What do you do?
I have the best job in the world. I am responsible for ensuring our team is supported to meet the Hilton Worldwide vision – “To fill the Earth with the light and warmth of hospitality”. Rarely do you get to work for a company that has a vision that resonates and aligns with your own personal values.
My role is to direct human resources activities in the Australasian region to ensure the development of our most important asset: our people. The focus of these activities is ensuring that our team is valued, cared for and respected.
Much of your HR experience is in the hospitality sector. What do you think the biggest challenge is for HR professionals in this area?
Hospitality is one of the rare HR opportunities that covers multiple professions, from front-line customer service to departments like finance, sales, marketing, culinary, engineering and operations. There is the added complexity of being a 365-day-a-year business operating 24 hours a day.
At HRIZON you will talk about how Hilton has improved customer service in its hotels. How do you see HR and customer service as being linked?
It’s a must-attend event for HR professionals. HR is a critical link as the HR team manage and implement the L&D agenda.
How do you ensure people managers stick to best practice in such large and spread-out organisations?
I always make sure people management and development are on the agenda. You have to lead from the front and hold people accountable for how they manage their staff. I ensure best practice is recognised and shared, and ensure success in this area is celebrated.
You have experience of working in the HR function in India. What are the big differences between the way people management operates in Australia? What lessons did you take from your time in Asia?
Work and family are separate in Australia, whereas in India creating a workplace that feels like – and acts like – a family is critical to your success. People want to be part of something bigger then themselves.