Strategic Role of HR in the Hospitality Field
We conducted a workshop on 19th/20th Feb 2012 on “The Strategic Role of HR in Hotels” for the HR and key Line Managers of Zuri Hotels. This program was facilitated by Mr. D. R. Nagaraj an eminent trainer and assisted by Rajan Parulekar. Some of the key learning’s were as follows:
HR needs to add Value: HR needs to ask a fundamental question: why do organizations need us? In a fiercely competitive market, companies need to keep costs under control. The concept of core competency has led to outsourcing of facilities and administration functions. The day is not far off when HR may also get outsourced if it does not add value. Currently tasks like recruitment are already being handled by manpower consultants.
Traditional Approach: One of the main problems is that HR executives work on a cut & paste approach. They presume that what has worked in other countries or companies can work equally well by just adopting those practices. But they do not realize that each company has unique challenges and the one-size -fits-all solution may be an inappropriate proposition.
Difference between Talent and Competency: In order to move from a reactive to a proactive role, HR has to think creatively. If talented executives leave the organization, leading to a high attrition; it is not only because of the opportunities outside, but also because of the strengths without. An important difference between talent and competency is that talent is inborn but competency can be developed. Talented people do not need training as much as they need opportunity.
Concern for Guest: If one looks at his job as a means to one’s livelihood then he says I work to get paid. But an exceptional performance happens only from the guest’s perspective. One must think of the guest while doing a job. Think of a housewife adding salt while preparing a dish. As a mother she thinks of the children to make it tasty but also thinks of her husband to keep his BP under control. In a similar manner if the team members think of their guests while discharging their duties they can produce superlative performances.
Ever increasing demands of Customers: The changing profiles of customers like Gen Y have much more expectations than Gen X. Today’s customers are gadget savvy. Customer service is also changing. Remember the iphone? Steve Jobs wanted to have a gadget having only one button to switch it ON and OFF, and users must not be troubled with complicated menus. In a similar vein, everything should look simple in front. The customer, internal or external wants a one-stop solution for most things todays.
Importance of Mentoring: Managers are necessary but leaders are essential. They think differently and act differently. Leaders contribute in a significant way. Leaders have followers but managers have subordinates. In leadership even failure is success, achievement happens because of risk.
Mentoring is to put the other person on the right path. For mentees the Guru is one; whereas for mentors there are different mentees, each of them unique people.
If you have one acre of land, there are three approaches to cultivate it: In a traditional approach you grow paddy you get 100% returns in the short term and 0% in the long term. In a conceptual approach you grow coconuts you get 50:50 returns in the short and the long term. With a spiritual approach if you establish a school you get 0% in short term but 100% in the long term.
HR needs to make a paradigm shift from a traditional approach of looking at the short-term to a combination of the traditional, conceptual and also the spiritual approaches so as to reap not only the short-term benefits but also the long-term advantage not only for the organization but also for the employees.