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Best HR Ideas for 2012: Manager Immersion

This idea by Millenium Hilton Hotel in New York is one of the Best HR Ideas for 2012. See the rest of them here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012
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Training employees only goes so far, says Vicente Jaramillo, director of human resources at Millenium Hilton Hotel in New York. So, to increase communication and enhance operations at his hotel, the HR team created the "Manager Immersion" program.

The program consists of quarterly one-day transfers of its 50 managers into other front-of-house and back-of-house departments, such as a manager from housekeeping working at the front desk or an HR manager working in the finance department.

It has been so successful since being launched on Oct. 7, 2011, that Hilton Worldwide is adopting the program for the entire corporation, Jaramillo says.

"We have a lot of training," he says, "but it wasn't just that. It was going into the internal part of the hotel's basics and getting [managers] involved ... to give a better sense of all of the responsibilities that each department has."

The HR team coordinates the entire program -- from sending bios of visiting managers to the "immersion" department to posting photos and videos afterward. The immersion includes attending pre-shift and operations meetings, working and having lunch with the department, and closes in a meeting with the department's director -- to share observations and impressions.

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Following the half-day (about four to five hours) visit, the manager is debriefed by the management team for his or her insights and ideas.

Because of the program, Jaramillo says, interdepartmental communication has been significantly enhanced and procedures have been changed to create efficiencies.

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