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Top Executive Talks| Need for a New Culture in Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry

Chairman’s life experience and THANYAPURA’s thoughts about lifestyle/hospitality——Hospitality talent development: Need for a New Culture in Human Resources in the Hospitality Industry


The hotels and resorts can’t find the good employees, at the same time, graduates can’t find good jobs.

How did you/Thanyapura develop hospitality talent?

The Hospitality and related Industries are experiencing a scary shortage of employees all over the world. In many countries, hotels and restaurants closed down during peak COVID times and, when opening up again, found out, that many employees decided not to return but to leave hospitality for good.

Hotels and Restaurants often have to change opening hours or reduce services because they can’t find people who want to work for them.

I have several theories I believe are decisive for this development:

On broader perspective there is the demographic change, we simply don’t have enough people to do all the jobs.

Then there is this this crazy mindset today, that you have only made it when you go to a top university and then become a CEO of a major company. What is with all the skilled workers we need like chefs, waiters, gardeners, housekeepers? Are they not a vital part (as so many others) of our societies and equally important then management, often even more?

If we look a little deeper into our trade, we must admit, that many businesses too often ignored the personal requirements of our employees. We didn’t care enough about their needs, always putting the company interest first.  In times of an oversupply of available workers, this attitude worked out fine in most cases, but was wrong out of the perspective of respect and empathy. And where there is a market oversupply, prices, or in our case wages, go down. This situation has changed dramatically but many employers haven’t.

There are many other aspects but I believe that the ones I have laid out before are sufficient to understand where we are coming from.

Allow me to explain Thanyapura’s Talent Culture and my personal philosophy:

We know, that our employees are our most valuable asset. With enough funds, you can build the most luxurious resorts or restaurants, but without people creating a warm and welcoming ambience and providing excellent services all, construction and design money would be wasted.

All people wish for Happiness, but nowadays, too many don’t understand what genuine Happiness is all about. Especially younger generations believe, that having lots of money and a high social standing are most important for their Happiness. These are definitely nice-to-have, but much more important are the three ingredients we at Thanyapura strongly believe in.

For us Happiness needs most importantly:

    a. A Healthy Body – meaning good nutrients and enough exercise

    b. A Balanced Mind – practicing skills how to avoid depressions, anxieties, fears

    c. A Good Heart – treat myself and other with respect and love and care about the world around me

We are convinced that only happy people can deliver excellent services, so we need to create a culture in all of our entities, where all employees understand Happiness and what they need to do for their own good.

We have to walk the talk, so we put emphasis on healthy food in our canteens, our employees can use at specific times all sport facilities, we try to be as flexible as possible with working schedules to meet each employees need.

We offer Meditation and Yoga sessions so our staff learns how to manage their minds.

Our KPI’s consist of 3 professional and 3 personal goals. Clear professional goal setting is important for the company and for personal growth, but for the well-being of everyone, we decided to include personal goals. We all know about the many New Year’s resolutions which usually are forgotten about mid-January already.  So we include personal goals like planning to losing weight, to do more exercise, to become a more active team-player into the KPIs – they must be measurable and will be measured the same way as the professional ones.

We developed many other topics and strategies for the well-being of our people and soon realized that our turn-over declined dramatically. But we wanted to find out more and be able to measure our culture. We learned about the Bhutanese Happiness survey and modified it for our needs. The anonymous Thanyapura Happiness Survey, which we are implementing in all of our Chinese hotels and resorts, is not only an amazing instrument for everyone to know where we stand, it is a very helpful tool for trainings and motivational talks. 

I am convinced that in today’s competitive markets we all need to change our game, and this will be an ongoing process which always needs to be optimized:

Thanyapura’s purpose is: ‘We Optimize YOUR Live’

Internally we changed it a little: ‘We Optimize OUR Lives’