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The article dwells on the Portman Hotel Company and how it attempted to implement its “5-Star team plan.” The company reorganized its practice and employed personal valets (PVs) who were entitled to both housekeeping and being butlers for the guests. These employees were organized into small teams (5 PVs per hotel floor). This happened due to the personal valets’ complaints – they were confused and disorganized (Heckscher 1).
The hotel was comparably small. According to the plan, the hotel had to offer eminent service and adequate price rates to all of its clients. A committed and responsible team of employees turned out to be the most complicated issue on the way to the success of the hotel. The human resources strategy employed at the hotel had to be changed or revised (Heckscher 1).
The viewpoint of the hotel highlights the first-class service and its cost-effectiveness (Heckscher 3). The hotel employs very carefully and necessitates enduring commitment from the personnel. Each of the workers is well thought-out to be valuable and intricate worker rights are enumerated in agreements with them and require long-term obligations from the staff. The most attention the hotel pays to the guest value. The objective is to provide exceptional service to every client (Heckscher 3).
Another unique characteristic of the hotel’s business model is the fact that it does not welcome union membership. Excluding a few workers, not a single member of the staff had merged with any of the unions. Despite the overall decency of the business model, low occupancy rates generated the problem of an unproductive service crew (Heckscher 6).
Moreover, the plan of the hotel to reevaluate the management department and allocate more personnel at the guest front demonstrated to be off beam as appropriate supervision for the subordinate employees was absent (Heckscher 6). One of the depictions of this business model was the issue of relational problems. The hotel suffered an inadequately low level of organization and conviction among the workers, and their personal relations were not satisfactory (Heckscher 6).
Even though the management elaborated on the “5-Star team plan” the PVs were basically rotated to save the costs (Heckscher 7). This problem is based on the issue of low occupancy. Correspondingly, devotion and customer bond became another key issue concerning the employment as the majority of the employees were not capable of complying with these key necessities (Heckscher 7). The hotel does not seem like it has a strong set of HR strategies referring to the occupation structure of PVs who turns out to be doing more work than they wish they would do (Heckscher 7).
By reason of the misunderstanding connected to the job description, the PVs are mostly preoccupied with housekeeping (Heckscher 7). The hotel had to sack numerous employees, but, in turn, the company was enforced to employ more individuals during high seasons. This led to additional expenses connected to employee training. The hotel did not have an arrangement designed to punish those whose performance was mediocre or even worse (Heckscher 8). The management thought that discipline was inconsistent with the hotel’s initial philosophy and followed a system (“3 warnings”) which decreased the answerability of the PVs and spoiled the quality of service. The absence of trust gave rise to numerous other troubles that could not be resolved on the spot (Heckscher 8).
All of the above led to practically unsolvable complications (Heckscher 10). The management faced the issue of profitability and low occupancy. The decision that the management made aimed at a slight modification in the hierarchy levels. The Portman Hotel succeeded in differentiating itself from the competitors and proved the importance of the newfangled PV position (Heckscher 10). The most notable proposal was to create a new position titled “Team Captain.” This employee would supervise subordinate PVs.
First, the notion of PV should be constrained. The hotel should keep within the limits of the traditional American hospitality. Second, the management should accept the implementation of the Team Captain position. This would help solve the problem of organization and find the middle ground with the idea of no hierarchy. This would let the HR department concentrate on the key difficulties instead of handling insignificant trivialities. Third, the Portman Hotel management could intensify employee enthusiasm and conviction by letting them take part in team-building routines. This would upsurge the reliance of the workforces and their commitment.
The author recommends that the hierarchy levels within the team are revised and extended. By doing this, the administrators will have a better possibility of watching over their subordinates while the latter would be motivated to get promoted to superior positions. This decision has to be accompanied by some other actions aimed at building motivation and devotion by means of special training. The training has to be conveyed to all the workers of the hotel. This course of activities will positively impact the management and lead to increased efficiency.
Heckscher, Charles. “The Portman Hotel Company.” Harvard Business Review 4.489 (1989): 1-13. Web.