Category: Service (Page 1 of 3)

Relearning Service Standards Post Pandemic

We are thrilled to hear reports of many clients and industry friends opening their doors again.  While safety is of critical importance when returning to work post pandemic, as a company we have created a mandatory virtual reactivation and orientation for all associates returning to work. This covers many safety protocols as outlined by the CDC and refresher training for PPE and chemical usage. 

We understand in addition to safety training there is an essential need for refreshing service standards when it comes to customer and employee interactions. Many standards that have been ingrained and consistently practiced throughout the hospitality industry over the years look different today. For example, having meaningful interactions while remaining distant, expressing an emotional connection from behind a face covering and the hospitality zone known as “10 & 5” moving to “10 & 6”. 

Since our return to the workplace, we found some helpful tips for managers and team members to adjust to necessary changes and navigate comfortably within our crowded facilities. 

  1. Keep Smiling! Yes we can still read facial expressions while under that mask. This has been a fun ice breaker for the team.
  1. Associates along with some customers are trying to get used to adjustments for basic interactions, like escorting a guest to a specific location. Even while wearing a face covering we still must provide others appropriate physical space and always keeping our face covering intact, so speak more loudly and clearly while maintaining a safe distance. 
  2. Same as before, eye contact and a nod is important to let a guest or coworker know you are listening intently and understand their message. 
  3. Something as simple as delivering a guest request could feel quite awkward with new safety measures.  While some properties have procedures in place to deliver as far as the door, others may require attendants to enter a guest room.  Whatever the standard, ensure your employees are comfortable and have opportunities to practice each process.
  4. As many in the industry are navigating through this new normal it is important to take a regular pulse on how our employees are doing and feeling. Be sure they know how to escalate a request where they may not fully understand. When in doubt have a manager or office staff follow up to ensure your employees and customers have resources along the way.

It is obvious that nonverbal communication is more important now than ever.  Continue to role-play scenarios during your daily briefings.  The ultimate goal is having an empowered team, well-versed and comfortable engaging with one another, always creating a warm and hospitable environment.

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We would love to hear how you have changed service standards within your properties and facilities. Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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:

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.

The Future of Janitorial Services

According to a survey conducted by the IFMA, “poor janitorial service” and a “lack of cleanliness” are among the top three complaints facing facility operations today. These complaints destroy a property’s reputation when shared online and reflect poorly on guest service scores. To combat this issue, managed has resorted to pulling staff from other departments to fulfill the janitorial services needs of the property. This process is only a short-term fix, as the redistribution of staff creates a lack of productivity in other departments.

Our team of experts is dedicated to finding the most technologically advanced solution that solves cleaning issues and improves the guest experience. That is why The Service Companies partners with a best-in-class technology provider to offer smart facility solutions to commercial facilities.

What is our smart facility solution?

Through our partnership with a smart technology provider, we offer a facility solution that uses AI to automate the janitorial process. We install sensors in strategic areas of the restroom and other public areas. These sensors enable management to monitor the needs and cleanliness level of the space. All without pulling employees from other departments or hiring additional labor.

How does it work?

By installing smart sensors in or around garbage cans, soap dispensers, faucets and more, management is notified when restrooms and public areas need attention. From a dispenser in need of more paper towels to an overflowing toilet that needs immediate attention, smart sensors send real-time notifications to any smart device for a quick resolution.

In addition, we track usage patterns and traffic flow to project the restroom’s busiest times during the day. This allows management to staff for the need and create an accurate cleaning schedule. Because supplies get replenished when needed, it also saves costs by reducing waste.

What are the benefits?

Implementing our smart facility solutions on property will allow you to experience the following long-term savings:

Time – Instead of checking on each restroom multiple times per day, you get the what, when and where for each janitorial issue that may arise. This allows employees to spend their time attending to other problem areas on property.

Resources – Smart sensors monitor each trash container, toilet paper, soap and paper towel dispenser, and faucet to ensure employees replenish water and hygiene products only when needed.

