Hyatt shows how to damage a brand

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Nigelinoz

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Not sure if this is the best forum for this article.
Hyatt shows how to damage a brand-24 September, 2009

The entire travel industry might learn some lessons from three Boston Hyatt hotels that fired their entire maid staffs and outsourced their positions to a third-party vendor at a lower cost.

“Looking for a sure-fire way to do a little damage to your brand? Follow these two simple steps,” wrote the Harvard Review.

1. Make the decision to fire a very important yet modestly paid sector of your work force. Fire the entire lot of them.

2. Outsource their positions to a third-party vendor who will bring in contractors to do their jobs at a lower cost. But -- and this is critical -- before you fire them, trick your workers into training the people who will replace them.

The hotel disputes this but the newspaper report said the maids were told they were training “vacation replacements.” This vacation, however, was permanent.

The Boston Globe newspaper reported that at last count, more than 584 comments had been posted on the newspaper site about Hyatt’s actions. The article has been among the site’s most e-mailed pieces of content. There were demonstrations and pledges from participants that they would never again stay at Hyatt.

“For a hotel, housekeeping is not trivial,” reports the Review.

Hyatt is a hospitality company, the report says. Hospitality companies rely on the currency of brand maintained by superior customer service -- to sustain and grow their businesses.

“Is this the way you'd want your management treating your fellow workers? Would this inspire you to go ‘above and beyond’ for your customers? To do your job at its highest level?” the report asks.

This has turned into front page news,the governor has threatened to boycott Hyatt hotels.
Governor threatens a Hyatt boycott - The Boston Globe
 

Nigelinoz

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From my own point of view I don't have a problem with any company trying to reduce it's labour cost,especially if it means that the long term future of the company,and therefore it's employees is more secure,however "tricking" your staff into training their replacements (If that is true) is not very smart IMO and is certainly not going to do much for labour relations is it.
 

samh004

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Getting laid off is awful, but companies have to remain profitable. As bad as it sounds, they need to do it. Hopefully BA will be next ;)

Anyway you'd think they're not losing money, so they just want a bigger margin, now the customer knows that they can't be too thrilled. Such a big cut should give the customer a saving.

Also, if they were told to train these people for vacation leave, that's pretty low.
 

BAM1748

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When this sort of thing happens sometimes management is grasping at small bucks (relative) while something else is a black hole and too hard to deal with.

Bonds - lets outsource our undies making to the third world, oh look at that we the board can give ourselves a pay rise. Bonds outsourced production to reduce costs to stay competitive but I haven't seen the price come down only directors pay go up.

The "Gold Passport" can go back for starters.
 

auriga

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I can't imagine the housekeeping staff were paid much to start off with.:(
 

onemore

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Off thread slightly, about the Hyatt.
In looking for somewhere to stay in Bali, I decided to stay at the Hyatt and did receive a quote for a reservation for late November for one week.
I received a reply from them yesterday requesting "Full Payment" for the cost of the accommodation in advance.
When I suggested that this was over the top, they reduced the time to one month in advance.
They must be needing some money.

Cheers,
Mike
 

Nigelinoz

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Do you always believe everything you hear in the news? :p
Far from it Flash,that's why I included the "If true" part,and I did say that I understand that companies need to remain profitable for the good of the business long term but IF it is true that the laid off workers were asked to train their replacements then that to my way of thinking is hardly something out of "How to win friends and influence people" and is more like something out of "How to destroy good HR management"
Just my opinion BTW.
 

pully

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re hyatt.
we stayed at canberra hyatt last week and were disappointed.
we hold gold card membership and a few months ago stayed at the churchill in london, also a hyatt. it was a beautiful experience.
lovely hotel, staff superb, breakfast and dinner high quality.

canberra was different. no freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast for example. details are important to us.
our room was not serviced until we rang housekeeping after we had been out all day, this was 3pm.
the room smelled of offensive body odour following the requested service.

i do not blame the probably poorly paid staff but supervision and management is obviously lacking.

we have given feedback to the hotel. very disappointed. standards are dropping but prices have not.
we had breakfast out of the hotel after the 1st day. we went to kingston and had a lovely breakfast and freshly squeezed orange juice at Silo bakery which we can highly recommend.
canberra hyatt used to be very good but it has increased in size and sadly is not what it was.
so yes the brand is damaged it would seem in our opinion.
regards.
 

odysseus

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A lot, if not most of these outsourcing exercises are not about 'ensuring corporate longevity' (the last word being a clue that there is no real issue), but just improving profitability as a short term exercise.

Companies that value service can find good results by keeping staff happy, and not just try to find the cheapest way they can deliver a set of KPIs (which do not necessarily embody deep service values, but only measurable indicators as a substitute for the delivery of good service). Often, only certain targeted characteristics are highlighted while the associated trade-offs are ignored or glossed over.

I find it hard to believe service would have been the same whether the existing staff were aware of their replacements or not.
 
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