Article: Talent retention will be key this year


Talent retention will be key this year

Saurabh Rai Bhatnagar, Regional Director India, Director Global Sales, India, Middle East & Africa, Preferred Hotel Group

 Engaging employees is also vital to gain their acceptance and confidence. No amount of training can substitute self-belief


What are the major challenges for CEOs and General Managers in your industry?

Hospitality is a highly dynamic industry. The challenges industry CEOs and General Managers face can be viewed in a short, medium or long term perspective. In the short run, these challenges revolve around the immediate and ongoing economic, social, political and technological environment. A medium term issue could be to do with a hotel’s full renovation that could last up to a few years and long term challenges would encapsulate ongoing operational aspects like constant innovation, adopting new service trends, company expansion plans, etc.

Dealing with such diverse challenges requires a unique and focused approach. While the short term issues are easier to plug with training and minor investments, it is the medium to long term challenges that the management needs to be proactive and foresighted about, as these have a direct influence on the company’s corporate culture and consumer brand perspective.

What are the challenges for hotel chains in homogenizing customer experience across hotels?

Being such a people centric industry is a double edged sword. On one hand is the opportunity of achieving an unparalleled extent of personalization through numerous human touch points, and on the other is the perennial challenge in homogenizing customer experience by ensuring consistency in service and adherence to company standards. Employee engagement most definitely ranks one amongst the top priorities, as it is critical to consider first hand shop floor feedback and incorporate the same while innovating and improvising existing procedures. Engaging employees is also vital to gain their acceptance and confidence. No amount of training can substitute self-belief.

What are the key challenges for HR in the hospitality sector for the year 2010?

Employee-expectation management and talent retention will be two pivotal challenges that hospitality will be dealing with in 2010. With the recent economic recovery, the work force is once again hoping for revival of study pay scale hikes and performance incentives. Given the current under-construction pipeline of hotels & resorts in India, our human resource talent pool is going to be under further duress and hence, retention becomes an issue. Small to mid size hotel companies do not typically invest adequate resources in employee training, development and career planning. These companies would increasingly feel the need to swiftly plan and implement such practices if they intend to retain the best that they have.

Saurabh Rai Bhatnagar is Regional Director, India; Director Global Sales, India, Middle East & Africa for the Preferred Hotel Group

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Topics: C-Suite, Strategic HR, #BestPractices

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