TRANSLATING STRATEGY INTO HR POLICIES AND PRACTICES CASE:
TRANSLATING STRATEGY INTO HR POLICIES AND PRACTICES CASE:
T H E H O T E L PA R I S
The New Career Management System clerk needs to handle a guest’s special request. If the hotel
The Hotel Paris’s competitive strategy is “To use superior wanted satisﬁed guests, they had to have committed em-
guest service to differentiate the Hotel Paris properties, ployees who did their jobs as if they owned the company,
and to thereby increase the length of stay and return rate of even when the supervisor was nowhere in sight. But for
guests, and thus boost revenues and proﬁtability.” HR the employees to be committed, Lisa knew the Hotel
manager Lisa Cruz must now formulate functional policies Paris had to make it clear that the company was also com-
and activities that support this competitive strategy, by elic- mitted to its employees.
iting the required employee behaviors and competencies. From her experience, she knew that one way to do
Lisa Cruz knew that as a hospitality business, the this was to help her employees have successful and satis-
Hotel Paris was uniquely dependent upon having com- fying careers, and she was therefore concerned to ﬁnd
mitted, high-morale employees. In a factory or small re- that the Hotel Paris had no career management process at
tail shop, the employer might be able to rely on direct all. Supervisors weren’t trained to discuss employees’ de-
supervision to make sure that the employees were doing velopmental needs or promotional options during the
their jobs. But in a hotel, just about every employee is “on performance appraisal interviews. Promotional processes
the front line.” There is usually no one there to supervise were informal. And the ﬁrm made no attempt to provide
the limousine driver when he or she picks up a guest at any career development services that might help its
the airport, or when the valet takes the guest’s car, or the employees to develop a better understanding of what
front-desk clerk signs the guest in, or the housekeeping their career options were, or should be. Lisa was sure that
PART 3 VIDEO CASES APPENDIX
Video 5: The HR Manager’s Job, Job Analysis, Training
and Developing Employees
Video Title: Training and Development
In this video, the director of training and development turns a somewhat confrontational
meeting with the ﬁrm’s marketing director into something more positive. The marketing
director is making the case that there are several performance problems among employees
of the company, and that she believes that inadequate training and development is the rea-
son why. For her part, the training and development manager, Jenny Herman, says that she
understands that the company, Loews Hotels, is getting complaints from customers, but
that the ﬁrm’s training program has been following the employee performance standards
now in place. The problem is “there are standards, but employees are still falling down.”
After discussing the matter between the two of them, they agree that the training and de-
velopment program was not revised for the company’s new needs, and that among other
things Jenny would “like to revise the new hire certiﬁcation process.” She emphasizes that
“we need to hear more from the ﬁeld what the training and development needs are, and
then try these out, and then roll out the ﬁnal program.”
1. Could the inadequate performance be a result, not of inadequate training, but of something
else—such as inadequate motivation, or inadequate employee selection?
2. How would you go about ﬁnding out, based upon what you read in this part of the book?
3. The concluding discussion of the video about how human resource managers actually
choose training techniques raises some useful questions. For example, do you agree that
classroom training is particularly appropriate for hotel employees “because they like class-
420 PART 3 • TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Video 6: Performance Management and Appraisal, Career
Video Title: Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young, a large U.S. accounting ﬁrm, increased its employee retention rate by 5% as
a result of a human resource initiative “to put people ﬁrst.” By creating a performance
feedback—rich culture, building great résumés for its 160,000 people in New York City and
around the world, and giving them time and freedom to pursue personal goals, Ernst &
Young operationalized the idea of “people ﬁrst” and thereby created a more motivated work
force. In this video, you’ll see the company uses mandatory goal setting, provides employ-
ees with learning opportunities in their areas of interest, and measures HR processes using
an employee survey to evaluate the workplace environment. While the ﬁrst segment of this
video is necessarily relevant for our needs, the segment on Ernst & Young, in which Kevin,
the senior auditor describes his experience at Ernst & Young, illustrates both what perform-
ance management means in practice, and the effect that it can have on employees.
1. In what ways to the HR practices that Ernst & Young (such as goal setting, and providing
people with learning opportunities in their areas of interest) illustrate what performance
management means in practice?
2. How important do you think it is that Ernst & Young measure HR practices using an em-
ployee survey? Why? How would you do so?
3. What role should such a survey place in the ﬁrm’s performance management program, and
in its strategic human resource efforts?
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