I just returned from the Cornell HR in Hospitality Conference in Las Vegas with my partner Carolyn Richmond.  I participated in the Executive Summit and shared ideas with some of the most innovative minds in the hospitality industry.  Here is my annual top ten list of take-aways:

1.               While no one knows what will happen under the Trump Administration, some common assumptions include:  Less active Department of Labor and NLRB (especially as to non-union work forces ); EEOC likely to apply current law to egregious situations, but not expand it
2.               That said, states like California will pick up the slack, so California employers should not expect any decrease in claims or lawsuits
3.               One of labor’s biggest concerns about the Trump Administration is the shift in courts; there are 117 vacant federal court vacancies, which means a lot of conservative judges could be appointed and rule in a more business-friendly way
4.               A less powerful NLRB may mean more corporate campaigns, and with that may come more RICO lawsuits to challenge them
5.               How hotels treat their Sales Managers (whether exempt or non-exempt) is still all over the map, although the trend is certainly towards classifying lower level sales and catering managers as non-exempt
6.               Employees are focused on more than just compensation and benefits; renewed focus on culture, recognition and development
7.               Benchmarking is only part of the equation, because if you pay the median, you can’t differentiate from others and get the best candidates
8.               Acknowledging that many millennials move on after a few years, many recruiting efforts now focus on alumni re-recruiting, which changes the off-boarding process and the attitudes towards employees who leave
9.               Automation is a hot topic in hospitality, but companies need to balance guest experience with efficiency; Human Resources should embrace technology to free up time to focus on people, not mundane tasks
10.            Anticipate trend to de-regulate tip pooling so that more employees can participate without such archaic restrictions on back of the house and time spent touching tables