First place for human resource management at Vienna House

Vienna, 20.12.2016  – In the course of its rebranding, Austria’s largest hotel group completely repositioned its human resource management. Various measures implemented along the so-called employee journey have already paid off.

Vienna House emerged victorious at the Hospitality HR Awards 2016 in the HR Strategy category representing hotel chains.

“The objective was to develop our human resources; offer new, extensive training and development programmes; expand our in-house academy through MBA modules to specifically promote young leadership talents; create a strong employer brand; and present ourselves as a cool employer. What we’re looking for are authentic hosts who share our passion for the beauty of simplicity,” says Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, commenting on the new HR strategy. 

To reach these goals, the employees are taken on an employee journey. Potential candidates are addressed directly via a recruitment campaign on job sites or on the Vienna House website: “We are really good at many things, but not quite yet at everything. What are you really good at?” The focus during the recruiting process is on the attitude and behaviour of the applicants instead of the traditional measures of knowledge and skill. Once aboard Vienna House, employees pass through various stages, starting with an introductory period that includes intensive training in all departments and moving on to specific training and development opportunities designed to strengthen professional and social skills. There also are a mentor programme for leadership employees, discovery days, an annual compass talk with the supervisor as well as the Vienna House academy and the Victor leadership training programme.

Academy with microlearning elements

The academy offers training opportunities in different professional areas as well as expert instruction with qualified training institutes from various countries. The training sessions are geared toward all employees at all levels. Also introduced was a so-called “microlearning tool” that can be used in small training units to share content with employees via smartphone.

Victor leadership training programme

Victor is the stepping stone for a career as manager in the operating areas or as assistant general manager at a group hotel. Within a period of twelve months, selected candidates pass through a leadership training programme specifically tailored to their individual needs. 

“It is our responsibility in the hotel business to recognise talents at the hotels and to offer them challenging and above all forward-looking development opportunities,” says Kathrin Gollubits, Head of Human Resources at Vienna House. “There are many different career paths in our business and the more individual we are in promoting our employees, the more successful we will be in convincing the market in the long term.”

The Victor programme consists of three modules: Module 1 is based on a 360° feedback analysis to determine the focus of the individual training measures which then deal with company values, an understanding of the different roles, relationship levels and time management. Module 2 is dedicated to hotel-specific case studies, comprises the areas of finance, yield management, positioning as well as brand, quality and project management, and is complemented by a three-day MBA module offered in cooperation with Modul University Vienna. Module 3 is all about leadership skills and concludes with an MBA module. The programme asks participants to complete a total of three MBA modules of two days each, for which the following courses were chosen: Forecasting and Benchmarking for Hotels, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Managing People, Teams and Organisations.

Internal and external training at the hotel level is also part of the schooling. The candidates work at different hotels, in different departments and are guided over a period of several weeks by the general managers of each hotel in their function as mentors. Group work, insights into the corporate office as well individual workshops round out the programme. Participants in the Victor programme must have at least five years of leadership experience, one year at Vienna International Hotels & Resorts, good English language skills and flexibility in terms of locati