Ranking Human Capital from “taking them for granted” "the" link to success
— 13 C-Suite executives shared their view
Hospitality being the embodiment of people connecting to people, our human capital then automatically should be the most important asset we have. Every hotel or chain always talks a great deal about how important they judge their associates and all they do for them. But do they match their company values to their team members' values? Do they feel comfortable and able to empower their associates to deliver that important connection to their guests in full trust? Does selection still take place based on skill level and experience? Are interviews the right way to select?
In a digital tech world, where the environment and so many other demands take center stage and the financial influence of the past year's pandemic is so deeply felt, what should be the minimum base of human capital focus and what is your advice to all hotels/chains out there...
Chief Executive Officer at Dream Hotel Group
As an industry that's come from such a long history of capital needs, including a huge range of human capital expenses, I don't think there's much change in minimum base of human capital focus for hotels. We're on the other side of that spectrum. Even with the addition of robots, contactless check-in, etc. at our hotels, this is a human-heavy industry and we will always make sure our hotels are meeting guests where they want to be met, and providing that level of high-touch services where our guests want it, when they want it. But in other back of house operations, where our guests are less likely to want it, yes we will scale back labor. If more guests want contactless check-in, automated responses and robots to deliver in-room dining, then great, let's give them what they want to better their experience. But until certain aspects of our industry starts to change dramatically (i.e. frequency of housekeeping), I don't think there's much difference in human capital needs now compared to our pre-pandemic days, even with the addition of new technologies like Alfred the Butler (robot) at our Dream Hollywood property. Alfred is just one of the ways we're using technology to entertain and protect our guests while optimizing efficiency. The robot technology of delivering items to guest rooms really works and saves on labor expense while reinforcing our commitment to delivering impeccable service, and introducing technology like Alfred, provides our associates more time to focus on the personalized service and needs of our guests. Over time, yes, technology may replace or augment the mundane, repetitive and dangerous jobs – be that through automation, mobility, robotization or next gen technology applications with the goal of doing more with less – but technology will never replace highly qualified hospitality jobs like General Management, Sales & Marketing, Revenue, Guest Services, Concierge, etc.