Author Archives: Steve Williams

  1. Championing LGBTQ+ in the Workplace

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    Championing LGBTQ+ in the Workplace

    HR in Hospitality in association with Checking-In and Umbrella Training presents Championing LGBTQ+ in the Workplace with:
    • Will Davies,  Director at HBD Partners and Checking-In LGBT+ Network
    • Jo Simovic, Chief Operating Officer at Umbrella Training Ltd
    • Rakhee Patel, Global People & Culture Business Partner - ISS
    • Steve Williams, Director of HR The Standard and HR in Hospitality
  2. Ready for your Shift? [Webinar Recording]

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    Ready For Your Shift?

    HR in Hospitality was proud to partner with Springboard to bring all our members and wider industry colleagues this special session in recognition of Mental Health awareness month this May.

    If you missed our event please take some time out and view our webinar recording below.

  3. HR in Hospitality ‘Soundbites’

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    Preparing your team

    Be ready for the lockdown lift

    Join Sally Prescott - Director at Zest for Life as she draws from her own personal Covid19 experience to offer tips and suggestions as you prepare your team to return to work after the lockdown lifts.

    Zest for Life

    Sally is Founder and Director of Zest for Life Ltd, responsible for building the business into the leading provider of development programmes, coaching and leadership excellence in the hospitality sector.

  4. HR in Hospitality ‘Soundbites’

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    Find out more about how Eugenio Pirri - Chief People & Culture Office at the Dorchester Collection have placed their focus on People & Culture and the Employee Journey in response to the Covid19 pandemic.

    How coronavirus has transformed Dorchester Collection’s approach to training

    The Dorchester brand is renowned for refined customer service and five-star luxury. So the coronavirus crisis has created a conundrum for its chief people and culture officer, Eugenio Pirri, who must now reconfigure the ‘high touch’ elements that were once the lifeblood of the hospitality industry. “L&D is going to be elevated coming out of this pandemic because we are having to look at new procedures and new ways of doing things,” says Pirri, who is currently reworking the old approach to suit the ‘new normal’. “How do you social distance when you are serving someone food, or trying to check them in?”

  5. HR in Hospitality ‘Soundbites’

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    Keeping yourself professionally active on furlough

    “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”

    I hope you enjoyed my short video HERE.

    Like many across hospitality, due to the impact of Coronavirus, I was placed on furlough in the Spring this year. This was a bit of a shock to the system, and there is of course no rule book as to how best to utilise your time, however I felt it really important to make the most of the situation. Sure, I have spent time with my immediate family, have taken over all (well, most!) of the domestic duties, and the garden has never looked better, but like many of you reading this, I also wanted to keep myself professionally active and updated.

    If, like me you have been furloughed, and you have a desire to upskill with this new found time on your hands, here is a list of things that you can do!

    • Sign up to Success.com, home of Success magazine. Packed full of inspiring articles, tools and tips to support with perpetually developing new skills it contains ideas and strategies to help you excel in every area of your personal and professional life.

    • Check out CIPD’s Careers Hub – career tools; personality assessments; elevator pitch builders; interview preparation and much more

    • Sign up to CIPD’s coronavirus hub and help prepare yourself to support your business with handling COVID19

    • Upgrade your CV membership! Elevate your profile; gain recognition and credibility; build your network and so much more! You can look at the experience assessment route and studying options through the CIPD website

    • Follow people and companies who inspire you on social media (e.g. Linked In)

    • Comment on Linked in posts – write blogs and publish them!

    • Join HR groups on social media

    • Look out for free podcasts and webinars e.g. CIPD; Future of Work (Spotify); UK Hospitality

    • Try and devote a percentage of your time each to your CPD…..Because you’re worth it!

    • Explore free/inexpensive e learning opportunities e.g. from Open University, Linked In Learning; CIPD

    • Read those inspirational, paradigm shifting HR books you always wanted to! For example :-

    -Dan Pink: Drive
    -Franklin Covey: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
    -Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People
    -Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow
    -Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit
    -Chabris and Simons – The Invisible Gorilla
    -Kim Scott – Radical Candour

  6. HR in Hospitality 2020 Awards Paused

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    HR in Hospitality 2020 Awards Paused

    To our wonderful HR in Hospitality Community,

    I hope you; your families and teams are all keeping safe and well and managing through this truly difficult crisis. It is with regret that I am writing this open letter to you all regarding the postponement of our amazing Annual Awards ball that was due to be held at the end of September this year.

