Rewards, Referrals and Raises

All’s fair in love and recruitment.

Robert Mellwig, SVP, Really Cool People, Destination Hotels & Resorts/Lowe Enterprises, offered no apologies for his company’s “shameless” search function, external referral program and other outreach efforts.

124322561Mellwig was part of a panel that offered a variety of tips to HR professionals at the HR in Hospitality® Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.  Other panel members included Dina Barmasse-Gray, SVP, HR, Cheesecake Factory; Rebecca Henry, VP, People Services, Allegiant Travel Co., and Diane Turek-Pire, SVP, HR, Wyndham Hotel Group. Bruce Tracey, associate professor, school of hotel administration, Cornell University, moderated the panel.

Members had plenty to say about how their HR function operated. Henry explained that HR contacts its alumni group (former employees) several times a year for referrals, connects its HR system with its ticketing system to drive efficiency and spends 80 percent of its efforts on the top 20 percent of the company’s highest performers. Barmasse-Gray discussed the company’s video café, featuring employee videos addressing work tips, and how diversity is never taken for granted but is no longer a “top strategic imperative”. Turek-Pire mentioned a move from individual toward constellation or team awards and that HR was shifting its focus from employee engagement to trust, which builds loyalty.

Surprisingly, no one seemed concerned over Obamacare. Henry said the biggest needle-mover was getting spouses or adult children involved in healthcare. “People have the highest level of dissatisfaction when they don’t understand how it works,” she said.

Mellwig appeared to be the rebel of the group. He said HR awards employees for their contributions, not tenure, and ignores routine raises. “We believe in wild (salary) swings that are performance-driven.  It creates controversy but we get better results.”