The Service Companies Blog

Service. Above All

Leaders in Service: Jurond Brazile

Jurond-BrazileAt The Service Companies, we understand that our people make our company great and enable us to provide our customers Service. Above All. No matter what level, property or department you look, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we will feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

Our third feature of this series is Jurond Brazile, a Laundry Attendant/Public Area Attendant/Houseman in Key West. We’ve asked him to answer some questions about working for The Service Companies:

How long have you been with The Service Companies?

I have been working for The Service Companies for six years.

What role(s) have you had here and what is your current position?

Since I joined, I have held Houseman, Public Area, Laundry, Carpet Cleaning and Housekeeping positions. Currently, I am a Laundry Attendant/Public Area Attendant/Houseman for a vacation ownership resort in Key West, Florida.

What does your job entail?

I do any job that is asked of me. Since my role with The Service Companies includes Houseman, Laundry and Public Area duties, I help out wherever I am needed. I enjoy it.

That is a great attitude to have, and one that we value at The Service Companies. Our last question for you is what do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I like to read books and play sports, particularly soccer and basketball.

Taking on the War on Talent

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The turnover rate in the hospitality industry is one of the highest of any industry: in 2016, the overall turnover rate in the Accommodations and Restaurants sector was 72.9% (up nearly a percent from 2015 and steadily increasing since 2010.)[1] With such a high turnover rate, hotels, casinos, resorts and other hospitality venues are spending millions of dollars hiring the right number of and providing consistent training to their employees. The obstacle to hire employees is compounded with the current employment climate. With an unemployment rate of 4.4%, the lowest rate seen since 2008, low wage staffing has become increasingly more difficult. Not only do hoteliers, casinos and resorts need to spend more money and time sourcing, hiring and training the right candidates, but high turnover threatens their ability to deliver a high quality of service and guest experience. At The Service Companies, we call this the “War on Talent”.

Our leaders have noticed this War on Talent intensify over the last few years and, in 2016, The Service Companies invested a significant amount of time and capital to understanding the underlying issues that drive turnover of hourly workers and developing solutions to these obstacles. The first step in this process was partnering with Navigate Corporation, a premier human resources management consulting firm in Philadelphia, to dive deep into the drivers of associate engagement and retention. We also created a dedicated team, our Associate Success and Retention team, to work with Navigate, analyze trends, develop solutions and execute them across The Service Companies portfolio.

Our Associate Success and Retention team have taken a data-driven approach, looking at job types, days of tenure, accounts with highest turnover, reasons for termination and regions, and created cohorts to identify trends on why associates depart after a specific amount of time. From there, we have developed customized solutions for each cohort, analyzing the efficacy of each solution as they are implemented across each of our customers’ properties nationwide. The solutions include the launch of new engagement programs, a new training and onboarding experience that creates consistency across all properties and services, and new tools that encourage collaboration and communication among our various teams.

The War on Talent will not solve itself. In fact, it will only become more difficult for hospitality companies to find the right talent. With turnover costs steadily increasing, we see tremendous value to solving these problems and we have taken on the responsibility to fix these issues for our customers. If you’d like to learn how we can solve this problem for you, contact us here and one of our team members will contact you right away.

[1] http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Hospitality-employee-turnover-rate-edged-higher-in

Driving The Check-In Metric

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When you think of an efficient check-in process, does the Front Desk operation come to mind? As hospitality experts, we all understand that the efficiency of the Front Desk and check-in relies tremendously on what happens behind the scenes within the Housekeeping operation. Without having sufficient inventory of clean rooms, they cannot satisfy early check-ins or unpredictable guest demands.

From my experience as a Front Office Manager and Director of Housekeeping, I developed processes and a guide that would ensure guestroom check-in efficiency. At The Service Companies, we employ these in all our of our Housekeeping departments across the country.

To download a copy of the guide, filled with best practices, fill in your information below.

