Rolling out refined labor standards brand wide

The corporate office of a large hotel management company began to run into challenges while attempting to build and roll out a new labor management program across its brands. Recalling successful past collaborations with Carpedia Hospitality on property-specific initiatives, the company reached out to request guidance on workforce management strategies and project control techniques to improve the execution of this internal project.

The Challenge

The internal project team responsible for rolling out new labor standards across the company’s US properties was made up of representatives from various operational, financial, and administrative departments, which allowed for a broad range of input but presented difficulties due to the collective absence of change management expertise. Their goal was to design a methodology to determine productivity targets for all hourly positions in a standardized manner across the organization, but they struggled to identify a method to apply rigor when creating the standards, the means to install at an expedited pace, and the ability to achieve buy-in at the property level in order to sustain the changes once implemented. The company wanted to maintain control and oversight over the project but requested that Carpedia Hospitality help them establish a refined methodology to calculate accurate labor standards and to implement them in a way that the property leaders could understand and execute.

The Solutions

Carpedia Hospitality gathered observation-based activity metrics from a limited sample of properties within the company’s portfolio as a starting point, coupled with identifying positions where further analysis would be required for unique circumstances. Additionally, during the sample-set of observations, various recurring types of operational opportunities were identified (e.g. incremental revenue, forecasting, material waste) that would further enhance the profitability of the operations as the roll-out was conducted. In parallel, the corporate team was trained on how to conduct observations within the operation to draw out the necessary data and calculate appropriate labor standards for mid to long-term maintenance. Carpedia Hospitality also assisted in identifying how to categorize the various properties in order to prioritize observations to ensure sufficient metrics were collected to reasonably apply across multiple groups of properties (e.g. city vs. resort, transient vs business).

Once labor standards were calculated they were loaded into the company’s scheduling and payroll software and a rollout was planned in waves. Managers were identified at both the regional and property level to work along with the Carpedia Hospitality team to focus specifically on the sustainability of the initiative and to drive a culture of labor management, opportunity identification, and continuous improvement. From there, the new program was rolled out across the country in groups. Carpedia Hospitality supported the implementation by creating training plans for property leaders and guiding the initial communication and messaging to set a positive tone that would better achieve the necessary buy-in.

After implementation, Carpedia Hospitality held weekly update calls with the appointed productivity managers to review results, discuss obstacles, and to suggest assignments to better drive results.  Weekly calls were also held with the corporate team to discuss the project at a macro level, solve problems, and provide guidance on the continued roll-out.

The Results

After changing course and seeking a collaborative partner to complete the project, the corporate team was able to achieve its vision of a comprehensive workforce management program across all US properties at a significantly expedited pace and with less interruption to the operations. The project quickly broke even and generated multiples on the initial investment within the first year. The guidance offered by Carpedia Hospitality led to a sustainable model that easily fit into the company’s overall culture, and the new processes have remained in place since their introduction.


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