People Development at the Rezidor Hotel Group: A Case Study Of A Successful Approach To Talent Management
What do we understand by talent and talent management?
Following CIPD's definition (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development), talent consists of those individuals who can make a difference to organizational performance, either through their immediate contribution or in the longer term by demonstrating the highest levels of potential. Talent Management (TM) is the systematic attraction, identification, engagement retention and development of those individuals with high potential who are of particular value to an organization.
This case study is a good example of defining a common language for talent. It is also a good business case for showing companies how talent can be developed. Rezidor definitely 'walks the talk' when it comes to prioritizing people development and making this a strategic issue. Although mainstream hoteliers would recognize the importance people have in hospitality, when it comes to putting their words into actions, the reality is usually different. The hospitality sector is normally seen as an industry with poor employment reputation, offering low-pay, anti-social working hours, menial work and limited opportunities for career progression. A number of studies have also identified significant attrition of hospitality graduates and it has been suggested that 50 percent of hospitality graduates choose careers outside the industry (Barron 2008).
"Our business is 100 percent about people," said the founder and former CEO of JetBlue Airlines David Neeleman. Neeleman has founded three commercial airlines and he's known as a brilliant entrepreneur who puts a priority on developing talent and providing great customer service. "It gets a little bit annoying sometimes when people talk so much about the TV [JetBlue was the first airline to offer Live TV on-flight in all seats] and leather seats and new airplanes because those things are cool and they're imparted. But they would be a little of importance to our business if we didn't have the best people in the industry. And they're working really hard to take care of our customers on a daily basis".
Hotels and airlines aren't different when it comes to prioritizing talent development and customer service as ingredients for a successful strategy. Building a powerful brand is not just a matter of opening more hotels and offering good products. Great hotel companies are essentially admired because of the great service and the value they offer their customers. Such companies normally have flawless execution in their operations, and most of their employees work as real ambassadors to their brands. But this is no coincidence. It essentially happens because of successful development of their people and talent. "If you have 35,000 employees and there are not among them bright talents then you are doing a very bad job" said Rezidor's former CEO Kurt Ritter. "I could give you many examples of people but I think a particularity in our company is that people really can come in as chamber maid or whatever position and know they can make it up to the GM; it's really up to them and their abilities".
HR departments co-lead this process of boosting talent throughout the organization together with executives, hotel general managers (GMs) and head of departments (HODs). Talent is then seen as a precious commodity continuously measured and evaluated. The first outcome is having a very motivated work force and customer retention. The second, a more profitable and intelligent business, because of its more knowledgeable, empowered and committed team members.
"Rezidor might not be the only hospitality organization which develops its employees by offering training, or that enhances talent and promotes internally its people," says Jan Spooren Director, People Development at Rezidor. "Yet, what I think is unique about our case is the way we have structured and organized our processes in developing our people".
Rezidor's 4D Strategy and Route 2015
Wolfgang M. Neumann was appointed as the new CEO in January 2013, succeeding one of the greatest and longest-running hospitality CEOs, Kurt Ritter. "I am honored to succeed Kurt Ritter, and look forward to leading Rezidor in our ambitious Route 2015 strategy. We will continue to focus on meeting the needs of our guests, owners and shareholders while building with our team members on the unique culture of this dynamic company." Through Route 2015 Rezidor aims to increase its EBITDA margin by 6 to 8 percent by the year 2015. The strategy puts a strong focus on revenue generation including: global strategic partnership activities with Carlson, cost-saving initiatives, accelerated asset management programs and further growth of the fee-based hotel portfolio – with a focus on new and emerging markets such as Russia/CIS and Africa.
