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Hospitality Human Resources

The Emerging Hispanic Workforce
By Maureen E Harrop

A dramatic statistic revealed in the 2000 Census is the fact that Hispanics are the fastest growing minority in the United States, representing 12.5% of the U.S. population. This indicates a 60% growth in 10 years and experts predict continued growth. In Arizona alone, Hispanics represent 25.3% of the population, which is an increase of 88% in 10 years, signifying an additional 600,000 Hispanics.

However, the census further states that 49% are not fluent in English, and the education level of Latinos has not improved as exponentially as their explosive growth. Eleven percent have graduated from college, 56% have a high school diploma, and 28% have less than a 9th grade education. It is therefore imperative that unique, quality training experiences in Spanish be created for Hispanics engaged in the U.S. workforce. The legal picture for Latino employees is also very disconcerting. EEOC complaints have more than doubled in 5 years, and settlements have risen to over $50 million. In June of 2000, a class action lawsuit by 22 Hispanic females against Grace Culinary Systems, Inc. (a subsidiary of W. R. Grace) resulted in a $1 million settlement. In April of 2001, a Texas University paid $2.4 million to Hispanic housekeepers due to discrimination. Although this workforce is hard-working, loyal, and indispensable to many industries, bias and discrimination continue to prevail.

An article by Stephen M. Paskoff and Lori J. Shapiro in the November, 2000 issue of Legal Times stated, "In several recent cases, the U. S. Supreme Court has articulated its mandate to employers: A policy prohibiting harassment and discrimination in the workplace is not only required, but must be clearly and effectively communicated to company managers and employees so that they both understand the policy and can apply it in practice." They go on to say, "Without realizing that the most important outcome is an impact on behavior, some companies simply pass out materials about discrimination, sexual harassment, or employment issues to employees without any link to corporate culture, expectations, or standards."

Employers can no longer make superficial efforts to effect behavioral changes. These efforts must be substantial and comprehensive. Additionally, they must be communicated in the employees' native language to be effective. Otherwise, we are not communicating clearly and effectively, as recommended by Shapiro and Paskoff.

This information presents extraordinary challenges for Human Resources professionals. A comprehensive plan must be developed. Training is one key element. Another is that of developing a corporate culture that maintains a philosophy of bridging the cultural gaps within organizations' employee population, and enacts systems and programs to support that belief.

This philosophy must start at the beginning of employment and continue throughout the employment lifetime of a Latino employee. Since the hiring process is the first experience Hispanic applicants will have with an organization, providing an Employment Application in Spanish will speak volumes about your commitment to diversity, as well as having a bilingual interviewer in Human Resources. Once hired, all-employee memos, policies and procedures, and signage should all be translated into Spanish. Additionally, new employee orientations, employee meetings, and counseling sessions need to be conducted in Spanish.

Employee retention is a serious problem today in all sectors of employment. Within the Hispanic culture, the immediate, as well as the extended family, play an integral part. The more companies can integrate a family atmosphere into their environment, the more successful they will be in retaining this workforce. Lucent Technologies bridges this cultural gap by providing an Employee Business Partner group that helps African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians with their unique challenges. This group devises its own business plan that addresses such issues as language and family. It provides a family atmosphere where everyone feels accepted and supported, as well as a recruitment and retention tool for the organization. Other companies provide training programs with bilingual trainers and training videos in Spanish that are not dubbed or subtitled. Core programs in Spanish should include such topics as:

Sexual Harassment and respect
Customer Service
Sensitivity Training for Managers and Supervisors
Cultural Diversity
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Spanish as a Second Language for managers, supervisors, employees (SSL)
Understanding Your Company Benefits' Package

Companies enacting this philosophy have met with great success. They are experiencing the benefits of reduced turnover due to increased loyalty from their Hispanic workforce, higher productivity, and enhanced job banks due to increased employee referrals. They have learned that it's simply the right thing to do, and it's good business.

In summary, allow me to quote two Hispanic professionals who explain this challenge very effectively. Sonia Perez, Deputy Vice President for Research for The National Council of La Raza states, "This is not a matter of 'being nice' to Latinos. We are already a very significant part of the current workforce. We will be even more significant in the future as Anglo birthrates decline, and Anglos grow older and retire. It's in America's best interest to invest in the Latino workforce." And, Belkis PeA a, HR Senior Business Partner at Lucent Technologies, says, "It's a learning curve for everybody, but it's the HR of now, not tomorrow, that needs to be changed."

