Category: Leadership

Thiesfeld’s Tips for Travel

Our Senior Vice President of Sales, John Thiesfeld, spends more than one third of his year on the road. This makes John our most well-traveled team member and our go-to expert for traveling advice. Whether you fly once a year, or multiple times a week, John’s tips can turn even the most inexperienced flyer into a traveling connoisseur!

Thiesfeld_J_33

 

Move away from checking a bag.

“It not only saves you time on departure, but you have everything you need if your flight gets canceled. This allows you to get on a different flight without worrying about your possessions.”

 

Sign up for TSA Pre ✓.

“It is worth every penny of the cost, even if you don’t fly often. Knowing you will rarely have a long wait for security is reassuring.”

 

Pack smart and be prepared.

“If you are traveling for business, pack your dress shirts and suits in the plastic bags from the dry cleaners. It keeps them fresh and less wrinkled. If you can, always have a bag packed with your regular travel items; this saves time and stress when a trip comes up last minute.”

 

Pack healthy snacks.

“Always keep healthy snacks in your carry-on bag. Though most airports sell healthy options, you can bring your own for a fraction of the cost”.

 

Charge electronics.

“Make sure to charge all electronics the night before your flight. Some airports are loaded with outlets, while others keep you searching.”

 

Sign up for an airline lounge membership.

“If you fly at least once per month, make sure to sign up for an airline lounge membership. They are a great place to re-charge before a flight. The flight attendants are able to do everything a gate agent can, and sometimes more if your flight gets delayed or cancelled.”

 

Stick with one hotel company / airline.

“Try to stick to one airline and hotel company. I know with so many travel options available, including Airbnb, it may seem silly, but the perks available (even at the lowest levels of some programs) are worth it.”

 

Sign up for frequent flyer programs

“Sign up for different airline’s frequent flyer programs, even if you are not sure if you will ever fly them. Being a member and downloading their respective apps can help you if your airline of choice is not available or if there is a problem with your flight. You can often find new flights on the app much faster than trying to call the airline and it is faster than going to the customer service counter.”

 

Book non-stop flights.

“If possible, make sure to book non-stop flights. Many times, the stress and potential problems that can occur with connection flights, especially those with a tight timeline, are not worth it.”

 

Take the early flight out.

“It is never fun to wake up at 4 am for the first flight out, but statistics don’t lie; the first flight of the day rarely gets cancelled or delayed. The first flight sets the tone, so the airline will do whatever it takes to get the plane out on time.”

 

A round trip ticket may not be the best option.

“Though a round trip flight may look easier to book, two one-way tickets may be cheaper. Also, if one of those flights gets cancelled, it is much easier for the airline to change one ticket, as opposed to the airline having to re-issue a round trip ticket.”

 

Print a boarding pass.

“There have been multiple occasions where the TSA processors were down or the actual check-in machines for the flight were inoperable. The only people allowed through were those with paper boarding passes.”

 

Exercise and explore the area.

“As a runner, I appreciate a well-equipped fitness center, but my preference is to run outside; it gives me a feel for the destination. If running isn’t your thing, get out of your hotel and walk around the neighborhood. Not only is it good for your health, but you never know what you may be missing!”

 

Smile and be kind.

“Travel can be stressful on both the traveler and the airline/hotel associates. Make sure to smile and be kind; it is always better than the alternative.”

 

 

2018 President’s Awards & Distinguished Service Award Winners

The President’s Awards and Distinguished Services Awards acknowledge The Service Companies’ top performing associates who have shown great customer service, leadership, and dedication to our company. Chosen by our executive leadership team, the winners are an elite group recognized among thousands of associates in our managed services department.

Recipients of the President’s Awards and the Distinguished Service Awards were evaluated on the following categories: associate, customer, and guest satisfaction, and compliance with company / property requirements and procedures. Our Manager-level award winners, along with the categories above, were evaluated on their implementation of the SHINE campaign and their financial management.

We are proud to recognize the following associates who continue to make our company SHINE!