At the same time, in 2013 Rezidor launched its multi-dimensional 4D strategy with an ultimate and unique mission of providing 'Yes I Can!' service. The four key pillars of this 4D strategy are: (1) Developing People and Talent: attracting, developing and retaining the very best people while creating a performance management culture which focuses on results; (2) Delighting Guests: delivering Rezidor's brand promise, creating bright spots and memorable experiences for every guest in every hotel; (3) Drive the Business: continue to innovate ensuring that Rezidor's revenue generation engine responds to the shift in market trends. And beat the competition; with full optimization of the hotel portfolio potential and by managing costs intelligently. (4) Deliver Results: maximizing shareholder value and delivering compelling results for hotel owners.
A Common Language for Talent:
The 7 Dimensions for Rezidor's Business Leader & Success Profiles
Wolfgang's turnaround started by defining a common language for talent, and implementing a more systematic process for evaluating what ought to be talent at Rezidor. Previously, there was not a common understanding for what was supposed to be considered as a successful profile for a hotel general manager (GM) or above within the hierarchy, nor for a head of department (HOD) in hotels.
Like any other business, hotels need to be managed not only according to well-known technical skills but other abilities like financial management, strategic perspective, people management and leadership, innovation, sales, and commitment to work. Rezidor thought of these competences and gathered them into 7 Dimensions for top managers, district directors, hotel general managers (Rezidor calls them all Business Leaders –BLs) and head of departments (HOD). The Dimensions vary only slightly across positions. For example, from a HOD you wouldn't expect the same level of strategic perspective as a BL.
The 7 Dimensions are: (1) strategic perspective and understanding (2) commercial focus, (3) active relationships, (4) quality results, (5) problem solving, (6) people leadership and management, and (7) passion and integrity.
1. Strategic Understanding (for HOD) and perspective (for BL)
Peter Drucker wrote about the tale of the three stonecutters who were asked what they were doing. The first replied, "I am making a living." The second kept on hammering while he said, "I am doing the best job of stone cutting in the entire country." The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, "I am building a cathedral." He also asked which one of these three was the true manager. "The third man is, of course, the true manager," stated Peter Drucker. "The first man knows what he wants to get out of the work and manages to do so. He is likely to give a 'fair day's work for a fair day´s pay.' But he is not a manager and will never be one. It is the second man who is the problem. Workmanship or specialization is essential, but there is always a danger that the true workman, the true professional, will believe that he is accomplishing something when in effect he is just polishing stones. Workmanship must be encouraged in the business enterprise. But it must always be related to the needs of the whole."
The problem is that most managers and career professionals in many businesses are like the second man, concerned with specialized work. Specialization is key but it loses sight when is not linked into a more holistic approach. A kitchen chef might be a bright cook; he could also control his costs very well and be a good leader for his team. Yet, if he only focuses on his own department's interests and objectives at the expense of the rest of the hotel, he might be confronted by other managers. In the end, our chef does not see the bigger picture of which he is a part.
Rezidor states that for BLs and HODs the strategic understanding and perspective is about taking an entrepreneurial approach and ownership. Managers are encouraged to anticipate developments and take a wider view without losing sight of the short-term priorities of the business function or units. For middle managers, it is about having the ability to balance departmental needs with the overall good of the hotel. Hotel GMs and District Directors or above are evaluated on their capacity to balance local needs with the overall good of the hotel group. Managers in this dimension could be considered below expectations if they are unaware or not sure of how their work and department impacts the whole.
It's about having the capacity to understand the business environment and economic factors. To think and even anticipate political, legal, and economic issues in advance and to keep up to date with new developments in the industry, the economy and technology.
The strategic dimension is also about thinking ahead and planning in advance for 12-18 months (HODs) or 2-3 years (BLs). Business Leaders at Rezidor are expected not only to consider companywide objectives but they are challenged to shape them as well.
2. Commercial Focus
Rezidor's commercial focus dimension is related to understanding and having a focus on profits; considering both revenues and costs. It also means being vigilant for new ways to exploit the local business environment, adapt to competitors and knowing how to position their own hotel/function (HODs) and area/hotel (BLs).
