While interning at the Island Hotel, I have been fortunate to be able to attend some fun and exciting meetings. Some of which have included:
An all employee meeting.
Human Resources puts this on once a year (I am lucky it came while I was here!) They hold two different ones during the day so that if you work morning or night, you should be able to attend one of the two. They were both held in the ballroom and I was able to go to the morning meeting which started at 10:00am. When entering the ballroom there were cookies and drinks available for us to choose from and Human Resources gave out tickets with numbers on them for the random drawings they would be holding during the meeting. Our General Manager started the meeting thanking us for coming and started to give away some prizes which included gift cards, tickets to events at the hotel and even an hour long massage in the spa! I wanted this one really badly but did not win unfortunately :(. The meeting was translated in Spanish by one of our executive managers to everyone in the audience. It was a good way to have the meeting together with all employees (Spanish and English speaking), and very interesting to hear our meeting translated into another language. The meeting mostly focused on how we are doing as a hotel compared to our competition and as a whole, as well as promotions and other things we are doing to have people come in and spend money at the hotel. The hotel also recently updated our mission statement, and vision to include ten standards that we need to implement in everything that we do.
This meeting was to have everyone (the Food and Beverage, Marketing and Sales and Catering departments) understand upcoming changes and promotions that the hotel will be implementing for the holiday season this year. There will be changes in decor for the lobby and restaurant and around other areas of the hotel as well. We do something called a holiday village where our pastry chef makes gingerbread houses to be displayed and companies "buy property" or purchase different sized houses to display their company logo on. I think this is a cute way to raise money for our charity (toys for tots) and for other companies to get involved with our hotel and give back to the community. We talked about hour budget and theme for this years client holiday party that we have every year. The holiday party is a way for us to thank our top clients by giving them a great party to mingle at while having some holiday fun.There is a lot to prepare for before the holidays and we start planning and brainstorming ideas as early as July and this meeting is a great way for us to regroup and get the job done!
Once a month our safety committee holds an informational meeting and someone from every department of the hotel must attend. They talk about safety measures taken and procedures that need to be followed. Everyone is allowed to give suggestions on ways to improve the hotel to make it a more safe place. They also talk about injuries that occurred in the past month. Departments are paid a "safety incentive" when no one from that department is hurt, this makes employees be more careful while they are doing their jobs and this helps the hotel from paying expensive medical bills. An issue talked about this month is that employees seem to be more prone to injury when they are assisting in a department that is not their own. They do not necessarily understand how heavy somethings are or some obstacles that may occur while they are working. A solution to this problem was to make sure if you are working in a different department you understand these risks, and feel comfortable saying you cannot do certain tasks. We also discussed how to stay safe and healthy this season. With the flu going around, the hotel wants to make sure employees are taking the proper per cautions to stay healthy and are not coming into work if they are contagious. The hotel is also providing all employees with a free flu vaccination that will come to the hotel early November. I thnk that the safety meetings are a very good idea in order to keep everyone happy and healthy.
I am just beginning to work in the Human Resources Department of the hotel and I am so excited to see what it is like to work behind the scenes of the hotel working for the employees.
The recycling committee holds a meeting between its members once a month to talk about how each department is doing their job to make sure that our hotel becomes a more green friendly establishment. We talk about last months changes and how they have helped or have not helped and if the employees are actually engaging in them. One of our problems discussed is lack of awareness. Many employees at the hotel did not know what was recyclable or not, so we came up with a solution. A poster decorating contest! Each department would have a month to create a poster for their area for everyone to see. The posters would have to be creative, the design would need to demonstrate things we do at the hotel and should include as much employee participation as possible. The committee would meet a month later and vote on the department with the best bulletin board. The winners would get to have a pizza party for everyone in their department. We thought this was a good way to get everyone involved and demonstrate their knowledge about recycling at the hotel. I was given the job of making an informational poster about the contest to hang in the hallway for everyone to see (which I included a picture of)
While working in the sales department I have really been able to learn so much more about this department including:
Sales managers bring potential clients into the hotel so that they can view our property to see if it meets their standards and to see if it is the right place to hold their next event. It is critical that they have a wonderful first impression and that everything is perfect. Therefore, sales assistants do a site visit check prior to the guest coming in. The sales managers will show the potential clients numerous rooms which include one of our standard rooms, king rooms, parlor suites and usually another higher end suite. While every room at the island hotel is perfect prior to a guest checking in and our housekeeping staff does an exceptional job making the room meticulous, it always helps to have a second once over before the inspection. We go through and look for little things that are sometimes missed by another person, for example if the room is at the right temperature and the lighting is right. Once we do this we make sure the manager has a sales kit with everything about the hotel included.
Marketing for the hotel:
The sales department is also in charge of marketing and promoting our hotel. They are very good at what they do, by knowing our very select market segment and how they like to be advertised to, the hotel can then choose the proper media placement and advertising campaigns. We send out holiday cards to many of our guests and clients just as a thank you for using our hotel and this sets us apart from our competitors. We feature an exclusive club where members are allowed special things that regular guests do not always receive such as complimentary parking and 20% off some menus. They are also in charge of updating the website with new promotions the hotel is featuring.
Daily Business Review Meetings:
I was able to go to a DBR meeting which is held every morning with the sales team and some managers in catering. They discuss potential business they might have, if we have enough room for the event, and if we actually want the event to be held at our hotel. Being the only five diamond hotel in Newport beach requires us to have a certain standard for guests and events that occur at our hotel. We have to be picky sometimes, even if the group is going to spend a large amount of money at our hotel but they will be a distraction for the rest of our guests, sometimes we have to choose to let this piece of business go to another hotel.
Updating contact information and IATA numbers:
When sales managers go to networking events or meet new potential clients and get their business cards, someone has to enter them into delphi. I was able to enter or update more than 200 business cards. Delphi will save this information so that it is much easier for the sales managers to keep in contact with these people over time. An IATA number stands for International Air Transport Association, which is an association that maintains a database of travel agencies and other entities engaged in the sale of travel. Each agency or entity has a different 8 digit numerical code that identifies them so that we know that they are actually a certified member.
When the hotel finds a group that wants to host their meeting at our hotel and we have the space for them, we come up with a contract that includes the dates and rates of their event. It is extremely important to have a signed copy on record in case something ever happens, so that we will not loose money and will receive what was agreed upon prior to the event. Contracts are a great way to show in writing what was decided, what the group is getting, and what they owe us. The hotel hired a lawyer who specializes in writing contracts for hotels and had him write a standard contract for us. He knows what he is talking about and knows situations that could potentially happen to the hotel that would cause them to loose money or not recieve what they agreed upon and includes causes in our contracts so that the hotel is not responsible or at risk for potential risks. He gives a monthly conference phone call to everyone who uses him, and he talks about some updates we could include in the contracts to further protect the hotel from liabilities. Once the contracts are made, we can merge our delphi account to the contract, and then you go through and make sure all the information is correct. A mangager will check over the contract to make sure it includes everything they want.
The purpose of this blog is to document a college internship experience. Content published on this blog represents the author's ideas, opinions and experience. This does not necessarily represent the views of the internship organization.