Expect the unexpected.
That was part of the advice given by a panel of three HR professionals—led by Amitava Chatterjee, associate partner, strategy and transformation, travel and transportation, at IBM Global Business Services—who discussed challenges with implementing various HR systems at the HR in Hospitality® Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.
Peter Wilde, hospitality consultant and former managing director, Townsend Hotel and Preferred Hotel Group, shared his experiences with Logi-Serve; Debbie Brown, VP, HR at Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, focused on Workday; and Michael Janninck, VP, compensation Americas at Hilton Worldwide, addressed SuccessFactors.
While their goal was the same—to achieve sales, service and operational excellence—they mentioned different reasons for selecting the technology, such as flexibility, scalability, the need for a single eco-system or one-stop shop or converting text into multiple languages.
The takeaways from their experiences were equally as diverse. Wilde suggested piloting the technology at one property before rolling it out to other locations. Also, educate end-users about its value and gather support from senior execs so they “have HR’s back.”
Janninck offered more suggestions, such as ensuring that the technology fits within your culture and is intuitive, requiring minimal or no employee training. Lastly, solicit feedback and ideas for improvements from employees at the property level.
Brown mentioned the importance of selecting a strong partner, for both the RFP and implementation process. Don’t rush through the process, she added, “or you’ll pay on the back end.” Although Workday was fully implemented last May, she said, “It’s not a bed of roses, people are still complaining about it. You would be surprised at how hard change is.”