Those managers with a narrow focus on costs and revenues would be considered to be performing below expectations. On the other hand, managers showing awareness of overall profit impact, both on costs and revenues, would be rated as meeting expectations.
This commercial dimension brings other competences like being aware of, and even anticipating competitors' activity, and taking appropriate actions, or being actively supportive and participative in revenue generation streams and sales processes.
This dimension is also about financial awareness (HODs) and having strong financial analytical skills (BLs).
3. Active Relationships
Professor Henry Mintzberg demystified the "folklore" of managing in that narrow view limited to the hierarchical relationship between a "superior" and "subordinates" in his book Managing. The fact is that managing is just as much about lateral relationships among colleagues and associates as it is about hierarchical relationships. Effective managers and executives -among other management dimensions- spend a great deal of their contact time with a wide variety of people outside their own units: customers, suppliers, other team members, partners, governments, trade officials and other stakeholders. Mintzberg also referred to the importance for managers to be able to "manage in the middle". That is, to focus on the external roles of linking and dealing, making special use of negotiation skills.
Active relations at Rezidor means building relationships across a whole range of key external and internal people; to have insights of the needs of others and adapt their own style accordingly. It's also about resolving conflicts when they arise and being influential in presenting their own views.
Managers will meet expectations if they are able to communicate fluently and concisely, and they will exceed expectations if they have strong (HODs) and outstanding (BLs) communications and presentations skills. This dimension also involves building strong lasting relationships with colleagues, owners, customers, regulators, and licensees. Managers exceed expectations if they are able to effectively represent the company at highly visible events with top-level participants and effectively influence a wide range of people with skill and personal charisma.
Active relationships are also about cultural diversity and sensitivity. Managers must adapt -meeting expectations- or be very flexible -exceeding expectations- when working in any environment and in a different culture.
4. Quality Results
Achieving memorable service or what Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, referred as to "enlightened hospitality" in his book Setting the Table, is a big outcome not easy to obtain. It is related to going beyond customers' expectations. And guests' expectations are ultimately related to what customers are paying for their services - a memorable service is not an achievement only limited to the luxury segment. The problem is that there is often a gap between what customers expect and what they really experience. Reducing that gap is a goal of mainstream companies whose mission is to provide good but average services. Surpassing it is the mission for other companies such as Southwest Airlines, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic, Ritz Carlton, Joie de Vivre hospitality, Four Seasons, Union Square Hospitality, Zappos, Whole Food or many others. These brands overcome expectations by producing continued and sustainable WOW experiences. Rezidor strives to accomplish such level of service through its 'Yes I Can!' service.
Though standards must be set, they have to be actively monitored and constantly improved. Teamwork and empowerment are crucial. The philosophy underlined is called Total Quality Management (TQM) and is what Japanese know as kaizen, which implies that every employee, within his or her sphere of responsibility, should be committed and capable of participating in and improving his or her job continually.
Rezidor expects its managers (and the rest of its employees) to proactively seek out opportunities for improvement and go beyond standards by enhancing measures of performance. Meeting expectations for both HODs and BLs at Rezidor in this dimension is about ensuring a continuous focus on quality standards. Managers will even exceed expectations if they are capable of setting a new benchmark by improving and implementing a new procedure. Meanwhile, financial targets cannot be achieved at the expense of quality. A balanced approach is necessary to meet expectations, yet those managers able to achieve both targets, financial and quality, will exceed expectations.
This quality dimension is about time management as well. Managers must be able to manage their own time efficiently -meeting expectations- and be extremely organized in the use of their own time and other's time -exceeding expectations.
This fifth dimension is not only about problem solving and decision-making but also about defying the status quo and thinking outside of the box. It's about the capacity to innovate by thinking creatively and calculating risks.
Wolfgang Neumann's mindset for innovation is inclusive, that is, not restricted to corporate offices and top managers but to every team member as well. "Rezidor seeks to innovate through our team members," Neumann pointed out. "Involving everyone in the hotel in a bottom-up approach, to genuinely look beyond the obvious and how we can better deliver the brand promise, and to respond to a reality of changing needs of our customers."