Money – The more resources you save, the more money you save! Smart sensors eliminate the need to pay associates overtime for spending unnecessary hours patrolling the restrooms areas. They also eliminate the need to hire additional labor to attend to the restrooms.

Status – Negative guest service scores and bad online reviews can be a thing of the past. Notifications from the smart sensors will allow your team to tend to any janitorial issues right after they occur. This leaves your facility in prime condition throughout the day.

To learn more about our smart facility solution and janitorial services, contact us 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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Our Dedication to Service Through The Service Code

As the nation’s one-stop-shop for services to the gaming, hospitality, commercial, education and entertainment industries, we believe approaching our work with dedication, a keen attention to detail, and a quality standard driven by our Service Code lead to best-in-class results. It is essential for every member of our team to ‘live our brand’, and because of this we created The Service Code as a guideline for our daily conduct, attention to detail and the quality of our work.

Service is not what we do – it is who we are.

We make service our main focus to ensure our teams are prepared to accommodate your property like no other. Through our weekly pre-shift meetings, comprehensive training and Quality Assurance and Quality Management programs, service is an essential part of our daily routine.

We come to work to make our customers SHINE.

Well-versed in quality cleanliness and customer relations, we guarantee your guests a positive first impression that will keep them coming back for years to come. Our rigorous inspection processes and lists of policies and procedures keep designated areas spotless as we deliver unmatched customer service.

We are guests in our customer’s ‘house’.

We fit seamlessly into your operation by tailoring our training programs and operating policies to fit your property’s unique needs. By working with property leadership on processes, procedures, and standards, we ensure our associates look and perform their best when representing your brand.

We trust our co-workers, in all ways.

Our on-boarding process has taught over 15,000 associates the skills needed to succeed in providing our customers and their guests a high level of service, while giving them access to a support system comprised of company leaders. The Service Companies is a family. We work together to help one another, and your property, progress each day.

We leverage our expertise to solve problems.

700 years of industry expertise within our executive and management teams combined with the industry’s most innovative technology differentiate The Service Companies from other service providers. We use these differentiators to solve your most challenging problems, increase efficiency, and increase your bottom line.

For more information about how we utilize The Service Code to deliver best in-class results, visit our website or contact one of our industry professionals today!

Why Preventive Maintenance Strategies Create Value

At The Service Companies, our engineering team strives to be at the forefront of the facility maintenance and operational strategies. We invest heavily in software, processes and people to ensure we deliver custom service delivery models to each of our customers. Our team utilizes up-to-date software to plan, document and protect client assets and train associates. We also produce monthly reports on staff performance, equipment and utilities. We build our preventive maintenance plans in a proactive manner with unplanned downtime avoidance at the heart of the program.

Our Approach

The Service Companies’ non-destructive testing methods mimic equipment operating conditions and schedule maintenance based on the collected data. This procedure results in increased:

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Implementation of a preventive maintenance strategy eliminates much of the unplanned maintenance expenditures that are experienced in a “run-to-fail” model. Based on historical data, the initial savings generated by effective preventive/predictive maintenance programs fall into the following areas:

  1. Elimination of unscheduled downtime caused by equipment or system failures
  2. Improved manpower utilization
  3. Increased uptime
  4. Increased useful life of the equipment by 33%

Preventive maintenance is key to the custom service delivery models Engineering Services develops for each of our customers. For more information about our customized Preventative Maintenance programs, visit our website.

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

Robin

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

Case Study: Luxury Casino Hotel in Mississippi

A reliable stewarding team, along with a professional EVS and housekeeping team, is key in the success of your casino hotel. The Service Companies has the expertise needed to provide a superior quality of service that generates positive shifts in service scores. Take a look at how the introduction of our services benefited one of our casino hotel customers in Mississippi:

Situation Overview

A 65,000 square foot casino with a 505 room hotel located in Tunica, MS, which is part of a large American gaming corporation, approached us to provide managed EVS, housekeeping and stewarding services in 2010. The property leader had previous positive partnership with our managed services team and brought our team in to implement the same positive results.