    The disruption caused by Covid-19 has been unprecedented and hit our industry particularly hard with the majority of hotels, restaurants and bars fully closed. Many of you have put your teams on furlough or have been working from home and we are still uncertain about what the next normal will mean for us once this crisis passes. Many of you are now starting to focus on getting ready to re-open and being as prepared as you can be.

    Therefore, with a heavy heart we have decided we will not be opening invitations for entry this year or hold our annual award ceremony, everyone’s safety is at the forefront of our minds. We know having over 200 of you sitting closely together to eat, celebrate, hugging, kissing and dancing is likely to be impossible for some time to come, so we will simply move the annual awards celebration to 2021 and make it a great one to remember.

    In the meantime, we will continue to offer socially distant online events, webinars and stories of interest to our members, sharing insights and blogs for ideas from other thought leaders in our sector. We have some great webinars planned for June and July and event details will be shared with you, our community and on our website. We will continue with our calendar of learning and insight events for this year albeit virtual and as soon as we are able and it is safe to do so for everyone, we will arrange more social networking events where we can be together.

    We hope to kick start 2021 with an even bigger post-Christmas event to look forward to, one where we can reflect, celebrate and also recognise individual and teams who have done some great things during this Covid-19 crisis.

    Esther O’Halloran
    Chair
    HR in Hospitality

  7. Coming back to work from Covid-19, so where do we start?

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    Coming back to work from Covid-19, so where do we start?

    Covid19 has changed the face of business working! We now know the government have issued a brief roadmap for businesses to follow to get people back to work and enable the economy to slowly recover. So it is critical that every organisation now has their own clear plans to get their business fully operational and moving forward. According to McKinsey Covid-19 Global Health and Crisis Response April 2020 “we have to start with what we know, accept that the world has changed and that we have no choice but to change with it”. So how ready are you for getting your business and teams back on track both physically and emotionally over the coming months? Here are a few things to consider in your plans to return to work.

    We know that trust, a sense of community, risk and security will be important and that ways of working will never be the same again. HR teams, business leaders and organisations will be judged on how people have been treated and if this is in line with your values. It is crucial to find the balance between keeping staff happy (which is operational) versus doing what’s needed to survive (more strategic approach). You may have had to think differently about the service you offer and the way you plan your workforce. The McKinsey study states that when everything is in chaos, a clear framework is helpful and so suggests a five-horizon framework for thinking through and acting on the implications of the disease. The challenge will be working through this framework:

    • Resolve – address immediate challenges to workforce, customers and partners
    • Resilience – address near-term cash management challenges
    • Return – create a detailed plan to return business back to scale quickly
    • Reimagination – create what your ‘next normal’ looks like and the implications
    • Reform – be clear about how the environment in your sector could evolve

    We have already seen substantial changes in flexible working approaches with many teams being forced to work from home at short notice, many for the first time ever and managers having to innovate the way they lead to keep these teams motivated. Some, however have seen a surge in demand for services and have found that teams are often stretched. Whatever, your response was you need to make sure you are gathering insight and running a lessons learnt in order to plan to move forward. Ask yourself what worked, what didn’t work, what do you need to change? Closely monitor and keep on top of what is happening around the globe as different countries are at different stages of their return, what are the lessons learnt from their experiences or approach?

    Is it time to break some of those bad habits?

    Productivity is an issue we had before Covid-19 so maybe now is the time to consider solutions to bring out the best in people whilst maintaining that sense of purpose and break some of those previously bad habits in your workplace.

    1. How productive have your employees been? Measuring productivity will be key in deciding if the working day or week can be shortened. The average worker is productive for around half of the normal working day, so maybe it is time to split the work day or week.
    2. How much time do people spend in meetings or travelling to them? Having seen first-hand the benefits of using technology such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams is it time to reduce the amount of senseless meetings that take place for the sake of it?
    3. How much time is spent on useless emails? If the average worker receives 200 emails a day, many of which are irrelevant CC or BCC this could mean that half their time spent on responding to or reading emails is not productive!

