Hilton’s collection of luxury hotels and resorts across Asia-Pacific has resumed 100 per cent of operations, a progress facilitated by a strong headcount of talents across roles and ranks.
Nils-Arne Schroeder, vice president luxury and lifestyle, Asia-Pacific, who spearheads Hilton’s top-end brands, including Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts, said the group has been successful in retaining talents throughout the pandemic and in building back the necessary manpower to support the “swift return” in travel.
“The hospitality industry was hit very hard during Covid but a lot of our team members actually chose to stay on and continue to work for our luxury properties even in the toughest times. Just as heartening, during my recent travels across Asia-Pacific, I see that a majority of our team members have returned to our luxury hotels after taking a break or leaving to work somewhere else during the business disruption,” shared Schroeder.
Schroeder believes that Hilton’s nurturing corporate culture has a big part to play in the company’s ability to rebuild its manpower quickly.
“Recently Hilton was voted again as one of the best places in hospitality to work. Clearly, that has helped us to attract and retain great talents,” he said, adding that he is himself a loyal Hilton team member for over 20 years.
Hilton was named the top hospitality company to work for in Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces in Asia for the sixth year running – and third in the top 100 companies across all industries in the multinational category.
The win comes off the back of a number of individual country accolades awarded by Great Place to Work this year, including rankings among the Best Workplaces in Australia, Greater China, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka as well as certifications as a Great Place to Work in six countries including Fiji, Malaysia, the Maldives, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand. In March this year, Hilton was also named the Best Workplace for Women in Greater China for the third consecutive year.
When asked what was the secret sauce for a great corporate culture, Schroeder pointed to an environment that facilitates career growth for team members, “as that encourages young talents to join and stay on”.
He said people desire respect on the job, learning opportunities, and the ability to see the purpose and value of the organisation they are working for, which can be conveyed through the organisation’s support for the community and environment.
He put particular emphasis on training, saying that it is “very important in retaining and motivating staff”.
He elaborated: “Throughout the pandemic we continued to bring in trainers specialising in guest experience and service to conduct courses online for our team members. Doing so also made sure our team members are able to service excellently as soon as travel returns. And now, as you can see, travel has returned so swiftly, beyond most expectations. And we are all ready to serve that wave of returning guests.”
Having team members who are ready to deliver top service as soon as business resumes is especially critical for luxury properties.
“There is no compromise for service experience and quality here. If we do not have enough team members, we will not run on full capacity. Fortunately, this is not the case now, and we are fully back in operation in Asia-Pacific,” he said, adding that should casual workers be needed to supplement manpower, the group would recruit those with luxury hospitality experience, to ensure they are able to consistently deliver best-in-class service for their guests.
Editor’s note: The earlier version carries a comment that casual workers are not a solution for Hilton’s luxury portfolio. That statement has been corrected.