Trends in people management in the hospitality industry, with Enrique Escofet

Trends in people management in the hospitality industry

This week we talk about new trends in the management of people in the hospitality industry with Enrique EscofetGeneral Manager of the Hotel Intercontinental Barcelona and member of the Advisory Board of HIP (Hospitality Innovation Planet), where he will share his thoughts on current trends in people management in hospitality, the challenges of attracting and retaining talent, and how technology can be an ally in this process.

Welcome, Enrique. To begin the interview, tell us a little about yourself, who are you and what are you passionate about?

I am a 54 year old man from Barcelona, passionate about luxury hospitality and gastronomy. I like to lead innovative projects and surround myself with the best talent. I am very clear that, without them, I would not be who I am professionally. I also like to take on challenges, even taking certain risks. I am a simple person and something that I consider fundamental, I consider myself a good person. Personally, I love my family and I love trial and enduro. I consider myself a fun person, very friendly with friends.

As a hotel manager, what do you see as the most critical points that hotels need to pay attention to in terms of hospitality talent management?

Attracting talent and qualified people is very important but, above all, the great challenge is to attract good people, people who are not toxic, who have a very good attitude and who come to add value. For luxury hotels, they must have a special sensitivity, they must know how to connect emotionally with the guest and be genuine. In Spain there is currently a problem in attracting and retaining talent in the hospitality industry.

What strategies do you think can help a hotel combat this problem?

Obviously, everyone works to have a certain salary level to cover their needs, but having said that, which is important, what is also very important is what refers to the emotional salary. Everything that has to do with people: how we treat them, how we care, how we accompany them and how we help them in their personal and professional growth. They have to have a good time at work, there has to be a good atmosphere, while at the same time being demanding and wanting to get the best out of each one of them. The new generations have completely different priorities to those we had and the reality is that either we adapt to theirs, or we will not be able to attract or retain talent (schedules, sustainability, nutrition, health).

For you, is technology an ally for personnel management? Why?

We are in a sector of people for people, so we will not be able to replace the emotional connection part (for the moment) with technology. Technology has to help us a lot in all those processes that do not add value to the talent experience.

On the other hand, how do you consider that good people management impacts on the treatment of guests? What do you think is the role of continuous training in this?

In our industry, it has a huge impact. We are the mirror or reflection of how happy we are in our jobs and how the company treats us. The impact is direct. Continuous training is essential in our business in order to achieve excellence in service. We invest a lot of resources every year to train our teams.

What other trends in people management do you see as relevant for hospitality in the future?

The above mentioned. Surround yourself with good people, apply criteria of sustainability and social support, adaptation of schedules, flexibility, variable remuneration, equality, digitalization, strategic collaborations with partners that add value to the staff (payroll advances, discounts, health insurance, online hospital...).

Want to learn more about trends in hospitality people management? Visit our blog and find out what the industry experts are saying.

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