If Susan Malana had to sum up her views on human resources in one thought it would be: HR cannot exist in a vacuum. The regional director of human resources for Canada at New Castle Hotels & Resorts came to hospitality from a number of industries, from mining and financial services to retail, and brought with her a laundry list of “dos” and “do-nots” that she sticks to religiously in order to succeed.
“I’ve been in some departments where it is very corporate, where I was not talking with associates on a daily basis,” Malana said. “I prefer this environment more. I got into this job to work with associates!”
Malana’s day begins at home, investigating her email to learn about any burning issues that may have to be addressed before she steps outside. “You never know in this industry,” she said. From there she has operational meetings at 9:30 a.m., which she is sure to attend every day in order to remain cognizant of what is happening on the floor of a hotel.
Outside of operational meetings, Malana tackles her to-do list with frequent interruptions from employees, which she considers a good thing.
“I don’t always get to everything on my list, but I would prefer that to associates not talking with us,” she said.
Malana conceded that her role is slightly unusual. As area director of the Canada region, she oversees six properties at once, with an additional dual-branded hotel on the way. Most often she can be found working out of the Westin Nova Scotia, with infrequent travel to the other properties taking place as needed.
Her journey to New Castle was facilitated by a contact she had made over the years, company regional VP Guido Kerpel, who informed her of an opening in Halifax. Being from Vancouver, Malana was at first nervous about a potential move, but her friendship with Kerpel and his recommendation for her at the company made it an easy decision to make in the end. Read More