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PPHE Group Case Study

Read about how PPHE Hotel Groups ensured they were well prepared to deal with the impact of the London 2012 Games, and the initiatives Acas helped them put in place.
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PPHE Hotel Group own, operate and franchise lifestyle hotels including Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, art'otel and the Arenaturist brands. From the moment London was awarded the 2012 Games in 2007, PPHE Hotel Group knew that planning the team member strategy for the six London hotels was going to be paramount to a successful Games for the company, says Georgia Gray, Regional Human Resources Manager, UK.

"Our team members are the backbone to everything we do. It was crucial to start planning how to support our managers and teams during this momentous occasion for London. We wanted to ensure that our guests would receive truly inspirational service and our team members would enjoy the Olympic experience whilst at work," says Georgia.

The challenge for PPHE Hotel Group, like many organisations in London, is managing the logistics and planning how to deal with the unexpected. For a hotel group, it's crucial team members have no transport problems getting to and from work and that shift patterns match the anticipated busy periods and lulls during the Games. This would ensure the needs of their guests, tourists and foreign media alike, would be met with the highest quality standards to ensure they too experienced a memorable and enjoyable Olympic Games.

Acas was called on to help PPHE Hotel Group overcome these challenges and help them effectively prepare and plan for the associated employment relations issues. Georgia explains; "We recognised Acas as a leading provider of team member training and team member relations support so approached them for guidance on how best to develop our existing plans to deal with the impact the Games would be likely to have on our team members."

Since undertaking Acas training many changes have been put in place to complement the existing plans PPHE Hotel Group had developed. This has included the launch of a Managers toolkit ensuring team members feel part of the celebrations and are fully informed about how their working lives may be affected during the period. This is a major investment for the business and underpins PPHE Hotel Group's commitment to their team members.

The toolkit includes information on transport and rosters, contains manager modules and outlines the content and approach behind proposed team member/manager one to one sessions during the Games. Above all it has encouraged ongoing engagement and dialogue to ensure PPHE Hotel Group managers and team members work together to reach the same goal - to serve their guests through individuality and passion and to ensure team members have a positive and memorable experience of the Games through their workplace. Other initiatives implemented include a lounge for team members to relax in and enjoy watching the Games if they wish during their break times. Also temporary amendments in shifts to support both the busier and quieter times during the day have also been introduced in consultation with managers and their teams.

So what advice would PPHE Hotel Group give to other employers for maintaining business service standards and team member engagement during the inevitably busy period of the Olympic Games? "Communication is key," says Georgia, "Ensure you have regular conversations with your immediate managers and they do the same with their teams - ahead, during and after the Games. By creating a robust plan your teams will feel fully supported and hopefully excited about being part of such a memorable event. Recognition of team member roles and celebration of successes will also encourage team member buy-in and increase guest service and satisfaction as a result."