Hospitality Trendz

Howmany of you have been in situations where you start the conversation with, “You won’t believe this...” Well, in this month’s article, I would like to share with you three stories that you won’t believe. As you may already know, I have been in restaurant and hotel human resources for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen it all. Below, I’m sharing some of my stories in the hopes that I can help others. (Please note: real names, hotel, and restaurant locations have been left out to protect identities.) Recruiting: you won’t believe this... It was a hot summer day in New York City. I was a junior HR professional conducting an interview for a restaurant manager. I was down to my last two back-to-back interviews, with both candidates sitting in the waiting area. I am a huge advocate for candidate experience. I believe it is important to ensure that you are providing a positive and memorable experience for your candidate. (Remember: people share their experiences with their friends, review websites like Glassdoor, and their social media followers.) I completed the welcome and handed the one candidate a clipboard so he could fill out the application. (Yes, I said clipboard and application―it was a long time ago and the wonderful technology we have today wasn’t available back then.) The candidate proceeded to fill out the application while I went back in to my office to prepare for the interview. About five minutes later, I heard loud music playing. (I have to admit, it had some good bass.) I walked out of my office to the waiting area, only to find one of the candidates with his shoes and socks off, and a mini stereo system set up. My first instinct was to jump in and get my dance on―but that would be inappropriate. I can only assume that he took his shoes and socks off because he was extremely hot. I asked him to put his shoes back on. His response? “I’m trying to set the atmosphere, so I’m ready for my interview.” I explained to him that it was not appropriate and, unfortunately, we would not be moving forward in the interview process. As I am sure you could imagine, he was not happy and refused to leave, forcing me to call security to have him escorted out. The fix: In these types of situations, it is important to stay calm and ensure that you treat the person with dignity. You never know how fast these situations can go south. Be sure to reach out for assistance and to take a moment to think through your response. Progressive discipline matter: You won’t believe this... I had an employee at a hotel who was a poor performer. We’ve have all dealt with the “Poor Performer,” but this situation was different because he refused to accept that he was a poor performer. As you know, it is important to ensure you follow your progressive discipline policy. This gentleman was coached, counseled, and managed throughout the entire process. Finally, he was put on a performance improvement plan, or PIP. Unfortunately, his behavior and performance did not change. Not only that, he was also a very vocal employee who appeared to have some aggression issues. The day came when we made the decision based on his choice not to correct his behavior or performance that it was time to sever the employment relationship. We were concerned that this situation would escalate… and escalate it did. The manager of the department had asked me to sit in on his termination. Normally as an HR professional you don’t sit in on terminations unless they are EXPERTS SPEAK - HR 72 \ HOSPITALITY TRENDZ \ APRIL 2018 Putting out fires requires advance preparation and a cool head. Above all, remain calm By Cleo Clarke, global VP of human resources strategy and development, Harri

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