One of the first places I look for a job was a diverse group of companies that have the ame purpose, to help people to have a more productive and fulfilling live (Seek 2015). Another source was a company that has been in Australia since 2007, posting local ads for the community, connecting people for many purposes either moving, buying, selling and even employment (Gumtree 2015).
One problem that I face when looking for a job in Gumtree, is that most of the jobs posted on this web page were “cash in hand” jobs and no guaranteed hours, more like a casual basis or some just available for a short period of time. In the SEEK web page, is where I watched more serious jobs, with more potential but still restricted. Many of the positions available were for permanent residents, full-time or at least temporary residents, leaving me with a few options for employment.
Fortunately, the school has a job fair, where could contact some hotels directly and in the representation Of the school. That was a great help in my journey of looking for a job, great quality hotels send their HR representatives with offers for students, graduates and overseas people. During one of the events, I left my resume to all the hotels available and had a chat with as many managers as I could. was help by the staff of the school to update my resume, since ‘am a tudent from Mexico, for me the cover letter was something new, the resume totally different from the structure and content.
My LinkedIn profile was also outdated, so with the help from the personnel in the school I was able to fix it and improve it in order to create a better impression to recruiters. After the job fair, I was approached by Accor to work as porter in their hotel in central station, but at the same time was contacted by the Intercontinental Sydney for an interview to work in the restaurant called Caf© Opera, as Food and Beverage attendant. One of my uncles works at the Intercontinental in
Austin Texas, so I called him to ask about the company and how well they treat their employees, the benefits and if it was worth to work there in order to create a career. I attended the interview at the Intercontinental, the duty manager interview me following a series of questions about how to serve food, wine knowledge, spirits, coffee and sequence of service. Two weeks after the interview, I get a call telling me that I got the job and it came in a great time, since I had been in Australia for close to three months and my savings were almost gone.
The experience gained as Food and Beverage ttendant I obtained in Walt Disney, has been essential to perform my job and shine at doing it, but learning to make coffee has been something new, the ways of serving and names to the different coffees has been a challenge to learn, especially at the beginning of my employment. From the hotel perspective can notice that is hard for them to hire people that have no training or experience in hospitality, since the wedges here are so high, there is no money to waste on training. Most of the managers seek for people with a minimum of two months of experience in restaurants of hospitality.
Also personnel with knowledge about wines and spirits since is easier to complement the knowledge rather than start from zero, is important also to hire efficient and organized people that have the sense of urgency that a busy restaurant can demand from everyone. After being in the hotel for 5 months I express my intention to do my professional internship to my manager, and she was happy about it since she was a student from the Blue Mountains as well, I was given more responsibilities and a full time option for the duration of my placement, more shifts and the rotation to other areas of the hotel. ried to get into the front esk, but the manager I talked to, resign and I never got contacted by anyone else. Even if I didn’t get to work in front desk, I was able to work in other departments, like the cortile lounge, the Intercontinental Club and even banquets. Question 2 The Intercontinental hotel in Sydney is occupying what it used to be the treasury building, which was built in 1851, making the hotel one of the citys oldest historical monuments (Cannon 2014).
The building was renewed from the inside in the early 1980’s, to erect a 30-storey tower where the 509 rooms were built, hosting the Australia suit, a room of 250 sqm, also attributed the argest suite in Sydney (IHG 2015). The hotel has many services available for the guest, business centre, health and fitness centre, SPA facilities, indoor pool, concierge Services, dry cleaning and may others that will help the stay of any Pearson very comfortable, from luxury to leisure (InterContinental Hotels 2015).
Caf© Opera was the restaurant where was doing my placement, is a buffet service restaurant, seasonally inspired, with local ingredients, great views of the city and also the hotel launched the 117 restaurant. Talking about the induction to my department, the first day went for my niform, also to get my hotel ID, credential, and my name tag. After everything with the HR department like contract and payment, I was invited back to the restaurant with my manager where she give me a tour through the main areas of the hotel.
We went to the pool, the lobby, the club InterContinental and the offices of the directors, meeting most of the back of the house staff. The induction process to my position was very different to what I had imaged, you don’t get proper training, from my point of view, the manager just told me the table numbers and that is about it, most of the procedures and steps f the service had to ask or figure it out by myself.
Micros is a POS that was familiar with, but still is very different from one company to another, and is very hard for the first week to get used to or to find all the right keys. I remember in Disney, before you can be on the floor alone, you have to perform three sets trainings, and here not even a proper one. Two months later take a training called “brand training”, here I was introduced to all the different brands across the IHG Company, from the budget hotels like Holiday Inn Express, to the five star InterContinental.
