Category: Leadership (Page 1 of 2)

Leaders in Service

Jessica Uriostegui

At The Service Companies, our associates are the key to providing a superior client experience. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong company culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates, who have launched or continued their hospitality careers at our company. 

Jessica Uriostegui is The Service Companies’ Director of Field Talent Acquisition. She is responsible for the recruitment of associates at our Managed Services hotel, casino, and resort accounts across the country. 

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? Jessica Uriostegui

I have been with The Service Companies for 9 years. I started as an Operations Staffing Manager for our staffing accounts in South Florida. From there I moved on to Taskforce Manager, Accounts Manager in Arizona, Human Resource Manager for San Antonio, Regional Human Resource Manager for Texas, Regional Director of Talent Acquisition and now in my current role I am the Director of Field Talent Acquisition.

What does your job entail?

I lead the Field Talent Acquisition function in executing the full cycle strategy for attracting, sourcing, and selecting talent. I also monitor recruiter performance, activity and requisition by weekly reporting and metrics monitoring.

What do you love most about your position?

Interacting with all of our amazing teams and clients across the regions.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team? 

I think our best motivation in the talent field is being a pivotal part in placing associates within our departments, creating long term relationships and watching them grow and develop within the industry.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

Outside of work my time is dedicated to my 4 amazing kids. Being a mom is what I am most passionate about. I enjoy spending time with my kids and supporting them in the sports or activities they are involved in.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies?

My biggest accomplishment was starting a job at The Service Companies completely outside my comfort zone and becoming one of the top performers in my region within the first year. Winning the first ever President’s Award was nice too!

What advice would you give those looking to launch their hospitality careers or considering joining our team?

Understand and research the industry and make sure you have a passion for hospitality because everything we do involves providing great customer service to our team and our clients.

Every day, people are starting their hospitality careers with The Service Companies. Join our team today to do the same! Apply here.

Read other posts in our Leaders in Service Series:

Preparing for Hurricane Season

With a large number of our properties in the southeast regions of the United States, preparing for hurricane season is something we take very seriously at The Service Companies. As a business partner to resorts, casinos, hotels and various other facilities at risk of hurricanes and tropical storms, we train and make our associates aware of each property’s emergency plan right from the start.

Storms in these regions are inevitable this time of year, but it is hard to be sure when, and where, a hurricane is going to hit. After experiencing some of the most severe tropical storms and hurricanes, our team knows that the key to ensuring safety on property is to be prepared, and with hurricane warnings coming days in advance, there is some time to prepare your building and guests for the storm ahead.

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Here are some important tips to remember when preparing for a hurricane:

Hurricane season calls for extra support, but staffing may be limited due to road conditions and the need for associates to be with their families. To work around this issue, it helps to have a “Storm Team” in place. This team, comprised of associates from different departments, is given living accommodations on property for the duration of the storm to support efforts.

While you have more manpower several days out, get exterior preparations done early. Anything that is not securely mounted must go indoors. Items such as waste receptacles and exterior furniture need to be moved to a safe location within the garage, storage area or lower level of the building. Balcony tower furniture can be stacked inside of the guest rooms. This also comes in handy for people to rest and ride the storm in the lower level of your property.

Many times, your hotel guests are unable to travel during the storm and must stay on property. If this becomes the case, remember to do the following:

  • Keep guests informed through regular communications. This includes items such as storm updates, evacuation plans and stairwell locations, safe areas to be within the building (i.e. away from windows), available food options and services during this period.
  • If your property rooms have outdoor space, be sure guests know to bring any personal items inside. Before heavier winds approach, take walks around the building to verify all is clear.
  • If you have guests in need of extra care or that use assisted equipment, make sure to make this information known to your team in the case that they need immediate assistance during the storm.
  • Pre-pack emergency kits so they can be delivered and/or available to each guest. Kits should include: bottled water, flashlights, extra linens, paper products, amenities, trash bags, and dry snacks.
  • Have battery sources available to charge devices, as this is a common request when electricity goes out.
  • Organize indoor activities and keep an inventory of games, especially for families with children.

