The Service Companies Blog

Service. Above All

Category: Culture

Leaders in Service: Kim Eichelberger

OKim Eichelbergerur next feature in our Leaders in Service feature is Kim Eichelberger, Project Director for a luxury casino property in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has been with The Service Companies, having served in a variety of roles for over 10 years. We’ve asked her to answer some questions about working for The Service Companies.

 

 

Congratulations on having just celebrated your 10 year anniversary at The Service Companies! What are some of your most memorable moments from your time at the company?

Working for The Service Companies has been memorable in a lot of ways, and I’ve experienced and learned a great amount since I first started. In the last 10 years, I’ve had the opportunity to travel from account to account, running different customers’ housekeeping departments across the country. I’ve met and worked with a number of people, and had the opportunity to work at vacation ownership properties (where you complete unannounced QAs twice a year) and casino properties, where running occupancy is in the high 90s.

What does your role as Project Director entail? What are some of your responsibilities?

As Project Director for our casino customer in Lakes Charles, I am responsible for running the day-to day operations with 99% occupancy almost daily, motivating my employees daily and engaging with them as much as possible with standup meetings. I also managing our proprietary portals and productivity trackers, ensuring our cleaning standards are met by the property expectations. I also build relationships with the property managers and participate in weekly and daily meetings with property management since we are one team.

Out of all of the properties you have worked at for The Service Companies, what were the highlights of each?

I have worked at several of our properties around the country, but there are a few that were memorable and highlights for me. I worked at one of our hotel customers in Puerto Rico. It was a challenging project, but the views were amazing. In Key West, another time when I was surrounded by amazing views, we managed three properties from one end of the island to the other, which brought its obstacles to problem solve. Also, I will never forget the roosters in the tress in Key West. Yes, roosters.

I have also worked in Virginia, Myrtle Beach, New Orleans, Iowa, Connecticut, Arizona, Laughlin and now Lake Charles. Each property has had its own demands, and it’s been a great experience. I have loved the traveling, being challenged, and walking away with a sense of accomplishment.

What has kept you excited and passionate about working for The Service Companies for the last 10 years?

I’ve worked for The Service Companies for the past 10 years because I truly enjoy my job and the challenges I’m working to solve. There have been moments in my career that have been quite challenging; however, I try to look at the positive side of any and every event.

How do you motivate your team?

I motivate my team in many ways. We hold celebrations and recognize our associates, but, most of all, I interact with each associate on a personal level.

That’s amazing that you have interacted on a personal level with all 250+ of your associates. How do you keep your casino property running so smoothly while overseeing 1000+ rooms and 250+ associates?

How do I keep the property running so smoothly? It’s one of the toughest jobs, I must say. Building the relationship with our customer is the key as is a sense of urgency. I’ve been successful by learning this property and being proactive instead of reactive.

What do you enjoy most about being a Project Director?

The daily demands and building relationships with staff and customers.

When you are not working, what do you like to do?

Enjoying the outdoors and fishing.

At 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.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

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.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

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.
Teresa joined The Service Companies in September 2016. As the Director of Training and Strategic Operations, she and her team are responsible for driving associate engagement and retention as The Service Companies becomes the employer of choice for hourly associates.

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.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

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.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

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.
The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.

Team Member Spotlight: Mildred Botley

Mildred Botley

Mildred Botley

At The Service Companies, we embody a culture of internal advancement. If an associate works hard, embodies our service code, and shows pride in their work and a desire to learn more, he or she has fantastic opportunities for growth within our company. We have a number of long-standing associates who joined our team at the lead level and are now Supervisors, Executive Housekeepers and Regional Vice Presidents. One of these people is Mildred Botley, who has been with the company since 2011 and has been promoted three times during this time. See her story below.

“I joined The Service Companies’ team in September 2011 as a driver. Determined to be the best driver, I drove associates locally as well as long distances, which I enjoyed. I had the opportunity to meet a large variety of people, each of whom told me about their culture and roots. Learning more about where each of the associates came from was so much fun.

In March 2012, I began helping out in the local Human Resources office when the Office Coordinator was off. Shortly thereafter, I was asked to join the Human Resources team full-time as an Office Coordinator. In this new role, I had to learn about the administrative duties and HR procedures. My favorite experience in this role was organizing the annual family and friends day for the property associates. Along with the corporate team, we had arranged fun events with food, dancing, games and prizes. Watching the team eating, dancing and interacting with each other gave me pride in what we accomplished.

In July 2014, I was promoted to Human Resources Associate, where I was given more responsibility as I grew within the company. I had the opportunity to coordinate employment with our J1 and H2B team members. I loved taking them on cultural trips while they were visiting the US. This was an adventure and I enjoyed helping them understand our culture.

In 2016, I was again promoted to Talent Acquisition Specialist, which involves in-office and field work. Being out in the field gives me an opportunity to meet future employees and explain what working for The Service Companies can do for their career, like it has done for mine.”

The Service Companies gives its 10,000 associates the opportunity to become an expert in their craft, learn new skills and advance through various departments in the company, as Mildred has. To learn more about careers, culture and employment benefits at The Service Companies, click here.

The Service Companies is the unrivaled nationwide provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services to the hospitality industry, particularly luxury hotels, casinos and vacation ownership resorts. With nearly 30 years of experience, The Service Companies approaches their work with dedication, professionalism and a keen attention to detail that leads to best-in-class results.