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Interview with Eugène Oostenbrink

Interview with Eugène Oostenbrink HR manager at the Okura Hotel Amsterdam.
My name is Eugène Oostenbrink, I’m 45 years old and I’m the proud director of human resources of this great hotel, hotel Okura Amsterdam. Hotel Okura Amsterdam is founded in 1971 and we have about 400 employees working with us. And maybe as you know, hotel Okura Amsterdam is well-known for its Japanese background.
Could you formulate an HR dream for your hotel? Well, to me HRM stands for Human Relationship Management. I believe that HR is all about making the connection with eachother and with that I believe that leadership is essential. I would like a leader to make the other people shine.
We want that people become the better version of themselves, and I expect people that they want to learn that they are ready to develop themselves each day, so to say. We have a focus on training for our employees. We think that is really important. Your manager is crucial for you to get that platform to shine, but also evolving in your skills and developing your skills and competences, that’s crucial too. The uniqueness about HR in the hotel industry. Within a hotel, everyone is focused on a guest, because that’s what we here for. That means that we make it really practical. Everybody knows it’s added value to what he’s doing.
We are a guest centric hotel, that’s how we like to call that. Three years ago we adopted a lean philosophy within our hotel. Lean has two key elements. One is getting rid of waste in your processes, so we examine each process and we see how we can make it more efficient, that’s one side of lean. And the other side of lean is to challenge each employee on making the improvements. So, in your daily life, in your daily work, how can you make your work more efficient? More fun? More joyable? We stopped three years ago with the top-down approach.
I believe our team members, we need to let them be free on the decisions they need to make to make life for our guests, the best experience ever and as leaders we support our employees.

Our guest for this session is Eugène Oostenbrink, director of Human Resources at luxury Hotel Okura Amsterdam. We asked him questions about HRM systems at their firm.

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