Competences within this dimension call for having strong analytical skills, seeing trends in relevant data, exploring the full range of options before making a decision and being prepared to try new or innovative approaches, especially by being highly creative and innovative when coming up with solutions. However, thinking outside-of-the-box must be counterbalanced with taking calculated risks.
6-People Management (HODs) and People Leadership (BLs)
Peter Drucker pointed out a long time ago that a manager's first resource is people. "And the human being is a unique resource requiring peculiar qualities in whoever –manager- attempts to work with it. Working with the 'human being' always means developing him or her."
The people management and leading dimension is about creating transformational leaders. The kind of manager who not only motivates team members, but also inspires them. Such leaders normally boost performance in groups and individuals by making their people do more than they originally expected. "The good boss or the good leader in most situations must have as a psychological prerequisite the ability to take pleasure in the growth and self-actualization of the people," wrote the great psychologist, Abraham Maslow.
Here, there is a priority on talent development at all levels. Coaching people should be viewed as a normal process, which aims to improve individual performance by providing constant feedback. In such companies, receiving and providing feedback to employees is seen as normal and it is considered to be part of the company culture. Yet the coaching process won't happen efficiently if managers don't have credibility first. It's not only about having emotional intelligence (EQ) but also about mutual trust. Those managers who are able to better develop their teams are the ones who have a strong "Implicit Person Theory" (IPT). This theory pertains to the belief in whether or not people can change. Managers holding an incremental IPT believe that abilities and attributes are malleable and people can change for the better in many situations.
Managers at Rezidor are evaluated in terms of how they set clear goals and performance expectations and even how they can inspire team members; how much time they spend in getting to know their people and adapt their style accordingly. Rezidor business leaders and managers are expected to be good and even highly skilled coaches, as well as consistently exhibit a fair but clear leadership style.
7-Passion and Integrity
Rezidor business leaders and rezidorians are supposed to be role models living Rezidor's values at all times. They are role models of integrity and respect. Managers at Rezidor know how to manage stress in a more efficient way. In pressure situations they keep emotions and anxiety under control. They are role models in Rezidor's 'Yes I Can!' ethos. And of course, they embody the Rezidor values of living trust, being honest and fighting Z-pirit.
Assessment and Performance Management
Once the 7 Dimensions were clearly defined, Rezidor established assessment development centers to first evaluate the top layer of the organisation from Area Vice-Presidents down to District Directors. The revelation was that ratings were lower on leadership and strategic perspective. So 2012 was set to be the training year for this community in different programs like "Pro Active Leadership" – specially customized for Rezidor - and a 4-day program based on how to conduct performance reviews and how to interview candidates against the 7 Dimensions. In 2013 these two programs were released for the entire GM's community and in 2014 the Area Support Office functions follow.
A performance management IT solution called Halogen helped managers rate performance management on a scale from 1 to 5. Meeting expectations was rated as 3. Ratings above 3, meant for managers exceeding expectations -signified potential candidates for promotion. Below 3 was meant for managers underperforming.
For example, we might see a hypothetical case of a hotel GM falling off the chart in people leadership while meeting expectations in other competences. Maybe a GM is managing in a command and control style, which needs to be improved. Rezidor's GMs typically stay from 3 to 4 years in a location and then are moved somewhere else. Falling off the chart in people leadership also means that, as a manager, one is indirectly affecting Rezidor's 'Yes I Can!' ethos, which requires promoting trust and empowering team members.
A program for developing management & leadership skills as well as one for performance reviews & interviewing are centering on hotel head of departments in 2014 as well. Out of 35,000 employees at Rezidor, there are approximately 3,000 middle managers to assess and they also need to understand the process that they are to follow being performance managed as well performance managing their line staff. The initial roll-out of the performance management process started with 300 people – GM's and up – in 2013 and as per January 2014 the group of 3'000 HOD's was added.
