Michael Shepherd, the front desk manager at The Greenwood Hotel & Suites, caught up with Emily Gresch, the
food and beverage manager, as they walked to the weekly staff meeting. They had both started at the 500-room full-service hotel on the same day six years ago. They'd remained friends, building a network communication that helped their departments work together in new ways "So, Emily," Michael grinned, "which one of us do you think is in trouble, they've got the director of security in on this week's meeting. "No kidding?" she asked. "I don't think I've seen Hannah at a meeting in the five years she's worked here. Maybe they're finally going to expand the electronic locking system to the employee areas and she's going to train us on it." "If it's new equipment, it better be an upgrade to the point-of-sale system so we don't keep losing so much revenue on guests who don't tell our front desk agents that they ate at our $40 Sunday brunch buffet before checking out." Michael held the door open for Emily as they arrived at the meeting room. They took their seats and after a few minutes of small talk, Jacob Kerr, the gen- eral manager, stood up and started the meeting. This was Jacob's second month at the property; he'd been transferred to The Greenwood from a similar sized property in a smaller town. He reviewed the sales and financial reports of the past week, then turned the meeting over to Samantha Zimmerman, the director of sales. "I've got some good news and some bad news," Samantha began. Emily and Michael covertly exchanged amused glances-the sales director invariably tried to cushion any announcements of hardships on other departments with report of what wonderful work she'd done to increase the hotel's revenue "I've managed to bring back a group that is going to book 420 of our 500 rooms. They'll be here for two nights during our slow time and will be using o banquet services for at least one dinner. I was also able to sell them on a ground rat that was only $30 off our rack rate, so our RevPAR will still be good." "That sounds fantastic," Michael said. "What's the bad news?" asked Emily. The GM's lips twitched into a quirky smile, "The group is National Youth Soccer League and they're here for a rock concert, the Spice Girls, being held at the arena down the street." Nearly every department head who had been with the hotel for longer than a year groaned. "Those are the folks that trashed the rooms last year," Ashley, the chief engineer, complained. "It took us almost a week to get all of our rooms back into rentable condition." "We had to write off several rooms because they were signed by teenagers who decided they weren't going to pay," said Matthew, the controller. "We never should have allowed a minor to register for a room-it's against our corporate policy. Minors can't be legally held to a contract." "They also made a mess of the lobby," Michael said. "On Sunday morning they dropped all their luggage in the lobby and took off for breakfast. Our regular guests could barely get through to the check-out desk. Then one of the kids got angry when his bag was stolen." T seem to remember one of my room attendants telling me about this Brandon said. Brandon had assumed the position of executive housekeeper two ponths after the soccer group had last stayed at the hotel. "She told me that she found evidence of more than a dozen people staying in one room." Samantha stood, bringing her fist down on the table. "Well, they weren't too thrilled with us either. I had to work really hard to get them to come back. It's a great piece of business, but we'll never get it again if we don't fix the problems that happened last time. Here's a list of the problems that the meeting planner said we needed to fix." Samantha walked around the table, giving everyone a sheet of dnor paper. The list read: Several guests had items stolen from their rooms. The hotel was overcrowded. There was no parking in the hotel lot. The swimming pool was dirty. There was too much noise at night and the response from the front desk was unacceptable. There were too many kids that weren't a part of our ground. There were funny smells coming from some of the rooms. We don't want our kids exposed to drugs. Of Course the pool was dirty," muttered Ashley, the chief engineer. "Every kid and his ten closest friends were using it. We should have shut it down or not let so many kids use it." Hannah, who had been quietly taking notes throughout the meeting, stood Up as the other department managers began to grumble. "I'm here at Jacob's request. Last year, the security staff did have to respond to a lot of problems with this group. But by the time we got involved things were out of control. This vear. we are going to coordinate the security efforts among the departments to ensure that this group is taken care of and that The Greenwood continues to live up to its reputation as the place where guests get service that astounds." "We're going to make sure our mistakes of last year are not repeated," Jacob said. "Which means that each of you will take responsibility for the security issues in your department. Hannah is going to assign responsibility and we'll evaluate the effectiveness of everyone's security plan after the event is over." Hannah chewed on her lower lip, wishing Jacob hadn't taken the hard-line approach so early. "All of our departments can contribute to making sure that both our guests and the property are safe. We all have some great ideas on how to main- tain security. Let's take a quick look at some of these issues and we can brainstorm ways to handle each of them. Then as each department develops its plan, I'll work with you to coordinate with other departments. Let's start with the room theft." "Austin, the group's president, said that three different soccer players had items taken from