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Leaders in Service: Griffin Long

Griffin LongAt The Service Companies, we understand that our people are what makes our company great and enables us to provide our customers Service. Above All. No matter what level, property or department you look, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we will feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

Our second feature of this series is Griffin Long, an Operations Manager for our Food & Beverage and Hospitality Staffing division, Acrobat Outsourcing. We’ve asked him to answer some questions about working for The Service Companies:

Tell us how long have you been with The Service Companies?

I have worked with Acrobat Outsourcing, The Service Companies’ Food & Beverage and Hospitality Staffing business segment, a little over two years.

What role(s) have you had here and what is your current position?

My first role with Acrobat was as a temporary worker doing catering for Sodexo. I then became a Staffing Assistant and began working out of Acrobat Outsourcing’s Houston office and became Operations Assistant Manager not long after. I was recently promoted to Operations Manager for Austin, a role I will be assuming this week.

Congratulations on your promotion! What does your new job entail?

What doesn’t my job entail is the real question. I do everything from staffing, recruiting, administrative tasks, check-in, client meetings, and more. That’s how I was trained, to cover everything. It’s always good to be well versed in what your entire team does.

So, how do you motivate your team?

I motivate my team by always asking if they need help. No matter how busy I am, I always find time to see what areas I can help them in. This builds teamwork and everyone knows their role, but at the end of the day they can wear all the hats in the office.

I know you were just promoted, but what was the best thing about being the Operations Assistant Manager in Austin?

The best thing about being Operations Assistant Manager was that I got to help upper management while also being able to focus on the team effort. Whether it’s speaking to clients or helping with admin work I did a little bit of everything for the greater good.

Tell us one thing about yourself that is not related to work or what you do for fun when you’re not working.

I enjoy fishing, camping, cooking, and hanging out with my family! I am a very family-oriented person. They will always come first in my life.

Stepping into the Shoes of a New Hire

Countless studies have shown that each newly hired associate goes through several emotional phases during the new hire experience, and a few more during the course of the succeeding months following their first 90 days. Results vary but, generally, he or she will go through 3 phases: the Discovery Phase, Learning Phase and Development Phase.

New hires will constantly be rethinking the newly chosen career path within the Discovery Phase, which typically spans the first 2 months on the job. During this period, new associates question their tenure at the company. Their perception of their role and the company is easily swayed, either positively or negatively. During the Learning Phase, within the first three months of being hired, new hires typically feel instability and self-doubt. By the 6th month, the Development Phase, new associates become more comfortable and begin to see their future at the company.

As managers responsible for the onboarding and integration of new team members into our organization, it is critical that we pay attention to how our new associates are feeling, stay constantly engaged and understand generation gaps. The best way to retain your new associates (especially the high performing ones) is to carefully recognize the pulse of your new team member experience. Ask questions, check with their counterparts and observe performance.

Understanding the 3 phases of a new hire

Discovery Phase

  1. Set the right tone with onboarding: When the new team member arrives, he or she will carefully observe and either eagerly work themselves into, or talk themselves out of being part of your team. Newly hired team members tend to be highly sensitive about their new surroundings. The leadership or management team should promote an enticing culture, be accommodating and also provide clear expectations. Don’t forget to give the associate an extra warm welcome. We will only encourage them to doubt their decisions of joining the team if we fail to provide a warm atmosphere right from the beginning.
  2. Put your corporate culture on display: A new hire will carefully study whether the organization is the right fit for them. It is imperative that we create an atmosphere where we encourage an open door policy so that they feel comfortable and safe. Leaders must constantly connect with new team members and make every effort to recognize small milestones they may be achieving on a daily basis. Reassurance is critical during this stage and continues to be a factor for the succeeding months.

Learning Phase

  1. Provide feedback: This is the stage where the leader, the team and the associate are all getting to learn more about each other. There will be differences and camaraderie formed amongst the group, and leaders need to recognize how each part of the puzzle will work, how everyone can contribute and how the team can work together effectively. Leaders need to consistently provide constructive and objective feedback because this will set precedence to a coaching type atmosphere. With this in mind, make sure that the performance is measureable and attainable, the instructions provided are clear and there is room for learning.
  2. Coaching: In this stage, a general understanding of a few mechanics within the team culture is developed. It becomes a source of inspiration when team members receive the proper coaching and they feel that they are set up for success. Make sure to provide one-on-one feedback during this time. Effective dialogue stems from being objective and balancing any failure with deserved recognition.