Challenges

At the time, the property was struggling with staffing shortages and poor quality of cleanliness. The property was ranked at the bottom of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness and the property’s leadership team desired to achieve a higher level of expertise and cleanliness.

Opening Process

On November 12, 2010, our Heart of House Services team took over the Housekeeping, EVS and Stewarding departments utilizing a task force of 14 trainers with significant experience in each area. 155 property employees transitioned to The Service Companies, leaving 20 open positions for our team to fill.

We inventoried and assumed equipment and uniforms, and deep cleaned the casino and other public areas to bring them up to standards. The deep cleaning process also served as training for the transitioned and new employees.

Housekeeping productivity standards were established and training was implemented to ensure productivity and quality standards would be maintained.

Results and Current State of Partnership

Guest service scores improved immediately and at the end of Q1 2011 Room Clean at Check-In and Overall Casino Cleanliness scores increased by 9.48% and 7.4% respectively QOQ. At the end of 2011 the property ranked in the top 10 of all of its parent corporation’s properties for Casino and Guest Room Cleanliness.

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Today, we continue to manage all three departments with a total employee base of 175. Guest Service scores and company ranking remain in the top tier of all of the parent corporation’s properties, while saving over $1 million annually through improved productivity and lower overall benefit costs driven by our team.

For more information about the stewarding services and the other managed services we can offer to your casino hotel, visit https://www.theservicecompanies.com/services/managed/.

What to Look for in a Staffing Agency for Corporate Cafés

One of the best ways to get qualified staff members for your corporate cafeteria or corporate café is to turn to a hospitality staffing agency. Staffing agencies do not necessarily offer the same services or benefits to their clients, and it can be difficult to distinguish the good companies from the bad. Consider the impact a poor organizer or a sub-par chef could have on your company’s reputation. Hiring top talent is imperative and we have put together some things to consider when selecting a hospitality staffing agency for your business:

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  1.  Experience working with your type of business– Every kitchen and front-of-the-house is unique (that’s the best part of the industry!), and not all staffing agencies are familiar with the needs of every setup. For example, a company that routinely places candidates in traditional restaurants or hotels may have little experience finding the right person for the job with a university food service contractor. Kitchen environments are diverse; choose a hospitality staffing agency that has experience working with your type of corporate cafeteria operation.
  1.  Broad pool of candidate backgrounds and skill sets– This should seem obvious, but it’s something that cannot be emphasized enough. Just because a company claims to find candidates for hospitality jobs does not mean it has a large pool of them available. Many generic staffing agencies will bill themselves as offering corporate cafeteria staff members, but that does not mean they’ve courted many people with the right experience. There are many diverse skill sets needed to run or work in a hospitality setting. Focus on industry-specific agencies that have a diverse array of hospitality candidates with the exact backgrounds you need.
  1.  Assistance with screening and interviewing– The best hospitality staffing agencies not only connect you with candidates, but can pre-screen them using your criteria and even conduct a first round of interviews for you. This saves you time and money on your search.
  1.  Timely & Accurate Invoicing– Different staffing agencies use many varying fee structures but, in general, we believe you should only pay for results. You’ll want to know that your staffing agency is working for you and that they are incentivized to provide only the best candidates possible, all of whom meet and exceed your standards. Always be sure that payroll, taxes, workman’s compensation and fully-bonded insurance are included with your all-inclusive fee. This helps you keep peace of mind and ensures a healthy bottom line.

As the leading National Hospitality Staffing Firm, we look forward to providing your corporate cafeteria or café the top talent you need to be successful. For more information about our front and back-of-house and recruiting solutions, contact us at https://theservicecompanies.com/contact/consultation/.

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