    Where to start and what do you know?

    You will need data for insights to create a detailed plan to ensure you have the right people in the right jobs at the right time within an affordable budget.

    Ø Business Strategy and direction – what is your current situation short term and what are your longer term plans? What business/customers have you retained or lost? What are the overall growth or contraction budget constraints? What are the plans for introducing or withdrawing services in certain areas or moving into new markets? What are the planned timeframes? Has your business model fundamentally changed?

    Ø Workforce Analysis to identify any gaps – so what data will be helpful? Know what people and skills have you got still, where are they what work do they do, how many people have you lost and are any of them in critical roles? If you have laid people off will they be likely to return. What are the gaps now? Prepare your own playbook pack full of data and info that is irrefutable.

    Ø Review structures - what has been effective, are you achieving workplace agility and flexible working conditions, how much of this do you want to retain? Has having people working from home been more or less productive? Have you discovered some hidden talent and found some are more suited to other roles or have been able to cope with the stretch in demand, but this might not have worked for everyone.

    Ø Scenario Planning – think about best and worst case. Some are saying at best 60-65% of people will return to offices by year end, so what would this mean for you? Who will continue to work from home? Assume lockdown will not fully be over in a real sense until July or August but what if you had to go into lockdown again later this year, are you prepared for that? Prioritise risks in terms of their likelihood and their impact and test the different business and workforce plans against different scenarios. We’re in unchartered waters in respect of knowing whether there will be a second wave, so it is reasonable to assume you should be prepared. Above all make sure your contingency plans are robust enough going forward and test your assumptions.
    Planning for getting back to a different normal
    Implement every aspect of your planning but keep it under constant review as you shape your new normal.

    Ø Phased return – consider phasing in people working on different days of the week or splitting shifts throughout the day, this could be by teams, departments or individuals depending on the size of your business. How about ditching the Monday to Friday norm and move to a 7 day operation? Whatever you do, you need to ensure you follow a fair selection process based on your business needs. Many people have found lockdown quite traumatic so be mindful of this, allowing those to come back when they are ready and giving them a variety of options.

    Ø Restructure – do you need to reshape the hierarchy within your business or downsize if you have not already done so? Review your policies on redundancy and working hours to ensure flexibility. If you need to lay some people off permanently to preserve cash flow is this a last resort have you thought of what else could you do?

    Ø Resourcing options – what can be outsourced? How might you entice back those who may have gone on to volunteer in other sectors? Don’t forget some of your staff may have returned home during lockdown and may have no means or plans to return to the UK. If you need more people can you tap into other sources such as; women returners (there are some good case studies examples from Amazon and Sky paid 6-month placement) or under considered previously excluded groups those with a disability or criminal record.

    Ø Automate - as many processes as you can to save on admin time and effort. Technology has been key to communication so rethink how business/team meetings have happened and what you might do going forward to reduce travel or time spent in useless meetings. Maintain remote working where you can whilst increasing flexibility of desk or work space use.

    Ø Re-boarding – think of this as a bit like your normal induction or maternity returners process. Many people will have either been furloughed or working from home how are you going to get them back on board with your company values and direction and what the ‘new’ business looks like.

    Ø Upskilling – prepare to future proof your organisation. Have you made the most of this time to provide training for your teams even those on furlough by significantly increasing access to online training? How are you going to use digital tools going forward?

    Ø Educate - your teams about social distancing in your workplace and what this means, (not forgetting practical things like screens, hot desks or sanitisers) or how to use common spaces. Do you need to install temperature scanners at your entrances to ensure people feel safe?

    Ø Wellbeing - focus on a physical, mental and social level. How many have been off on sick leave and how will you plan for people getting used to being back at work? What plans have you in place to reassure them it is safe to return. What about those who may have suffered a bereavement due to Covid-19 how will you support them? Can you extend holiday or unpaid leave? What about those with underlying health problems do they need different support? Mental health should be on your radar from day one of any return.

    Ø Social Responsibility – many businesses have encouraged volunteering or provided services not for profit to help out in the care or health sector or with food bank donations. Is there an opportunity to continue with this activity, creating that sense of community where you operate?