President’s Awards Winners

Robin

Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

 Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 3.47.51 PM

Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

Resized_2

Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

20181213_080822

Associate of the Year, Eastern Region – Oscar Pena

Felicitas Arrizon (1)

Associate of the Year, Western Region – Felicitas Arrizon-Ledon


Distinguished Service Awards Winners

Gilda Postigo Dist. Svc (1)

Manager – Gilda Postigo

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 3.44.40 PM

Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 3.42.36 PM

Central Region Associate – Terry Anderson

Orlando Rosario Astacio Reno (1)

Western Region Associate – Orlando Astacio

Cleaning The World One Community At A Time: The Service Companies Teams Up With Caesars Entertainment and Clean The World On A Service Trip To Zambia

As the service and hospitality industry experts, we know that effective hygiene is one of the most important elements to ensure the health and safety of our customers, their guests and our associates. It is important to us, though, to do this beyond our own departments and properties. That is why our housekeeping teams partner with Caesars Entertainment and Clean The World throughout the year to collect partially used soaps for hygiene kits that are distributed in underserved communities.

For the sixth consecutive year, we were able to send another team member on a trip of a lifetime to assist in the distribution of recycled soap and hygiene kits. Catherine Francois, a housekeeping team member from one of our casino hotel properties in Laughlin, Nevada, was selected to represent our company on a service trip to Zambia, Africa, along with members of Clean The World and Caesars Entertainment.

Catherine Francois

When Catherine arrived in Zambia, she was able to visit three underserved communities and, with the other Clean The World and Caesars Entertainment participants, distributed soaps and hygiene kits, taught families how to properly wash their hands, and participated in skits to enforce good sanitation practices.

After returning from her trip, we were able to catch up with Catherine to hear more about her experience and how the service trip made an impact on her life. Check out the interview below to view photos and learn more about Catherine’s time in Zambia.

What was your reaction to hearing you were selected to go on the soap distribution trip to Zambia?

When I heard that I was selected to go to Zambia with Clean The World I couldn’t contain my excitement. I jumped and shouted with joy. I couldn’t stop talking about it.

_DSC0088

What were your expectations of the trip when you were selected? How were they the same or different than what you experienced?

Before going on this trip, I tried not to have any expectations. I was looking forward to the experience and hoped that I would not be disappointed. However, this trip surpassed all that I had imagined.

What Clean The World initiatives did you participate in during your time in Zambia?

In Zambia, I participated in each Clean The World activity. During our first performance, I played the role of “Super Soap”. In the second and third performance, I played a germ. I also demonstrated good hand washing techniques to the audience during our second site visit. I sang and distributed soaps during all three site visits.

_DSC0046 2

 Besides soap distribution and sanitation education, what else were you able to experience while in Zambia?

I was able to experience a few things in Zambia. In Lusaka, I experienced several different restaurants. I also visited the local markets to look around, shop for souvenirs, and interact with locals in the area. In Livingston, I was able have a fascinating experience when I saw Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park and Great Victoria Falls. Last but not least, I experienced a safari ride where I was able to see many animals in their natural habitats.

What was the most memorable part of your trip?

The most memorable part of my trip was all the different ways the people welcomed us. I will always remember the faces of children patiently waiting for hours to receive their soaps, as well as their excitement once they saw us arriving on site.
_DSC0081

What did you learn from your trip to Zambia?

I learned that Clean The World does not just give hygiene products to these families. They keep track of their progress throughout the year. They make sure that these communities are using what they learned to stay healthy and   check in to make sure kids are not missing school due to hygiene related illnesses.

_DSC0105

How has this trip impacted you?

This trip has impacted my view on life. It has forced me to look at things differently. It also made me think of what I can do to help others who are less fortunate.

Would you recommend others take a trip with Clean The World? Why or why not?

I would recommend that everyone take a trip with Clean The World to see how even the smallest efforts have the ability to make big impact on the lives of others.

_DSC0077

 

Work Relationships To Be Thankful For

As you look back on some of the most memorable moments you have experienced while working in the hospitality industry, many different events may come to mind. Most of your memorable moments may have taken place at your property, but mine took place in a more unconventional location- in a hospital’s delivery room with a housekeeper named Marie.