Leaders in Service – Cornel Sneekes

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

The newest addition to our Leaders in Service series is Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, Cornel Sneekes. Before bringing his engineering expertise to The Service Companies to establish our Engineering Services division, Cornel held key executive positions at ABM, ABLE, ISS and was a co-founder, along with our Chairman & CEO, Mike Latham, of MCR Facility Services (now established as The Service Companies Engineering Services division). Since the start of his career in 1981, Cornel has been responsible for the operation and maintenance of facility systems, staffing, labor relations, contract development and delivery of services for data centers, class “A” high-rise, industrial, hotels, medical, retail and truck route services. Learn more about Cornel and the positive impact he has made on The Service Companies through our Engineering Services division!

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What is your role at The Services Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I am currently the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, a division of The Service Companies. I joined the team in June 2018.

What does your job entail?

As the Senior Vice President, Engineering Services, I am responsible for the delivery of our contractual obligations to customers and expanding our engineering model into different markets across the country. My team and I provide labor, monthly site visits, energy analysis, equipment inspections, preventive maintenance implementation, protection of customer assets and improved ROI on their investments. In addition, I am responsible for the design, development and implementation of custom service delivery models.

What projects have you and your team been working on? 

In my first 12 months my team and I have traveled extensively meeting clients and team members, touring facilities, and introducing our Engineering Services platform to new, existing, and potential customers. We are currently working on a new line of business offerings that will fulfill our main goal of generating value and results for our customers.

Since our Engineering Services division is relatively new, can you tell us what distinguishes our services from other companies that offer engineering services to the facility services and hospitality industries? 

Our greatest differentiator is our ability to adapt and change. We are a group of people that look for continual improvements and out-of-the-box service models that fit the needs of our customers. We accomplish this through the use of technology and strategic partnerships. As a private organization with a senior management team and a board that embraces change, we are not held back by the decision-making processes or “tunnel vision” approaches. This allows us to focus on how to best service and meet the needs of our clients and employees. Change is embraced, communication is valued and employee involvement is treasured.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love the positive effect our team and services have on our customers and their facilities. Creating long-term relationships with these clients, who become friends, is very special. I also enjoy helping my employees see their potential and achieve their personal goals. Having the ability to guide my team members to self-improvement through training, continuing education and working hands-on at the job site brings me a lot of satisfaction. Finding new ways to drive value, improve job site experiences and motivate employees to become their best self brings its own rewards.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team? 

Identifying opportunities for process improvement is hard work that brings many challenges, but having the ability to work with employees at different locations keeps me motivated. The people we have in this company, and their desire to be the best in what they do, drives me to excel in my areas of responsibility.

As for my team, I keep them motivated by proving a positive work environment and ensuring that they feel valued. Acknowledging a job well done creates an environment where each employee is able to do their best for their co-workers and customers. The challenges that come with the job, paired with defined goals and renewed performance standards, are motivators on their own and keep employees engaged.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

My greatest passion is my family. My wife and I have four children and three grandchildren, who are the greatest joys in our lives. Watching my children become parents and take on the responsibility of raising children is something that has had such a profound effect on my life. When I am not working I enjoy outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball and motorcycle riding. I also enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and learning more about other cultures. Finally, I am a sitting board member at PCRF, an organization that is working to find a cure for pediatric cancer.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishments have been providing a new, positive outlook on how we are moving forward as a company and being part of a team that is committed to providing consistent improvements to the gaming, hospitality and facility services industries.

What advice would you give those looking to join our Engineering Services team? 

Come ready to work and bring your “A game”! The Service Companies is on the path to becoming the best in our fields of expertise and we are looking for dedicated associates that are committed to professionalism and growth. We can promise you a great working experience where you are valued, rewarded and appreciated for all of your efforts.

Contact us for more about The Service Companies’ Engineering Services division.

Leaders in Service – Alan Ching

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. This is why we developed Leaders in Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our coAlan Ching 2mpany.

