Hospitality Business

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IT and E Commerce In Hospitality Business

IT and E Commerce In Hospitality Business

A new information-technology (IT) system is helping InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) - which has more than 3,500 hotels and over 539,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world - to manage its annual merit-review process for more than 4,000 senior people across 20 global offices.

IHG - whose brands include Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn and Hotel Indigo - had been had been managing pay review for senior staff using a spreadsheet-based application. This was both time-consuming and labor-intensive.

Reward specialists cut individual spreadsheets for each of the different pay-review groups, then sent them out to the reviewing managers - some 400 across the business. Once these had been completed and returned, they had to be manually recompiled and checked.

Gemma Fox, IHG reward administrator, explained: “The system, while workable, was hard to administer and resulted in data-integrity problems. That meant that we had manually to check and recheck information, often having to compare different documents, some of which had been modified by reviewing managers and so were not even in the same format.”

Senior reward specialists were wasting a lot of time carrying out mundane tasks, such as scrolling through spreadsheets to check for errors and, because there was no way of managing the process, in chasing up overdue pay proposals.

How the system works

The new HRM Connect system replaces the fragmented spreadsheet-based approach with a single, online application to which access is gained through IHG's corporate intranet, using a standard web browser. At pay-review time, the system automatically sends e-mails to each of the reviewing managers with information about the review process, a link to the application and their secure log-in details. Managers get immediate access to details for all of the employees in their review group, including the salary information and merit ratings applicable to each individual, together with their own specific budget guideline.

The system includes modeling features. Reviewing managers can make pay proposals based on a percentage increase, increase amount or new-salary amount, along with explanatory text about their recommendations. As they do so, they can see the effect this has on their overall budget, enabling them to experiment to find the optimum allocation. Incomplete work can be saved, so that higher-level reviewers can see work in progress.

Once the pay-review proposals are complete, the system automatically routes them for approval within the company's review managers' hierarchy.

“The automatic routing has been one of the major benefits of the new system,” said Gemma Fox. “There is no need manually to send reminders - now the workflow process triggers them automatically. As each review group is updated, it is automatically rolled up into the higher-level review groups, so we then have a complete overview of all the 12 review plans at the top, which was always very difficult to gather before.”

David House, IHG senior vice-president and head of reward, explained: “With an organization of our size, complexity and geographic diversity, there is a significant challenge ...
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