"For the first time in the history of the company we will be able to know which are the true development needs of all of these people," says Jan Spooren. "Which will potentially give even more value to our company's Business School".
Rezidor Business School
Rezidor business school (RBS) celebrated its 18th anniversary last July. Since operations started it has provided courses to about 14,000 people. Kurt Ritter, former CEO, was the one who promoted the RBS. "This is far over the goal and vision I had in 1996," he said. "I think the school has accelerated improvement to such a point I could have never dreamed of in the beginning".
RBS differs from competitors' training programs in terms of how it is organized and structured, as well as the consistency it has shown over the years. Despite downturns and cost-cutting programs, Rezidor has continued with its Business School every year.
Jan Spooren, Director, People Development, leads the RBS. "Rezidor is a multi-brand company, and the business school gives the chance to gather all people together from the company and share a common purpose and values; aside from the type of hotels in which they work," says Jan. "After the courses finish and rezidorians go back to reality to their respective hotels, they are so inspired about the company. They have shared experience with other people from other hotels and other countries, they have improved their networking, and of course, their knowledge."
RBS takes place four times per year, and hotels send delegates to attend it. The business school also organizes four convocations on an area level. RBS is not in a fixed location but rotates venues among hotels and countries. In this way, in 2015, for example, on a global basis, RBS will be taking place in Hamburg, Doha, Brussels and Georgia. The people attending are normally executives, assistant general managers, head of departments, supervisors and "up-coming stars," that is, employees recognized for their talent, a job well done, and as potential for promotions. However, training and development is not limited to these people since there are other courses taking place for supervisors and rank-and-file employees in their respective hotels and areas.
Hotel Managers normally sit with HR managers and plan the annual budget for training. Though some of Rezidor's courses are in-source and less expensive, transportation expenses for attending the RBS might consume a large part of the budget. Hotels GMs must send candidates while controlling their expenses. Nevertheless, the intended goal is to allocate a percentage of the revenues to training in general, so the more rooms and revenue a hotel has the more people could be sent to RBS and deploy local training activities. A maximum amount is set though.
RBS provides around 25 courses and there is a mix between in-sourced programs, which are created and taught by Rezidor, and outsourced programs, designed and taught by external companies - these programs are usually customized to Rezidor's necessities. However, the portfolio of courses can increase or change depending upon needs. For example, two years ago a course in social media was added since people development and the social media director agreed on the need for improving social media skills throughout the company. Other courses are: "Yes I Can!", "Responsible Business Hotel Trainer Certification Workshop", "Train the Trainer Essentials", "On-Job Skills Hotel and Master Trainer Certification", "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", "Sales Success", "Sales Management Success", "Negotiation Skills", "Finance for the Non-Finance Manager", "Pro Active Leadership", "General Manager Certification Program", "Advance Revenue Management Training"…etc.
The quality of the content for the different programs is key. In the case of in-source courses, very skilled and certified master trainers from Rezidor are in charge of teaching. Master trainers normally teach hotel trainers to become certified trainers. Some master trainers come from HR at corporate offices or area levels. HODs or BLs could opt to be master trainers as well. "Quality is key because they will be the future trainers for the rest, and we are talking about standards of service, responsible business…etc." says Jan Spooren. "Before, it was typically only HR people teaching Rezidor's in-source courses, which is a logical flow on the one hand, but we needed more trainers with operational background". Housekeepers, front-office managers, supervisors, and even chefs gained their certifications and are now hotel trainers teaching at their hotels. There is no extra pay for teaching these courses. People are intrinsically motivated to become certified trainers. Teaching is additional to their day-to-day job responsibilities. Perhaps the goal for some of them is to become master trainers and teach at RBS, but others do it because it's good for the team and the hotel.
