Creative Writing On Erica Warton From Marriott International
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In various fields of science, theory is often far from practice. Thus, in order to test theory one needs to apply it in practice. On the other hand, collecting practical data assists in building new theories and cases for best practice which are aimed at assisting managements in the future development of their approaches to problem-solution. In this regard, in order to understand the practical side of HR management an interview with a practitioner was conducted. In this regard, Miss Erica Warton, HR manager for one of the hotels within Marriott International was interviewed. In this regard, she has commented on various aspects of her daily duties and how her job fits into the company’s vision and mission. Miss Warton was an invaluable source of practical information on the subject matter.
The interviewee started from describing her responsibilities and main duties. Her responsibilities can be divided into two groups of duties: those regarding the existing employees and those referring to recruiting new staff. In terms of the existing employees, one of the crucial duties is dealing with compensations and benefits. In this regard, she has to develop guidance and prescriptions for the benefits team to apply. She needs to stay in touch with health care, taxation and benefits specialists and actual employees in order to make sure that rights and responsibilities of all parties are fulfilled in accordance with the existing state and federal HR legal frameworks. In this case, she deals with such matters as maternity leave, retirements, bonus system rewards according to Marriott rewards plan, illness leave and emergencies coverage.
Another crucial role of HR manager is to create training and development programs for the new and continuing employees. In this regard, Miss Warton had to work on the training manual specific to the location. In this regard, she explained that although the standards of services’ performance are established in the central HR office and are spread across all branches, these standards are quite general and the local HR managers are allowed and actually encouraged to develop location-specific training manuals. The main reason for this approach is that the company places cultural specifics and human-centered approach at the heart of its mission and wants to make the service enjoyable both for customers and employees. That is why service-performance specifics are quite flexible in terms of the existing system of standards across the company. Another reason for this flexibility is company’s international direction of development, and it views location-oriented service profile as a key to its success. While in theory, this sounds inspiring, in practice, in order to achieve this objective, an HR manager needs to know not only the standards of the company but also the specifics of the local market and cultural requirements of service provision. For instance, when Miss Warton worked in a smaller hotel of the same company the emphasis of the service and consequent training manuals was on the creation of a family and cozy environment, which was conditioned not only by the size of the city but also by the usual clientele of the place, which included mostly families and recreation travellers. On the other hand, at her present working place, the orientation was for corporate clients, which required multi-cultural approach to the service and also language emphasis of training and preparation manuals.
Although it may seem that the main job of HR manager is to settle the existing conflicts and deal with payroll and promotion schemes, in Marriott International training is crucial. The company spends lots of time and resources in order to bring its employees to the desired standards and provide them with an opportunity for further growth and development. In this regard, the role of the HR manager is to be a mediator between thus promise and its actual implementation in reality. Thus, the interviewee stated that she need sure that employees are receiving all of the training hours they are entitled to. For instance, she has to make sure that each employee has gone through at least 78 training hours and 34 hours of professional development. She has to work with assessment of employees’ performance and suggest promotional perspectives in terms of the existing corporate practice. In this regard, she outlined that she did not consider any of these roles challenging in their performance. They are situational and require an individual approach. On the other hand, she stated that the most challenging part of her job is recruiting new members of staff.
One of the challenges in recruiting new employees is that often people come with almost identical CVs: they go to the same seemingly prestigious university, gain similar internship experiences and say the same book-style phrases. Most of the time, they look very corporate and official in the interviews, yet when you come to the deviation from the comfortable book-style topics and ask more practical questions or problem-resolution of unexpected situations, people get lost and confused. Although the sector of hospitality may seem very corporate, it is a lot about flexibility and ability to maneuver, since people are different, and in the culture-oriented environment you need someone brave enough to act according to the circumstances and requirement of a customer. Consequently, we are encouraging people from other specializations to apply for hospitality jobs. In this regard, the company’s main emphasis is knowledge of cultures, foreign languages proficiency and international relations profiles. Thus, Miss Warton’s job was actually to write such job descriptions for the available positions that would attract international relations-oriented specialists. Finding the right people is difficult, but when that is done, work goes smoother.
Regarding the role of HR in the overall organizational structure, the interviewee stated that as it was mentioned before, the company takes culture and people-oriented approach. Thus, for the company satisfied and happy employees are the key to happy and satisfied customers around the world. Consequently, the main pressure as a mediator between top management, employees and customers is placed upon HR manager. In this regard, the company’s slogan is of a great importance. It says, “Success is never final”, which means that the company and its employees still have a lot of potential towards improvement and development. The fact that the company’s strategy is directed towards combining traditional values together with new technologies in the globalized and multi-cultural world creates a necessity of constant modification and improvement of services provision, which as it was mentioned before requires constant conduct of training and development programs. The role of HR in this process is vital since it is a means of transferring these objectives into the real practice of employees’ performance.
Regarding the main critical issues faced at this position, the interviewee stated that it was time and fast tempo of development. In this regard, she explained that the contemporary hospitality environment is incredibly vibrant, and the direction of combining traditions with contemporary technologies requires constant, systematic awareness of what is going on within this company and in the industry, in general. In this regard, a lot of time goes mainly on staying well informed and keeping in touch with the right sources of information. Thus, when HR manager is well informed, then training programs are up-to-date, benefits schemes and right employees are in the right places. In other words, the contemporary speed of changes makes working environment incredibly intense and the bigger the company, the more demanding it is. So, in order to keep up with this tempo, Miss Warden always keeps an eye on the most recent trends in the business and normative framework. Another essential issue she has mentioned was that it had become extremely difficult to find employees with strong leadership skills. She argues that although it is often assumed that leadership skills can be developed like any others, the overall tendency she is observing is that people are not eager to take responsibilities. It is very seldom that people who actually have the leadership capacity are supported in order to advance a further managerial career. This is something the interviewee is paying a particular attention, since she considers that the best leaders who think about people in their team rather than personal gain, and such people need to be encouraged to develop their career and inspire others. In this case, Miss Warton like conducting 3 and 6 months monitoring of employees’ performance and suggest suitable people for further career development or even departmental or branch transfers.
When the interviewee was asked about critical issues for the next decade, she named a few. Frist of all, she said unlike her company one of the greatest challenges for the companies for the future decade is investment in their employees’ skills and qualifications. Although the number of companies understanding the value of qualified and satisfied staff increases, it is still far from the majority. Thus, the competition for highly-qualified candidates will only increase. In this regard, fro company the critical issue will be to keep their staff within their business network and prevent brain drain to other companies and industries. However, Marriott International does everything for its employees to stay with them and build their lives together with the company. Thus, people-centered approach demonstrates long-term benefits. Another critical issue is that in building a collaborative working environment, a cut-throat approach to completion in the workplace is no longer productive. In this regard, the creation of an atmosphere of friendly and supportive mutually-beneficial working environment is one of the greatest challenges nowadays and will prevail for the next decade. In this regard, the interviewee suggested that more and more often development and training of emotional intelligence becomes crucial in day-to-day work performance. Consequently, HR managers will have to pay more attention to individuals within their working environment in order to create family-values system of working environment like in Marriott International. In the conclusion, the interviewee suggest that for someone who is not yet entering the competition of the job market, it is a good time to diversify one’s CV and make sure that except for the great grades and internships, there will be more extra-curriculum activities and diverse practical experiences demonstrating a systematic set of skills. The interview was enjoyable and informing in the understanding not only of the HR practice but also HR approach of Marriott International.
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