While working as a Manager at a resort in Orlando, the morning started the same as it normally would. I drank my morning cup of coffee and prepared my assignments for the staff. When Marie walked in, I could tell she didn’t seem herself. By this point, Marie was well into her pregnancy and her husband was working out of town. I decided to personally escort her to see a doctor.

Upon arrival, the hospital staff thought I was Marie’s Creole translator. They began asking questions as I helped Marie fill out necessary paperwork. Once the hospital staff understood we worked together, they asked me to find a seat in the family waiting area. Shortly after Marie made her way to the delivery room, a nurse handed me a gown and booties and I was escorted to a seat next to Marie. At first, I was surprised I ended up in the delivery room, but I quickly reached out to hold her hand and supported her along the way. Marie then welcomed her baby girl into the world.

Laurie blog post graphic

I have always believed that bonds between associates extend far beyond the walls of a property. In our industry, many associates like myself have lived and worked a distance from friends and family. Having the support and sense of extended family at work was very important to me. Employee challenges became my challenges and their accomplishments were our accomplishments; we kept our eye on goals together.

I always kept an open door and scheduled one-on-one time with the associates. Although our meetings always started with a bit about work, we were excited to later catch up on family and discuss our personal lives. I was grateful to be a go-to for employees needing advice about outside challenges. Although not knowledgeable in every area, I tried my best to listen and share advice.

Through close engagement with my team, many began to look forward to swapping new recipes at our covered dish events throughout the year. I couldn’t walk in the door without bringing a double batch of corn casserole. I could still taste Van Kim’s sticky rice and Melanie’s Lumpia. Terry always sent me home with an extra plate of her amazing peanut butter cookies.

Written holiday cards always started early to get them all in with a personalized note. I still look forward to receiving cards today from former coworkers. That valuable time spent at work was as much mine, as theirs.

As we approach the Thanksgiving season, I recognize how grateful I am for many unforgettable moments and traditions and look forward to creating future memories with my teams. Now that I have shared my story, The Service Companies would love to hear yours. What memory from the hospitality industry are you most thankful for? Let us know in the comments section!

Laurie Katinos is one of the leading hospitality operations directors. Her expertise in housekeeping operations spans over 20 years, with the majority of her time spent with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and The Service Companies. Her knowledge and operations savvy has contributed to The Service Companies becoming the unrivaled provider of cleaning, staffing and managed services in the hospitality industry.

Why Should You Join The Service Companies?

When choosing a career path, which of the following qualities are the most important to you?

  • Receiving hands-on training to prepare you for your new role
  • Competitive pay and benefits
  • A culture built on continuous training, employee recognition, mutual respect and strong work ethic
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement

Although each person ranks the above qualities differently, all four are key in achieving a happy and sustainable career. At The Service Companies, we not only invest in personal growth and training, but also the future of our associates. Here are just a few reasons why a career with The Service Companies may be right for you!

Training

Starting a new career can be intimidating. That is why we created a training and orientation program for the success of our new associates. Along with hands-on learning, each new team member is given access to our employee portal full of training guides and position checklists to ensure long-term success. Our new hires are also paired with a mentor during their 10-day training period to ensure effective learning on property.

qws

Benefits

Our associates work hard to make sure our clients and their guests receive the best possible service. To thank them for their hard work, we provide a complete employee benefits package that includes everything from medical insurance to short and long term disability and a 401k matching program. We also give associates enrolled at a college or university an opportunity to receive a yearly scholarship award and tuition reimbursement.

Culture and Associate Satisfaction

The Service Companies is the employer of choice for hourly associates. Our culture is based on recognition, respect and continuous learning. While we work hard, we also have fun. Our associates enjoy celebrations, weeklong events, contests, and friendly competitions year round. We also offer competitive wages and a safe and harmonious work environment.