The ew acquisitions of the company like the KIMPTON hotels & restaurants, recently joined the group in January 201 5 (IHG Financial Report 2014). Also, the most recent brand of hotels launched “EVEN hotels” focusing in a healthier and fitness hotel, where classes of yoga, fresh juices and personal trainers are offered on the property. On the same day of brand training, I was given a diploma and a picture with all the new staff and the hotel general manager, as well as my InterContinental pin.
To be honest that day I feel like I was valued, welcomed and important for my organization; everyone that day were commenting bout how nice gesture that was making you feel motivated and inspired to work. The induction process from the HR department was really nice, very well planned, with a good explanation of the hotel perspective, also the company financial results and history Of how the enterprise started. From the side of my place of work, I dont think is was well performed, there are many things that can be improves to make it better for the new joining members.
To start, believe that on your first shift, the new staff should be as shadow to the most experienced or the most efficient worker, in order to learn the tricks nd absorb the tips and suggestions. A Minimum of three trainings in each section before any staff can be alone, but most important a handout about how to use micros, since the location of all the buttons and functions vary from place to place is very hard to figure it out by yourself, or you are not very confident when putting orders at the beginning, wasting time and sometimes the time of other staff members.
It happened to me that other departments request help when they get very busy or are short on staff, so many times I was sent as support, but since had no idea how the other department worked, I felt lost, if clients ask me for omething I struggle where to find them or even to put it in the system. feel that this problem could have been mitigated by rotating the staff every once in a while to other restaurants; so you know the movement and the main things to do in other areas.
Question 3 IHG has a couple of developing programs for their employees, the one that has caught my attention is the I-Grad program, is a twelve month graduate management trainee program where you work in different departments while you develop your capabilities as a future leader (I-Grad program 2015). Once I finish my Master degree in BMIHS I will definitely try to enter to this rogram, is full of potential and great opportunities for the future all over the world.
One very important tool for development is education and experience, so one program created in association with Harvard University is ‘IHG Leadership Academy. Create to develop talent, leadership and knowledge sharing across the business (Harvard Business School 2015). The porpoise of the program is to help employees to understand what experiences and knowledge are required for advancement in their career, provide them with learning resources and exceed their management target trough business management.
The IHG’s Leadership Academy runs workshops every quarter, where the participants have to participate in selected Harvard ManageMentor modules that prioritize the business priorities, set specific goals aligned with IHG’s annual performance reviews. At the end employees are able to participate in a global online conference to share their learnings and hear the experience of other participating leaders (Harvard Business School 2015).
Definitely another program worth giving it a shot, especially because of the partnership with one of the best universities in the world. A very important program from IHG is the IHG academy, this program is very ocially responsible driven, its core pillar is to improve the employability and create job opportunities within the communities where there is a hotel from the company (IHG academy 2014). The main areas of focus for the program are: Operate on partnership with local communities and education suppliers, improving skills of each person.
Work experience placement, offering the participants the opportunity to obtain real world experience by working in a hotel. Feedback to the candidate, recruitment discussion and improving the chances of finding a job that is aligned with their skills and abilities. Recruit motivated and engaged people to the IGH Company, inviting to form part of the company to the most skilled potential employees. In order to implement the IHG Academy program in a hotel, consist of five steps, where the community and management come together for the best interest of both.
This creates a sustainable community around the hotels of the company and to the industry at large, creating talented and motivated employees; also investing in current workers to have access to internal training for further develop. Helping to create employee engagement, pride and loyalty in orking for IHG, reducing turnover and improving guest service (IHG academy 2014). Each hotel with this program has the support of the General Manager, HR leader and other employees with the passion for developing others, something unique in the industry as well as beneficial for the employee.
The IHG Academy program has over 600 hotels that provide the program, in 60 different countries, making it the largest program for personnel development in the hospitality industry (PR Newswire 201 5, p. 4). The growth potential in the hospitality sector is tremendous, and with companies that ocus on creating leaders, reflects the commitment of creating opportunities for the people in an industry that is fast-growing, with a long lasting growth potential. Hotel owners work together with the community, creating jobs and training opportunities.
IHG benefits by having access to talent from the neighborhood close to their properties. have worked for another company with a great developing program, Marriott has a program called Voyage, is a leadership program for 18 months. Here you focus in many areas of the hotel, from F to finance, HR and the entire operations (Marriott International 201 5), the program is available in ore than 30 countries. At the end of the program you are offered a supervisor or entry-level management position, according to your skills and experience obtained during the program.
Both companies offer great programs with almost the same characteristics, great opportunities for success in either company. In my personal experience, would stay with IHG, is a chain that have more brands of hotels, with a wider options for development and more programs to choose, from five stars hotels to the budget ones, so you can have more room for deciding your preferences. Another thing is that IHG has properties in more locations, Marriott is very strong in LJSA, but InterContinental has a wider portfolio of properties and a big plan for growth in China.
