality industry habits remains the same, we shall look at how Google is handling working condition without affecting productivity; actually some employees are feeling so comfortable at work, they’re going home very late.
Are there any best practices that could inspire us?

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About the author

Glion Institute of Higher Education
Glion Institute of Higher Education is a private Swiss institution offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hospitality, luxury and event management to an international student body across three campuses in Switzerland and London, UK.
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