Courses such as "Train the Trainer Essentials" teach people how to become efficient trainers. Aside from the official courses, managers could also create and deliver on-site courses on a needs basis at their hotels. "Train the Trainer Essentials" teaches the principles behind developing content, how trainers can provide a structure and objectives, build logical key points, add questions, use visuals and take care of body language. Other programs like "Yes I Can!" are delivered to certify trainers to teach the principles behind Rezidor's "Yes I Can!" mission to hotels. This course goes through different principles like providing service by delivering the promise overview, doing it right, providing 'Yes I Can' behaviors, doing it right and surprising and delighting guests. Classes are very participative, continually promoting teamwork exercises among class participants.
Getting certified to become a hotel trainer is not an easy thing. On the last day master trainers assess how participants and future hotel trainers teach the program themselves. Attending classes is not a guarantee of getting the certification, and some of them might even fail. If that happens, they might get a second chance, this time in the place where the candidate is from and in his or her own language. Language barriers could be a reason why candidates fail on the first place; perhaps a candidate fails because he or she is nervous – after all the course is going to be delivered in the current language. Once trainers get their certification they should not take more than 30 days to prepare their first course.
An area program called Program for Supervisor Development (PSD) is provided to supervisors to help them be successful in their day-to-day tasks and to hopefully assist in becoming an HOD one day. This program takes place at a hotel level over the course of three months. Classes are organized in two 2-day convocation and a closing 1-day with an interval of 6-8 weeks. During the last convocation students must present a final project.
Online training or e-learning is also provided at Rezidor and led by the people development department. Rezidor's online platform provides different courses and debate forums to every hotel. The platform is even adapted to smartphones and tablets. Hotels pay a small fixed rate to gain access for all their team members to have access to the e-learning platform. These courses are very practical and visual with numerous videos and case situations -especially for supervisors and front line employees. Courses are continually updated. People development monitors the participation -who's attending more or the number of visits-, manages communications and continuously renews the platform.
Return on Investment (ROI) of training
Michael Farrell Rezidor's Senior Vice President of Human Resources stated: "A company who spends in training is not a cost to the company but an investment. Putting in place what you learn is proof of the return of this investment. It's a win-win situation: the company wins because of your enhanced skills and knowledge and motivation. And the employee wins because of the intrinsic motivation by growing professionally and personally."
Although Michael Farrell's words are common sense to mainstream executives, why is it that most of them don't back-up their words with actions? In reality, cutting training expenses is the first thing they do when the going gets tough. Even worse, some managers don't invest in training at all because they're concerned about maximizing profits on a quarterly basis.
One of the first reasons for not 'walking the talk' is that there is no easy formula nor magic number to quantify such investments in the short-run. A second reason is that executives are usually unaware of the intangible, indirect and multiple benefits of developing people. There is also a third reason, a lack of commitment and vision for long-term strategies. Talent management and people development cannot be easily measured on a short-term basis but they hold a tremendous potential for gain in the long run. That's why employee retention is vital.
Measuring the benefits of training cannot be done in 'scientific' terms because many of them are intangible. How can you measure the change in behavior produced by attending RBS? Or, how can you measure the benefit of the lateral and enhanced relations with other peers while attending the programs? Is it possible to calculate in accurate terms how much corporate values were reinforced?
Indeed, it is possible to calculate employee retention and satisfaction due to training –among other factors. It is also possible to measure employee morale. For example, Rezidor scored 87 out of 100 in employee morale in 2013. Turnover rates are also easy to get and benchmark with those of the industry and main competitors. Other performance indicators such as customer satisfaction surveys for 'Yes I Can!' programs can be set as well. Sales courses teach numerous techniques that, if well implemented, could make the sales process more efficient. Thus, management could establish performance indicators such as the number of new corporate accounts generated, a possible increase in revenue streams or the number of new procedures established which have improved the overall sales process. Nevertheless, adding to these measures, there are still other benefits less tangible but no less powerful, such as the generation of new ideas (creativity) as a result of the programs taught or of meeting and interacting with peers from different countries. People behavior will normally change for good as well; employees return to their hotels with more energy and motivation. They are also more committed to the company's culture and goals.