Question 4 What IHG is focusing for the future is to have an expansion of their hotels portfolio by 66%, including all their brands, budget, midscale, upscale and luxury, compared to their actual presence in China by the year 2020. The company believes that this segment has the highest growth opportunity and the strongest flexibility to the industry economic cycle (IHG Annual Report 2014) and with the continuous growth of china economy is critical to enforce the market in this sector.
Another goal is to increase their revenue for their next financial year by $1 million dollars, (IHG Annual report 2014), and for this particular objective the hotels has put in practice serval strategies that will help accomplish the increase in revenue. First, increase the number of properties for a couple of specific brands, 8-12 Holiday Inn express or 2-3 new Crowne Plaza contracts. Also increase the Holiday Inn brand RevPar by 6. % and increase loyalty by increasing the people joining IHG REWARDS by 20% (IHG Public Limited Company 2015). The strategy for the future, in order to grow each brand is segmented to the ype of accommodation, for example, the strategy for InterContinental and Crowne Plaza is, to create new and managed franchise contracts, generate more revenue and differentiate their strongest point of advantage, have an edge by offering high quality and luxury accommodation.
For the brand Indigo the growth strategy is to create new franchises contracts, by looking investors and improve the underperforming assets by training or closed supervision (IHG Public Limited Company 2015). Holiday Inn has the strategy of increasing their RevPar across the entire brand and sub-brands, but the way to reaching this goal is to focus on ustomer awareness, customer satisfaction, increase their impact on the Priority Club Rewards by offering better benefits that will make the brand more attractive for loyal customers.
Finally Staybridge Suites and Candlewood have the strategy to open new managed and franchised contracts, but also differentiate those brands as long stay in key places where tourism is constant like airports, theme parks, stadiums, etc (IHG Public Limited IHG also has some objectives that are socially responsible ones, which I am proud to talk about here, the first one is to contribute a total of $1 0 million ollars to communities through monetary donations (IHG PLC 201 5), the strategy here is to do fund races in all their hotels, like cook-offs contest, marathons, raffles and by asking for donations, so far the company has raised $840,000 for the IHG Shelter Fund, responding to 18 disasters in 9 different countries, including China, Mexico, Egypt and the 1-1K, providing funds to help financially, accommodation and vital supplies (IHG Shelter in a Storm 2015). In the level of the restaurant there are different objectives, the main one is to have a HeartBeat positive survey of 86. 5%.
HeartBeat is a questionnaire send to the people that have just stayed at any IHG property, in order to have feedback from their experience and find areas of opportunities in all the departments that the guest interact with (IHG Owners Association 2012). HeartBeat launched in April 2011 , as a global system to evaluate the stay of the guests around the world, it records the information for up to 12 months and gives a complete report every month about the satisfaction of the clients, ending In accurate and reliable information, in order to fix common problems or have better solutions in the future. Caf© Opera holds a HeartBeat of 82. 6 overall, but this includes criteria like the quality of the food, the ambiance of the restaurant and the price of the restaurant.
Attentiveness is in 93%, which is a phenomenal performance, time of service is at 86%, and despite the great performance in this rubrics is the overall percentage that is important for management. The strategy to be implemented by the Restaurant Manager will be to train all the staff in sequence of service, up sell, customer care and place a welcoming fresh juice station during breakfast and a live cooking station at the entrance of the restaurant. The spectated results Will be to have a better looking restaurant from the first step on it, a higher luxurious feeling and the better service from the staff, motivated and confident about the product their offer.
Being able to make recommendations about wine, spirits and answering food inquiries will help to improve the overall experience of each customer that walks into the restaurant, resulting in increasing the HeartBeat survey satisfaction for the Question 5 Restaurant dining in hotels, can provide a competitive advantage, providing a second income for the hotel in addition to accommodation, explaining the eason why is important to have a good quality and very well equipped restaurant with ingredients of high quality and premium tools (Ashton, Scott & Solnet, 2010). From my perspective, the main area which the restaurant relay heavily, is from the purchases department, since there is where all the raw material arrives to the hotel.
Is important the best data base program to ensure that all the ingredients are stocked and available even for the busiest nights, purchase department IS one of the most crucial areas of the entire hotel, they are in charge of all the materials, parts, food, utensils and many things more. Most of the time the taff from this department is the direct contact with suppliers and is vital the coordination and the good relationship between the both, in order to have a successful operation of the hotel (Smith & Bradford, 2015). Also many prices of supplies are arranged by this department, helping to manage cost, obtaining the best deals from distributors.