Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015 - (Page 20)
10 Tips for Hotel
Do's and don'ts from engineering chiefs at three Waikiki hotels
BY DAVID PUTNAM
ll day, every day-that's the
normal work schedule for
engineers at Hawaii's hotels and
resorts. Behind the scenes, while guests
eat, play and sleep, there is a flurry of
activity as engineers work around the
clock to keep the buildings' systems
operating at peak capacity.
"If you ask anyone what the
engineering department is, the answer
is usually, 'They're the department that
fixes things.' In actuality, we are much
more than that," says Reuben Nakagawa,
chief engineer at Embassy Suites - Waikiki
Beach Walk. "The main function of
the engineering department is to repair,
replace and/or maintain all furniture,
fixtures and equipment of the hotel."
To be certain, without an engineering
department there can be no hotel.
And just imagine the ripping reviews on
websites like Yelp that a hotel would get
without engineers to keep such services
as electricity, air conditioning, hot water,
kitchen and laundry equipment, trash
chutes and elevators and escalators all
running smoothly. In short, there would
be no customers.
"How an engineering employee
performs his or her duties and how they
represent the department are the most
important factors," Nakagawa says.
For some do's and don'ts on running
an effective engineering department,
Hawaii Hospitality sought the advice
of Nakagawa, Randall Morisako,
chief engineer at Holiday Inn Waikiki
Beachcomber Resort, an Outriggermanaged property, and Joe Wyka, chief
engineer of the Hale Koa Hotel, the
Armed Forces Recreation Center resort.
PRACTICE GREEN INITIATIVES
Morisako: This helps with energy
efficiencies, safety, health and the wellbeing of the property and the staff.
The property has saved thousands of
dollars with the implementation to
Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015
CFLs and heat sensors for in-room air
conditioning, which also resulted in
reducing energy waste. The recycling of
guest and employees' bottles and plastics
not only extends the usefulness of its
original purpose, but also generates
dollars that are donated to charity.
MISSION AND VISION
Nakagawa: Having a mission
statement to guide the department is
key. It defines what is expected of the
employee and how they will perform
the duties of the department. Here at
Embassy Suites - Waikiki Beach Walk
our department's mission statement
is "Through unity and teamwork, we
will foster our aloha spirit and culture
Morisako: Neat and orderly, able
to find things easily-it's the essence
of good time management because you
don't have to waste precious time to
find what you need to get the job done.
Everyone participates and everyone
reaps the benefits.
Nakagawa: Department standards
and procedures clearly define to
the employee why they are in the
department, how they will represent the
department and how the department
operates most efficiently as well as how
and when to perform their duties.
"Our employees make up the department, and my job as chief
engineer is to guide them. My belief is, if you take care of the
employee, the employee will take care of you, and everything else
will fall into place. They will take ownership, they will be there
when needed and they will represent the department well."
to our guests and fellow employees."
This mission statement encourages
employees to work, learn and support
each other as a team and perform their
duties with the spirit of aloha.
Wyka: Most properties have a vision
already, but what is your Engineering
Vision? Lay out in simple terms
where you are as a property, where
you want to go, and how you intend
to get there. Incorporate feedback
into your plan and then execute it
aggressively. Ask yourself with every
task: Does this fit into our Engineering
Vision and Property Vision? Make sure
it lines up with and supports the overall
BE TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT
Wyka: It is critically important to be
technically sound and capable. Leaders
above you will make big decisions
based on your advice, so it has to be
correct. Your workforce will only follow
you if you can speak their language and
understand their challenges.
TRAINING AND IMPROVING
Morisako: Good on-the-job and
safety training both are critical to
ensuring a job is done correctly,
according to our standards, and safely.
Nakagawa: Effective training ensures
each member of our engineering team
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015
Women & Their Power
HLTA’s Culinary Gala
HRA for the Holidays
When Visitors Get Sick
Luxury Limo Services
Na Poe Paahana Awards
Tips from Engineers
Women in Lodging
At the Table
Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015