"There's no specific formula to calculating the return on investment," confirms Jan Spooren. "Once students return to their hotels they should sit with HODs or GMs and open a dialogue; to tell about the course and what are they expecting to apply. This should be done in a next-daymeeting after he or she returns."
Mentor Mentee Program: becoming a Hotel General Manager
The Mentor Mentee Program is designed to identify team members with talent to become General Managers within Rezidor and to prepare them for this role by developing their potential. "Rezidor has a long term commitment to people development, to learning and to developing talent along the line," says Wolfgang Neumann. "I absolutely believe in growth from within."
Hotel GMs, together with area HR Directors and area VPs, nominate candidates to the people development department. Jan Spooren reviews whether or not requirements are fulfilled. Candidates must be head of departments (HODs) with at least two years experience in hotel operations within Rezidor. If the candidate just arrived at Rezidor from another hotel company, he or she will need to wait for a period of time to make sure Rezidor's values and culture are first absorbed.
Preselected candidates for the program should have worked with budget responsibilities and led a group of people. For example, it may be that a certain candidate for a GM position has been working as a sales executive but not previously led any teams nor managed a department budget. If this is the case, then he or she will be encouraged to wait and gain experience in hotel operations, budget responsibilities and have the opportunity to lead a small team.
Once all requirements are passed, people development at Brussels will wait for eight candidates to run an assessment center. In essence, evaluations will be set against 5 out of the 7 Dimensions of Rezidor Business Leader profile with no focus on strategic perspective and commercial focus, though these competences are supposed to be (better) developed during the program. Preselected candidates will then spend two days in group exercises, training, verbal and numerical tests, and interactive presentations. Evaluators will see how candidates present and position themselves in public.
If they pass the assessment successfully, he or she will be named a Mentee and be asked to specify mobility preferences. Obviously, the more geographical flexibility you have for moving, the faster you will find a Mentor to be assigned to. Mentors are Hotel GMs certified as Mentors following another assessment procedure that Rezidor utilizes solely for the purpose of identifying Mentors.
Mentees will work as executive assistant managers or operational managers under the close supervision of their Mentor; the hotel's GM. They will go through a 12 to 18 month development program. The program will focus on developing Mentees in commercial focus, strategic perspective, business planning, exposure to owners, networking, revenue management issues, etc. After the Mentee's period is finalized and Mentees are deemed ready, they will have to fly to the corporate offices in Brussels to pass a final assessment. There they will meet with two district directors who will evaluate them and decide whether or not they are prepared to become Rezidor GMs.
Conclusion: job engagement, meaningful jobs and competitiveness
The Gallup World Poll studied 142 countries, revealing in 2013 that only 13% of employees are engaged at work. The bulk of employees worldwide – 63% – are "not engaged," meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes. Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of Gallup, stated: "What the whole world wants is a good job. This is one of the most important discoveries Gallup has ever made…" The bottom line is that people spend a substantial part of their lives working. As a result, the quality of their workplace experience is inevitably reflected in the quality of their lives. Gallup concluded that business leaders worldwide must raise the bar on employee engagement. Increasing workplace engagement is vital to achieving sustainable growth for companies, communities, and countries.
John Mackey (founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods Market) and Raj Sisodia reminded us in their book Conscious Capitalism that companies must redesign work to make it more meaningful. This means increasing the opportunity for people to grow and develop mastery in a particular domain. Finally, companies must empower people so they have more autonomy. These three elements –mastery, purpose, and autonomy –together lead to high levels of intrinsic motivation, which is key to creativity, engagement, performance, and satisfaction.
The new hospitality scenario is turning to be more competitive and unpredictable. Hence the earlier hospitality organizations develop their talent the greater the chance of succeeding. This case study ought to be a source of inspiration for many companies.