How a Hotel Merger Turned Into an HR Transformation
About the company: Premier Inn belongs to the British hospitality company Whitbread PLC and employs over 10,000 people. The UK hospitality brand Premier Inn operates over 700 hotels in the United Kingdom and expanded its business activities to Germany, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and Qatar. Nearly 10,000 of the 95,000 hotel rooms available are in Germany, where Premier Inn currently employs more than 500 staff.
Human Resources Manager
The Starting Position
Can you remember the last time you had a real “lucky strike”? HR Manager Cristina Antoniu from the Premier Inn hotel chain can date it pretty accurately: February 2020. Premier Inn took over 13 existing hotels and six hotels under construction from the competitor Foremost Hospitality. What was the lucky strike? The newly acquired hotels used HR software Personio.
For HR Managing Director Natalie Busch and the entire HR team, it made sense to implement the solution for the remaining Premier Inn hotels in Germany. Cristina was especially pleased that the new hotels would adopt Personio. She had already used the solution and had a positive impression. “I was very excited to discover all the new features from Personio and a few months later we successfully implemented the system for all our hotels,” says Cristina.
The HR team worked with a lot of separate evaluations, which was very time consuming.
In order to support the Premier Inn community on its growth path, a modern, digital HR solution had been planned for a long time. Before implementing Personio at Premier Inn, internal processes were very manual. “Our evaluations were mainly Excel-based and very time-consuming. “I had to double and triple-check my evaluations before I sent them to management,” says Cristina. “It wasn’t an effective solution for our rapid expansion.”
Time-consuming list maintenance
Multiple data checks required
“Personio’s Key Account Management provided me with perfect support during implementation.”
Cristina had already mentally ticked all the boxes in the selection criteria for a software: Adaptability of the software – check. Intuitive usability – check. And as a European product, the HR software must also meet Premier Inn’s data protection requirements. With the support of the management team, Cristina was able to introduce Personio.
According to Cristina, “The decision to use Personio for all our hotels in Germany was also made to make it easier for our new colleagues to get started with our processes. Cooperation with Personio was the best way for us to standardise our HR processes.’’
Implementation & Support
According to the contract, Foremost Hospitality’s houses couldn’t be taken over until 2020. All personnel data was to remain under lock and key until then. So how would it be possible to set up a uniform account for all Premier Inn hotels in Germany that would be operational on the day of the takeover?
To ensure that Cristina could use Personio without delay, the Personio team prepared the account in close cooperation with Premier Inn. “I felt super supported by the Key Account Management”, says Cristina. “Our key account manager Jennifer and the Personio team were always there for us and even approached us proactively with suggestions.’’
Especially on the day, Premier Inn took over the 13 new hotels, Cristina got the support she needed. “Our key account manager was even available for us on Saturdays and Sundays – that’s not a matter of course.’’
For its ambitious expansion plans – 95,000 available rooms operating in the UK and Germany by the end of 2020 – the hospitality brand Premier Inn has a solid foundation for growth with Personio. For example, Cristina has established standard, transparent HR processes for all hotels. Employee data is structured and accurately stored in the digital employee file and employees can easily request their absences online.
The Premier Inn team has also quickly adapted Personio. “Not just HR, but also our hotel managers use Personio, e.g. to upload employee documents and gain insight into personnel data.”
Transparent, digital HR processes
All employee information in one place
Premier Inn's Favourite
“For me, Personio is a great all-round product,” says Cristina. The HR manager also appreciates the many functions and the continuous development of features and modules. “I’m pleased that I can map all HR tasks with a holistic solution.”
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