    Whatever you plan to do, act as responsibly as you can and be empathetic.

    Esther O’Halloran
    HR & Business Consultant
    11 May 2020

  8. HR in Hospitality Blog April 30th 2020 (DLA Piper Employment Law Update)

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    HR in Hospitality Blog April 30th 2020

    Hosted by the wonderful Jonathan Exten-Wright and Vinita Arora from DLA Piper

    Thank you for logging in to attend our first webinar delivered by Jonathan and Vinita our legal partners at DLA Piper.

    Summary of the key points shared to support the slide deck

    Coronavirus – sharing some common themes for hospitality. Biggest negative impact on the hospitality sector in recent living memory. Need to think about planning for what happens after furlough.

    Using government schemes: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme the Direction is opaque and sometimes inconsistent, It is a grant being administered by HMRC to avoid mass unemployment in society. Remember this is a grant and it is important that all organisations follow Treasury Direction. Existing fraud legislation will be used if the system is abused by any tax or accounting teams and anticipate that HMRC will audit organisations. The scheme has been extended to run until the end of June. Hospitality has borne the brunt of this and will likely be the last to return, Kate Nicholls, CEO UK Hospitality is lobbying the government to extend this for hospitality businesses.

    Be clear on the rules around furloughing staff, ensure you have confirmed in writing to all your employees. If you have made someone redundant or they were on a fixed term contract that has left you can under the spirit of the terms re-hire and then make them furloughed but make sure you are within the 28 February deadline or the contract expires after the 19 March, check who might fall into the relevant qualifying dates.

    No account will be taken of anything that is not regular salary or wages; keep a record of how you are submitting calculations for those who have variable pay. Regular payments are the ones you are obliged to make, non-discretionary fees, overtime and commission but you would not include payments made at the discretion of the employer or client so this includes tips, tronc, discretionary bonus or gratuities.

    If someone is on long term sick furlough does not begin until SSP period has ended, so be aware of this. Employees can take holiday during the furlough at the usual rate of pay and this will not breach furlough rules. Furloughed employees continue to accrue annual leave. Cautionary note make sure you do not enforce too much holiday during this time so there is none left when people return.

    Food for Thought: Make sure you have carefully drafted furlough agreements to limit your liability under contracts of employment.

    Recent Case Law – find out more from all the interesting recent hospitality cases being reported for lessons learnt

    Vicarious Liability:

    Morrison Supermarkets were vicariously liable for a disgruntled employee who copied payroll data and gave it to a newspaper. Morrisons were held liable for the employees grudge and breach of Data Protection Act. Ultimately the Supreme Court overturned the judgement and decided that the supermarket was not actually responsible in this case.
    Barclays Bank: A self-employed doctor who carried out medical examinations for new employees who went on to sexually assault the new recruits. The key element here was the relationship ‘akin’ to employment to make it reasonable to make a claim. Lesson learnt be mindful to instructions and control you have over someone who is self-employed but within your control. Cautionary tale.

    Confidentiality:

    Scott vs LGBT Foundation: Practical learning points where a person disclosed information about posing a risk to himself and the foundation informed his GP verbally and told him of this. A note was made on his file and his claim was that this note would jeopardise future employment. There was no breach of DPA as the disclosure was verbal so did not constitute a breach.

    Trade Secrets:

    Trailfinders: took action against former employees and a rival company. This is when someone sets up essentially in competition and takes contact details. What impact does this have on confidentiality clauses in contracts. Organisations need to show that the information taken is commercially valuable to you as a business.

    Wrongful Dismissal;

    Human Kind Charity: Employee excessive unnaturalised use of iPad that ran up £8000 of charges. She was taken through a fair disciplinary process and dismissed. She appealed. It was held that being silence would not be self-incrimination and she should have said something, the not disclosing was key here to her losing the case.

    Whistleblowing

    Alder Hay case: Detriment and race allegations in an internal process that did not go anywhere so employee decided to go to media with allegations against the NHS Trust. The Chairman set the record straight as a rebuttal in robust terms back to the media but this could potentially amount to a detriment of the whistle-blowers character. So ensure you are careful in your response and the reasons why ‘causation’ be careful of the terms of doing so to avoid any other claims.