 

Picture2Picture1

 

 

 

 

 

Growth and Advancement

As one of the fastest growing companies in the managed service industry, and the largest in the hospitality segment, there is a location and position that fits you! With customer locations spread across over 27 states and the Bahamas, and over 50% of our management positions being filled internally, now is the perfect time to join us and grow your career. To learn more about growth and advancement opportunities with The Service Companies, click here!

Whether you are a student, a recent graduate, U.S. Military Veteran, or just looking to launch your career, a job with The Service Companies is a great way for you to start making your impact on the hospitality industry!

Are you ready to join The Service Companies? Visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/careers/ to apply now!

sdasdasdasd

Task Force Spotlight: Vladi Jones

After opening five new turn-key housekeeping accounts this summer, The Service Companies’ Heart of House Services department is growing faster than ever before. The success of The Service Companies’ managed services segment stems, in large part, from the training and leadership provided by our Task Force team to new associates and teams. Our Task Force associates travel to different destinations and assist with the operations of each account opening. Once training is finished and management positions are filled, Task Force members are given a new assignment in a different destination.

Task Force member Vladi Jones joined The Service Companies two months ago from a luxury hotel property in South Beach, Miami. During her time with us, she has already taken the lead on two housekeeping account openings in Kentucky and the Bahamas; during her time in the Bahamas, she was also able to achieve a large increase in productivity for the property. Vladi is now working hard to complete another opening in South Beach. Her passion and hands on supervision makes Vladi a key member of the Task Force team.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born Slovakia and came to the UniteVladi Jones 1d States in 1991. In Slovakia, I was an elementary school teacher. To this day, it still gives me joy when I am able to teach someone something new. I did not speak any English, but I learned to overcome the challenge by not being afraid of making a mistake. Being a member of Task Force allows me to have a special bond with many people in our industry who, perhaps, have had some of the same challenges as I did many years ago. I am very passionate about cooking, gardening, boating and fishing! I also have two amazing kids, who are on their mission every day to make me a proud mom.

What is your professional background?

My professional background is in hospitality. In total, I have had 27 years of experience working in the Rooms Division. My hospitality journey started in 1991, where I started at a hotel property as a Laundry Attendant. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in all areas and have held several leadership roles. I love working with housekeeping teams.

What led you to become a member of Task Force?

I saw Task Force as a great opportunity to work with many professionals who are as passionate about “housekeeping magic ” as I am.

What role do you play in The Service Companies’ property opening process? 

I have held lead roles during my last two assignments. I am now currently preparing for a new turn-key housekeeping account opening at a hotel in South Beach.

What have you learned during your time as a Task Force Member?

During my time as a Task Force Lead, I have had the opportunity to further develop my interpersonal skills. I have also learned more about the housekeeping operations in hotels and casino hotels. I went from a property with 1,800 rooms to a property with 162 rooms. The switch between two different properties within a short period of time has made me open minded, a quick thinker, and has given me the opportunity to utilize my expertise to solve problems and make the department more efficient.

What is your favorite thing about being a member of Task Force?

It allows me to work with many great individuals in different settings and each property has a different challenge.

International Housekeeping Week 2018

Every year, a week is set aside to honor our hardworking Housekeeping associates. This year, International Housekeeping Week is September 9-15. Housekeeping, often referred to as heart of house services, is one of the toughest and most important jobs for every property to ensure guest satisfaction and prevent illnesses. At The Service Companies, International Housekeeping Week is a big week-long event. Each housekeeping department leader holds events and arranges games, gifts, and a few surprises for their team members to ensure they know how important they are.BP3

International Housekeeping Week started back in the early 80’s as a directive from the Uniting Facility Managers Worldwide President. The week was used to recognize the “doers” in the housekeeping profession. The first official theme was “Our Profession Is Clean.” Since then, different themes and slogans have been featured each year. Today, themes are not used as much as they once were, but the week is still a special opportunity to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of every member in your housekeeping team. Thank your housekeepers for a job well done, reward their dedication, inspire their continued efforts, and boost their morale through meaningful gestures and thoughtfully planned activities.

During this year’s Housekeeping Week, make sure to give an extra special “Thank You” to all of your housekeeping team members. Perhaps jump in and help out by cleaning a room, making a bed or scrubbing a toilet – you never know what you might learn!