Development Phase

  1. Promote inclusion: Nurture your team member by making them feel included by letting them sit in on a leadership meeting, highlighting a best practice which they excelled on, or asking them how they would resolve an issue or challenge. When the associate feels that they are a productive contributor, he or she will take more pride in their personal brand and feel valued.
  2. Make them feel safe: Employees need to feel secure about their jobs to perform effectively. They will ultimately be more productive and glide through departmental expectations without feeling the need to worry about job security. Once the associate feels safe, he or she is no longer in the Development Phase. From here, as a leader you can fine tune skills as the employee becomes a tenured member of your team.

Leaders in Service: Ana Rodriguez

At The Service Companies, we understand that our people is IMG_0435what makes our company great and enables us to provide our customers Service. Above All. No matter at what level, property or department you look, you will find exceptional associates who live and breathe our brand and have helped create a strong corporate culture. In the spirit of honoring the people and leaders within our company, we will feature and interview our outstanding associates in our series, Leaders in Service.

Our first feature of this series is Ana Rodriguez, Director of EVS and Housekeeping Operations. We’ve asked her to answer some questions about working for The Service Companies:

How long have you been with The Service Companies?
All together 2 years.

What role have you had here and what is your current position?
I was a Property Manager for The Service Companies in the Housekeeping department at a casino in Bossier City, Louisiana in 2009. I’m currently Director of Operations for EVS and Housekeeping at a casino resort on the Las Vegas Strip.

What does your job entail?
My team and I are responsible for the housekeeping operations of a 2200+ room casino hotel, the upkeep of a 20,000 square foot casino and 400+ associates. All this while integrating The Service Companies’ standard practices with our client’s culture and priorities.

How do you motivate your team?
By showing them the power to make a difference that they each have within themselves. We talk about what inspires us, about the amazing leadership that drives our company and why we do what we do. And in times of need, we are there for each other.

What do you like most about being the Director of EVS & Housekeeping Operations?
The synergy we have created on this team and having the platform to lead so many people eager for growth. We have a achieved such a synergy that any time one of us is not at their best, the rest of the team reminds each other why we all love what we do.

We are always looking for dedicated and talented employees to join our team. If you’d like to join The Service Companies, apply here.

Team Member Spotlight: Ale Parker

IMG_4168At The Service Companies, we believe it is our responsibility to invest in each of our associates and develop them so they can excel in their role and build a career with us. One of the members of our Talent Acquisition team in Nevada, Ale Parker, who became a US citizen last week, reflects on her experience working for The Service Companies and what our focus on career development means for her. Read her story below:

Looking back at the day that I arrived in the United States, almost 7 years ago, it’s amazing to see how much I have learned and grown in different aspects of my life.

Since I was little, I heard the expression “Land of Opportunities,” and ever since I came to this country, I have discovered a deeper meaning behind it. The Service Companies has been an important part of this discovery, when 5 years ago my first leader took a chance on me and saw my potential beyond a foreign resume. Ever since, my leaders within the company have mentored and helped me reach that potential, developing my professional career beyond my own expectations.

It’s difficult to find the words to express how overwhelmingly grateful I feel living in the United States and working with the people here that came along the way and gave me a lifting hand when I was fallen, a hug when I was broken and opened a window when a door was closed. Each helped me imagine, build and pursue my very own “American Dream”.

I feel humbled and proud to be an American and I’m looking forward to living up to the promises I made when I became one.