their rooms," Samantha said. "As I remember, one of those incidents involved a room attendant getting shoved against her cart while sor punk grabbed a leather jacket in the closet and ran off with it. I think one of the other thefts also occurred while the room was being cleaned." "There's an area with an easy solution," Ashley said. "Just have the room attendants close the door while they clean. I've never understood why the doors are left open anyway. We certainly don't have maintenance staff leave the door open when they work on the room." "That's because you don't have to worry as much about your maintenance staff getting assaulted," Brandon said. "If you close the door, there's no way to tell if a room attendant is in trouble. Right now, a closed door with a room attendant cart in front of it is a warning sign." "Perhaps you should adopt a team-based paradigm," suggested Madison, the human resources director. "Come on, Madison," Brandon said. "You've interviewed these folks. If I put two of them in the same room, they'll be chattering the whole time. And with the door shut, they'll probably have the TV on the whole time so they don't miss their soaps." Hannah raised her eyebrows, wondering if this attitude contributed to the high turnover among room attendants. "Does it really matter if they talk or watch TV?" she asked. "Just give them their room assignments and make sure they meet their quota of rooms and that the rooms are up to standard. Let them talk while they're cleaning." "It is more productive to focus on outcome rather than process," Madison encouraged. Brandon sighed, "I suppose I could test it for a week before the in. "So housekeeping will keep room doors shut," Hannah said. "That's a good start. Are there any other issues that we need to add to the list that Samantha passed out?" "So housekeeping will keep room doors shut," Hannah said. "That's a g0od start. Are there any other issues that we need to add to the list that Samantha passed out?" "We need some sort of crowd control procedures," Michael said. "Last year we must have had a thousand people in the hotel, and they were all as rowdy as the crowd in Times Square on the eve of the millennium." "We could put wristbands on registered guests," suggested Megan. "If the only way they can get into the hotel is with a wrist band, that should control access to the property." "We did use wrist bands last year," Emily said. "It didn't work." "Actually, I think it could work," Michael said. "The problem was that we were giving away too many wristbands. There was no control over how many wristbands were issued. One of the valets told me that he saw some kids tossing them out the window to their friends-they must have found some way to slip them off their wrists-or they simply didn't go out into the lobby again once they were in the hotel." "Let's order wristbands that can be removed only if they're broken," Madison suggested. "That's going to go over really well with my regulars," Michael said. "I've got three executives that come stay with us one night a week-they brought in $100,000 last year. I'm supposed to tell the CEO of a Fortune 500 company that she's got to wear a toe tag?" Here's another issue for you," Emily said. "Last year we must have had a joint in the city delivering to our hotel. Not only did that hurt our food and beverage revenue, but we had delivery kids wandering the hotel. It can't be good beverity to have people wandering the halls when we have no way of keeping every track of them." "so let's just send them to the front desk, and have a front desk agent call the room and have someone come and pick the meal up," Megan said. That's a nice idea," Michael responded. "Except the guests usually will give their room number to the delivery people and they'll go right up to the room.' "Ah, but they won't be able to get in without wristbands,'' Hannah said. "We'll just have the security people at the doors direct any delivery people to the front desk. "Better make that the bell stand," Michael said. "They have a courtesy phone and can take care of it without disrupting check-ins. Besides, if the guest doesn't want to come down to the lobby, we could always have a bell attendant deliver it instead of the outside vendor." "Good idea," Hannah said. "What other issues are there?" "We've got to be more careful about minors abusing alcohol in their rooms,' Emily said. "I can make sure my staff doesn't sell alcohol to minors, but last year they were bringing their own in." "Anyone checking in with a cooler is going to be trouble," Ashley said. "I could tell there were a few drunken parties going on by the number of curtains that got used as bed sheets. "We also need to limit the number of false alarms," Matthew said. "We got fined by the fire department last year because they had to respond to four false fire alarms that some kids decided to set off at all hours of the night." "Why don't we just turn the alarms off during the event?" Brandon suggested. "Perhaps because it would violate federal, state, and local law," Ashley shot back. "Speaking of alarms," Hannah spoke up quickly. "We need to make sure that all of our emergency procedures are in place. Everyone needs to be clear on evacu- ation plans and how to handle medical emergencies. Madison, could sure there is a training checklist for all employees on our emergency response plans? Perhaps we could plan a drill for the week before the event." By the end of the meeting, each department head had made an appointment with Hannah to set up security plans for the upcoming event. Samantha left to assure the meeting planner that the event would be the best ever.
1.What are the issues that each department's security plan needs to address? 2.What would be some of the responses to those issues?
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