We welcome Alan Ching, Director of Operations at a casino hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, as our newest addition to our Leaders in Service series. A member of our Managed Services division, Alan has been integral to the segment’s success over the past four years. His passion for the job, dedication to service and his associates, along with his knowledge and expertise in the field, makes him a respected leader within our organization. Learn more about Alan as he reflects on what it’s like to work at The Service Companies!

What roles have you held at The Service Companies? How long have you been with us? 

I have been with The Service Companies since January 2015. I started as a Housekeeping Supervisor and have held multiple positions within the company including Housekeeping Operations Manager, Housekeeping Executive, and Assistant Director of Housekeeping and EVS. I have been working as the Director of Housekeeping and EVS Operations at one of our properties in Laughlin, Nevada since June 2017.

What does your job entail?

I am responsible for the overall management of our housekeeping and EVS departments on property. That includes handling finances, scheduling, training and coaching, and making sure our guests have a positive and memorable stay.

What do you love most about your position? 

I love working with associates and guests of different cultures and backgrounds. I also love that everyday is different from the day before. Even when the same associate is performing similar duties as the day prior, the day always brings something new.

How do you stay motivated? 

Providing for my son keeps me motivated each day. I also enjoy watching how hard my bosses work; it drives me to do the same. View More: http://imagodei127photography.pass.us/likeness

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing? 

On my days off, I love spending time with my son. Some of our favorite activities include going to the movies, bowling, and hiking; we do these multiple times each month. I also run a football organization on the weekends where I am the head coach for two youth teams.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies? 

My biggest accomplishment while working at The Service Companies has been getting nominated for both Manager of the Year within the organization, as well as Emerging Leader of the Year for Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career with The Service Companies? 

Two months after I stepped into my current role as Director of Operations, I went back to my previous location to speak with the employees. Without my knowledge, the entire team gathered in the basement and I walked down to a crowd of employees chanting and screaming my name with excitement. It was in that moment that I realized why I love being in this industry: to make an impact on my employees’ lives.

What do you look for in a potential team member? How can they set themselves apart to start their hospitality careers? 

When it comes to line level employees, I look for a positive attitude. You can teach employees every type of skill, but one thing you cannot teach is positivity. As far as management goes, I love helping my associates grow through the company. I want their dedication and work ethic to prove that they have the ability to take on a management role.

Our associates are launching their hospitality careers each and every day. To do the same, apply today!

Leaders In Service: Heather Dailey

At The Service Companies, we understand that our associates are the key to providing Service. Above All. No matter the level, department or service segment, our dedicated associates allow us to perform at the highest level and cultivate a strong corporate culture. That is why we developed Leaders inScreen Shot 2019-05-21 at 2.14.17 PM Service, a series of interviews recognizing the high-performing associates across our company.

Heather Dailey from Acrobat Outsourcing is our most recent addition to our Leaders in Service series. Heather’s passion for the job, along with her recent promotion to Director of Business Development, proves that she is integral to the success of Acrobat Outsourcing, our hospitality staffing division. Learn more about Heather and the contributions she has made to our company below!

Congratulations on your recent promotion! Before becoming Director of Business Development, what other roles have you held at Acrobat Outsourcing? How long have you been with us?

I started with Acrobat Outsourcing in 2011 as our Client Services Manager. I was promoted to Business Development Manager in Northern California in 2012 and quickly took over the Southern California region. It has been a great eight years so far and I’m excited for many more!

What does your job entail?

My job entails managing our sales department, driving new business and maintaining / growing our current customer base. I am always finding new opportunities to grow our division!

What do you love most about your position?

I love getting to know my team and learning more about the diverse markets where we provide services. From my previous position, I know our California markets inside and out, but I have enjoyed expanding my knowledge into new markets and working with our clients nationwide. Our associates and customers are phenomenal people; I am excited to work with everyone on a closer basis.

How do you stay motivated and how do you motivate your team?

