Developing leaders: Bringing the best out of employees

At BW HOTELIER’s latest webBlast series, The GM Show, on Effective Talent Management and Building Leaders of Tomorrow, hospitality industry experts deliberated on nurturing effective management skills among the employees along with getting them ready to become effortless leaders

With changing times, the need to have a dedicated and dynamic leader at the core of an organisation’s efforts is the need of the hour. A leader strengthens the backbone of the organisation by contributing actively towards its goals. Managing and creating leaders is an equally important task. Providing the right prerequisites and environment in the development of a person’s skills and abilities is the duty of the organisation. The world of hospitality is brimming with talent ready to be carved into perfection. With the right education and training, these uncultivated talents can become the leaders of tomorrow heading major operations in the hospitality space. 

In another episode of BW HOTELIER’s webBLAST series titled Effective Talent Management and Building Leaders of Tomorrow, a group of distinguished panellists from the hospitality industry united to discuss the subject. Industry stalwarts who voiced their opinions in the discussion included Sonali Chauhan, GM, The Connaught, New Delhi-IHCL SeleQtions’; Sanjay Gupta, GM, Le Meridien, Gurgaon; Rajat Sethi, GM, ITC Grand Bharat, Manesar; Harpreet Vohra, Cluster GM, Delhi-NCR, RHG S Asia and GM, Radisson Blu Faridabad; Mohammed Shoeb, AVP, Pride Plaza Hotel Aerocity, New Delhi; Pankaj Gupta, GM, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar Noida and Jatin Khanna, Market VP - North India, Bhutan & Nepal, Marriott International who was also the moderator of the show. 

Opening the discussion, Jatin Khanna expressed his thoughts around remuneration in the industry and said, “What you really need in this industry is patience and perseverance. I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in five different countries with Marriott and IHG and I think I owe a lot to this industry for what it has made me today. The only thing I would say we can do about is remuneration. Our package compared to other industries is not that competitive which is why we keep on having talent drain, especially at a rank-and-file level when they join. And a little bit because of work-life balance because you’re dealing with Gen Z who probably need that very important aspect of their life.” 

Taking the discussion forward, Sanjay Gupta emphasised on the fact that leaders can be born as well as made. “It’s the attitude, aptitude and work for people who you work with make a good leader. A great leader will always create team spirit and lead by example. A good leader coaches the subordinates to achieve the task and give them direction. If someone possesses these traits, he or she qualifies to be a great leader,” he felt. 

Adding on similar lines with a cricket analogy, Mohammed Shoeb said, “I always say that the leaders build a leader. I fully resonate with the thoughts of Sanjay when he says that a leader has to be selfless. He needs to have that curiosity and passion to excel. I want to give you the example of MS Dhoni. He was ably supported and groomed by Sourav Ganguly as he was very raw. Over time, he started to play his natural game and was allowed to express himself. And we all know how he became successful. Similarly, when you are a leader, you have to groom leaders to work under pressure.” 

Rajat Sethi felt that there is always the need to retain and promote talent within an organisation. “We are facing a talent crunch in the industry. Also, there’s a lot of pressure to reduce costs. So, if we are able to retain and promote talent within the organisation that works out to be cheaper. I feel if I am not able to groom talent, it’s a reflection of my performance rather than the person who wants to be groomed. Also, you cannot have one size fits all. We cannot have same yardstick for everyone and same operations,” he expressed. 

Commenting on employee loyalty, Harpreet Vohra said that there is a need to nurture and foster employee loyalty. “It is a notoriously difficult concept to nail down, even harder to measure accurately in the real world scenario. What isn’t up for debate is the value of having a loyal employee in any organisation. However, the challenge is to ensure that you create the right environment to nurture and foster employee loyalty. Fostering employee loyalty can be a powerful way to improve employee retention period,” he maintained. 

Discussing the importance of multitasking and multiple roles, Pankaj Gupta said, “When we look at today’s trend of what’s happening, it is imperative to implement multitasking in all the hotels, especially in our industry. IHG has brought a new tool that talks about what role can be given to a manager. Like the front desk managers can look at the entire accommodation. Also, if you have a couple of properties in the same city, one can play multiple roles. For example, a finance specialist can do human resources and so on.” 

Concluding the discussion, Sonali Chauhan, GM, The Connaught, New Delhi, pressed on the importance of job rotation, stating, “Job rotation is important not only for the organisation but for the employees as well. We’ve got Gen X with us and their attention span is very limited. To keep them stimulated and motivated, they need to be acquiring the knowledge and they need to be rotating. But you can only rotate people who are willing to, and there has to be a structure for it. In today’s time, if you have non-management trainees, it's important that they rotate between departments and they understand the nuances.” 

The show culminated with Bhuvanesh Khanna, CEO, BW Communities, thanking the esteemed panellists for sharing their thoughts and views on the subject informing about the next GM Show at 5 pm on January 27, 2022 on Re-tasking the absence of the International Traveller - Going Big on Domestic.


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