Here are some ways to make International Housekeeping Week special for your team!

 

Play Games

Who doesn’t love a little competition? Surprise your housekeepers with fun games and activities that will give them a positive start to the day.

Bed-Making Contest

Put your team’s skills to good use as they compete in a bed-making contest! Choose the winner based on the fastest time and the bed that looks the neatest.

Bingo

Put a twist on a classic game! Hand out custom-made cards and swap out numbers with terms that relate to your property.

Toilet Paper Bozo Buckets

Grab a bucket and a roll of toilet paper and see who has the best three-point-shot on property. Extra points for trick shots!

Musical Chairs

A classic game that is simple and always enjoyable. Play the game to your housekeepers’ favorite songs.

BP2

Give Prizes 

What is better than surprising your team with fun games? Awarding your winning team member with a prize! Here are some prize options won’t break the bank.

Gift Cards

Spoil your housekeeping associate with a $25 gift card of their choosing!

Offer to Pay a Bill

Say thank you to your winning housekeepers by paying one of their personal bills for the month! Whether it’s for their cell phone, water, or cable, feel free to cap it off around $50.

Giveaways

Draw a name out of a hat with a gift of your choosing. This easy, yet special, surprise will make one of your team members’ day.

Movie Tickets

Movie tickets are a great way to give your winning team member a relaxing night out!

Raffle Tickets

Pick a few different prizes and display them in your property office; make sure each prize has a corresponding bucket. Each day, give a raffle ticket to the employees who show up to work on time and volunteer to play the games. Have them drop their raffle ticket into one of the buckets of their choosing after each shift. At the end of the week, randomly draw a raffle ticket from each bucket!

­

 

Remember the Managers

Your managers work hard to keep your property running smoothly. Make sure to extend a special “thank you” for all that they do! Have a personal card written for your day-to-day managers. Include a kind note or some photos. If you are feeling extra generous, feel free to include a monetary gift.

BP1

 

The Meaning of Leadership

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 12.03.29 PM When thinking about leadership, I see a leader as the person who’s always quoted and remembered. They’re always the star of old blockbuster movies where the underdog team beats the odds and wins the championship, whether it’s the coach, the star quarterback or even the unsung hero in the stands.

What are the qualities we seek in a leader? There is no specific formula, no specific answer to this question. Of course, we see a leader as someone who reaches for their goals and is victorious.

Some believe that leaders are born and not made, a matter of nature versus nurture. I believe that leaders need to possess a quality of charisma – specifically the ability to influence others positively – which I think you can either be born with or hone as a skill through your experiences. It is accomplished through leading by example, showing associates that even though it may not be easy, doing the right thing will always lead you to success. It will teach them how to handle new situations in the future.

Effective decision-making is another important quality in a leader. If you make decisions thoughtfully but efficiently, and stick with your decision no matter the outcome, your team will be able to understand how each decision has a consequence, good or bad. The important thing is that you all stick together and trust and rely on each other, your teammates. If a coach decides on a certain play during a game, the team needs to trust each other in order to successfully run the play. If unforeseen challenges pop up, the decision might need to change on a dime, and the team as a whole needs to embrace that.

At The Service Companies, we are surrounded by leaders, in all departments and at every level. Our leaders use numerous tactics to ensure our associates continue to grow, learn and become better every day, so that they can one day step into their own leadership role.

Our management teams across the country share mandated service and safety topics daily. They listen to and act upon feedback from both our associates and clients, which is then shared to ensure everyone is on the same page, on both a property and company level. We promScreen Shot 2018-06-21 at 12.04.43 PMote our SHINE campaign associate engagement culture by recognizing and sharing the successes and accomplishments of each associate and team. Open communication and being the first to welcome and shake associates’ hands from day one is important.

It is vital that our teams across the country work together with each other and their leaders, whether they be managers or fellow associates. It’s the hard work and dedication of all of them who make it possible for us to deliver on our promise to our clients of Service. Above all.