My family keeps me motivated, but so does closing a big deal! Nothing is more exciting to me than bringing on a new large customer. I am very competitive, so I am always working towards bettering myself and my abilities. I motivate my team by building trust with them and learning what motivates them on an individual basis. And I help them stick to their goals, both personally and professionally.

Outside of work, how do you spend your time? What are you passionate about and what do you enjoy doing?

My life pretty much revolves around my daughter, Elliott, but I love it! My husband and I enjoy seeing the world through her eyes and we have been having a blast creating memories though traveling, spending time with family, and taking trips to Lake Tahoe.

What has been the most exciting thing you have participated in with Acrobat Outsourcing? What made it successful?

Assisting with the development of our STAMP program! By listening and understanding our clients’ needs, we have been able to create a spectacular lasting program that has opened many doors for us and will continue to help us to grow. I believe we have been successful because we take the time to understand our customer, their issues and how we can solve them in a unique and creative way. I am very lucky to work with such an intelligent and innovative team.

Do you have what it takes to be a Leader in Service? We have hundreds of positions open across the nation. Apply today!

Case Study: Luxury Hotel Casino in Shreveport, LA

With price, guest reviews and star ratings having more influence in the consumer’s decision making process than brand attributes (according to PwC’s 22nd Annual Global CEO Survey), guest service scores are more important than ever. They can make the difference between a sold out hotel, casino or resort, and one struggling to sell rooms. Read below how The Service Companies utilized its turn-key housekeeping services to shift guest service scores and improve the productivity of the housekeeping team at a luxury casino hotel in Shreveport, Louisiana.

 

Situation Overview

The Property is a hotel casino with over 600 guest rooms and suites located in Shreveport, Louisiana. The Property has an average room size of 413 square feet per room and is managed by a large American gaming corporation. With low guest satisfaction scores in the housekeeping category, the Property reached out to our team, which was successfully operating the environmental service departments of the public areas and casino, to take on and fully manage the housekeeping department.

 

Challenges

With a limited pool of hospitality professionals in Shreveport, the Property struggled to find quality labor to fill its housekeeping team. As a result, the Property was ranked last in housekeeping of the 40 properties in the parent corporation’s ranking scores.

The average time to clean each guest room was 35.6 minutes and the Property’s customer ranking score for housekeeping room cleanliness was 64.3% ‘A’. Due to the high levels of housekeeping complaints, guests chose to patronize other casinos, resulting in a loss of gaming revenue and an unsupportable situation.

 

Opening Process

Through the Property’s onsite management team, our leadership team worked with the Property’s General Manager to transition the in-house housekeeping department into a department fully managed by The Service Companies. We brought in a corporate lead to oversee the department transition and hired four housekeeping trainers, each handling a different aspect of the department. 59 Property employees transitioned to our team, leaving 28 open positions to fill within a 30-day period.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms. Standards and processes for the department were established and productivity was aligned with industry standards. Training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

 

Results and Current State

Within one quarter of the transition, the leadership and staffing stabilized and the Property’s Room Cleanliness scores increased to 67.8% from 64.3%.

At the close of the 1st Quarter of 2019, the Property received a Room Cleanliness score of 77.2% “A”, which is 12.9 higher than the score prior to transition and 7.2 points higher than the brand benchmark. The current productivity average for a guest room attendant to turn a room is 25.2 minutes (a 29.2% reduction in cleaning time).

 

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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!

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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 Service 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 of these employee awards 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

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Manager of the Year – Robin Zamudio

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Supervisor of the Year – Donald Petterson

Adrienne TA Winner (1)

Talent Acquisition Team Member of the Year – Adrienne Eckley

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Associate of the Year, Central Region – Erica Weston

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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

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Manager – Rebecca Burrows

Gertie Johnson SUP Dist. Svc (1)

Supervisor – Gertie Johnson 

Rejane Santos Palm Beach

Eastern Region Associate – Rejane Santos

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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. It also is one piece of our corporate social responsibility strategy. 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.

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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.

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 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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 working in the hospitality industry are you most thankful for? Let us know in the comments section!

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