Charissa Chan, area director of HR and training for Hotel Jen, talks about how the company’s local HR teams nurtured staff to understand and change their behaviour according to the hotel’s new culture.
Our core customers are becoming more digitally savvy and highly social, and they also want an effortless, fuss-free hotel experience.
To steer the brand in this direction, we needed to make a fundamental change in the way we operate and the way we communicate to the market. We recognised the need for us to adapt the brand accordingly to ensure success in the coming years.
Thus we created Hotel Jen around a unique brand proposition: for it to be a virtual persona, a professional hotelier and an all-time lover of life, travel and discovery.
To support the new brand direction, we wanted our colleagues to be able to create that “Jen feeling” in our service.
As such, we created a clear direction on how we’d like things to be done, but at the same time allowing our employees to be themselves.
We invited the hotel’s senior executives such as the general manager and director of human resources to attend a senior kick-off session in Singapore.
In addition to learning the “Jen way”, our senior executives were able to shed light on the best way to cascade the key messages to the more than 2,000 strong workforce worldwide.
Based on the feedback from this get-together in Singapore, we were able to develop a workshop for our employees to understand more about Hotel Jen.
Since September 2014, we have placed all our employees through a highly interactive workshop to introduce Jen and for them to experience “That Jen feeling”. They enjoyed themselves and were able to come up with a lot of “inJenious” ideas in the workshop which we have implemented today.
Establishing a positive learning environment was just a starting point. Our local hotel HR teams have created and implemented many fun activities to nurture the new culture before their respective hotels were rebranded.
For example, one hotel created its own version of the Amazing Race to familiarise our employees with the vicinity of the hotel in an exciting way so they were able to find the best local places to eat, play and shop to recommend to our guests.
We have now moved onto the next stage of strengthening the Hotel Jen culture, which is to create our employee DNA to ensure we hire the right people and reinforce behaviour that is in line with our brand.
But Rome wasn’t built in a day. We are continuing to explore ways and to create simple tools to engage our team to drive the Hotel Jen culture at all levels.