As Reprinted in: the 2004 Prentice Hall college textbook: Human Resources for the Hospitality Industry, as well as Hospitality News, Empire State Food Service News, and Today's Grocer.

Ms Harrop is President of Claridis, Inc., a training and consulting company specializing in the Latino/Hispanic workforce. Claridis has produced training videos in Spanish, utilizing Latino actors, as well as in English. These films are unique and effective because they provide training for Hispanic in their native language. Most others on the market are dubbed or subtitled. They were designed by a human resource/training professional to assist the Hispanic population with understanding their rights and responsibilities in the workplace. The two productions are entitled, "Jose's Story - It's All About Respect," and "Respect - The Universal Language." The topics are sexual harassment prevention and respect in the workplace. Products include the DVD/VHS training video, a free bilingual instruction manual for trainers, a 5-minute bilingual meeting opener, and bilingual instruction manuals for employees.

For more information, visit her website: or e-mail her at: [] or call (602) 828-0659

Copyright 2006-2009, Claridis, Inc.

All Rights Reserved

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The Importance of Human Resources Management For Hotels
By []Nick Nikolis

One of the most important departments of any hotel staff is human resources management. Proper human resources management can be the difference between a really well run hotel and a poorly one hotel. The human resources manager can control almost the whole feeling and presence of the entire hotel. This makes the importance of human resources management for hotels very evident.

There are several different areas in which human resources management is very important. One of these areas is for newly hired employees. The employees that are hired in a hotel can really alter the quality of service and the whole atmosphere of the hotel. This means that it is very important to pick upbeat, dedicated workers for each position. It is the job of the human resources manager to make sure that good people are chosen to work in the hotel. In many cases many hotel workers are only participating in hotel work because they can find nothing else to do. Not very many people have a dream of running or serving in a hotel environment. However, there are some people who do want to work in that capacity, and it is the job of the human resources manager to find those people.

Retention of employees is another large problem in the hotel service business. Since so many of the employees do not have hotel work as their ending career goals, many of them only work in a hotel for a short amount of time. Other employees may have to be let go because of poor work ethics or other issues. However, there are ways that a hotel human resources manager can curb some of the desire and likelihood that employees will move to other jobs quickly. The importance of human resources management for hotels is very large in this area. Managers can provide good training and incentive programs that will cause employees to stay longer at the hotel. Having a clear progression plan to advance to higher levels of service will also cause employees to stick around much longer.

The issue of employee progression and promotion is also another large issue for the hotel industry. The importance of human resources management for hotels is proven in this area. Hotels which provide ways for employees to advance in position, or that provide training for employees so that they can gain skills necessary for an advanced position are very important to the retention rate of employees. It is easy to implement services of this nature and the expense is negligible compared to the expense and time necessary to constantly find new employees to replace the ones that always leave shortly after being hired. One of the easiest things to implement is English lessons. Many hotel employees do not speak English very well, and so it is a great incentive for them to stay working at a hotel if they are offered English lessons.

The importance of human resources management for hotels is also important in the area of employee services. If the employees know they can come to the human resources manager whenever they have a problem or issue then it is easier for them to work in good conscience. Many human resources departments implement different games and activities to make the work environment more interesting and fun for employees. There are many different services that a human resources manager can think of to help employee morale. Maybe the hotel could implement a babysitting service, or have a park day every year. These little services go a long way towards making happy employees. Happy employees make happy companies and happy customers.

As you can see, the importance of human resources management for hotels is very great. There are thousands of ways that a human resources manager can make a hotel run more smoothly and more efficiently. There are many different areas that can benefit from the experience and guidance of a human resources manager. Therefore it is very important to not undermine the manager's importance. Without the human resources manager a hotel is not the same or as pleasing to customers and employees.

Nick Nikolis is living and working in Rhodes Greece and writing about Self help, Business, Hospitality Industry and destinations. Check here []Cyprus hotels and []Greece Villas.

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