City of Brotherly Love

The ³city of brotherly² is becoming the most visited metropolis in the United States because it is rich with history, culinary cuisine, and local attractions (Avenue of the Arts & Museums). The lodging sector is trying to stay abreast with the increased demand for rooms by constructing twelve new hotels that will be located throughout the city. The director of human resources at the Sheraton University City hotel appeared to be concerned that the construction of the new hotels would increase or decrease both room rates and employees (leaving for greener pastures).

There are other investors (Macy¹s, Nordstrom, Disney Quest & Steven Speilberg virtuosity restaurant) that are planning to cash in on the ³mega bucks² that will be generated from the tourist, trade shows, conventions (GOP, American Federation of Teachers, American Association of Law Libraries, Buyers Market of American Crafts, International Collectibles Expo & ect.), and residents. The mayor and the visitors bureau have been selling Philadelphia to various organizations as the Hospitality municipality and therefore some interesting changes will be taking place (over haul of Penn¹s Landing-installation of 2 ice rinks, shops & restaurants). The director of security at the U-City Sheraton was knowledgeable concerning the trends that could influence the Philadelphia hospitality industry, but he declined to give a taped statement (that was requested by the human resources director). Eventually, the expansion of the Philadelphia Convention Center will be required to accommodate the increased demand for space to house a variety of trade shows, job fairs, conventions, meetings and fitness seminars. So, Philly is well on the road to becoming the hospitality town that loves you back.

The entrepreneur Barry Cohen stated, ³Wow means turning a negative situation into a positive experience. I t means doing things differently, connecting with people directly and always being one step ahead of the crowd.² The Sheraton Hotel has been connecting with individuals through its ³WOW² program by hosting monthly training sessions for high school students interested in hospitality careers (community), associates have the power to solve guest problems (made to feel like owners) and attend monthly meetings where associates can voice opinions about improving guest services. The basic principal of the wow concept is to give the patron a long lasting pleasant experience that the guest will share with family, friends & colleagues (word of mouth advertising) and ultimately this encounter will keep the patron coming back (to exceed previous experiences).

The article, Why Service Still Stinks, stated that the most important factors for providing quality guest services consist of; recruiting (getting the right person for the position & show job assignments), attitude/personality (friendly, outgoing & able to go into act-show business mode), preparation/empowerment (give associates the tools to do their job), and involvement ( meetings to discuss what is happening in each department , voice concerns and to give praise for a job done well). Audrey Kleidermacher said, ³Experience and training are the most important aspects in providing top notch services to guests because a skilled worker will exceed patron expectations with fewer mistakes or mishaps.

Where as, the Human Resource Management textbook listed the five dimensions to providing quality service as: personal reliability (ability to provide dependable & accurte service), tangibles (physical appearance of the facility, equipment & communication material), responsiveness (willingness to help customers & prompt service), assurance (knowledge & courtesy of associates and their ability to convey trust and confidence), and empathy (ability to provide caring individualized attention to customers). To excel in the hospitality industry or guest services demands a ³commitment to excellence² because you have to be ready, willing, and able to do what is necessary to get the job completed in an efficient and expeditious manner.

The Sheraton Hotel University City human resource director reiterated that effective managers prefer to utilize expert power or reward power, more than coercive power to motivate associates because the coercive power is based on motivating employees by fear (doesn¹t necessarily work) and this may make associates reluctant to voice opinions or concerns, lack of dedication to organization, and a reduction or indifference in completing job assignments. The SGS reward program motivates associates to exceed guest expectations to earn points for movie tickets, restaurant vouchers, and other products or services.