In Boston’s increasingly competitive hotel industry, what does it take to stay on top? The Omni Parker House, America’s longest continuously operating hotel – and proud originator of the Boston cream pie – earns its four-star Trip Advisor rating by investing in its most important asset: its people.
The first step is meeting basic employee needs through generous wages and full benefits. But the key to the Omni’s exceptional customer service lies in recruitment, training, and performance management systems that empower frontline staff to make decisions, solve problems, and advance to management roles.
The Aspen Institute recently spoke with Alex Pratt, Area Director of Human Resources at Omni Hotels & Resorts, a chain of 53 hotels that includes Boston’s Omni Parker House. Alex brings more than 25 years of experience in hospitality, and has achieved industry-leading retention and high employee satisfaction at the Parker House.
Alex is quick to credit partners for the Parker House’s success. He works closely with Local 26, the hospitality worker’s union, and with Boston Education, Skills & Training (BEST) Corp, a model workforce training organization also profiled by the Aspen Institute. BEST provides high road hotels like the Omni with skilled talent. BEST graduates excel in quality jobs where they have the autonomy to shine.
In 2021, the Omni will open its second Boston hotel, a 1,054-room property in the Seaport district. One secret to winning the city’s competitive bidding process was a first-of-its kind proposal for an onsite BEST training center where current and prospective employees will develop exceptional hospitality skills.
We spoke with Alex to learn more about how the Omni’s innovative people practices and partnerships are delivering winning outcomes for frontline workers, guests, and the hotel’s bottom line.
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