In conversation with… David Taylor – VP Operations Principal Hotels with Janet Harmer, Hotels Editor The Caterer.

By Esther


David has been involved in some exciting innovative hotels that have inspired the industry.

A common thread for businesses getting it right is to have a solid Mission, Vision and Values and being really clear about what it is and being able to work out how to create the magic and how people are pivotal in this. David has been a key player for 3 distinct brands recently, that make people feel engaged and have a high level of ownership and therefore do the right thing for the customer if they think it is the right thing to do. We need to understand what we need to do, hire the misfits who maybe fail the ‘corporate perfect fit’ test and we need to think about the guest and then hire the right people. We know pay does not drive loyalty, but it is key to getting real time engagement, paying the right wages.

What do you want to be known for? What is the story and journey you are going on? This needs to be clear and should start with your people proposition. This is why your ‘wingman’ HR person is critical to senior leaders, they work alongside you, HR needs to be fully aligned with the CEO and should be the go-to person for the leader. The approach to HR evolves and people’s perception of the brand, your employees want to be engaged with your brand, whether it is experiences we should be able to talk to our people about what the brand, style is.

Skills leaders look for in their HR guru? HR leaders have accepted the role of being editor not always authors! HR leader today needs to be the author, writing the future, thinking about how we can do things differently, knowing the answer to fundamental questions like ‘that organisation chart looks 1970’s, how do we meet the requirements of millennials and younger, when it is so out of date’? We need to meet the fundamentals and think of strategies that are not only 3 years but 3 months to meet needs of next generation. How effective are we in HR at being the author?

Engaging staff – not sitting in the office! GM’s should not be ‘floating’ around their business, they need to be ‘in the room’ let teams make the right decisions around the business but GM’s know what is going on. Leaders need to have that connection in their business, what is it that gives them that smile? We need to look differently at what we are doing; how do we get different people into our businesses?

So, HR needs to be more author than editor!

David Taylor MI FIH, VP Operations – Principal Hotels at InterContinental Hotels Group & 2018 Hotelier of the Year