Commitment to being green

At The Service Companies, one on our primary commitments is providing superior hospitality services to our customers by using the most effective and safest cleaning equipment and chemicals. Equally important, though, is ensuring that we are environmentally conscious at all of our 750 locations across the country. How do we do this? We have set up company-wide partnerships and programs that minimize our environmental impact, but also give our individual teams the liberty to come up with “green” initiatives that are most effective for them. Here are a few of the ways The Service Companies has gone green:

  • Ecolab photo 1 (4)Partnerships with Environmentally Friendly Suppliers: Ecolab is equally committed to the sustainability of their operations and offers products that are environmentally responsible. Our nationwide partnership with Ecolab means we work with their representatives to tailor select chemicals for each of our customer’s properties. When available, our first choice is to source environmentally friendly chemicals and solutions.
  • Durable, Long-Lasting Equipment and Repairs: The Service Companies is committed to using best-in-class, energy-efficient equipment, which is more effective and durable. Our equipment specifications must meet goals for improving or liming the impact to indoor air quality, water consumption, energy consumption and lower chemical usage. By working closely with our manufacturers, including Karcher, we are able to determine the right process to achieve the highest possible results at the lowest possible cost. This means our team is consuming less energy, chemical and water to clean our customers’ areas. Also, instead of replacing equipment at the first sign of an issue, we repair it to its original efficiency, increasing the lifetime of the equipment. When equipment and materials are to be disposed, we never send them to a landfill. The Service Companies contracts with local and regional resource recovery companies to recycle or redistribute material and equipment we no longer have a need for.
  • IMG_6406 (2)Clean The World: For the fourth consecutive year, many of our on-property Housekeeping teams have partnered with Clean The World, an organization that collects discarded hotel hygiene items, re-purposes them in a sanitary manner, and distributes them to people who are at risk of contracting hygiene-related illnesses. Our Housekeepers have been integral to collecting the 40 million+ bars of soap that Clean The World has distributed to over 115 countries.
  • Recycling: We support our customers’ recycling efforts by ensuring proper separation of recyclables from landfill trash. In some operations, we have one person dedicated to this task. Our employees are trained to prevent cross-contamination of landfill trash with recyclables. We use color-coded trash bins that are clearly marked for the type of trash – green for landfill, blue for recycling.
  • Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions: We reduce emissions related to our business by limiting the number of product orders per month, using battery operated equipment where feasible and limiting the use of fuel-powered equipment when work can be done efficiently by other means, to name only a few. We run estimated monthly emission reports that show total carbon dioxide tonnage created and saved in operations. These reports are critical to The Service Companies meeting and exceeding our emission reduction goals.

Keeping rooms clean and fresh this Spring and beyond

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Spring is right around the corner, and many of us look forward to opening our windows and letting some fresh air in. Hotel rooms can be extra challenging where many rooms are sealed tight all year long.

Housekeeping plays a significant role in keeping the guest areas clean and fresh. Following the basic cleaning standards is a great start, though there are additional practices that will help along the way no matter what hinders the process. Each of your guests should enjoy a pleasant room experience with no sign of a previous guest. Having these processes in place can greatly impact your rooms for the better and create a lasting impression with our guests.

We have created our own list of additional practices to employ. To download your copy of Spring Season Cleaning Tips, fill out your information below.

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The results are in: our newest opening

This month, The Service Companies took over third shift cleaning operations at a luxury resort in Florida. The property’s management team looked to us to solve some issues for them. Having previously used multiple cleaning providers to manage the property’s overnight cleaning, the management team sought a strategic partner that would seamlessly integrate into the property’s surroundings and ensure a consistent high level of cleanliness across the property. As a large, well-capitalized hospitality partner, we are one of the only managed service providers able to guarantee and deliver this. Plus, by taking over areas that were previously overseen by multiple independent providers, we were able to provide savings along with a higher level of service than previously provided to the property.

With every opening where we provide public area, EVS or third shift services, we start off with a full assessment of the floor types to determine a floor schedule and equipment needs with our equipment partner, Karcher. We also work closely with Ecolab to spec out the right chemicals and cleaning processes for all surfaces to ensure they are perfectly cleaned and maintained. After completing this and only two weeks into servicing the property, our opening team has achieved incredible results. Take a look at our before and after pictures below to see for yourself.

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