What does human resources look like at a global hotel giant? And how is certification valued within it?
The HR Certification Institute recently visited certified professionals at the Arlington, VA.-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts
, a global firm managing 370 hotels from the United States to China.
What we learned was that at Interstate Hotels & Resorts, human resources is leading the business.
At Interstate, the senior VP of Human Resources is also the assistant general counsel for the organization. Not only does this mean that HR is a critical member of the company’s steering committee, but it adds weight to the strong “culture of compliance” that human resources fosters and drives across the organization. At Interstate the HR team is also closely aligned with operations. This is critical for a company that believes its employees should receive the same level of service and support as the guests that stay in the hotels.
The organization, spread out over nine countries, has 26,000 employees, or Associates as they are called. And in fact, the company is growing so quickly overseas that the organization’s human resources team now has a global HR presence with representatives permanently based in China and India.
During our meeting, where we were lucky enough to visit with six certified professionals, we also learned how valuable certification is within the organization. Annie Dremstedt, SPHR
, who oversees labor relations, says that a few years ago there was a push for certification within the human resources department and money was added into the budget to accommodate this professional development. She says that certification is valued and seen as a benefit within the organization. Even when hiring new staff, certification is a highly coveted credential.Nigel Williams, PHR, SPHR
, and director of Talent Management, says that human resources always has a seat at the table during growth discussions. He says that human resources is a key voice during acquisitions and takeovers and provides essential guidance when operational, legal and financial decisions are being discussed. He shares that having a HR presence during such critical decision-making processes lends credibility to the entire human resources function and builds a stronger, more cohesive company.
As Interstate shows, a diversity of perspectives when solving complex business problems can be a valuable asset to any organization and additionally, can reinforce the value and contributions of the human resources team.
How is human resources contributing to client satisfaction within your organization?
HR Certification Institute