    During these difficult and unprecedented times we wanted to continue to offer support and advice to our members and provide some continuation of events and updates through the use of virtual platforms. Of course, we would love to have events that involve the usual networking social interaction, food and drink but we know this is not possible at the moment.

    We will continue to post updates and advice and tips on our website and send notifications to all of you on the mailing list. The committee are working on how we can arrange and plan for other virtual events short term before we get back to some form of different normality later this year.

    If you have any ideas or suggestions on what you would like next please let us know via Kim at info@hrinhospitality.co.uk .

    We will get through this and our sector will be proud of the way we have all worked incredibly hard to support our teams and keep focusing on the future.
    Stay safe and well everyone

    Esther O’Halloran
    Chair of HR in Hospitality

  9. Hospitality career aspirations too hot to handle Michelin awarded chef and former Great British Menu star Tom Aikens joins forces with Caterer.com to champion hospitality careers

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    Hospitality career aspirations too hot to handle | Caterer.com Recruiter Blog

    As the talent crisis worsens for the hospitality industry, our recent research revealed a staggering 97% of school aged children and recent school leavers across the UK have already written off working in hospitality roles in hotels, bars and restaurants as a career option.

    Diminished food related subject offerings at school, negative perceptions of the hospitality industry around hours and pay, and the influence of parents, careers advisors and teachers, are directly impacting aspirations to enter the industry according to the leading hospitality jobs board. In fact, the majority (89%) of secondary students say their school has given them no information about careers in hospitality and almost a third (30%) of students across the country don’t have access to any sort of food subject offering.

    A lack of information on potential career opportunities and misperceptions have led to almost half (48%) of recent school leavers aged 18-24 years old viewing hospitality jobs as no more than a temporary role and a further third (35%) say the industry offers no career progression.

    The research highlights the vital need to change perceptions and increase education about the wide range of long-term career prospects in the hospitality industry to stop young talent passing it off as a temporary and unambitious career choice.

    The youngest British chef to be awarded a Michelin Star, Tom Aikens, has partnered with Caterer.com to challenge the common misconceptions young people and their parents might have of the industry and encourage those contemplating their career choice to consider a role in hospitality.

    Tom Aikens, Michelin Star Chef and business owner at Tom’s Kitchen, said: “Hospitality is an exciting, vivacious industry that has meant I am practising my passion every day, surrounded by incredibly creative colleagues. I know at my restaurants I am constantly looking for the next stars in the industry and struggling to find the skillset we need due to the drop of new talent emerging from the education system – despite the work done by the industry to attract entry level talent.

    “It’s a career that offers such diversity: from floor to sous chef, from logistical prowess to creative ambition. My own career has taken me from working with incredible luminaries like Pierre Koffman, Richard Neat and Joel Robuchon; all the way to be the owner of my first restaurant. What other industry can offer you such mentorship followed by such opportunity?”

    Nurturing future hospitality stars

    Not to be deterred by a lack of encouragement from schools, nearly a third (34%) of secondary students said a career in hospitality would be an attractive path and almost one in five (18%) said working in a restaurant or being a chef would be fun. However, the research revealed a need to bridge the gap between these aspirations and the number of young people entering the industry.

    Over two in five (44%) of primary and nearly one in five (17%) secondary school students say food subjects are not available to them, despite 82% and 62% of primary and secondary students, respectively, saying they would take up a food related subject if it was available. Despite the high interest in food related subjects, the majority (86%) of secondary students say they’re in the dark about the hospitality industry and the range of careers it offers with only one in ten (11%) given advice on entering the industry from their schools and careers advisors.

    Parents to play a bigger role in encouraging young people to enter the industry

    It’s not just schools and government who need to encourage young people to enter the industry. Caterer.com’s research revealed only one in four (24%) parents of school aged children would encourage their child to pursue a hospitality career, despite the majority (83%) saying it’s important that food related subjects are learnt at school.

    With almost three in ten (29%) parents with school aged children admitting they have the most influence on their child’s career choices, Caterer.com is supporting hospitality employers to address misconceptions about the industry and encouraged young talent to pursue life-long, successful careers in hospitality.

    Neil Pattison, Director at Caterer.com said:The strong interest that young people have in learning about food, cooking and nutrition, is a fantastic opportunity for the industry and its vital that they are engaged at the earliest age. We work closely with employers to ensure they showcase their brands and the amazing opportunities they can offer from entry level up, so that young people and experienced candidates alike can realise their career aspirations within the sector. It’s crucial to demonstrate the wide range of long-term development opportunities on offer, and to highlight inspiring success stories like Tom’s.

    “The diminished food related subject offering in schools, parents’ misconceptions about the industry in terms of working hours and pay, and the gap in clear advice from careers advisors are deterring creative and ambitious young people from entering the industry. We need the government to enhance the way in which hospitality is delivered as a subject in schools to help support these ambitions and ensure the next great industry talents are not lost. Alongside this, employers in the industry themselves can take matters into their own hands, by communicating directly with young people, parents and teachers the full reality of opportunity in the sector.”

    More than 28,000 new hospitality roles were made available on Caterer.com last month, having increased by 36% over the last two years. Entry level talent can try their hand at the industry with 4,400 Commis chef roles, 17,383 catering staff roles, 9,932 pub and bar staff and 21,653 waiter jobs available. There are also numerous ‘earn-while-you-learn’ pathways into the industry through colleges and apprenticeships that provide practical training and skills development at the start of a career.

    Summary of our findings 

    • The majority of young people are writing off hospitality as a career option leading to a shortage of young talent
    • 9 out of 10 (89%) secondary school students say their school has given them no information about a career in hospitality
    • Almost half (45%) of parents of school aged children say a limited food subject offering at schools is impacting their child’s aspirations to enter the industry

    Listen to Tom Aikens on TalkRADIO discussing our findings with Matthew Wright:

  10. Talking Heads – 2019 HR in Hospitality Conference

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    The Future of HR: Agility, Acumen and Automation

    Jon Dawson – Director of HR, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and One Hyde Park Residences

    If we look at the hospitality industry now and then consider where it could potentially be in the next three to five years, it looks like things could be very different.

    Agility is going to be key. Especially so when it comes to strategic planning. Planning will still need to happen for the longer-term, but these plans must be adaptable because they may change at the drop of a hat. Particularly within the next few years while we understand and address what Brexit truly means for our businesses.

    We should be asking ‘What If’ more. As we would typically do for example while preparing for a challenging employee relations case or a strategic HR challenge, we should spend more time looking at the ‘What If’ scenarios on a wider scale. The HR leader of the future must contingency plan as standard, having a good understanding of what needs to be done should the worst case happen. At Mandarin Oriental, for example, our current HR strategy also has a B and C strategy depending on a multitude of ‘What Ifs’.

    To be able to do this effectively, the HR leader of the future must understand the operation – more so than ever. CEOs, VPs, senior leaders; they no longer expect HR just to be experts in their field, but demand they are great business partners and know what the business operation, and its various challenges, looks like. Financial acumen, coaching and influencing skills will be of greater desire in the future. If you’re not up to speed, now is the time to go back to the basics. Work with operational leaders to understand the key mechanics of the operation and put a plan in place so you can develop, learn and with that, become a better HR leader.

    Finally, the HR leader of the future needs to be really up-to-date with the various technologies that are in place now, and those which are coming. Explore your employee lifecycle and identify what that may look like with the advancement of technology. Think outside of your organisation, looking at what other industries are doing. Widen your networks beyond the hospitality sector by trying different networking opportunities or attending a variety of events. Some of my best ideas have come from opportunities to meet people from retail, tech and public sector.

    While you will receive future focused insights at the HR in Hospitality conference, we cannot predict the future. We can help create it, however. To do so, the HR leader of the future will need to evolve to be the strategic support the business, and our sector, needs.

    .

    Jon Dawson is Director of HR at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London and One Hyde Park Residences. Prior to this, he worked for the luxury lifestyle brand, Edition, where he was instrumental in the opening of the hotel in 2013, along with the creation of the Edition employer brand. (www.mandarinoriental.com/london/hyde-park/luxury-hotel)